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Lloyds starts to close its Duo and Avios Rewards Amex cards – what should you do?

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Lloyds Bank is sending out letters to holders of the legacy Lloyds Duo Avios credit cards announcing that the cards are closing in 2-3 months time.  The exact date was not given.

This is the first stage of a process.  Letters will be following to holders of the Lloyds Avios Rewards American Express and Mastercard double pack.

The Lloyds Duo Avios American Express and Mastercard package will be replaced with a new Lloyds Avios Rewards Mastercard.  There will be no American Express element.

I have been told that existing Lloyds Avios Rewards Amex and Mastercard holders will be moved to the same product although, until we see that letter, this isn’t certain.  My understanding is that, for Lloyds Avios Rewards cardholders:

  • the upgrade voucher is dead (you will be allowed to earn one for your current card year)
  • there will no longer be an annual fee
  • there will be foreign exchange fees

However, this is an article for another day when we see the first of the letters.  Today I want to focus on how the changes impact holders of the Lloyds Duo Avios credit cards.

This is the earnings rate on the new Lloyds Avios Rewards Mastercard:

0.4 Avios per £1 you spend in the UK

0.8 Avios per £1 you spend outside the UK

0.4 Avios per £1 transferred on a balance transfer

Because the Mastercard element of the old Duo Avios cards was so poor, this actually represents an improvement.  You currently get 0.2 Avios per £1 on the Mastercard in the UK and 0.4 Avios per £1 elsewhere.

The big drop is on the balance transfer rate, which was previously 1.5 Avios per £1.  A lot of readers did exceptionally well from this offer, because Lloyds would often have periods when there was no balance transfer fee.  You could move a balance for free from another credit card, pick up 1500 Avios per £1000, and then immediately pay off the amount before any noticeable interest was incurred!

Based on the leaked information we saw recently, I would expect that 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.

And if you had the £50 fee premium version of the Lloyds Duo Avios card?

I don’t know.  I haven’t heard from a reader who had that version.  I would imagine that the premium card is being scrapped and that everyone is being moved to the free version outlined above.  This would mean the end of the 2-4-1 voucher, although that is not a major loss as it was restricted to Economy travel.  This is only an educated guess at this stage.

Lloyds Avios Duo credit cards closing

Is the card worth keeping as a Mastercard?

If you want to earn Avios, yes.  It is more generous than the Tesco Clubcard Mastercard (0.3 Avios per £1).  The HSBC Premier cards are better (0.5 Avios per £1 on the free card, 1 per £1 on the paid card) but HSBC Premier has tough income and asset criteria and requires you to have a current account with them.

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

What is the best replacement American Express card?

If you have been using the American Express element of the Lloyds Duo Avios cards for your daily spending, you will need a replacement.  Assuming that you want to keep earning Avios, here are your FIVE options ranked in order of sign-up bonus:

American Express Platinum    Sign-up bonus:  30,000 Amex Membership Rewards points = 30,000 Avios

(£450 per year, earns 1 Avios per £1, my Amex Platinum review)

British Airways Premium Plus American Express   Sign-up bonus: 25,000 Avios

(£195 per year, earns 1.5 Avios per £1, representative APR 76.0% variable including £195 fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit, my BA Premium Plus review)

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold   Sign-up bonus:  20,000 Amex Membership Rewards points = 20,000 Avios

(free, earns 1 Avios per £1 with a 10000 point bonus for spending £15000 in a year, representative APR 57.6% variable including the annual fee (free in year 1) based on a notional £1,200 credit limit, my Amex Gold review)

Starwood SPG Amex   Sign-up bonus:  30,000 points = 10,000 Avios

(£75 per year, earns 1 Avios per £1 jumping to 1.25 Avios per £1 if you convert in chunks of 60,000 points, representative APR 36.2% variable including fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit, my Starwood Amex review)

Amex Rewards Credit Card   Sign-up bonus:  0 – 10,000 Amex Membership Rewards points = 0 – 10,000 Avios

(free, earns 1 Avios per £1, APR and sign-up bonus depends on which of the three versions you get, my Amex Rewards review)

In my view, these are the best two options:

British Airways Premium Plus American Express – the No 1 attraction is the 2-4-1 voucher that you receive for spending £10,000 each year. This is valid on Avios redemptions in ALL classes and saves you, for eg, 150,000 Avios on two Club World peak day tickets to San Francisco. Coupled with a high earnings rate, all serious Avios collectors should have one of these.

