Bits: Lloyds Avios cards dead?, when Lee won our Christmas Party raffle, Tesco / LEGO Star Wars Avios deal

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News in brief:

Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards now fully closed to new applicants?

The Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards were closed to new online applications on 1st March as we wrote here.

At the time, Lloyds told us that you could continue to apply via telephone or in a branch for a limited period.

That period appears to be over.  A reader tried to apply this week by telephone and in a branch and was rebuffed on both occasions.  Apparently it no longer even appears as an option on the branch IT system.

On the upside, as Lloyds made some in-branch applicants watch two videos on ‘how to use a credit card sensibly’ before they would process the application, this may be for the best ……!

I am told, however, that we may not have seen the back of these cards for good.  How Lloyds expects to compete with a £24 Mastercard earning 0.25 Avios per £1 when Virgin Atlantic now offers a free Mastercard earning 0.75 Flying Club miles per £1 is a different question.

When Lee won our Christmas Party raffle ….

If you were at our Christmas Party in December, you will remember that the star raffle prize was a business class ticket to any destination of your choice on Qatar Airways who generously sponsored the event.

The winner was Lee – see photo below.  Lee is the one who hasn’t got his arm around the (then) UK marketing head 🙂

He just dropped us a note to tell us about his prize flight:

“I thought I would send you both an email to say I took the Qatar Airways flights that I won at the HfP Christmas party to Tokyo and arrived back last week. Qatar Airways exceeded my expectations and the whole trip was excellent.

I exchanged a few emails with Qatar Airways to arrange the flights and gave a selection of dates that suited me in the hope they could arrange one of the flight combinations. I also asked them if it was possible to get on the A380 and the 777 Qsuite so I could experience all of the best cabins and to my surprise they managed to arrange exactly that for me! A week before I went they changed the 777 Qsuite flight for DOH-LHR to an A350-900.  This was a brand new A350-900 with Qsuite which was delivered a week before I flew on it!

The A380 daytime flight (10:50) from LHR-DOH was excellent; the seat was really spacious and very comfortable, Bric’s amenity kit, Lanson champagne, and crew that couldn’t be more helpful. The whole flight had just over 90 people on-board; 12 in business, 0 in first, 69 in economy. The business class cabin had almost 1:1 crew to passengers! I had some really good food and wine during the flight, and also visited the bar and stood chatting to the crew who were running the bar for the flight whilst sampling a couple more drinks and snacks.

I had a 6.5 hour connection in Doha on my way out, but that was fine as I got to experience the amazing lounge, showers, restaurant, and bar before taking the ~12 hour late overnight flight to NRT. There was plenty of food available in the restaurant and the staff were pleased to help wherever they could. It was also refreshing to get a shower before the next long flight to Tokyo.

The 777 to Tokyo was a 2x2x2 business class cabin and had loads of room at each seat. I didn’t have anyone next to me so I had even more room and nobody to disturb when moving from the window seat. Although it wasn’t quite as comfortable as the A380 I managed to sleep well for the first half of the flight which was great for an evening landing in Tokyo and fighting off the jet lag. Again, the crew, the food, the Giorgio Armani amenity kits, The White Company sleep suit, and lie flat bed, all very good! The flight was about 45 minutes late taking off due to a technical fault but this was quickly resolved and they kept us updated throughout. As it was a 2:20am flight, I was glad to finally sleep!

Coming back from NRT to DOH, I visited the JAL lounge and had some excellent Japanese food before the next overnight flight (22:20) on the same 777 with a 2x2x2 cabin. I had a middle aisle seat on this flight which was just as comfortable and as much room as the DOH-NRT flight. The service may have been slightly slower than outbound but it was completely full in comparison and an evening service to contend with, but still all the crew were very attentive throughout.

I had shorter connection on the way home in Doha of 3 hours which meant I could have another quick shower and get ready for the last flight in Qsuite, right at the front in 1K! I didn’t know at the time that it was a brand new plane but I did notice a number of times how it had that ‘new car/plane’ smell! The crew showed me to my seat and explained where and what everything was and had the champagne and hot towels ready to go. My first thought was “this is amazing, it’s an actual suite with a closing door!”.

As it was a daytime flight (06:35) back to LHR I didn’t have any reason to sleep which was good because I could experience the Qsuite, but not so good because I didn’t get to see how well I slept! Just like the other 3 flights, the crew were excellent, the food was fantastic, more Bric’s amenity kits, and an ultra-comfortable seat (which probably had less than a dozen people in it) with a large and really responsive touch screen entertainment system. The crew popped by every so often to see if I wanted anything and were always available otherwise. I didn’t see much of the other suites, but the double and quad suites look fantastic for travelling with other people. 

We landed back in Heathrow on time and the staff waved us goodbye, and I realised how much I wanted to fly with Qatar Airways again! This is the first time I’ve flown with Qatar Airways after having many flights with BA and continued loyalty with them. Other than a few minor things with BA they’ve always been good and I’ve always been loyal. However, Qatar Airways are on a whole new level with their service and business class cabins.

