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 closing

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 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.)

Comments (153)

  • 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.