(If you travel solo, though, ignore it as the 2-4-1 has no value to you.  Similarly, if you cannot spend £10,000 per year on the Amex to trigger the voucher then look elsewhere and save £195.  You also need to be certain that you can generate enough Avios per year to use the 241 voucher effectively – although reading HFP will make that easier!)

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – this card offers the most generous sign-up bonus for a free card.  You receive 20,000 Amex points for signing up (=20,000 Avios) and there is no fee for Year 1 (£140 thereafter).  You also receive two Lounge Club airport lounge passes among other benefits.

These cards work well if you fall into a specific niche:

British Airways American Express – the free BA Amex has a decent (for a free card) rate of 1 Avios per £1. However, do not get this card if you are planning to spend the £20,000 required to earn the 2-4-1 voucher – this article explains why the free BA American Express card can be a bad deal.

American Express Platinum – you should consider applying for this card if you think you can get value from the travel benefits.  Focus on the 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus, the Priority Pass for airline lounge access, Eurostar lounge access, the Starwood hotels Gold card (which also gets you Marriott Gold following the merger), Hilton Honors Gold, Shangri-La Jade, Melia Rewards Gold and the Radisson Rewards Gold cards.  Many people find that they end up keeping the card despite their initial intentions because of the value of the travel insurance, lounge access and other perks.  For day to day spending, 1 point (= 1 Avios) per £1 is a bit of a joke considering the annual fee.

Starwood SPG American Express – the day-to-day earnings rate of 3 points (= 1 Avios) per £1 isn’t bad and you get the flexibility to convert to 40+ different airlines as well as using your points for Starwood or Marriott hotels.  You also get an enhanced conversion rate of 1.25 Avios per £1 when you convert in chunks of 60,000 points.  The sign-up bonus is 30,000 points, which converts to 10,000 Avios.  The £75 annual fee is refunded pro-rata if you cancel.  For long term use, this card would be exceptional if it was free but the £75 fee curtails its value.

Amex Rewards Credit Cardthis is the only ‘free for life’ Amex card which earns Membership Rewards points.  You get 1 point per £1 and these convert 1:1 into Avios BUT you can also use them for other airline schemes or transfers to Hilton, Radisson and SPG / Marriott.  This card is better than the free British Airways American Express if you won’t spend £20,000 to trigger the 2-4-1 voucher because, whilst both are free and earn 1 Avios per £1, Amex Rewards gives you alternative reward options.  The downside of the Amex Rewards Credit Card is that holding it stops you getting a sign-up bonus if you take out an Amex Gold or Amex Platinum card.

Don’t forget that our directory of all UK airline and hotel credit cards can be found here.

(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.)

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.

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Comments

  1. Nicholas says:

    So disappointed the 0% FX benefit is going! I really hope Lloyds keeps this benefit on the new card…

  2. krys_k says:

    The migration from avois.com to BAEC was pretty damaging as the previous set up meant that if like me you had three people in a family account any individual could use all three of the upgrade vouchers. After the migration that vouchers were linked to the person who earned them. So I went from three vouchers to one. And now it seems from one to zero. This was for me in my circumstances the best card as I had three J flights every year. I will miss the card and in time will bore people about the good old days of this here hobby.

    • lev441 says:

      You can still book flights in other peoples name using the voucher….

      • Planning to try this out soon…fingers crossed!

