Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

(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.

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 points from credit cards? – September 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 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.

The following offers will end soon:

  • 2,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard (ends 15th October)
  • 30,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard (ends 15th October)
  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)

Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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 – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 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 offers.

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

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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

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 (90)

  • Elaine says:

    Didn’t work for me when I cancelled. I lost the voucher (as expected) and only got back the Avios I’d actually spent.

    • Nick says:

      I was just about to press the button for business return to Lima on the basis of this post I bottled. Still got 10 months to go on my voucher and maybe I will find a use for it.

    • BrianDT says:

      What route was that ?

    • JamesB says:

      Thanks Elaine, good to know. It would be best nobody acted on this until we hear back from others like you who have experience. Sorry you missed out though.

    • Andrew* says:

      Did the avios appear back instantly or fairly slowly?

    • Dan says:

      Exact same for me a few months back. I think this was an human error and the person was lucky.

  • Yuff says:

    I’ve just looked in my wife’s account and she has 2 vouchers, I thought we’d lost the first one as we hadn’t used it.
    The vouchers also expire with 2 months of each other, I’ve never paid too much attention to the voucher aswe got the card for the currency benefit.

  • Mr B says:

    Has anyone had any experience using the Lloyds Uograde Voucher for someone else (e.g. not the cardholder). It seems you can use the voucher online and book with a different name and get all the way to the payment screen. I would like to use the voucher for my dad (he has the same first initial and surname as me).

  • S says:

    I cancelled a Lloyds voucher and just got back my original Avios amount 🙁

  • Alan says:

    Any way to cancel without calling them?

  • Mycity says:

    If using this voucher as a one way for two, surely the big downside is on the return leg the high taxes needed for a flight home using Avios as these will be two single tickets, or am I missing something

    • Alan says:

      Depends on the routing – eg for ex-HKG flights you’d have no YQ on the return leg if booked as two singles, which would be a significant saving.

      • Mycity says:

        Ah I’d forgotten about the HK route which is a good point, is there any more similar routes?

        • Mycity says:

          Add in Brazil which I think is pretty much tax free on single flights to the UK

        • JamesB says:

          Also, worth shopping around for cheap one way revenue fares back to the UK. For example, from seAsia it is possible to get economy for under £400 and business for under £800 although not as good as it was before £ crashed.

    • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

      You can use the voucher to book a return trip for two and upgrade one way, i.e. book CW return and pay WTP one way and CW the other… Or you could book WTP one way and WT the other but pay WT both ways…

  • Mike says:

    When I cancelled one I only got the Avios I’d paid back.

  • The Original Nick says:

    O:T, Amex offers, Airbnb, Fetch, Heathrow Express.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.