This is my review of the TSB Avios credit cards.
It is part of my series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for. These articles will be linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Card Offers‘ page. My other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.
Key link: TSB Avios credit cards application form
Key facts: No annual fee
The representative APR is 17.9% variable.
Most rewards cards are not suitable products if you do not clear your balance in full every month. You should focus on a credit card with a low interest rate such as the Tesco Clubcard Mastercard Low Rate card. This has a very attractive representative APR of 5.9% variable – and you can transfer your Clubcard points into Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles.
About the card
The TSB Avios credit cards – issued by TSB, the only travel loyalty card they offer – come as a double-pack of an American Express and a Mastercard. This model may not continue into the future as Amex fees on co-brand cards to UK retailers are now capped at the same level as Mastercard / Visa at 0.3%.
There are two version of this card – this, free, version and the Premier version which carries a £50 fee. I will discuss the Premier version in a separate review.
Feedback from Head for Points readers is that you will not be accepted if you currently hold a different TSB credit card or if you have held any TSB credit card in the last six months.
What is the sign-up bonus?
There is no current sign-up bonus, and there has not been one since the card was taken over by TSB from Lloyds.
Any other benefits?
You receive 1,500 Avios points for every £1,000 of balance transfer you do. Any transfer within 90 days of opening the card will be interest-free until six months after you opened the card. There is the standard 3% fee for the balance transfer, however, so this is not a way to get some free Avios points.
Is there an annual fee?
No, there is no fee.
What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?
You earn 1 Avios per £1 spent on the Amex card and a pathetic 0.2 miles on the Mastercard.
Overseas transactions earn double Avios, which makes the TSB American Express card a better deal than either of the British Airways American Express cards for foreign currency spending.
Remember that the TSB cards have an FX fee of almost 3% for foreign currency transactions. You may want to consider getting a separate card to use abroad which charges no foreign exchange fees. I recommend the Lloyds Avios Rewards card which also earns Avios points – even on your 0% FX transactions. It comes with a 4,500 Avios sign-up bonus if I refer you. My review of the Lloyds Avios Rewards card is here.
What is an Avios worth?
Don’t get me started on that one ….
Only kidding. Here is a long post on what an Avios point is worth, based on how you travel.
How else can you earn Avios points from a credit card?
Don’t forget these less-obvious options though:
The American Express Platinum charge card offers 30,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up. These convert to 30,000 Avios points. It has a £450 fee, refunded pro-rata if you cancel.
The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express credit card offers 10,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points for signing up. These convert to 10,000 Avios points. It has a £75 fee, refunded pro-rata if you cancel.
With no official sign-up bonus, it is difficult to recommend the card on that basis!
At 1 Avios per £1 on the Amex, the on-going earnings rate is OK, especially for a free card. 2 Avios per £1 on foreign spend on the Amex is impressive although you will be paying a 3% foreign exchange fee. The Mastercard earnings rate is beaten by a large number of other Avios cards.
The application form for the TSB Avios credit cards can be found here.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2022 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.