The two TSB Avios credit cards were removed from the market this week. They no longer appear on the avios.com or TSB websites.
TSB gave Head for Points the following statement last night:
We can confirm that the TSB Avios and Premier Avios Reward Credit Cards are no longer available to new applicants. This does not affect current customers who can continue to earn and spend Avios points as normal. TSB Customers can call 03459 758 758 if they need further guidance.
The TSB Avios credit cards have a complex history.
The original Avios credit cards issued by Lloyds were called Lloyds TSB Avios Duo.
In 2013 Lloyds and TSB were separated, with TSB eventually being sold to a Spanish group. As part of the divorce, TSB got the dog, the Dire Straits CDs and the Lloyds TSB Avios Duo cards. With a few tweaks, these were relaunched as the TSB Avios (free) and TSB Premier Avios (£50 fee) credit cards.
Lloyds simultaneously launched the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards. These were superior to the TSB cards in almost every way. Most impressive was the removal of FX fees which made – and still makes – Lloyds TSB Avios Rewards the ONLY UK credit cards to offer rewards and no currency conversion charges.
There were originally two versions of Lloyds Avios cards. The basic version had a £24 annual fee. There was also a Premier version with a £140 fee.
In July 2016, Lloyds withdrew the Lloyds Premier Avios credit card
And now, in November 2016, TSB has withdrawn the both versions of its Avios cards
The four Avios credit cards are now reduced to one.
Will the TSB cards be missed?
No, not really.
There was no sign up bonus, apart from a limited 4,500 Avios ‘refer a friend’ bonus last year.
The Lloyds Avios cards had been carefully designed to offer a better combination of fees, benefits and rewards so there was little reason to choose the TSB version. Even if you refused on principle to pay an annual fee, the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard was a better Avios deal than the free TSB card.
There was only one way in which the TSB cards shone out. They offered double Avios on foreign spending. This made the TSB Premier Avios American Express card the most generous card on the market to use abroad, as it earned 2.5 Avios points per £1. That said, the £50 annual fee meant that it still did not make much sense unless you had substantial expenditure outside the UK. The free TSB card paid 2 Avios per £1 on FX spend – although the 3% FX fee still made this unattractive unless someone else was settling your card bills.
Choice is always good, though, and the withdrawal of these cards means that there is less choice out there if you are looking for an Avios credit card.
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