Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Lloyds starts to close its Lloyds Duo Avios and Lloyds Avios Rewards American Express cards

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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?

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.

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 39.7% 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.

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

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our June 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. Here are the other top current deals:

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 offers.

Amex 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

Comments (212)

  • DaveL says:

    No. Gold CC in same family as plat. Need to cancel and wait six months. Why not refer for the SPG if you don’t already have it?

    • nick says:

      Thank you
      Can i self-refer myself to the SPG Card?

      How does this work in practice? email myself the referral link? If successful, I get the SPG card with 30,000 SPG points, converted to 10,000 avios

      and also 18,000 membership reward points?

      • Genghis says:

        Yes. Just copy and paste your link into a new browser and apply. 18k Membership Reward points +33k new scheme Marriott points.

      • Genghis says:

        Yes. Just copy and paste your link into a new browser and apply. 18k Membership Reward points +33k new scheme Marriott points.

  • Jake Mcloughlin says:

    O/T: 2 quick questions.

    Me and my family want to boost our Avios balance. We are all part of the same BA household account.

    1: Can we individually and simultaneously obtain the sign up bonus for the BA prem plus, Amex gold and SPG Amex? (Fairly certain we can but want to check)

    2: Can we transfer the Amex membership rewards and SPG reward points to our BA accounts even though we are all part of the same household account? If so, how?

    • Rts says:

      1. Yes.
      2. Yes. By putting via the respective websites and by entering your BA number…

      • Jake Mcloughlin says:

        Thanks. Is step 2 really that easy.

        No need to go via Avios to move into household connected accounts?

        • John says:

          Why would you need to go to avios. You retain your own BA account despite joining a household (it would be better named as a BA household pool)

    • Lev441 says:

      Yes and yes.

      The memberships rewards portal on the amex site has a page where you need to link the baec number and once you do that you can transfer over the points in increments of 1,000 (I think from memory).

      The SPG points will transfer over to your spg account once per month. Similarly, you will have to log in, provide some details to link your existing account and then request the points to transfer over. Remember that you’d get a bonus of 5k avios on every 60k spg points you transfer over..

    • Rob says:

      Yes and yes

  • Rob says:


    • guesswho2000 says:

      How long it lasts remains to be seen though, it’s an obvious loss leader, but for what I don’t know, since MBNA stopped offering loans a long time ago, just credit cards now, to my knowledge. Unless it’s got something to do with Lloyds reeling customers in.

      • George says:

        How can we get a Horizon card if we never had an MBNA card? Regretting not applying when it all was about to be killed off!

        • Rob says:

          You can’t, but the Tandem card gives the same benefits although possibly with a lower credit limit.

  • Charlie T. says:

    Is it weird to be sentimental about credit cards?! The Lloyds Duo pack was my first credit card when I started work and has been in my wallet ever since for no particularly good reason (although the facts that it has a decent limit and that Lloyd’s wanted me to do a whole new application to get the Avios Reward card rather than just switching the existing cards are probably something to do with it). Was long enough ago that it came with Air Miles as the sign up bonus to start me off on this hobby. Can’t see me keeping the new card in preference to e.g. a cash back card though. Farewell old friend!

    • John says:

      Yes it is weird, but keeping a card open for a long time is good for your credit reports. If you have lots of long standing accounts then one individual one doesn’t matter as much

    • S says:

      Not at all. I still carry my old Amex Gold as it was my first charge/credit card. It’s been 4 years since I upgraded to Platinum now.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Haha I still have my first, it was an old Capital One Premier card, with the tiger on the front, somewhere. A mind blowing £200 credit limit and 29.9% APR, every 18 year old’s dream. It’s long since cancelled, but I’ve still got it somewhere!

      • Genghis says:

        My wife keeps her 12 year old Capital One card (no benefits, only a few hundred limit) as it’s the only card that I don’t manage. If she wants to buy me a surprise, she uses that so I can’t guess what it might be.

      • Genghis says:

        My wife still wants to keep her 12 year old Capital One card (no benefits, only a few hundred limit) for the times she wants to buy me a surprise as it’s the only card I don’t manage

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          My wife did that – and then forgot to pay the bill when it came in and we got hit with a £12 charge and interest. I was less than happy.

        • guesswho2000 says:

          £12 is a bargain, I remember I had mine before that particular ruling, when overlimit and missed payment fees were ~£35! I never got charged one, god knows how in my reckless teenage years!

  • John says:

    Yes, the only thing they can do is stop you from spending any more but they can’t require you to pay it off except in line with what was agreed

  • Nicholas says:

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

  • krys_k says:

    The migration from 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….

      • Jay says:

        Planning to try this out soon…fingers crossed!

        • Craig says:

          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?

        • Alan says:

          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!

        • xcalx says:

          In the TCs


          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:


          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 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.

      • Walty says:

        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.

  • 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!

    • Su N says:

      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.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.