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And now, in November 2016, TSB has withdrawn the both versions of its Avios cards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.
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.
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
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
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
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
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
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.