To sum it up; Qsuite, the crew, the food and wine/champagne, the seating and cabin, the A380 bar, the whole A350-900, Giorgio Armani, Bric’s, and The White Company, the lounges and staff – all fantastic.”

Qatar Airways UK marketing team

New Tesco Direct / LEGO Star Wars offer

Tesco Direct has brought back its Tesco Clubcard bonus deal with LEGO Star Wars which gives you a chance to pick up Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles along with the toys.

Until 7th May you will get:

  • 500 extra Clubcard points (1200 Avios, 1250 Virgin miles) when you spend £30+
  • 1,000 extra Cubcard points (2400 Avios, 2500 Virgin miles) when you spend £60

Full details in this Shopper Points article.

(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.)

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Comments

  1. OT re curve: I am in Dublin right now. If I link Lloyd’s and change the currency to euro- what would be the charges for cash withdrawals and direct card spend? Also is cash still limited to £200 equivalent?

    • Anna says:

      It’s still £200 cash withdrawal but I’ve found that on top of this you can top up a pre-paid foreign currency card without incurring charges.

  2. Kilburnflyer says:

    Nice trip report, certainly sounds like he made the most of it.

    On a technical note though, isn’t the A350 equipped with Q-Suites from LHR=}DOH actually an A350-1000? (not 900?)

  3. Nori says:

    Lloyds upgrade voucher. Avios explaind to me that there is no change and after £7k my voucher will be deposited with Avios but I’ll need to call BA to redeem it.

    I hope they honour the voucher but with all these closures of Avios and Lloyds Amex I’m not so certain anymore.

    I only have a few £k to go and I’m sure many of us are in a similar position.

    • I have one sat there at the moment.

      • soloflyer1977 says:

        I used mine the other day as I thought that with the wonderful avios IT, it could well disappear post migration

    • I’m still scratching my head wondering how to redeem it. Expires in September so odds are it will go to waste

      • soloflyer1977 says:

        Do what I did. I used it for the BA 777 service to Madrid BA460/BA461 Club World seat for the 2.5h flight for a nice weekend away. Loads of availability due to the large cabin
        13,000 avios plus £50

      • The Original Nick says:

        Using mine for my flight on 13/05, YYZ-LHR. Flying out DUB-YYZ on Wednesday using Avios. One way of visiting Niagara Falls.

        • mark2 says:

          The falls are great but the town awful. Suggest you go to Niagara on the Lake.

      • pauldb says:

        Just worth checking: do you know it only has to be booked by September, not flown but September. So you have another 355 days to use it.

    • Anna says:

      Why would they not honour the voucher? Once it’s in your account it should still be valid even if the card is withdrawn.

      The voucher will go into your BAEC account and you will need to call avios.com to redeem it, not the other way around.

    • Callum says:

      Why does everyone think they’ll vanish? Financial products are VERY heavily regulated and they can’t just get rid of things like this.

  4. Doctor chap says:

    The voucher alone is worth the £24 IMO!

    • Anna says:

      Definitely – I got 2 vouchers due to the long-standing IT issues and used them to upgrade myself and my son to CW MAN-LHR-IAD this summer, so effectively got 116,000 avios from the card this year.

  5. OT but need help, if I book an Avios reward flight from LCY-AMS using Flybe (no BA available) then do I get baggage allowance like I would through BA (i am silver)

    • Just a little further info on the booking it says;
      Flybe

      If you’re an Executive Club Member you can have one 23kg bag included in your reward flight costs when you’re travelling with our partner Flybe*.

      *Note 20kg if booked prior to 12 May 2017.

      Unfortunately, due to different systems being used we’re currently not able to display your baggage allowance when you make or view your booking on ba.com or via our contact centres.

      So does that mean I get one bag of 23kgs even though it says hand baggage only?

  6. Geoff says:

    Slightly confused – you mention ‘ £24 Mastercard earning 0.25 Avios per £1’ but there is still the Amex which earns 1.25 per £1. We use it as our main overseas card for the zero FX fees (and of course the upgrade voucher).

    Incidentally, I also have an old TSB Avios Duo Amex/MC account, from the days before the split with Lloyds. Ever since the TSB IT fiasco, and semi-recovery, I note that the account is now called ‘Avios (MC)’ and referenced by the MC card number whereas before everything referred to the Amex card number. The Lloyds account is still referenced to the Amex card no.

    • Iain findlay says:

      Dear Geoff
      Which Amexcard charges no Fx fee?
      Iain

      • the_real_a says:

        He is referring to the Llyods Avios AMEX – they come as a double pack with a mastercard. Both are FX free. The AMEX comes with enhanced earnings rate of 1.25 avios per £1 spend.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      The Amex will be gone soon, American Express have cancelled their licences for co-brand cards, and there’s no benefit to anyone offering one now (as the interchange is capped), so the days are numbered. I believe this was the last one available to be applied for, since MBNA pulled all theirs last year.

