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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  The Lloyds Avios Rewards card was withdrawn from the market for new applicants a couple of months ago.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  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.

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Comments (187)

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

  • Nick_C says:

    I’m not sure your interpretation of the rounding is correct Rob. The T&Cs say:-

    “We will use the total value of your eligible monthly transactions as set out in your monthly statements to calculate the number of Avios you earn.”

    That suggests that the rounding down to the nearest £5 only occurs once on the monthly total.

    I also wonder if they are planing to launch this as a new product. Their credit card page has a filter buttons for different types of card, including a reward card, for which no results are currently available.

    If Lloyd’s do give 60 days notice to change the existing product, it will be interesting to see what they do re the upgrade voucher. I would hope they honour the ability to earn a voucher up to the end of the account year.

    Presumably Lloyd’s will comment on this next week.

    • callum says:

      Literally what I was just about to say – it clearly states monthly, not “per transaction”. Though they are of course just provisional right now.

      The fact you get 2x Avios abroad also makes it 99% certain that the FX fee is being reintroduced.

      I wouldn’t mind if they stopped you earning the voucher – I probably won’t need to use my next one though, if I pretend I do, their compensation settlements are incredibly generous…

    • Robert says:

      This rounding on the statement is how it has always been for Lloyds, although the rounding up/down when you were due 0.25, 0.5 and 0.75 avios was never clear to me.

  • The Original Nick says:

    I’ll be claiming back my £24 if this is all correct and switching to the Virgin Card.

  • Linda says:

    I have just started my new collection year on the 16th May, with the Annual charge coming out today on the statement. I have several hotel bookings pending on the Amex card for the next month in the US, so hope they honour those and have already spent over half towards my next voucher.

    Are they going to compensate existing holders for changing their T & C’s probably not, as companies these days think they can treat its customers how they like. Very disappointed with the news, although knew it was probably inevitable.

  • Ian says:

    Looks like a very poor card. Can’t see how the 0% fee for foreign transactions will stay, they surely wouldn’t be offering double avios on foreign spend unless they were planning to charge a fee for it. I’ve held this card for a good few years, unless the upgrade voucher remains I’ll cancel as soon as these changes kick in.

  • Anna says:

    Without the upgrade voucher the cards are little use to me, my Amex spending goes on our BAPPs and gold cards anyway and I would move my non-Amex spending to the HH visa.

    What sort of notice do you think we’ll get? I’m over half way to my next upgrade voucher and could probably achieve the rest in 2-3 months.

  • Jonathan says:

    I have the original Lloyds Duo type cards – no annual fee, no upgrade voucher, I am charged foreign fees when using it abroad and earn 0.2 avios per £ on the overall statement charge.

    Seems very similar to the “new” card coming. Not very imaginative since I’ve had my Duo card for 16 years. Although on the plus side the earning rate will be marginally higher.

    • Nate1309 says:

      I am in the same position. Hardly ever use my duo cards but they are my ‘there if I need them’ cards. I wonder what will happen to people in our situation? Probably offered the same as the newer cards.

  • the real harry1 says:

    Might still be worth having if Lloyds are still as useless at crediting but generous with giving £ compo to rectify their mistakes. Is this still true, ie are people still getting compo for poor Avios award performance?

    • John says:

      I’ve had no problems and zero compo since getting the card in October

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Same here since December. I was hoping it would last until October when I will take out the BA card again. Looks like I’ll have to switch back to Amex for Avios collecting.

    • Boi says:

      I have had £100 compo and an apology letter- I don’t even have the card (cancelled, Avios had been rewarded properly prior).

    • Mark2 says:

      My Lloyds card always worked perfectly, unfortunately.
      My wife’s Avios were never credited automatically but she received about £850 in compensation.
      Sadly her last month’s statement showed that the problem seemed to have been solved and sadly the account now works correctly so no more compensation, just in time to stop using it.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily assume any changes to annual fees or FX. These are just the rewards T&Cs that sit alongside the card T&C’s. Any variation to fees and charges would be in that document.

    Would seem odd to incentivise FX transactions whilst continuing to waive FX fees though.

    • John says:

      Well I’m not so sure there is “no doubt” as Rob puts it “that these changes are for existing cardholders.”

      • Rob says:

        Given they are not accepting new cardmembers and will not be doing so for at least 3 months ….

        • Alan says:

          Why couldn’t this be for a new product though? Did Lloyds press office have anything to say? (I doubt it but no harm asking..)

          • Rob says:

            Because they wouldn’t put the terms up 3+ months early, and the Avios to BA migration would be complete by then so the terms, as written, would make no sense if they were only designed to go live in the Autumn.

    • Rob says:

      But where will Lloyds make money otherwise? FX is the only decent revenue stream on the Virgin cards.

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