Bits: Lloyds Avios card bonus gone, City Airport winners, Iberia / Groupon 1p Avios deal back

News in brief:

Lloyds Avios Rewards refer a friend bonus dropped

Avios has dropped the 4,500 Avios ‘refer a friend’ bonus that it has offered on the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card for the last couple of years.

The referral site stopped working last week and Avios has confirmed via social media that it will not be returning.

This was, in theory, a good promo.  It was ruined by unbelievably shoddy implementation which went beyond a joke.  You really couldn’t make it up:

The referral form said that anyone who had previously had a Lloyds Avios credit card could not reapply and get a referral bonus.  In reality, anyone who had EVER had any involvement with Lloyds, Halifax or Bank of Scotland seemed to be blocked.  The longest confirmed gap was someone who was told they would not be getting a bonus because they had had a Lloyds Bank product TEN years ago.

If the person who was referred already had an Avios account – and that account was set to ‘don’t send me marketing emails’ – Avios couldn’t send the referral.  This wouldn’t have been a problem if Avios told people that they needed to change their marketing settings online when requesting a referral, but they didn’t.  People would request referrals for friends multiples times and they would never appear, with no explanation.

Even when you met both of the criteria above, Lloyds / Avios were in no hurry to send the referral emails out.  If you refer a friend to Marriott Rewards, they receive the email in a few hours.  Lloyds / Avios averaged five days.  At times, it would run to THREE WEEKS.  I kid you not.

It is possible that the end of the referral scheme is linked to the scrapping of the Lloyds Avios Rewards card in its current form.  We know the card will disappear at the end of the current contract, because American Express has stopped Lloyds (and all other banks) from continuing to issue Amex cards under licence.

Perhaps Avios does not see the point in incentivising you to get a card that is soon to disappear.  Or, more likely, they were fed up with the incompetent way the referral scheme was administered.


London City competition winners

Last weekend we ran a competition in association with London City Airport giving away tickets for the First Class and Business Lounges in the Private Jet Terminal.

We can now announce the winners.

Dave will get to visit the First Class Lounge

and Leighton can use the Business Lounge

Congratulations and I hope you will enjoy the lounge experience.  If you want to find out more about the lounges and how to book, our review of the First Class Lounge is here and our review of the Business Class Lounge is here.

Groupon logo

Iberia / Groupon deal returns

Iberia has brought back its occasional Groupon offer which allows you to buy Avios points at a discount to the official price, usually around 1.1p each.

I have written about the pros and cons of these offers in the past.  Our last full article on this deal is here.

The pricing is the same as it was in February, but it seems that new customers to Groupon Spain can get a 15% discount using code VIVEGRPN.

There is a new rule this time which limits you to one purchase of each package per Iberia account.

The cheap loss-leading 2,000 Avios package at €19 is still available at the time of writing but usually sells out quickly.  The other packages work out at over 1.00p per Avios and are therefore not a bargain, but potentially worth it as a top up.

The Groupon site – in Spanish – is here if you want to take a look but it makes more sense to go via Iberia’s shopping portal here to earn an extra 13 Avios per €1 spent.  If it tracks – and you can’t control that – and if you can get the 15% discount code to work, then the deal starts to look attractive.

(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.)

REMINDER: Hilton still offering a generous status match, including Diamond
Should you convert Virgin miles to Hilton or other hotel partners?
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  1. The 2,000 Avios package seems to be sold out now.

  2. I referred someone who then got the email, applied and was approved. Neither one of us got the bonus. Who do I complain to?

    • You contact Avios via online chat (not Lloyds). You must give them the name, Avios number and email address of the referrer and the referred person. They can check immediately that the referral was requested and tend to add the points within a few minutes.

    • I found Twitter team were the best at sorting this issue out.

  3. OT: got this response yesterday from Marriott about our so far missing signup 1k Avios:

    “I apologize that the 1,000 miles from the promotion has not posted to your British Airways Frequent Flyer account. British Airways has informed us that they are experiencing issues with the bonus miles posting to accounts. Once this issue is fixed the 1,000 bonus miles will be added to your account.”

    On Amazon/Amex: got 2x confirmation emails immediately for 1000 Avios each on 2x £25 giftcard/ topup spends but they’ve not yet materialised in either BAEC account. Anyone else?

    • Genghis says:

      They’ll go to your Amex account first and then go to BAEC as part of the monthly sweep.

      • Ah good to know Genghis – I’ll have missed my monthly sweep by a couple of days on this one then

    • Thanks for the update on marriott- I was going to give them a ring.

  4. The Original Nick. says:

    When I was referred for the Lloyds cards by Rob I didn’t get my 4500 bonus. But I chased Avios and Lloyds and managed to get 5500 for inconvenience. I’ll tell you what though, I spent the best part of 2 hours on the phone over about 2 months. I wasn’t giving in. The best part about it was a Lloyds manager told me on the phone that the problem was that I had already had the free flight with the old Lloyds cards ( airmiles I think it use to be called) which was causing the problem but she still went on and gave me 5500 Avios. Result in my eyes and Rob got his Avios too. That was done time ago though.

    • The Original Nick says:

      I did use a different email and a different house address to what I used with the old airmiles cards though. Also, that was well over 10 years ago I had the airmiles free flights though.