        • Had a nightmare trying to do this a few months ago. Eventually Avios let me do it but they tried to flog it off as this is an exception.

      • Darren says:

        Really, so I could gift the voucher and not fly myself?

        • Yep, you’d just need to make the booking – it’s a much better voucher than the BA 241!

      • lev441 says:

        @craig – there’s not a restriction in the t’s and c’s which say otherwise?! I’ve done it before online using a voucher in my dads name so not sure why they made a fuss!

        • In the TCs

          11.THE CARDHOLDER MUST TRAVEL ON ANY BOOKING MADE USING AN UPGRADE VOUCHER.

          I have one the expires at the end of this month and will go unused as a change of plan sees us on a Caribbean cruise rather than Koh Samui. Was planning to use it HKG-LBA.

          Shame I can’t use it for someone else.

        • Joseph Curtis says:

          @xcalx

          The terms indeed state that, but the Avios website doesn’t follow this rule. I booked an upgraded flight just the other day under a different name.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Nothing’s changed with my Avios.com account. I’m also Aerclub (for the 250 free Avios which never posted), which I think has kept it alive, but all my vouchers are still there, and my Lloyds Avios post there every month. Not sure if I’ll be able to move the vouchers to BAEC like everyone else (assume not), but I was able to pull the remaining IB+ Avios from the recent promo into the account.

      • Same here. I was hoping that the vouchers would move so that I could use the BAEC household avios with them. I’ve 2 vouchers in my name but avios split across 2 accounts

      • Callum says:

        As far as I’m aware, they’ve never said they would ever move to BA for anyone, nor do they plan to move any in the future.

        While your Avios may move, the vouchers will always remain with Avios and you will have to call them to book once the website is taken down.

        • guesswho2000 says:

          Maybe not the vouchers…but given they were planning to move all your Avios to BAEC, they’d have to pull those from somewhere, and there was a possibility I’d’ve been able to use my entire HHA balance to book using the vouchers, rather than my own.

  3. Andrew says:

    Slightly OT… I know you can’t use the Lloyds voucher to upgrade into 1st, but once you’ve booked and have an award booking in CW, can you then pay the change fee and upgrade to 1st? Thanks in advance!

    • Not sure if that would work – you can normally only upgrade a booking by one cabin and you’ve already upgraded from WT+ to CW with the voucher.

      If you really want to fly in F then an airport upgrade at check-in would probably be the only option – there’s a thread on the BAEC board on flyertalk that lists prices. There is also no guarantee of availability and you wouldn’t know until you check in.

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks and yes that’s what I thought, but will give it a try. On Flyertalk it seems to suggest the booking is made as an ordinary CW redemption and then the Avios amount manually adjusted to be the PE amount… I’m hopeful (but doubtful) that the booking is indistinguishable from a Lloyd’s voucher booking to the agent.

        Otherwise I’ll try for an AUP. Would have been happy in CW but BA have just switched from an A380 to a 777 which is a darn shame.

        • Andrew says:

          *I guess I mean indistinguishable from a non-Lloyds voucher booking!

        • pauldb says:

          I think though they may process an upgrade by refunding the avios and taking the new cost (not just the difference). So the voucher may confuse that.

  4. Hsergio10 says:

    OT:
    Aer Lingus AerClub Becomes American Express Membership Rewards Partner in the UK and US

    Just seen it in my Amex account

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Since when? Nothing on mine…

    • And the benefit of that is ….?! I suppose it may sell a few Amex cards in Ireland, except that I don’t think Amex operates in Ireland except via the ICC cards.

      • Daftboy says:

        Focus is probably US market and those travelling TATL to Ireland for an annual summer trip etc – was reported on OMAAT yesterday as a US Amex Rewards partner

        • Hsergio10 says:

          I saw a banner in my Amex account

          It said the following:
          “Membership Rewards members in the UK will can start converting their points to Aer Lingus Avios later this year.

