Lloyds Bank, which has had little to offer to the travel rewards market since it closed its Avios Mastercards some years ago, is dipping a toe back into the water.
It has launched a new World Elite Mastercard. Like the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard, it offers travel benefits in return for a monthly fee. Unlike the HSBC version, it does NOT offer miles and points for your spending. However, on the upside, you don’t need a bank account with Lloyds to apply.
The key benefit is that it offers the cheapest route I know of for getting a ‘full’ Priority Pass airport lounge card. It can also access the airport restaurant deals which are blocked on Amex-issued Priority Pass cards.
You can find out more here.
There is also a version of this card available under Halifax branding – see here. For simplicity I am just referring to the Lloyds Bank version here but both cards are identical.
What does the Lloyds Bank World Elite Mastercard offer?
The card website is here.
The representative APR is 55.0% variable based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a £15 monthly fee. The APR on purchases is 22.94% variable.
The Lloyds Bank World Elite Mastercard comes with a £15 monthly fee. There is no sign-up bonus. You pay the standard 2.99% FX fee when you spend abroad.
With no sign-up bonus and the usual FX fees, you should look at the card purely in terms of whether the benefits you get are worth the £180 in annual fees.
- 0.5% cashback on your first £15,000 of annual spend
- 1% cashback on annual spend above £15,000
- a full Priority Pass for yourself and your free supplementary cardholder
- airport Fast Track benefits
Forget the cashback benefit
If you are reading Head for Points, you are highly likely to have a credit card offering travel rewards which beats this card hands down.
The free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard, for example, offers 1 Avios per £1 spent. Anyone who knows how to get full value from Avios knows that 1 Avios per £1 is better than 0.5% cashback on your first £15,000 of annual spend.
What I’m saying is …. even if you get this credit card, I wouldn’t necessarily spend anything on it.
You would be getting it for the Priority Pass airport lounge benefit.
How does the Priority Pass airport lounge benefit work?
Your Lloyds Bank World Elite Mastercard comes with a Priority Pass airport lounge access card.
This allows you access to the 1,300 airport lounges in the Priority Pass global network. Importantly, it also gets you access the £15 restaurant credits which are available in many airports.
If you issue a free supplementary card to someone, they will also receive a free Priority Pass for themselves.
The ability to get the £15 restaurant credits sets this card apart from the version of Priority Pass offered by American Express with The Platinum Card.
Where does Priority Pass have restaurant deals in the UK?
Most readers of this article will be familiar with the Priority Pass airport lounge network. If you’re not, go to the website and search for the airports you use on a regular basis. You will see what lounges are available.
Many UK lounges are now full at peak times, but you can often get around this by paying £6 to reserve a guaranteed slot. You will rarely struggle to access a Priority Pass lounges anywhere else globally, except for certain US airports.
The problem with ‘full’ UK lounges goes away with this version of Priority Pass though. Instead, you can head to an airport restaurant and spend up to £15, with Priority Pass paying your bill.
Here are the current participating UK airport bars and restaurants:
- Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen (T2)
- The Oceanic Pub & Kitchen (T3)
- The Globe Pub & Kitchen (T5)
You can also get free treatments at the two Be Relax Spa sites in Terminal 5.
- Tortilla (North)
- Juniper & Co (North)
- The Breakfast Club (North)
- The Grain Store Cafe & Bar (South)
- Cabin Bar
- The Camden Bar & Kitchen
- Avalon Crafted Coffee
- Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen
- Cabin Bar
- Brigg & Stow
- Caffe Ritazza
- Bird & Signet
- Starbucks (Terminal 1)
- The Grain Loft (Terminal 1)
- PizzaLuxe (Terminal 1)
- Upper Crust (Terminal 1)
How does this compare with other ways of getting a Priority Pass?
Let’s compare the Lloyds Bank World Elite Mastercard package with some of the most popular alternatives:
The Platinum Card from American Express (£650, review here, apply here)
The Priority Pass version offered with The Platinum Card allows four people to enter a lounge without charge (you get two cards, each admitting two). You cannot access the restaurant benefits, however.
Whilst the card fee is high, you need to look at this in the context of the other benefits offered by The Platinum Card. These include £300 of annual dining credit and £100 of annual Harvey Nichols credit.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (free for Year 1, £195 thereafter, review here, apply here)
Amex Gold comes with a Priority Pass loaded with four airport lounge visits. These refresh each year when you renew your Amex Gold. Additional visits after your four free ones cost £24. You can use all four free visits yourself or share them with guests you accompany.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (£195, review here, apply here)
This is a very similar package to the Lloyds card. You get a Priority Pass for yourself, which includes the restaurant partners, and for £60 you can add a supplementary card for your partner. The total fee for a couple would be £255 vs £180 with Lloyds. More importantly, you need a HSBC Premier current account to apply. This requires a £75,000 income or a mortgage or investment product with the bank.
Buy a Priority Pass direct (£229 to £419, buy here)
Bizarrely, the Lloyds Bank World Elite Mastercard is a far cheaper way of getting a Priority Pass than buying one from the company. The version with unlimited lounge visits costs £419 – and you can’t bring any free guests (£24 extra each time). Even the restricted version with 10 lounge visits per year costs £229, and guests are charged on top.
How does the airport Fast Track benefit work?
It’s also worth mentioning the airport Fast Track benefit briefly. For full details, read this HfP article.
Last time we looked into this, it was available at:
- London Gatwick
It didn’t work for Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Derry, Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Humberside, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey, Leeds Bradford, London City, London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, Newquay, Norwich, Southend or Teesside.
(EDIT: comments below suggest that Manchester, East Midlands and Stansted are now included.)
From the perspective of someone who collects airline miles or hotel points, there is nothing special about the new Lloyds Bank World Elite Mastercard in terms of the fee or cashback.
You can EASILY beat the combination of a £180 annual fee and 0.5%-1% annual cashback with something as straightforward as the free ‘1 Avios per £1’ Barclaycard Avios Rewards credit card.
Where the card gets interesting is if you currently pay for a Priority Pass card, or are a regular user of airports with Priority Pass lounges or restaurants. £15 per month to unlock the lounge and restaurant benefits for two people is a pretty good deal.
I still wouldn’t spend on the card, however …. keep it in a drawer when you’re not in an airport, and put your spend onto a card with better rewards.
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. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
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:
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
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
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.