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

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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
  • 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 1p Avios 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.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

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

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

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

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (67)

  • Owain says:

    The 2,000 Avios package seems to be sold out now.

  • Boi says:

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

    • Rob says:

      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.

    • Alan says:

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

  • HayMow says:

    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.

      • HayMow says:

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

    • AVM says:

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

  • 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.

    • Julian says:

      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.

  • 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.

    • Rob says:

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

      • Callum says:

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

      • Lev441 says:

        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…

      • JamesB says:

        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.

    • Alan says:

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

      • Liz says:

        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.

    • Bill says:

      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.

  • 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…

  • xcalx says:

    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.

  • Mikeact says:

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

    • Alan says:

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

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