    • When I upgraded from the legacy fee free but foreign exchange rate laiden and no upgrade voucher bearing 1 Avios per Amex pound spent Lloyds Duo account (which I think had originally come through automatically as a replacement for my NatWest Gold Plus Air Miles collecting credit card account) to the version with the upgrade voucher but also a £24 per annum fee I asked Rob for a friend referral link. The link did not arrive but I had been an Avios card holder for 8 or so years and Halifax Clarity card and Visa Electron card customer for a similar period.

      So I told Rob about this and he sent me a referral link manually. I was then put through the ridiculous hoop by incompetently managed Lloyds of having to undergo a branch interview by a loan officer (an interview they initially couldn’t offer a date on for another two weeks till I made a huge fuss and they hunted round every branch I named within 20 miles and then found a cancellation later that day) just to get the same physical card (appearance and design wise) with the same credit limit as before. I have opened wholly new accounts (no past history) with both Co-Op Bank and Coventry Building Society for the same home address in recent times at the same address, that I have been at for over 20 years in a safe middle class countryside area, and it has all been done on the telephone with no problem and no need to visit one of their far away branches.

      Needless to say although I finally got the upgraded Avios Duo card within a week (but only after my own massive intervention to short circuit the inherently slow and ridiculously security paranoid application process) I never got the Avios referral bonus that Rob had lured me in with.

      • Mikeact says:

        You should have tried getting the TBS Avios card pack…….jeez, also a visit to prove who I was, it just went on and on, much to the embarrassment of the local branch staff.

  5. Genghis says:

    “In reality, anyone who had EVER had any involvement with Lloyds, Halifax or Bank of Scotland seemed to be blocked.” As I’ve posted before, this is not accurate as Mrs G and I both got the bonus despite us having current account and mortgage with Halifax and me having a Halifax Clarity.

    • I’m not saying it is 100%, but remember that you are one data point and I was putting through multiple referrals per week.

      • To be fair, you did say it was 100% given you used the word “anyone”!

      • Referred my dad for the card… he’s been a lloyds current account customer all his life and has credit cards with them… and he and I both got the referral points. Think the trick was to use a different email address than the one lloyds had on file already…

      • I got the bonus despite previously having current accounts with both Lloyds and Halifax. The key point is that thevwhole card issue and management was chaotic and something of a lottery.

    • I definitely had Lloyds bank account and a Halifax credit card previously and got the bonus OK.

      • We had the Lloyds card back in 2015 and we got the referral bonus ok – although we did you a different email address. Still not getting the monthly points though but had lots of compensation for our trouble.

    • Same here, I’m a clarity cc user and got the referral points. Took a month for the referral email to show up and the points got credited when the 1st statement was generated.

  6. Scallder says:

    Tried to refer a couple of people for that card yesterday and also noticed on the website when on a PC that there was no longer any mention of the double Avios on the Amex for first 6 months. However when looking at the page on the mobile site it was still referenced, so that bonus might have also gone along with the referrals…

  7. OT but re Referral bonus’s. The 5 referral limit rule for Amex This Year I have referred 2 x Plat and 2 x SPG am I right in thinking I have 3 referrals left on each card or am I down to one.

  8. Mikeact says:

    Do we know the date when the Lloyds Amex deal will finish? How much notice will cardholders get ?

    • No & potentially very little – certainly the bmi Mastercard closed relatively quickly.

  9. William says:

    Does anyone have any idea when the AMEX-Lloyds contract will end?

  10. totaltool says:

    O/T – looking at flights to NZ/Australia next year with some stopovers at Hong Kong and Bangkok. The BA website can’t cope with 5 flights but when I go to the sites like skyscanner if gives me options that include BA and partners (who despite all the complaints I like and want to fly with). If I book through the links on these sites or expedia for example do I still earn avios. Is there a way to search for the individual legs in BA or partners. As not using Avios tempted to just book via the search sites.

    • Yep, shouldn’t be an issue at all. Airlines aren’t like hotels when it comes to booking indirectly meaning no points so you should be fine booking through Expedia if it is able to offer you the routing you want. You can then provide your BAEC number at checkout and should see the flight (and predicted TP/Avios, albeit not always totally accurate!) in your BAEC account.

      • You can actually put your BAEC or other FF number in the expedia booking process. Done this booking with BA, CX and QR.

      • You should also get from Expedia etc the 6 number/letter booking code. You can enter this into your BAEC later and the flights should show in there.

  11. Really really hope they’re just killing it off because of all the issues with it and not because the card is due to imminently go!

  12. Jonathan says:

    I booked a virgin Atlantic flight a few years ago through Expedia and used my virgin black credit card and still got the bonus miles so there is dome linkage on the back end.

    • Yes, depends how it is processed – if underlying charge is made direct by the airline then should earn the relevant bonus.

  13. O/T re SLH Club

    Rob, you did a piece on SLH The Club changing the focus to ‘personalised incentives’ rather than benefits of upgrades and free breakfast. This was back in May and The Club appears to remain the same, have they scrapped the changes?

  14. Sid Sinha says:

    What’s all this about Amex stopping banks from issuing Amex cards? Does this include MBNA? Can you supply any more information on this?

  15. I had Raffles refer me for the Lloyds Avios credit card a couple of years ago and it took MONTHS for the email to come through. It put me off ever using them. I chose a different credit card issuer instead.