  7. Optimus Prime says:

    OT – let’s say you redeem a BA Amex 241 voucher with an open jaw flight such as LHR-LAX and LAS-LHR. Then you use avios or cash to book LAX-LAS and would like to fly on same date of arrival at LAX. Can you have this flight added to the 241 ticket so BA is liable in case of missed connection?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Catalan says:

      No. The LAX-LAS flight would be on a separate ticket and therefore will not be added to form a ‘thru booking’. Any delays would be the responsibility of the LAX-LAS carrier and not BA.

      • Catalan says:

        …sorry, I meant any delay to you LHR-LAX flight causing you to miss your LAX-LAS flight would be your responsibility.

        • Optimus Prime says:

          Thanks, that’s what I thought.

        • JamesB says:

          More fundamentally, LAX-LAS is impossible on a 241 as it is operated by AA not BA.

      • Callum says:

        Are they able to put it on the same ticket though? Avios.com do it for me – I’ve added extra flights onto a voucher booking to take advantage of lower taxes ex-EU (full price BIO-LHR added to an upgraded LHR-SCL).

        I think the Lloyds vouchers are processed differently to BA though.

        • Anna says:

          BA might be able to, but they won’t. They won’t even link bookings for family members on the same flight.

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          They do if you’re Gold – I do it whenever we use 2 * 241 vouchers so the family can travel. Means the whole party get seat selection and, apparently, will be looked after as one group should something go technical (never tested the last part).

          You have to call to do this.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Partner just got the Lloyds card processed last week, must have just missed the cut off. Main question is how do they know where to send the Avios / upgrade voucher as they never asked for a BAEC number, we don’t have an Avios.com account (and it’s going to be all rolled into BAEC anyway isn’t it?). They also didn’t offer clarity on whether supplementary card spend would count towards the £7k for the voucher and also get double points (it should I feel, but would be nice to get reassurance).

    I believe the MasterCard is fairly useless unless you need to use Curve to hit the £7k target for the voucher (don’t think it even gets double points in the first six months).

    A question I have is what would be the best portfolio of cards for ~£2-£2.5k per month spend. If you have the BAPP and the Lloyds Avios card and you pull off all the little tricks and achieve £27k spend a year that is potentially two 2-4-1s and an upgrade voucher (useful for positioning flights for an ex-EU/Cairo). Is it worth replacing any of these cards for the HSBC World Elite card?

    • Darren says:

      Supplementary card counts towards the spend.

      Lloyds have never managed to send my avios anywhere, I have/had an Avios.com account and I’ll be interested to see if the changes to send them to my BAEC account will work. If you have issues with the transfer of avios, register a complaint and you should get compensation.

      • mark2 says:

        Sadly, my Lloyds account has always worked perfectly so I have received no compensation. My wife’s, however, is a different, happier, story with no Avios awarded and no statement but £850 compensation so far.

        • Darren says:

          That’s impressive, I’m only at £400.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks for the clarification.

          What’s the process for manually getting the avios / standard compensation due, do you go to the standard complaints section (https://secure.lloydsbank.com/retail/contact_us/how-we-can-help.asp)?

          And do you have to mention compensation specifically or should they automatically add it (as a statement credit or actual money)?

        • Darren says:

          I’ve called to check and when they say it takes 26wks to sort it out (yes weeks) tell them that you’d like to complain. The compensation is given so that you accept that it may take some time to sort it out and the complaint is closed. I believe that there are financial legalities involved, I just accept the comp.

          You may not have an issue, the transfer to BAEC may work fine.

      • Anna says:

        Yes, keep on at them. This year I’ve had £350 compensation, 12,000 extras avios and 3 upgrade vouchers!

        • I have had a £100 cheque and an apology from Lloyd’s about delay in processing my Avios properly. My Lloyd’s card was cancelled over a year ago, I had no outstanding issues. This was just random

  9. FormalHall says:

    Has everyone had their avios credited yet following the years of technical difficulties with the Lloyds cards? After two years and £300 of compensation, I have received a letter saying all avios are credited, and on my avios statement its says they were credited in 2016 – but I am certain I never received them (otherwise why did they pay the compensation?). When I rang about the 4500 refer a friend bonus I am still owed, Lloyds said I would have to call avios!

    • Darren says:

      No, still receiving compensation.

    • mark2 says:

      Amazingly my wife just received 405 Avios for Mastercard spend; the first (automatically) since she took out the card several years ago.

  10. Kevin says:

    Nice trip report. Glad you enjoyed the prize.

    I did the a380 DOH to CDG last month (business was full) and liked the bar a lot. The snacks in glasses (things like salmon and soba noodles or cheesecake) were very good.

  11. Andrew says:

    I thought it was just me this morning . I typed my message then clicked submit , but nothing posted.
    Also, when I post Rob, I receive an error message to say I am making multiple postings and need to slow down !

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