The chances are you’ve stumbled across this page because you’re in the hunt for a credit card that will maximise rewards for the amount you spend. Naively 10 years ago when I set out on my journey to accumulate Avios points I signed up to the Lloyds Avios Credit Card. The Lloyds Duo Credit Cards included the Lloyds Avios Mastercard and Lloyds Avios Amex. Read on to find out why would be a bad idea…
At the time Lloyds were offering a reasonable sign up bonus as well as the upgrade voucher and Avios points on every pounds spent. With the sign up bonus no longer available, you may want to look elsewhere if you’re truly seeking to earn the most rewards for every pound spent.
Unlike most credit card providers, the Lloyds Avios Credit Card offering comes as a joint package of an American Express Card and a Lloyds Avios Mastercard. The card is issued directly by Lloyds (as opposed to the likes of British Airways or directly by American Express) and provides its rewards in the way of Avios points.
The cost of the card is £24 a year and as such is not free. Topcashback occasionally offer cashback (in the region of £15) is you sign up to the Lloyds Credit Card through their website. At the time of writing this article no offers were available but it’s worth checking here just in case.
Sign Up Bonus – The credit card no longer offers a sign up bonus. It does however offer an increased Avios earnings for the first 6 months up to £2,500. During this period you get double Avios (2.5 Avios) per pound spent on the American Express card. As such, if you were to spend the full £2,500 in the first 6 months on the Amex Card you’d make a total of 6,250 Avios reward points.
Additional Benefits of the Lloyds Avios Credit Card
Earn Avios points on Spending – Even on the Lloyds avios Mastercard!
One of the main benefits of the Lloyds Avios Credit Card is that you’ll earn 1.25 Avios points for every pound spent on the American Express Card and a further 0.25 points for the Mastercard. This compares to 1 Avios point for every £1 spent on the free British Airways American Express Credit Card or 1.5 avios points earnt on the British Airways Premium American Express card (full review here).
Note that the BA Amex receives a bonus of 5,000 points (or 6,000 if you are referred by me – just click here to contact me and I’ll be happy to sign you up). So for the extra 0.25 avios you’d only be better off to get the Lloyds Avios Card rather than the free BA Amex if you were spending £20,000 on the card (£20,000 x 0.25 points = 5 points).
The Best Avios Credit Card Voucher?
What I haven’t mentioned yet is that with the Lloyds Avios Credit Card upon spending £7,000 across both the cards you’ll earn a return flight upgrade voucher. The voucher will entitle you to a return flight for the avios of the class below. Lets see how much this could be worth.
Let’s say you’re planning to fly from London to New York in May. Return flights in Premium economy would cost 48,000 Avios points (this means that you’ll need to have accumulated 48,000 Avios in the first place!). Business Class flights on the other hand would cost 100,000 Avios for a return flight. Now if you use the upgrade voucher to book these flights instead, you could save yourself a total of 52,000 Avios by booking the Business Class flights for the price of Premium Economy.
That’s a massive reward, especially as you can accumulate this spending on a Mastercard. HOWEVER, if you’re starting out on your Avios points journey and currently have no avios or airmiles this rewards becomes close to useless. Let’s see why…
This example is based on someone starting with an Avios balance of 0 who only has the Lloyds American Express and Mastercard Card. To redeem the upgrade voucher they’ll need to spend a total of £7,000 across both cards.
Best-case scenario is that this is all accumulated on the Amex card. Taking into consideration the double rewards points for the first £2,500, spending £7,000 would earn you 11,875 Avios points. With this many points the person would have enough avios points for a return trip to Milan. An economy off-peak return ticket would use 8,000 avios with a club Europe using 15,500 avios. As such the benefit here would be worth 7,500 Avios points.
The total reward for spending £7,000 in this scenario would be 11,875 plus 7,500 equals 19,375 avios points.
How does this compare to other Avios Credit Cards?
Let’s compare this to the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card which is free for the first year (my favourite credit card by far!). The card offers a sign up bonus of 20,000 reward points or 22,000 reward points if you are referred by me (just send me an email using this link) when you spend £2,000 in 3 months. American Express rewards points can be transferred to Avios on a 1 for 1 basis. In this case if you were to spend just £2,000 on the card you’d earn a total of 24,000 Avios rewards, far in excess of the benefit of Lloyds Avios Credit Cards.
You’d also receive the various other benefits of the Amex Gold Card including two free lounge passes and free Travel Inconvenience/Accident Insurance. You can read my full review of the American Express Gold Card here. The Amex Gold Card is also free for the 12 months so you’d save yourself a further £24.
Clearly if you are new to Avios it would make more sense to sign up to the free American Express Gold Card as opposed to the Lloyds Avios Credit Card combo.
Final benefit of the Lloyds Avios Credit Card UK
Unlike many reward credit cards, the Lloyds Avios Credit Card UK offers free foreign transactions. This compares to approximately 3% fees offered by other American Express rewards Cards. There are other cards on the market which offer free overseas transactions however none are rewards cards. As such if you’re looking for an Avios earning credit card for your overseas spending then this should be at the top of your list.
What’s the best Avios Credit Card?
Now this is a very tricky question and one that is dependent on peoples various spending habits etc. As such it’s not possible to provide a blanket answer to the question of the best Avios Credit Card. However I can say the following for certain:
Who is the Lloyds Avios Credit card UK good for?
- Those looking to earn Avios on foreign transactions.
- Those looking to spend £7,000 on a Mastercard (to complement an existing American Express Card) and already have in excess of 40,000 Avios/Airmiles.
Who would not get the full benefits of the Lloyds Avios Credit Card UK?
- Those who will not spend £7,000 in a year
- Those wanting to fly in first class. It’s not possible to use the voucher to upgrade from business to first class.
- Those with no or limited avios/airmiles initially
- Those who are looking for a free credit card
- Those who are not planning on booking within a year of receiving the voucher. You can only book within a 12 month period.
If you’re new to Avios or haven’t signed up to the American Express Gold Card in the last 6 months, I’d strongly recommend considering the American Express Gold Card where it’s possible to gain a sign up bonus of 22,000 airmiles if you are referred (please contact me here if you wish to be referred).
However if you already have a significant number of Avios (say 40,000+) and are able to spend over £7,000 in a year then the free upgrade voucher reward can be very attractive. What’s more you can use the voucher to upgrade two single tickets on the same flight, allowing you to travel with a companion.
Either card can be coupled with the Hilton Credit Card for a free weekend away. If you’re interest in finding out more about my free weekend in the Waldorf Astoria Rome please read my recent article here.
If you’ve found this Lloyds Avios Credit Card Review useful you may also benefit from reading the following: