Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Changes to the lesser-spotted TSB Avios and TSB Premier Avios credit cards

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New HFP readers may not know that TSB used to issue two Avios credit cards.

When TSB separated from Lloyds, part of the divorce proceedings involved custody of the Avios contract.  TSB ended up retaining the right to issue an Avios credit card, but it was weaker than the Lloyds Avios Rewards card.  Unsurprisingly, it was pulled from the market soon after.

Existing cardholders have retained their cards.  However, with American Express pulling all of its licensing deals, the American Express element of the TSB Avios package is ending on 27th September.

In addition, the TSB Premier Avios credit card – which offered a companion voucher – is being closed completely from the same date. 

Going forward:

TSB Avios credit card holders will only have a Mastercard product, not an Amex

Premier card holders will be moved to the standard card

The earning rate will be a poor 0.2 Avios per £1 on UK spend and the slightly better – albeit with a 3% FX fee – 0.4 Avios per £1 on overseas spend

TSB Avios credit card changes

What is the best alternative to the TSB Avios credit card?

If you still have the TSB Avios credit cards, I recommend you switch to the Tesco Clubcard Mastercard (representative APR 18.9% variable).

The earning rate on this card isn’t great either, but it is the best Avios Visa or Mastercard available unless you are wealthy enough to qualify for HSBC Premier.  You earn 1 Clubcard point (2.4 Avios) per £8 spent – calculated on a ‘per transaction’ basis, so small transactions are penalised.  You are still likely to come out ahead on UK spending.

There is currently a sign-up bonus of 1,000 Clubcard points (2,400 Avios) on one specific version of the Tesco Clubcard Mastercardsee here for details.  There is no annual fee.

If you are happy to walk away from Avios, you can’t beat the new Virgin Atlantic MastercardThe free card has a 5,000 mile bonus and offers a whopping 0.75 miles per £1 – almost 4x what the TSB Avios card earns!  The annual fee card has a 15,000 mile bonus and offers 1.5 miles per £1.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (151)

  • Benylin says:

    OT: Sorry new to tbis so bare with my amateur question. I have a Gold Charge card, now going to upgrade to Platinum via the popular link. I will then hit the spending amount pretty quickly, and also refer a few people. Then I want to cancel asap to reduce the annual fee charge.
    1) will I lose all my amex points immediately? Or is there a grace period for holding the points in your account before you are forced to spend them.
    2) if I open a BA Amex via self refer before I close, can I keep my Amex points (in Amex currency not Avios)?

    I want to leave in Amex points format to retain flexibility.