Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

If you have a Lloyds Avios credit card upgrade voucher expiring, you could try this …..

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(EDIT:  the comments below suggest that this example may have been a freak IT error.  That said, if your voucher is expiring and as there is no fee for cancelling a redemption within 24 hours, there is still no risk in trying it if you want.)

The Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card comes with an annual upgrade voucher.

Triggered when you have spent £7,000, it allows you to book two one-way flights (either both for yourself or for you and another person) for the Avios of the next cheapest class.

You cannot use it in First Class.  You can, however, use it to book a Club World ticket for the Avios of World Traveller Plus or a World Traveller Plus ticket for the Avios of World Traveller.

My full review of the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card is here if you want to find out more.

There are some quirks attached to the voucher:

The Avios website says that the voucher is triggered after £7,000 spend in a CALENDAR year.  This is bull.  It is based on spend in your CREDIT CARD year based on the date you opened your Lloyds Avios card.

If you are flying on an aircraft without World Traveller Plus, you now have to pay the notional cost of WTP anyway.  In the past, you would be charged World Traveller mileage if you booked a Club World flight without World Traveller Plus – which is often the case on mid-haul routes such as Amman, Beirut etc.  This was obviously an excellent deal.

Linked to the above point, on the upside you can now use the voucher on the one-class London City to New York JFK service.  You are charged World Traveller Plus mileage even though the aircraft has no World Traveller Plus or World Traveller seats.

You cannot use the voucher on BA CityFlyer services from London City, or any of the regional airports where BA CityFlyer operates weekend services.

And …. the one we are looking at today …. if you book a redemption using the upgrade voucher and cancel it, you lose the voucher.

Lloyds Avios Rewards 2

A long-term reader came a cropper with this recently.  He had booked a flight using his Lloyds Avios credit card upgrade voucher but decided to rebook using a cash ticket on an excellent fare found in the current Qatar Airways sale.

He expected to lose his upgrade voucher.  He was right.

He expected to get his Avios back.  He was partially right …..

He received a refund for the full Avios cost of this flight, not the reduced cost.  He had booked a one-way Club World flight for 62,500 Avios points but had only been charged 40,000 Avios points (the World Traveller Plus price).  He received 62,500 Avios back and so had made 22,500 Avios points profit!

(I have seen screenshots to verify this but I am not reproducing them as they would compromise the person involved.)

There is no guarantee that this works for everyone.  However:

if you have a Lloyds Avios upgrade voucher which will otherwise expire unused, and

given that BA lets you cancel a redemption booking within 24 hours without charging any cancellation fee

…. you have nothing to lose by trying this.

Ignoring Australia, as you’d never find the seats, the most lucrative option would be to book a return Avios flight in Club World on an OFF-PEAK DATE to somewhere in Zone 8, say Santiago.  I say ‘off-peak’ becaue the gap between Club World and World Traveller Plus pricing is bigger on off-peak dates as you can see in the chart in this article.

Club World return to Zone 8 off-peak = 175,000 Avios return

World Traveller Plus return to Zone 8 off-peak = 91,000 Avios return

If you booked a return to Santiago in Club World for 91,000 Avios plus taxes, using a Lloyds Avios upgrade voucher, and then cancelled – for no fee if you do it within 24 hours – you may get 175,000 Avios back.  You would have swapped your upgrade voucher for 84,000 free Avios.

Or you might not.

This could have been a freak result for our reader.  It could have been an IT error.  Or it could just work for anyone.

Be clear though.  You are 100% certain to lose your upgrade voucher if you do this so don’t try it unless you won’t use it.  And don’t blame me if it fails!

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (91)

  • the_real_a says:

    I am on my third voucher now: Some observations… 1) Any telephone booking appears to be processed as a manual deduction of points. Hence the agent can do “whatever” you persuade them to do. After tagging on domestic connections to the PNR at each end, and 40 minutes on the line they are very “helpful” to get rid of you. 2) Your final destination can be changed, provided it is in the same zone as the original.

  • Kathy says:

    Just wanted to point out that Avios availability to SYD is currently pretty good in April next year – there’s 6 days with off-peak availability and 1 with peak outbound. Not so good inbound – just May 2nd available. I’m wondering if those excellent Qatar/Malaysia fares are stopping people redeeming for the LHR-SYD route.

    • Talay says:

      I have never found a LHR-SYD fare in business or first available through Avios (on any date or near a date I wanted).

  • Steve says:

    I had 3064 avios removed from my account one year after they had been applied from a John Lewis transaction via the shopping portal. I was always half expecting it to happen as it was not a normal purchase that was in the grey area of the T&C’s

    It is definately possible the person in the article will eventually see a points correction……. downwards sadly

  • Gavin says:

    Interesting to know this. Just earned the voucher after paying deposit for wedding venue, sadly don’t think we will have enough avios to use it to get to Korea to visit my future outlaws next year.

    However even using it for a European weekend break is better than nothing, sounds like the cancellation “bonus” would be very arbitrary

  • Matthew says:

    With reference to the Lloyds voucher – is the expiry date on the voucher a book by date or fly by date? Thanks.

  • Matt says:

    I’m looking to book 2x LHR-YYZ in economy and YUL-LHR in business using the upgrade voucher. doesn’t have availability on LHR-YYZ – BA does with the extra availability for having Gold status. does have availability on the return leg on which I’d like to apply the upgrade voucher.

    If I book these legs separately, it seems I’m overpaying in taxes (2x £217.97 for econ and 2x £272 for biz when booked separately, which is a £197 difference vs when booking a return leg)

    Does anyone know a way around this?