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EXCLUSIVE: TSB Avios credit cards withdrawn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 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.

TSB Premier Avios

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And now, in November 2016, TSB has withdrawn the both versions of its Avios cards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? – December 2023 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points 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:

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (28)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 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

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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