Lloyds Duo Avios - should I use the Amex or Mastercard abroad?

7
Found 16th Jan 2015
I have a Lloyds Bank Duo Avios credit card - it comes with an American Express card (earning 1 avios per £1) and a Mastercard (earning 1 avios per £5).

Aside from this 'reward' it offers no fee when used abroad. But which card offers the best exchange rate?

I can find the Mastercard 'interbank' rate (as I think it is called) but I can't find the Amex card exchange rate. Does anyone know what would be best?

7 Comments

Interesting one. Some info about the rates Amex use here - https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/content/travel.html?inav=gb_menu_travel_money_abroad

Not sure I like the sound of Amex converting non-US currencies into US dollar first, then into GBP.

I would assume you'll find the Mastercard more widely accepted anyway. I've used other Mastercards abroad that don't have foreign transaction fees and always found the rates applied to be very close to the 'real' exchange rate I'd see on xe.com the same day.

Perhaps do a test (and anyone else who finds this in the future a favour) - on your first day abroad make two small purchaes of the same amount on each card.....and wait for the results.

Edited by: "morgie" 16th Jan 2015

Original Poster

morgie

Interesting one. Some info about the rates Amex use here - … Interesting one. Some info about the rates Amex use here - https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/content/travel.html?inav=gb_menu_travel_money_abroadNot sure I like the sound of Amex converting non-US currencies into US dollar first, then into GBP.I would assume you'll find the Mastercard more widely accepted anyway. I've used other Mastercards abroad that don't have foreign transaction fees and always found the rates applied to be very close to the 'real' exchange rate I'd see on xe.com the same day.Perhaps do a test (and anyone else who finds this in the future a favour) - on your first day abroad make two small purchaes of the same amount on each card.....and wait for the results.



Thanks for the info - I appreciate it.

I'll probably go with the MasterCard because at least I'll know the rate/ thereabouts!

Do you use a card abroad often? If so, have you considered getting a Halifax Clarity MasterCard?

From what I can see, the Lloyds Avios costs £24 per year? Do you get value for that? (I've got over 200,000 avios and just don't use them - the fees, certainly outside Europe, aren't far off the cost of buying a flight for cash without Avios - I don't value Avios at all now)

The clarity card is free, doesn't charge a fee on ATM cash withdrawals abroad (Lloyds Avios charges 3%, minimum £3) and has a lower APR.

Overseas charges summarised here: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/overseas-card-charges

There's a summary of cards that use "perfect exchange rates" here: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money

PS> I'm not necessarily advocating using your credit card in ATMs abroad - although there are no fees, I imagine you are still charged interest from day 1 on all cash advances (I've always wondered whether this card is a good way of getting foreign currency if my card had a positive balance (i.e. if I overpaid) before I went away. But I don't know if it works that way....)

Original Poster

Mumushka

Do you use a card abroad often? If so, have you considered getting a … Do you use a card abroad often? If so, have you considered getting a Halifax Clarity MasterCard?From what I can see, the Lloyds Avios costs £24 per year? Do you get value for that? (I've got over 200,000 avios and just don't use them - the fees, certainly outside Europe, aren't far off the cost of buying a flight for cash without Avios - I don't value Avios at all now)The clarity card is free, doesn't charge a fee on ATM cash withdrawals abroad (Lloyds Avios charges 3%, minimum £3) and has a lower APR.Overseas charges summarised here: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/overseas-card-chargesThere's a summary of cards that use "perfect exchange rates" here: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-moneyPS> I'm not necessarily advocating using your credit card in ATMs abroad - although there are no fees, I imagine you are still charged interest from day 1 on all cash advances (I've always wondered whether this card is a good way of getting foreign currency if my card had a positive balance (i.e. if I overpaid) before I went away. But I don't know if it works that way....)



Hi,

I've had the card since before they charged a fee for it - plus my long history witn Lloyd's gives me a large credit limit.

having said that, I'd definitely switch if they wanted to charge a fee. I detest credit card fees - I clear the full balance unless its 0%.

With that many miles I'd definitely check out the Rewards Flight Saver - £35 return to many European destinations. Full BA luggage allowances and in flight services etc.

morgie

Interesting one. Some info about the rates Amex use here - … Interesting one. Some info about the rates Amex use here - https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/content/travel.html?inav=gb_menu_travel_money_abroadNot sure I like the sound of Amex converting non-US currencies into US dollar first, then into GBP.I would assume you'll find the Mastercard more widely accepted anyway. I've used other Mastercards abroad that don't have foreign transaction fees and always found the rates applied to be very close to the 'real' exchange rate I'd see on xe.com the same day.Perhaps do a test (and anyone else who finds this in the future a favour) - on your first day abroad make two small purchaes of the same amount on each card.....and wait for the results.



agree here

always avoid a card that converts one currency to another - there is a high chance there will be hidden fees

also if you are offered at point of sale / ATM to haver the transaction in local currency or GBP always choose local currency even if the message say something like best rates of fixed rates - these rates are never as good as the ForEx / InterBank rates

EliTom

Hi

I used to work at Lloyds in the credit card department.

There will be no difference in rates using either the AMEX or MasterCard.
They are two cards linked into one account so all charges and fees will be the same.

The reason you have both cards is due to the fact that to get the Airmiles (Avios) contract Lloyds had to agree to using AMEX cards. The only problem is not everywhere takes them so they give you the MasterCard as a backup to use if you can’t use the AMEX (that’s why the point rate is different on the cards)

If you can use it always use the AMEX as you will earn more points.

Hope this helps.
Edited by: "Panixs" 19th Jan 2015

Original Poster

Panixs

HiI used to work at Lloyds in the credit card department.There will be no … HiI used to work at Lloyds in the credit card department.There will be no difference in rates using either the AMEX or MasterCard.They are two cards linked into one account so all charges and fees will be the same.The reason you have both cards is due to the fact that to get the Airmiles (Avios) contract Lloyds had to agree to using AMEX cards. The only problem is not everywhere takes them so they give you the MasterCard as a backup to use if you can’t use the AMEX (that’s why the point rate is different on the cards)If you can use it always use the AMEX as you will earn more points.Hope this helps.




Hi Panixs,

The exchange rate charged on the statement is dependent on the card network's own interbank rate, is it not? Since Visa and Mastercard set their own interbank rates - won't Amex do the same?
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