Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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

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.

  • The Original Nick says:

    Sorry, O:T. Can someone remind me of how the American Express referral link works please? I’ve got the Platinum card but want to refer my friend for the PRG card.

  • Owen Rudge says:

    Off-topic: I was trying to comment on the ABZ Northern Lights review article, but it looks like comments are closed there. The airport have put up a nifty little “Street View” experience for the lounge:

    I haven’t been in it yet, but it does look very nice, especially in comparison to the old Servisair lounge!

  • Luke says:

    Thanks for Iberia/Avios heads up – purchased 8 000 avios – after Iberia and promo discounts I will end up with over 9 027 avios for 79 eur…pretty good deal

    • the real harry1 says:

      = 0.8p, assuming no 3% charges

      I got 20,000 of those @ 0.8p last week for sitting on my nether end 🙂

    • Ian says:

      What discount did you use to get €20 off? The one listed in the article mentions 15% off.

      Thank you.

      • the real harry1 says: and search Código Promocional Groupon Agosto 2017

        could only see 15%

  • David says:

    Groupon discount for new members is 25% but to a maximum of EUR20, for the first transaction only (max 34,000 avios). Today it was not happy wtih my foreign credit card, so I gave up. Last time points took almost 4 weeks to post, and only after emails to IB+.

  • Dan says:

    Anyone know when Lloyds’ deal with Amex ends? Don’t want to go for the spend threshold if it’s in the next 12 months!

    • Alan says:

      Nope, it’s not public knowledge otherwise you’d see it mentioned here! Personally I’d just keep spending and hope they give sufficient warning/offer a decent deal if it gets pulled swiftly (as Barclaycard did for many, albeit not all, customers with the IHG card).

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

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.