Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

More about the forthcoming changes to your Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card

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Yesterday we ran an article on the changes to the Lloyds Duo Avios credit cards which were sent to cardholders on Monday.

I said that I expected letters to follow to holders of the Lloyds Avios Rewards cards shortly.   I now have details of what will happen.

This is what you need to know:

This is going to be a very slow process.  Letters will be staggered between now and April 2019.  It isn’t clear if this is due to Lloyds looking to avoid a squeeze on their infrastructure or if they are hoping to tie it in with your annual renewal date.

The changes will apply to your account 60 days from the date the letter is sent

However, if the changes were linked to your renewal date, there would be no reason for Lloyds to be telling people, as they are, that – as the new replacement Lloyds Avios Mastercard is free – you will receive a pro-rata fee refund on your existing card

If you have had a Club Lloyds current account for at least six months, you receive an extra 0.1 Avios per £1 (0.2 Avios per £1 for foreign spending)

Some customers may receive a retention offer at the time of the switch

There will be a 2.95% foreign exchange fee going forward (the card currently has 0% FX fees)

There will not be an upgrade voucher going forward

The Lloyds call centre is telling some people that there is a final cut off of 2nd February for spend to count towards your upgrade voucher, irrespective of your year end.  This is NOT confirmed in writing yet so treat it as rumour.

The Avios earning rate on the new Mastercard will be the same as the one offered to ex-Lloyds Duo Avios cardholders:

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 (this is a new benefit – Lloyds Duo Avios cardholders used to get Avios on balance transfers but Lloyds Avios Rewards cardholders did not)

….. plus the extra 25% bonus for Club Lloyds current account holders.

One thing I don’t know is whether this new Lloyds Avios Rewards Mastercard will be reopened to new cardholders or whether it will remain exclusively for ex-Amex cardholders.

Lloyds Bank has set up a special website on the changes and you can find more details here.

With everyone getting 60 days notice and the letters being staggered over almost a year, there is no need to rush out and get a 0% foreign exchange fees card or get a replacement Avios-earning Amex.  I would wait until you get your letter and then make a move.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2023 update

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In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

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Comments (164)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

    Most of these changes I can get on board with but the 2.95% foreign transaction fee is a real blow 🙁

    • Mark says:

      Agreed, the foreign exchange fee is the kick in the teeth. On the Lloyds website it sojnds like 2 Avios per £5 rather than 0.4 Avios per £1, I think if this is the case then i see no benefit in staying as 90% of my transactions are under £5.

      • guesswho2000 says:

        Well it’s currently 1 Avios per £5 on the Mastercard anyway, though I’m not sure if they round it per transaction or base it on the monthly balance, I’ve never bothered to work it out.

      • Genghis says:

        It’s still on monthly spend (not per transaction)
        “We will use the total value of your eligible monthly transactions as set out in your monthly statements to calculate the number of Avios you earn”

    • Ken Middleton says:

      I absolutely agree with you.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Even more surprising since MBNA gave us the Horizon card which has 0% fees etc

      Tbh link a curve to a high earning card like Virgin rewards+ the 1% fee really isn’t that bad considering fx fees can fluctuate that much between transaction and posting on your account a few days later

      • Callum says:

        Losing unprofitable customers isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

        Especially as many will be defecting to the Horizon card – owned by Lloyds Banking Group.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          In my case lose my unprofitable CC business and it’s another reason to move my current account, regular savers etc as none of their products are industry leading rates or service.

        • John says:

          So why have you moved them already?

        • callum says:

          TGLoyalty – Does that not completely contradict your original argument? It doesn’t seem like the Lloyds credit card had any impact on whether you kept other money with Lloyds or not, and nor should it.

  • Emma says:

    We primarily had the card for the no FX fees while still earning Avios. What’s the best alternative?

    • John says:

      There’s a very helpful website called headforpoints which writes articles about this

  • PGW says:

    Given the endless problems I’ve had and am still having with no avios crediting to my account, I won’t be sorry to see the back of this card.