          Membership Rewards members in the US in the United States can convert Membership Rewards points to Aer Lingus AerClub Avios at 1:1 ratio before the end of August”

          I’m sure some US blog will report the info

  5. Hi all
    I currently have the Lloyds Avios Rewards Amex and MasterCard. I am currently in the 0% interest period which lasts until December 2019. Do you think that they’d keep the rate at 0% despite transitioning to a new card? I am hopeful that this is the case…. it could be a bit of a PR disaster to have such a fundamental change in a contract term!

    • Of course, it’s will certainly remain the same. You’re not signing a new credit agreement, just getting a new card with different benefits. The credit account remains unchanged

    • the_real_a says:

      They must allow you keep this rate for existing debt you hold. However there is nothing stopping them from closing this “product” preventing you making further purchases.

  6. OT, I have a 6k limit on my GC but only 1.5k on my recent BAPP, does anyone have any experience of Amex swapping the credit limits on the two cards?

    • I understand they’re usually receptive though it isn’t guaranteed.

      I’ve done it once and was allowed what I wanted

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Yes, never had an issue doing it.

    • Yes – call them and they can reshuffle things for you. You can only do this once every six months to best to know what you want before you phone up.

    • I’ve been trying to do the same since getting my BAPP recently but they keep telling me the system is down but it will happen in a few days. So far, no luck.

  7. Brian S says:

    Slightly OT:

    Looking for a bit of advice / thoughts on the following…

    I currently have these cards:

    AMEX Platinum (primarily for PP, Hotel status and insurance benefits)
    BAPP Amex
    IHG Premium
    Hilton VISA
    Marriott Rewards Mastercard (previous incarnation)
    SPG Amex (wifes card, I’ve already had one in the last 3 months and cancelled after bonus)
    Amex PRG Charge (wifes card, still has 8 months left fee free)

    I’m putting all my spend on BAPP where possible to hit the 241. Everything else is going on IHG (up to 45k so far this year). I’ve easily hit the free IHG night and also achieved Spire elite through spend but feel that I could direct this spend better elsewhere as I’ve done what I needed to with IHG.

    Any advice or ideas what I could go for next?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Genghis says:

      Plat and/or BAPP for wife?

    • remember that you can get up to five referrals @ 18,000 MR on a Platinum card including what Genghis said.

    • I pretty much have same cards lol. I have got the 241 this year on BAPP. Can’t use two 241 in a year so husband doesn’t have one. I have reached Spire Elite with IHG through credit card spend, we are now putting spend through husbands IHG card to get him the free night too and hopefully spire elite with bonus 25k points. I put as high a value on hotel points as I do on airmiles though. Hoping the new Marriott card is released soon, I fancy racking up some Marriott points, unfortunately I don’t have the old Marriott card…

      • Brian S says:

        Thanks for the ideas 🙂

        Actually thats a fair point about the IHG, might as well apply and put spend through on the wifes account now as I’m not getting anything other than points at the moment and without being able to rollover elite earning points it’s not worth it. Will get a free night and might even hit Spire for the 25k by the end of the year.

        I’ll also max out what I can on Amex too including referrals, hopefully SPG won’t change too much by December so I can apply again although I’m not holding my breath on that one.

      • Brian S says:

        Plus racking up Marriott points is the benefit of having the SPG amex at the moment. I’ve got a few Marriott stays coming up this year and at 6 points per pound it’s very much worth it.

  8. Sad to see the upgrade voucher and no FX fees go! My card year re-started in August, so I have one voucher to use (expires in Feb) and if I have understood correctly(?) I will be able to earn another one before next August on the new card. So I guess the challenge is going to be earning enough Avios to make the most of both of them, given the reduced earning rate on the Mastercard. Most of my £7k spend before was on the Amex, so earnt me 1.25 avios/£ – the same MC spend on the new card only earns 2.8k avios.

