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EXCLUSIVE: TSB Avios credit cards withdrawn

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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.

TSB Premier Avios

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And now, in November 2016, TSB has withdrawn the both versions of its Avios cards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.

TSB Avios cards

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.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – November 2020 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my November 2020 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (28)

  • Caro says:

    I have the “old” Lloyds due cards. If I cancel these cards do I need to wait to apply for the Lloyds reward card?

    • Simon says:

      You can upgrade from the old cards to the new one. I went into a branch to do it and they didn’t have a clue but I was able to do it over the phone.

  • krys_k says:

    OT. Any options for buying foreign currency and earning Avios?

    • Rob says:

      Supercard or Curve via an overseas ATM linked to an Avios MCard

      • Nicola Walton says:

        We have decided to drop Supercard. I had fraudulent use of mine a couple of months ago and the same has happened to my husbands card last week. He hadn’t even used his. The odd thing is the card we had both linked to it was our IHG Visa cards.

  • Andrew says:

    There’s a good reason why the branch experience is reasonable but the HO experience is dreadful.

    Essentially when Lloyds and TSB split, the branches were carved off and the staffing in them remained the same. How it worked at HO level was a bit different.

    There was a fairly large pool of staff. Those with experience but fed-up with what was going on who were desperate for a generous redundancy. Those in-experienced and not very good who saw the opportunity to clear the slate and move on with TUPE benefits and those who wanted to stay where they were.

    So essentially TSB HO was staffed with 90% staff who were rubbish at their jobs and 10% who were bribed with considerable benefits to go.

  • Monopolies commission says:

    Less choice also = less competition. I fear for the Llyods Avios card benefits if they were previously targetting the product as being just better than the TSB alternative.

  • Neil Murray says:

    I’ve got the old Duo cards – badged as Lloyds and no mention of TSB – and I keep getting hit with foreign charges if I use them abroad. What are these Lloyds Avios cards that don’t incur charges for foreign purchases, then???i