Some Lloyds credit card customers, enticed by the bank’s offer of Avios points that can be redeemed for flights, have seen balances vanish – and told it will take fully six months to rectify.
One customer, Jamie Seabright, received his new Lloyds credit card at the end of January. It was to be linked to his Avios account so he could start accumulating points.
However, some four months later, the card is still not linked – and he has been told it will take 26 weeks to put right.
Credit card problems: We have been contacted by readers with Lloyds Avios credit cards who do not know how many points they’ve collected
He is not alone. Karen Jonason had her Lloyds Amex card disconnected from Avios when her wallet was stolen in May 2016.
But a year later, the accounts still haven’t been linked. She was told there were problems with the system and that it would take 12 weeks to sort.
After 12 weeks, she contacted Lloyds again and was told the wait was another 12 weeks. This again elapsed and she has been told there is another 26 week wait for the problem to be resolved – a grand total of almost a year.
Mr Seabright made a formal complaint and received £200 back, plus his £24 annual fee. However, Ms Jonason asked about compensation and was told it could not be authorised, even though she was in a similar boat.
Mr Seabright said: ‘I am annoyed that I’m unable to see how many points I have earned and further more unable to spend them.
‘I really feel that I’m being strung along by Lloyds and wonder if I’ll ever get to see those and future points.
‘I have been given no explanation other than they are having issues with linking Avios accounts.
‘As I started the new card contract at the end of January, I feel like I’m now at the back of the queue and three months have passed with no action from Lloyds.’
Six months: Lloyds has told customers with the problem that it’ll take 26 weeks to sort out – meaning points cannot be used for the summer holidays
Ms Jonason claims to have been simply told that ‘there were problems with the Avios system and that even new card applicants were having a long wait to be connected.
It means points cannot be used for summer trips.
This is Money covered similar problems in April 2016 and we have been e-mailed by dozens of customers since, many of whom have been told the problem could take 26 weeks to fix.
We asked Lloyds what the exact problem is and why customers are being told it will take six months to rectify.
We also asked why Mr Seabright was given compensation while Ms Jonason wasn’t.
A Lloyds spokesman said: ‘We are aware of isolated cases where there have been issues with our credit cards linked to Avios points.
‘There are a number of systems involved and so each case requires thorough investigation to ensure the cause of the problem is identified and fixed and the customer receives the points and vouchers according to their credit card spend.
‘We will work as quickly as possible to resolve such cases. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to customers and ask them to get in touch if they have any questions.
‘There are certain circumstances where customers’ credit cards may become unlinked from their Avios rewards account. In the event of any delay where the customer’s eligible spend may not have accrued points, we calculate and award the missing points.
‘We also ensure they receive any other benefits they would normally have with their Avios points.’
Lloyds has the Avios card on sale via its website, but there is no warning about any potential problems. The deal comes with two cards, one Amex and one Mastercard.
The Amex card gives a rate of 1.25 Avios point for every £1 spent while the Mastercard comes with 1.25 for every £5.
It also offers double points for the first six months via the Amex, up to a maximum eligible spend of £2,500 per month.
As well as an annual fee, it says most successful applicants will receive a representative rate of 23.7 per cent APR.
You can read our guide to collecting Avios points here.