    I may have to see if I can bring some spending forward before the Amex gets replaced – gift cards etc.

    • Buy a fully refundable J flight..have it refunded back to your bank account the direct debit is taken from…as an overpayment when the card closes..or buy store gift cards you will use over the coming months after it closes..whichever..at least you get another voucher.

      • the real harry1 says:

        And they said me buying 20 IB flights I wouldn’t actually fly was somehow unethical 🙂

    • Or link it to a curve card and withdraw cash on it. £200/month is £2400/year towards the spend target, potentially double that if you have a companion card.

    • My understanding is that you would have to trigger the voucher before the card is withdrawn in it’s current form. I spoke to Lloyds a few weeks ago and they said they have to give 90 days’ notice of any changes which would make it achievable for some.

      • Callum says:

        Where’s that from?

        Lloyds seems to be quite good at paying out compensation for consequential loss so if that was the case I’d be demanding much more than a pro-rata annual fee refund!

  9. Lloyds bank.com/avioschanges has a lot of answers to some questions. 2.95%fx fee

    • pauldb says:

      Thanks: this suggests they will refund the fee pro-rata. No mention of the voucher and being able to complete this year’s spend/eligibility. Did you get that in concrete Rob?

  10. As an Amex plat, can I self refer? to a Gold whilst I won’t get the sign up bonus will I get the referral bonus?

  11. What classes as ‘legacy’ Lloyds Duo Avios credit cards?

  12. I assume any upgrade voucher that has been issued is safe beyond the card closure?

  13. pommy ray says:

    strange I got a changing your terms and conditions in July effective 21 Sept 2018. no mention or removing anything more to do with admin fees etc. annual fee and no currency fees was on there. most odd given what could be around the corner!

  14. Sorry posted this again here, because I think its more appropriate…

    Hi all,
    I’m currently still on my Amex gold charge card and was contemplating upgrading to plat and doing some cross referrals for churning….except, I don’t have enough spend….
    my hopes were definitely to get the spg and move all MR to spg, currently have approx 60k MR and then take advantage of a nice Maldives spg hotel before the merger….but now that’s kind of gone, I’m not sure what to do….OH moved all his MR . to hilton before he referred me and has approx 170k…I’d love to use that in Rangali or the new resort due to open in 2019…
    I’m not really avios rich either 20k and doubt we would put a lot of value on redeeming them for business or first, unless the miles opportunity was really easy and worth the numbers (90k iberia, I would have done, but no routes that appealed, so stuck to 18k, but waiting for 9k) probably use them for last minute RFS

    My bucket list destinations are the far east including Bali, and of course Maldives….
    Really confused on what I should aim for, ideas would be great….I think if I got a bit risky…I can try some MS…(without OH knowing!)

    • Genghis says:

      Researching destinations is a really fun thing. I keep a spreadsheet of places my wife and I would like to go. When we then come across a nugget of information – sights, hotels, restaurants, bars etc (from reading STTM, FT travel, facebook, insta etc), I add to it to the list. I then look at the list when I’m thinking about specific trips I’d like to do.

      My advice is to work out what you want to do first and then work out how you’re going to get there. Thinking I’ve got X number of points and I can do this and this with them isn’t really how I want to do my travelling.

      So perhaps think about where in Asia you want to go, what you want to experience, and then look at nearby hotels / airlinks etc and then strategise your points earning to achieve that.

      • Thanks Genghis, I do the exact same thing on evernote and pinterest and my blog….except, I have too many destinations now that I’d love to go to, some are short trips, some are longer and some are just super epic adventures (I’d put Maldives in that one)

        Thing is though, because I don’t have many points I wanna max what I have got out….I just spent the last couple of hours researching RFS and some destinations look pretty good points v cash price on some weekends.

        • Genghis says:

          Like I said, who cares if the “value” on points to Frankfurt, for example, is great, who would want to go there for a weekend break?

