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  The Lloyds Avios Rewards card was withdrawn from the market for new applicants a couple of months ago.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. it says in the good ole T & C’s, only one voucher per calendar year, so I have presumed that to mean your start of collecting year. Mine started again mid May and depending when they issue those letters of intent, will have to see if I can spend the £7,000 by then.

    Got my last voucher in March which I have already used, it saved us about 60,000 Avios so well worth it.

    • Genghis says:

      I remember there being a discrepancy between the avios and Lloyds T&Cs over calendar year etc.

      • the_real_a says:

        It was mentioned in the T&C`s simply as “each year”. In fact the system is programmed to create the voucher per anniversary date year, which is the date you were accepted for the credit card and the 12 months after that date. I have painful knowledge of this due to a long running complaint i had with them in the first year i had the card!

  2. AndyGWP says:

    “By mistake, I imagine, the terms and conditions of the new Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card have been posted online. Take a look here. If the link is dead, it is because Lloyds has taken down the page after seeing this article …”

    … and the page is now gone.

    “Sorry, the page you’re looking for can’t be found”

  3. it was there this morning as I checked on it, was it something we said?

    Wonder if they are getting many phone calls about it?

  4. Charlie says:

    For those that need them the best I can find for the original terms and conditions are here… https://www.avios.com/gb/en_gb/collect/lloydsbank/lloyds-avios-rewards-credit-card-account#upgradeterms

    The cached version of the now disappeared ‘new’ terms and conditions are here…
    https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:nJYGs0GhM_cJ:https://www.lloydsbank.com/credit-cards/terms-and-conditions/avios-rewards-scheme.asp

  5. So I literally got charged the renewal fee 2 weeks ago, is it still worth me churning through to earn a last upgrade voucher or should I be trying to trigger bonus’s elsewhere as its too late for this card?

    • the_real_a says:

      Absolutely IMO – i save circa 80k Avios every voucher… your own personal circumstances of course might vary

    • surely that decision is based on how quickly you can rack up £7k spend ?

  6. for people who haven’t had their Avios.com account migrated to BAEC (AerClub customers) – does your unused Lloyds upgrade voucher still show in the “Vouchers” section of “My Account” ?

  7. my account hasn’t gone over to BAEC yet and my miles from Lloyds posted into Avios this morning. So would presume that your voucher will still go into the Avios site

  8. As regards to the voucher, after i had the qualifying spend my voucher appeared a few days later, and I got a letter congratulating me on the upgrades available. This was well before my anniversary date which has only just gone and I got the voucher early March.

  9. Just a note on the Avios earning – the T&Cs say that your total monthly spend is used to calculate the Avios earned. So I don’t think purchases under £5 will earn no Avios. It appears more likely that if you spent £1004 domestically and £203 overseas in a month, you would earn 400 Avios on the £1000 but not on the last £4, and 160 Avios on £200 but not the £3. So not as Draconian as Tesco’s earning policy…..

  10. I have just had to order a replacement card for my current Lloyds Dual Card.
    They will send me 2 new cards for now but I would get another 2 new very soon.
    The operator told me they had been told the 2 new cards would be :
    A British Airways Visa Card and a Lloyds Master Card!
    Said would start issuing them in the next 6 – 8 weeks.

    • callum says:

      It makes no sense whatsoever to have a Visa and Mastercard on the same account…

      Perhaps they misunderstood and they’re relaunching a British Airways Visa card and separately a new Lloyds Mastercard. Though I can’t see why BA would want their branding on it given they’ve already got a superior credit card offering.

      • I thought Amex was going to drop BA eventually given the silly EU ruling that Rob has reported on previously

      • Not sure
        Just passing on what the bloke told me.
        He seemed fairly knowledgeable on it but as you say it could have been crossed wires.

  11. My Lloyds Amex and Mastercard is expiring next month and I wonder if I would be given a renewed Amex card given the situation above?

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