This is currently one of the best credit cards available for the luxury traveller who spends abroad and it costs £24 per year. There is also a premium version of this card which costs a £140 annual fee but I believe the standard card is better value. You can collect 42,000 free Avios by spending £15,000 in the first 6 months on the Amex side of this card. The advantages of the Lloyds Avios Amex & MasterCard Credit Card are:
4,500 Free Avios When You Apply & Get Accepted For the Lloyds Avios Duo
To get the initial 4,500 free Avios for applying for this card you must be referred by a friend. If you drop me an email I can supply you with a referral (as a referrer we both get 4,500 points).
What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?
You receive 1.25 Avios per £1 spent on the American Express card (2.5 per £1 for the bonus period).
The MasterCard only earns 0.25 Avios per £1. This is decent and only beaten by the HSBC Premier MasterCard which earns 0.5 Avios per £1 and the HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard which earns 1 Avios per £1 spent and has very strict qualifying criteria.
Double Avios Bonus Period on The Amex Card
The cards come as a twin-pack of an American Express and a MasterCard. You will collect double Avios for the first 6 months from account opening date when using your Avios Rewards American Express card (NOT the MasterCard card), up to a maximum eligible spend of £2,500 per month. This means you can collect 3,125+3,125 = 6,250 Avios per month for 6 months by spending £2,5000 per month on the Lloyds Amex Avios card. This will total 37,500 Avios over a 6 month period.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
This duo of credit cards (one Mastercard and one American Express) do not charge foreign transaction fees when using your card abroad, instead of the standard 2.95%. So if you spend £2,000 on your next trip away; £2,000 spend on the Mastercard and you could save £59 and earn 500 free Avios. Spend £2,000 on the American Express and you could save £59 and earn 2,500 Avios (5,000 if the trip is within the first 6 months of opening your account).
Flight Upgrade Vouchers
You will also collect flight upgrade vouchers with a minimum of £7,000 of eligible spend is made within a single year. The voucher allows only one person to book an upgraded return Avios redemption ticket ie book a Premium Economy or World Traveller Plus ticket at 80,000 Avios return and you will be upgraded to Club World (which would otherwise cost 120,000 Avios).
You cannot use the voucher to upgrade from Club World to First, on BA codeshares or on BA flights from City Airport. This card is very useful if you travel on your own, if you always travel with a partner, this voucher has less value. If you cancel a flight which has been upgraded using the voucher, the voucher is lost.
What is an Avios point worth?
I have written a separate article on what an Avios point is worth.
How Does The Lloyds Avios Rewards Card Compare To The British Airways American Express card
The Lloyds Avios Rewards card compares well for spending (1.25 Avios per £1 on the Amex compared with 1 Avios per £1 on the free British Airways American Express card). The BA Amex is better for fees (the BA card is free compared to £24 for the Lloyds card) although it does carry a sign-up bonus.
The real differential, is the voucher on offer. If you travel with a partner, you will value the 2-4-1 voucher for Avios redemptions that comes with the British Airways Amex. If you travel alone, you might prefer the upgrade voucher offered with the Lloyds card.
What Other Avios Points Collecting Credit Or Charge Cards Are There?
Main Avios collecting cards are the British Airways American Express card, the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card and the Lloyds Avios Rewards Credit Card duo.
Other good options include the HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard which earns 1 Avios per £1 spent and a possible 52,000 Avios in the first year in point bonuses, the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold charge card offers 20,000 Membership Rewards points (= 20,000 Avios) for signing up and is free for the first year. These convert to 20,000 Avios points. The American Express Platinum charge card offers 30,000 Membership Rewards points (=30,000 Avios) for signing up. It has a £450 fee, partially refunded if you cancel.
The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express credit card offers 10,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points for signing up. These convert to 10,000 Avios points with a £75 fee.
The HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard remains a winner but the on-going earning rate on the Lloyds Avios Amex card is attractive compared to competitors. The major advantage is the no foreign exchange fees feature of this card which keeps me spending on it abroad. A spend of more than £2000 abroad per year will outweigh the £24 fee.