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EXCLUSIVE: Big changes coming to your Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card

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I would like to claim that this story was the work of our crack team of investigative journalists, but I actually owe it to reader Jack.  He posted it in the comments on Saturday night whilst I was on the way to the Hilton Honors Bastille gig with a note saying ‘erm, Rob, you should look at this’!

We have known for some time that the American Express element of the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card was living on borrowed time.  Amex has cancelled all of its licensing deals with other banks.  The Lloyds Avios Rewards card was withdrawn from the market for new applicants a couple of months ago.

By mistake, I imagine, the terms and conditions of the new Lloyds Avios-earning credit card have been posted online.  (EDIT: link removed as the document has been removed)

We believe that the new card will be called the Lloyds British Airways Mastercard.

This is what is going to happen:

The American Express element is dead.  The card will be a pure Mastercard.

The upgrade voucher seems dead.  It appears that you will no longer get an upgrade voucher for spending £7,000 per year on the card.

There may be no annual fee – it is not mentioned in the new T&Cs

You may start paying FX fees.  There is no mention in the new T&Cs that they are waived.

Here are the earning rates for the new Lloyds British Airways Mastercard:

0.4 Avios per £1 spent in the UK

0.8 Avios per £1 spent outside the UK

0.4 Avios per £1 on balance transfers (but presumably there is a fee attached to these)

One implication of how the rules are written, although it isn’t fully clear, is that Avios will be earned in multiples of £5.  Your actual earning will be less than 0.4 Avios per £1.  Any purchase under £5 will earn nothing.  All other purchases will be rounded down to the nearest £5.  (The other implication of the wording is that only your total monthly spending is rounded down to the nearest £5, which clearly makes no real difference to what you earn.)

Here is an interesting quirk:

Holders of a Club Lloyds current account will earn an extra 0.1 Avios per £1 (0.2 Avios per £1 for foreign transactions)

This takes you up to 0.5 Avios per £1 for UK spending and 1 Avios per £1 for foreign spending.

For this to kick in, you must have had a Club Lloyds current account for at least six months.

Going forward, with the closure of the Avios Travel Rewards Programme, you will manage your Lloyds credit card account via www.ba.com/lloyds.  This page is not yet live.

When are these changes kicking in?

As the current Lloyds Avios Rewards cards are closed to new applicants, there is no doubt that these changes are for existing cardholders.  I assume that you will receive an email shortly from Lloyds announcing the closing date for the existing cards.

What do I think of the changes?

Frankly, compared to the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards (details here) this will be a very poor product.

The free Virgin Mastercard offers 0.75 Virgin Atlantic miles per £1.  Lloyds is offering you 0.4 Avios instead.

The paid Virgin Atlantic Mastercard offers a whopping 1.5 miles per £1, almost 4x what Lloyds is offering.

The Virgin cards also have the ‘241’ offer, albeit only in Economy unless you have Virgin status.  The new Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards appear to have nothing.  The assumed loss of the upgrade voucher is particularly poor as this was a real boon, especially for solo travellers.

On the upside, assuming there is no annual fee, it will be more generous than the Tesco Clubcard Mastercard (which, note, currently offers 2400 Avios as a sign-up bonus via 1000 free Clubcard points).  It was a little embarrassing that you earned more Avios on the FREE Tesco Clubcard Mastercard (0.3 Avios per £1) than on the £24 Lloyds Avios Rewards Mastercard (0.25 Avios per £1) …..!

Of course, if you qualify for it, the HSBC Premier Mastercard (free to Premier current account holders) pays 0.5 Avios per £1.  The HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard offers 1 Avios per £1.

It is roughly equal to the free IHG Rewards Club Mastercard which gets you 1 IHG point per £1 which I value at 0.4p.  I also value 0.4 Avios per £1 via Lloyds at 0.4p.  The IHG card does give you Gold status in IHG Rewards Club as an extra perk, however.

For clarity ….

I can’t be 100% certain that the terms outlined above are fully correct.  It is possible, for example, that the upgrade voucher may be retained but just isn’t mentioned in the terms and conditions …. but that would be odd.  Similarly, it is possible that FX transactions will remain free.  We need to wait for Lloyds to make the full announcement.

In case you’re wondering, I have no idea if Lloyds intends to open up the card to new applicants or not.  Based on my recent conversations with Avios, it isn’t happening in the short term.

(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. Haroon says:

    Just to clarify on the below re anniversary and calendar year

    After going back and forth with Lloyd’s on this and producing evidence from Avios and the T’s and C’s aswell as the original promotional material – Lloyd’s Have finally confirmed the terms make no reference to anniversary year and it’s calendar year for voucher spend

    My complaint has been upheld with a compensation payment I’m happy with but I won’t disclose it on here, however from my conversations with Head of Customer Contact at Avios and Lloyd’s it’s clear the terms and conditions were not clear

    If you complain to Lloyd’s now and escalate if you’ve been impacted you should receive a positive outcome

    • That’s odd because I have a letter from them confirming that my anniversary year for the £7k spend purposes begins on February 4th! No compo for that but plenty for the avios not posting for the first 12 months…

    • Renaud says:

      I also remember reading about calendar year not anniversary in the T&Cs, and with that in mind in January I made a £3K payment, and another £4K or so in May… by now I would expect to have a second voucher in my Avios.com account by now (still haven’t used last year’s one), but nothing came.

      I suspect my card anniversary is in March or April although I don’t remember for sure (how do you find out ? I don’t think it’s on the statements) Does that mean I’ve spent those £3K for nothing voucher-wise, because it would have fallen in the previous card year where I had already earned one ?

      Haroon, if I understand correctly you’re saying their IT definitely works on an anniversary year basis, and you were apparently in similar situation to mine and after complaining didn’t get the voucher but some other kind of compensation, is that correct ? Would you mind sharing to share the evidence you used and relevant contacts ? Or do you think it should be smooth sailing now that they’re aware of the situation ?

  2. Sorry if I am being a bit thick here, my card anniversary is the middle of May.

    I received a voucher in March, so does that mean if I cracked the £7,000 spend now I would not receive a voucher this year. (so no point intruding to reach the spend).

    • Genghis says:

      Your card year runs to May.
      You earned the voucher to May 18
      You can then (quickly I guess) earn another voucher now as you’re in a new card year.

  3. Thats what I thought Genghis, but looking at Haroon’s post it is not?

    Think I will give them a ring to see if In can get any sense from them. They kept referring me to the Avios site last time and they were useless. Have had a good look round the Lloyds site and cannot find anything on the T&C’S FOR MY CARDS.

  4. For info have just been onto Lloyds and they confirmed I can earn another voucher anytime before the cards are amended . They are waiting to announce the new scheme but obviously would not give any information on them, just saying Amex is cancelling the licence due to the new EU laws coming into effect.

  5. Michael Birchall says:

    I’m just £1,100 short of hitting my £7k spend target. I should achieve the target by mid-July, Will I still get the voucher? Will it still have the same validity?

  6. Yes

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