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Avios confirms that you can keep your 2nd Lloyds credit card upgrade voucher sent in error

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On Friday we explained how many Lloyds Avios Rewards cardholders had unexpectedly received a 2nd annual upgrade voucher in their account.  Click here for that story.

Avios has now made a statement on social media about this.

The bad news is: it was a mistake

The good news is: you can keep the voucher

See the message below, sent to a HfP reader:

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

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

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

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

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (117)

  • BJ says:

    Any grounds on which those not receiving the second upgrade voucher could raise a formal complaint against Lloyds and/or avios given that those who did can use them to our disadvantage?

    • Joe87 says:

      Are you serious?

      • Adam says:

        I doubt there is any chance for making that claim, but it isn’t that unreasonable a request. If a large group of customers are suddenly getting something additional that others are not it makes sense that they will be a little bit annoyed.

        • BJ says:

          I have no idea how large the group is, if it is very large then those not getting the voucher have been disadvantaged. If only a small group then no issues. Annoyed is not the rigut word, just disappointed. I don’t grudge those who got the voucher, good on them, I hope they enjoy, especially for those where the voucher makes the impossible possible 🙂

        • John says:

          Shall I make a complaint about my card working so perfectly that I’ve missed out on the getting the £1000 of Lloyds compo everyone else has been bragging about?

        • Mr dee says:

          The lack of compensation comparison is ridiculous

      • mr dee says:

        Yes why should half of people be left out of being given a free voucher, mistake or not!

        • Joe87 says:

          Because it was a mistake. What would you rather they do? The typical BA route and say sorry it was a mistake but tough and take them off people? I didn’t get a voucher but I won’t be bitter that people who did have. How do you know it was half of the Lloyds card holders that got the voucher?

        • BJ says:

          @Joe, we do not know but that is central to my point. I am not in any way suggesting that the voucher should be taken off those who received them. What I’m getting at is that if the number receiving them was so large, say about half, then I think they should give other cardholders one too. If the number was very small compared to the total number of cardholders then I think their response is correct. Regardless, I’m happy for those who did receive another voucher.

    • Czechoslovakia says:

      Well, I’ve not been able to find any useful availability to use up my soon to expire genuinely earned voucher, let alone the freebie one, if that’s any consolation?

      • Matt says:

        Of course you shouldn’t complain if you didn’t receive one. I didn’t get one and although a little jealous of those that did, it’s just one of those things! Move on and don’t be bitter!

        • Yuff says:

          I’ve not managed to use the 4 I have earned in the last 4 years although that’s probably down more to laziness than lack of opportunity….

        • Yuff says:

          Just checked my account and I have 2 vouchers which ironically are probably more use than one….makes up for the 3 I never used ????

    • Daniel Evans says:

      Ha ha! Seriously? Jealous much! I’ve just booked a trip in Club World with my bonus voucher? Sue me.

  • Will says:

    Can anyone clarify exactly when the relevant collecting period is? Jan-dec? Join anniversary to join anniversary?
    If you just got a voucher, in error or not , is there any point spending before the next ‘collecting period’

    • Will says:

      On the basis you have alternative cards with better earning rates

    • Genghis says:

      Getting card anniversary

      • Will says:

        Ts & cs say calendar year but membership year would be logical but harder to track in a lloydsbank IT world

        I’ve had same problem as flyfordun but just been credited a voucher and don’t know if my clock resets this October or in January. Lloyds and avios just bat you back and forth

        • Genghis says:

          There’s a disparity between the Lloyds and avios T&Cs, one calendar, one anniversary. De facto it’s anniversary but if you want it per calendar I’ve read you can argue your case.

        • Alan says:

          It’s anniversary, always has been.

    • flyfordun says:

      I’ve been told its begins when your annual fee is posted. Mine was April but I hit the 7k spend in early September, my statement date was mid Sept and still nothing in my account. I’ve been told to call Lloyds by Avios to chase.

    • John says:

      Will you be able to get a voucher next year given that the card is supposed to be closing down

    • Rich says:

      I’m almost certain it’s card year, not calendar year. If your card renews in March and you hit the target in September, then any spending after that is ‘wasted’ until the card resets in the following March.

      You’ll get different answers from Avios and Lloyds if you ask customer services, but this has been my experience.

      • Mycity says:


      • Will says:

        Mine usually lands this month & my anniversary (payment) is in June/July.

        Are you saying it should land as soon as you’ve spent 7k?

        Gonna give them a call to see what the latest view is.

    • Bob says:

      We have 2 Lloyds cards the anniversary of 1 is November and the other is December which is when we original took them out. So it’s an annual event based on when you took the card out and then as soon as you have spent the 7 grand after that date if you see what I mean
      What worries me with Lloyds and Avios (supposably closing last month but still crediting Lloyds Avios to our accounts) is will those vouchers transfer over to BA ok and then also Lloyds don’t seem to know what they doing with regard to losing Amex and issuing new cards and then giving extra Upgrades out. ????????

