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Barclays gets a licence to issue American Express cards

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According to this article, Barclays has a signed a deal with American Express to issue Amex cards in the UK.  The first fruits of this deal will be seen during 2013.

At present, Lloyds and MBNA are the only two credit card groups – apart from American Express itself – to offer Amex branded cards in the UK.

This is potentially good news for Head for Points readers.  Shops that accept American Express cards pay higher fees than they do if they accept Visa or MasterCard cards.  This extra money pays for extra reward points for users – that is why, for example, the Lloyds Avios American Express card is substantially more generous than the accompanying MasterCard.

At present, Barclays issues three cards that we cover – the Hilton HHonors Visa and the Priority Club and Priority Club Black Visa cards.

In theory, we could expect to see these cards relauched, potentially as a double-pack of an American Express and a Visa – with the Amex card offering substantially more points than the Visa cards do.  One to watch as the year develops.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

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 and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (8)

  • Flashware says:

    I hope it doesn’t result in a devaluation of the MC/Visa earning through!

  • Simon says:

    Any chance of Barclays taking over from Lloyds to run the Avios card?

  • Phillip says:

    Could this also be linked to some past rumours that MBNA was looking to sell its UK business with Barclays being an interested party?

    • Alan says:

      I really hope not, Barclays are next to useless at running cards linked to loyalty schemes compared to MBNA!

    • Raffles says:

      Yes. Barclays was a rumoured buyer for the MBNA UK business before Bank of America decided to keep it. As they didn’t get an Amex licence via MBNA, it looks like they decided to get one directly.

  • It looks like Barclaycard are preparing for the anticipated upcoming regulation that will massively reduce the interchange (the cut taken from each transaction) on the Mastercard and Visa platforms. Interchange is what makes reward cards viable, so when it gets cut, so will rewards. Amex is expected to be outside of this hit (at least initially), so it’ll soon be the only platform for rewards.

  • […] to Raffles for the heads up on this…. Barclays get a licence to issue American Express cards So what will happen to the Hhonors Visa? Will Amex decide to scrap it favour of an Amex with a […]