Barclays changes its credit card application rules again – for the worse
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Barclaycard issues two of the most popular non-American Express travel credit cards:
The Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa (read my review here) – which has the easiest high value bonus in the industry of a free night at ANY Hilton hotel (even a Conrad or Waldorf-Astoria) for spending just £750, and
The IHG Rewards Club Visa and Premium Visa (read my reviews here and here) – both of which give you status in IHG Rewards Club for as long as you hold the card
Late last year, Barclays changed the application rules on its cards. I was told by numerous people that the following criteria were in place:
You could no longer apply for a Barclays-issued credit card if you already had one
If you cancelled your existing Barclays card, you could apply for a different one immediately but would have to wait six months before applying for the same card again
Three people have told me since Christmas that Barclays has changed its policy again. These are the new rules:
You cannot apply for a Barclays-issued card if you already have one
If you cancel your existing card, you must wait six months before applying for ANY Barclays issued card
I find this very surprising, to be honest. If you want to ditch a Barclays-issued card which has no rewards and swap it for a Hilton or IHG card, you would think that Barclays would be keen. After all, the alternative would be that you sign up for a card with a different provider instead.
But no … Barclays appears to be adopting a ‘cut off my nose to spite my face’ approach. They would rather not make a penny off you for six months than make it easy for you to switch to a different product.
I can’t imagine what Hilton and IHG make of this, since it obviously impact them. A huge swathe of people who have an existing Barclaycard are now blocked from getting a Hilton or IHG card. People who already have one of the hotel cards – and are substantially more likely than a general member of the public to want another – are also blocked.
You therefore need to think carefully about your strategy for applying for the IHG and Hilton HHonors cards. If you currently have a non-travel Barclaycard, I would seriously consider cancelling it ASAP because you may want to start the clock on the six month gap before you can get either of the hotel cards.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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 offers:
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.
Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card
1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review