      • Will Avery says:

        Ah – I need to get spending then or just ditch it and go with BA since they offer First as an option at least.

        The new Virgin Mastercard has replaced a lot of my previous Lloyds spending given decent rates on the free card even.


        • Will Avery says:

          And agree. My is still alive but wondering whether will pick it up as you have to call don’t you? According to the email I received.

  • Claire says:

    My shopping points from Avios haven’t got to my BA exec account in over 7 days. I got the usual email from Avios saying your balance is growing and they will be credited within 3 days. I thought this was done automatically. Has anyone else had an issue?

  • Wally1976 says:

    OT – the limit of 5 referrals for Amex platinum – it’s per calendar year isn’t it?

    • Genghis says:


      • MD says:

        [Long time lurker, first time poster – please be gentle with me!]

        Thanks for this Genghis, for some silly reason I thought it was per card membership year.

        I’m now running out of different types of Amex, so a follow up question. If I self refer for a type of card that I cancelled less than 6 months ago, I won’t of course be eligible for the welcome bonus on the new card, but I WILL get the referral bonus on the referring card, correct? TIA.

        • Peter K says:

          Hi MD. That is correct. You get the referral bonus but not the new card bonus.

    • JD says:

      So…would that mean that you could have 5 referrals in late 2018 and 5 in early 2019 and cancel for pro rata refund?

      • Steve says:

        Yes, dont forget to add companion and supplementary cards to your MR cards for additional bonus points, where available, the first requires a £500 spend the second requires no spend at all to hit the bonus, I just remembered to add both to my wife’s Plat before we cancel it after 5 referrals in Jan.

        • James says:

          Do Amex not get rather cheesed off with this and penalise you somehow ?

          So what’s the soonest (time & spend wise) people can cancel their cards and you’d still recieved the referral points ?

          Does it matter if they held an Amex GC within the last 6 months ?


          Thanks for any further info.

      • Rob says:


        • Jimbob says:

          James – I’ve cancelled cards a few days after reviewing them, just for the referral bonus, Amex appear not to mind. Hurts your credit file mind

        • Genghis says:

          I’ve cancelled an Amex Plat after about a week or so. Receive card, add transfer partners, make spend, points hit, transfer out, point hit partner, cancel. The other monthly sweep cards (eg BA, SPG, Nectar) are a bit longer due to the monthly transfer

  • James says:

    Allowing people to keep those vouchers should very much be celebrated and the company thanked. Very decent of them indeed.

    I do not have one sadly 🙁 but recognise that the company has behaved thoroughly decently here and should receive full recognition of that.

  • Simon Cross says:

    I can’t see the message you say has need sent to one reader.

    Just checked my account and I have received the “bonus” voucher.

    Do I need to do anything to ensure that I can keep it?

  • The Lord says:

    Slightly OT – Are both Lloyd’s and Amex 241 book before expiry date but can travel after voucher expiry? Thanks

    • Mycity says:

      Amex 241 the outbound leg must be flown before expiry, not sure re Lloyds

    • Doug M says:

      Lloyds is book before expiry date, Amex is fly outbound before expiry.

  • Hugh says:

    I have now got two vouchers and unfortunately I suspect I won’t be able to use either of them. I can’t remember the Ts and Cs, I assume the card holder has to be one of the passengers, ie I can’t give them away to other family members?

    • Doug M says:

      I tried to use it for friends the other day and got a no, but others have reported being able to. I think the phone booking combined with it being a very manual process for the agent means it’s a try it and see situation, and what works for one doesn’t for another. I’m sure someone explained a book the first half, then book the second half as a return and get three sectors rather than two from it method, but that’s beyond my own personal boundary for shifty use.

      • Tom H says:

        I booked for someone else using my voucher online though as I believe this is against the terms. So why chance it by phoning?

        • Doug M says:

          I understood, maybe wrongly, that with the changes to your Avios account phoning was the only way to use the voucher. Also, I had no Avios in Avios, all in BAEC, and thought phoning might be easier.

          • Rob says:

            Correct, I believe the booking process fails now if you try it online even if your account is still open?

        • Lev441 says:

          @rob – incorrect. I made an online booking last week for my return home to the UK from Rio de Janeiro. I then called Avios the following day to apply the voucher upgrade. Was told my points would be refunding in 7 days.

        • Brian W says:

          Lev441, Rob’s 100% correct, the voucher processing online now fails every time, showing a payment error on the last phase, albeit the flight still seems to book and payment is taken.

          You’ve booked a flight online without applying the voucher, and by your own confirmation, have had the, apply the voucher the following day over the phone so you haven’t used it online!

    • Doug M says:

      Another consideration is SH RFS use. You can still get some value this way, and get a CE upgrade for £7.50. If you don’t have BA status the lounge alone must be worth that price.

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