    • Mark2 says:

      I have to disagree there.
      My wife has had £850 (in several lumps) compensation for this minor inconvenience and I was v. disappointed when it started working correctly a month or two ago.
      Sadly my own card always worked perfectly, but am pleased that I shall be able to use the Amex on holiday in US in October.

      • Pgw says:

        Fair comment and I’ve had rather more than that amount over 18 months but I’ve reached a point where I just want the card to work in the way it was advertised which at the end of the day was the reason I took it out in the first place. I really have better things to do that chase them up each time they fail to do what they promised.

    • John says:

      I’m so sad that my card has worked perfectly and I’ve had £ 0 of compo

  • Punkpig says:

    What’s the best/most convenient way to check how close I am to triggering my next voucher? I can’t remember unfortunately when the last one was issued.

    • Dan says:

      When the last one was issued is irrelevant. You need to know how much you have spent since renewal. So add up.all your statements since being charged the £24 fee

    • Ken Middleton says:

      Give them a call. That’s what I did 3 days ago. I wanted to find out about whether I could get the upgrade voucher again. Remember, the calculation starts on the anniversary of you opening the card.

  • Toby says:

    I think these changes work better for me.
    As a leisure traveller losing Avios on overseas spend isn’t a big blow (I’ll use other fee free cards for overseas spend).

    The upgrade vouchers I have sit unused and are likely too stay that way.

    And the increase in Avios earning means it’s worth keeping the card for where Amex isn’t accepted.

    • Daftboy says:

      What other fee free cards are there? (Other than Halifax)

      • Toby says:

        Here you go the latest roundup. With Halifax front and centre.

        • Genghis says:

          MSE doesn’t focus much on the overall options for the savvy points collector though. I’ve not used my Clarity for a few years now.

        • Mark says:

          I’ve only tended to use mine for cash withdrawals in recent years because (taking the voucher into account) the Lloyd’s card is currently a more attractive option. Once that ceases zero fees plus 0.5% (Tandem, or Horizon for those who have it) or 1.5 Virgin miles less 1% Curve fee is probably the best there is for foreign spending.

          I’ll miss using an Amex overseas where possible as it put pay to any DCC.

        • John says:

          Yup, impossibility of DCC is the real benefit of this card

      • Rob says:

        Aqua, Tandem, Virgin Money Travel Card

  • AndyF says:

    The earning rate of 2 points per £5 is certainly better than what it was, but considering they are now dropping the upgrade voucher this is really a big blow! I would have hoped the earning rate would have been 3/4 points per £1 as well. They should have really looked at the Virgin card for inspiration.

    • Rob says:

      Both VA and VM have commercial reasons to offer a very bullish card in ways that Lloyds and Avios do not

  • Niall Blunden says:

    My annual fee comes out at the end of January. Will I still have a chance to earn one more upgrade voucher?

    • Lev441 says:

      Who knows…! You may get lucky….

      • Niall Blunden says:

        Is it all down to luck? Shall I just put through 7k now to hedge my bets?

        • pauldb says:

          I’m not doing anything yet, in similar circumstances. I assume you’re talking about you £7000 spend/voucher for Jan18-Jan19. If they are going to close your window more tightly than that, you should still get 60 days to do what you have to do.

    • pauldb says:

      We don’t know – your letter and therefore your transition could happen anytime. Whether you lose voucher-eligibility at that point or if it continues for everyone until February is also unknown. If I had to guess I would imagine you’ll get the letter ahead of your anniversary, and if you don’t therefore pay the fee in November you won’t be eligible for next year’s voucher.
      But really you don’t need to decide now where to put you February spending, so best to wait and see and use your 60 days notice to adapt to whatever happens.

  • Tom C says:

    We all knew these changes were coming, but they’re far worse for me than expected. I annually spend 6 figures on foreign transactions on this card, saving 2.95% and gaining a decent amount of Avios in the process. All good things and all that.

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