        • RussellH says:

          There are many, many, far worse places for a weekend break than Frankfurt, but if it does not appeal, Mainz is just a short rail journey from the airport, only a little further than Frankfurt in fact, and is an excellent place for a stay of a few days.
          The Hyatt was certainly excellent when I stayed there, great location on the bank of the Rhine and the most amazing breakfast buffet I have seen anywhere.

        • the real harry1 says:

          I’d go there for some decent beer & a sausage or two, do they go in for Winter markets by any chance?

          Only a weekend, mind 🙂

    • just on that subject as you mention it, I think this ” bonanza” that has all the blogs going crazy of booking any category 8 spg/Marriott hotel for 60k Marriott points from 18 august is going to turn out to be a unicorn. happy to be corrected on this, by rob or anyone else, but what I have read does not give me any indication that spg’s current program, which guarantees points can be used if a standard room is available, will continue. therefore, if I were a cat 8 hotel, I would simply not make points booking available to book until 1st jan, when the same room will cost circa 85k rather than 60k points.

      • I think its no longer available now….or unless you have the sufficient amount of points already in your spg account and not waiting for amex transfers

    • the real harry1 says:

      So you’re saying no IB 90K routes appealed, ie any route of your choice out of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines, plus some 30 affiliated airlines?

      You must be very picky.

      • Mikeact says:

        +1 Dead easy, absolutely no problem for us to use up the lot.

      • Hey Harry,
        I looked at the routes Rob suggested in the articles, this was during the time it was assumed they could only be used on iberia, those did not appeal….if you mean on BA, then yes! There are far too many that appeal!

  15. Darren says:

    O/T,

    When transferring SPG to Avios can this be done direct from the Amex SPG account or does it have to be from the SPG members acc only?

  16. Just spoken to Lloyds, person on the phone said it they were informed in detail of the changes.

    The key thing is the ‘7k Challenge’ as I call. So the person said spend on the new card will be included towards the 7k UNTIL 2nd Feb 2019. Therefore Jan/Feb 2010 will be the deadline for the final vouchers.

    • Darren says:

      Typo.

    • Great news. Thanks for the update.

    • That’d be great if that’s the case, as my new card year starts at the end of November

      • pauldb says:

        I’m not sure you can take comfort there. The window of opportunity may apply to those in their new year who have paid their annual fee, but if you are post-changes in November and don’t pay the fee you could be excluded from the extension. Potentially.

  17. How to do you know if you have earned a voucher ? From my calculations from repayments made to the card I have spent more than 7k few weeks ago but have no voucher.

    • It normally gets added when they generate the statement for the next month, so it can be a few weeks before you see it. You can always give them a ring and ask them to confirm it’s been issued.

    • Octopus says:

      I unexpectedly found a newly issued voucher valid from end of July in my Avios account. I had stopped using the cards as I did not want to trigger the voucher yet! Based on statement repayments I had a further £120 to spend before reaching the £7k minimum, so unless they excluded refunded amounts I’m not sure why the voucher was issued ????

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        Both Mrs Yorkieflyer and I had the same, voucher issued just short of the 7k, quite annoying. I wonder where the voucher will sit in future, BAEC or Avios account closed linked to Aer Lingus. Then will be able to us BAEC household Avios when redeeming the Lloyd s voucher???

  18. With the reward voucher for the £7k spend, Nigel wonder if they will put that in writing, as things promised over the phone have no validity.

    I have spoken with Avios and they said the site will close to UK by the end of November all vouchers and Avios will transfer to BAEC to use as per conditions as well as your 2-4-1.

    I am also hoping to use another voucher as have a car to pay for anytime which will take me over the £7k threshold.

    I tried at Heathrow to upgrade the Lloyds upgrade voucher and they said no way, I could do it with cash but not Avios, he said the system would not let him upgrade to First as it would have ben two steps it was all coded in the ticket system he let me look at on his screen .

