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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 2022)

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

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

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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.

Comments (67)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • William says:

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

    • Rob says:

      No. I would expect Lloyds / MBNA (now the same company) to relaunch it as an annual fee, MasterCard only product.

    • Darren says:

      Looks like I snuck in just before the start of the changes, if it lasts until November that should give me enough time to click for the upgrade voucher.

  • 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.

    • Alan says:

      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.

      • Leo says:

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

      • Alex W says:

        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.

  • Alan says:

    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!

  • 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.

    • Alan says:

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

  • Darren says:

    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?

  • 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?

  • Steve says:

    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.

  • Andrew_A says:

    I had been planning to apply for this card so I could use the voucher along with a 2 for 1 for a trip for 3 of us in summer 2019. If it’s likely to be withdrawn this year then that’s an opportunity missed by me.

    • Alan says:

      Why not apply now though? If you start spending but hold off on pushing across the £7k mark until near the end of your card year then you can hopefully maximise the voucher validity to get it up to summer 2019. You’re probably safer to have the card and be working towards voucher than find you wake up one day and it has shut without warning to new applications. Worst case you end up with the voucher having to be triggered early if they decide to close the card at short notice, it’s still a great card for £24, esp if you can mainly push through Amex foreign spend as decent earnings rate with no forex fees.

      • Kiran says:

        One good thing about the Lloyds upgrade voucher is that you only have to book within a year of issue – not having to fly within a year as you do with the Amex 241 (or two years for BAPP holders). I had a voucher that was expiring in May and booked a flight for September with it with no issues.

    • Rob says:

      Even if withdrawn to new applicants it may well live on for a while for existing cardholders, like the Barclays IHG card did.

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