    • Mikeact says:

      Have you found a friendly garage that will take around £7k on your card ?

      • Roberto says:

        Can you not pay with a curve debit card linked to the Lloyds card in the background?

        The 20p or whatever the garage pays for a debit card transaction is inconsequential..

      • I paid £8,000 on SPG card.

      • I bought a new car using two IHG cards and getting two free hotel nights 🙂

  19. Stephen says:

    What I find interesting about the current credit card landscape is that, with the Virgin Premium Mastercard on the market, there is not a single Amex card that gives a higher return, and most of them are worse.

    If you want Avios then the BAPP matches it, at 1.5/£, but most others are all stuck at 1 point/£. The main exception to this is the Starwood card, if you transfer in blocks of 60,000 (nee 20,000) points. But that is still only 1.25/£.

    There are obviously other benefits to collecting MR points vs. Virgin points, but it seems strange that non-capped Amex cards are being beaten, for long-term spending, by a capped Mastercard.

    • The only uncapped Amex cards are Gold, Platinum, Green and Amex Rewards. Difficult to compare a £160 card with free ones though.

      ARGUABLY the most valuable card on the market is the one we generally ignore – Amex Rewards. 1 point per £1, transferable to lots of people, and free for ever. It is only because having this stops you churning Gold and Plat that we don’t push it more.

      Other cards only get more valuable if you spend enough to defray the fee. And then you have to factor in the spend target vouchers ….

      • Any thoughts as to why amex do not allow us to refer these rewards credit cards?

      • Wongster says:

        Amex Rewards is not free for ever though, only the first year……

      • Stephen says:

        I wasn’t trying to compare free vs. fee paying cards, but there aren’t any MR Amex cards that give more than 1 pt/£, fee or no fee. The Platinum card being the obvious candidate for a higher rate given the fee (as you mention in you review).

        As you point out, and I had forgotten, the cards with higher earning rates (BAPP and, indirectly, Starwood) are subject to interchange caps, making it even more noteworthy, and proof that the caps aren’t preventing good deals for the consumer.

        Does Gold still offer 1.5 points for an initial period on supermarket spend?

        • Genghis says:

          Arguably the Amex Gold is 1.6 MR/£ (not counting any sign ups) on the first £15k spend pa.

    • Julian says:

      On looking at the Virgin credit cards at https://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/credit-cards/vaa-cards/ I see the reward rate is 0.75 Avios per pound on the free card and 1.5 on the pay card costing £160 per annum.

      But the most interesting point is that 5,000 or 15,000 Virgin miles respective bonuses for opening these cards only require you to make one transaction on the card in the first 90 days rather than the much higher per month spend requirements in the first 3 months on BA and Amex’s own Amex Travel Related cards.

      But has any one tried to a direct correlation of the redemption value possibilities of one BA Avios vs one Virgin Flying Club Mile?

      • The key issue is really Virgin’s limited route network. It also has smaller premium cabins so getting more than 2 seats per flight in Upper is harder.

        The big question is what happens when Air France and KLM join as Flying Club partner in 9 months or so. If the pricing is reasonable then, literally, the whole world opens up to you (with a change of plane in Paris or Amsterdam). We can’t be sure how this work out though.

  20. My voucher just posted ! It’s expiration is 31/8/19 – do I have to travel within the expiration or just book by its expiration but can travel afterwards ?

    • lev441 says:

      Just needs to be booked… so in theory, travel anytime over the next two years!

    • Julian says:

      It all relies on the avios.com sales booking line remaining open though as that is that is the only way you can use the Lloyds Avios flight upgrade voucher. They could transfer it over to the BA Exec Club and permit voucher redemptions there but they actively choose not to do so.

      So they will have to keep the avios.com sales line open at least until the last upgrade voucher’s validity has expired.

    • How long did it take from meeting £7k spend to receiving voucher? And does it appear in Avios.com statement? I’ve not had one before but met spend on Monday ..

      Thanks

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