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Barclays changes its credit card policy again – good news on the IHG and Hilton cards

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There was much grating of teeth among Head for Points readers before Christmas when Barclaycard made some draconian changes to its credit card policy.

It decided that you could not have two Barclays-issued cards at the same time.

Even worse, if you cancelled your existing Barclays-issued card, you had to wait six months before you could get another.

The second policy was, frankly, crazy.  If you had a ‘no rewards’ card from Barclays and, after reading HfP, you decided to change to a rewards card, you had to discount the Barclays options.  You were obliged to go to MBNA, Lloyds or Amex instead.

Barclaycard issues two pretty good hotel branded credit cards – the Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa (read my Hilton Visa review here – the sign-up bonus is fantastic) and the two IHG Rewards Club Visa cards (read my reviews here and here).

I am sure that Hilton and IHG were also very unhappy.  There are lots of people out there who hold a Barclaycard and they were effectively banned from taking out the Hilton and IHG products.  This won’t have gone down well.

I had heard unconfirmed reports over the last two weeks that Barclays had changed its policy.  This has now been confirmed in writing to a HfP reader.  He was told:

You were originally declined by ourselves on the basis you already have an existing Barclaycard. Within the time you applied, our policy changed which allows our customers to hold a Barclaycard and a partnership card such as the Hilton Honours [sic] card.

So, the new rule seems to be that you can hold a Barclays-branded card AND the Hilton or IHG card at the same time.

What you CANNOT do is hold the Hilton and IHG cards at the same time.  To be honest, I doubt that Hilton or IHG is too concerned about this as it makes their existing customer base ‘stickier’.

The Barclaycard website has not been updated to reflect this change and still says that you can only apply if:

You do not already have a credit card provided by us, including one of our partner cards.  Our partnership cards include Hilton HHonors, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Littlewoods and Caravan Club.

Next question – when is Barclaycard going to fix its website so that you can apply for the Hilton and IHG cards via the tablet site?  At the moment you can only apply for Barclaycard-branded cards via an iPad.

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Comments (49)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • James67 says:

    I was not aware there was a problem with non ipad sites so I jus tried to apply for the HHonors card a moment ago using my Tab S. No problems at all regardless of how I chose to view the page.

    • Liz says:

      Did you complete the process and get accepted ? You still have IHG? I tried to get HH on the off chance in Dec but got rejected!

      • James67 says:

        No, just went through motions to see if the form worked. I don’t want to apply right now because they are a PITA, only credit application I have ever been rejected for in my life was with them back in August although they did say it was because of rules not credit rating. Regardless of what rules they publish, or don’t, how they are applied on each application continues to be a lottery as far as I can see.

        • Liz says:

          I was told the same and that it would not affect my credit score – which it didn’t – it didnt show up on my file. I had some documents go missing last year in the post so I applied to Equifax for the months free trial to keep a check on my file. After the month they offered me a reduced service free for 6 months which is a credit alert which works great. They email when there are any changes and you just log in and check. After the 6 months it’s only £2.99 to continue which I think I will keep.

          • James67 says:

            Ahh ok, thanks Liz, never checked my credit file to see. I have n ongoing free expefian account but cannot recall where I got it, it’s years old already. I saw your post from yesterday about books and maps for your road trip. I’m not sure if it’s still possible but years ago you could go into a AAA office in the states, show your UK AA membership and avail yourself of all sorts of maps, booklets and promotions for attractions, Might be worth looking into whether it’s still possible before you go. The best bit though was just a chance to meet some friendly local people who had many great tips on where to go eat etc in their area.

          • Liz says:

            We’ll do that thanks -my husband is taking early retirement at the end of this year and we plan to travel all over the USA in the next few years!

      • Andrew says:


        On a related (i.e. card-based) note: how long did it take for the 20000 SPG bonus to post after you’d hit the spend target?

        Best wishes,

        • Rob says:

          Post to your online Amex account about 24 hours after the relevant charge hits your statement (just did it for my wife) and then goes across to SPG at the usual Amex time, ie account zero’s six days before your statement date.

    • Rob says:

      Odd. On iPad you go to a tablet-only site which doesn’t have the hotel cards.

      • James67 says:

        I clicked through directly from your link on the credit card page; that worked just fine, and no problems eithe when I toggled through different view options. I was thinking about changing to an iphone and ipad at my next contract renewal but I’m having second thoughts as the issues reported here on HFP alone are enough to put me off.

        • Rob says:

          Apple stuff is amazing, Barclays fault if they don’t optimise their site.

          • James67 says:

            I initially used macs and iphone 3 but hated the iphone 4 and 5, and the early ipads were much too heavy. However, I really like the iphone 6 which is what’s tempting me back6. My partner switched from galaxy note to i6 when it came out and loves the phone but having used it for a year now, is in no doubt android is now a superior and more user-friendly platform. However, my needs are not sophiticated so that is less important to me. I’ll have a look at the nexus 6p and make a decision when my contract ends in two months.

          • Jason says:


            I only use apple stuff and I’m not that technically minded and I think their products are fantastic.
            The first product I used was the iPhone and now everything is Apple along with everything else in our house.

          • Leo says:

            You could always use both! I always have an android phone and wouldn’t swap but my computer is a mac and I have an iPad for work. Also have an android tablet to take away with me on holiday. I don’t have compatibility issues.

  • Nick says:

    …Next question – When will Barclaycard show how much expenditure there has been on the HH platinum card towards the £10,000 requirement each year for HH Gold status? There was always a £10,000 “status bar” before Barclaycard took over.

  • May says:

    Hubby has got both IHG and Hilton cards with Barclays. I wonder with the new rules, will they cancel one of his cards?

    • James67 says:

      To best of my recollection there have been no reports of them doing that. However, if he calls to cancel each card on alternate months it might prove to be a money spinner given Barclays obsession with retentions! My dad got three goodwill gestures in six months to persuade him to keep the card

  • Chelseafi says:

    Does this new rule mean I don’t have to wait 6 months, I only took out my IHG £100 card in Nov, if I cancel it now will I keep the 40k points & the Platinum status & can I then apply for the Hilton card. I have a stay I want to book for summer at a Hilton in US, so I could use the free night. Thanks

    • Stuart says:

      I was told yesterday that I had to wait six months before applying for another the Barclaycard (cancelled IHG and wanted the Hilton). Could be staff were uninformed of the change but it seems it still stands.

    • James67 says:

      The only rule change Raffles reported is that we can now hold two Barclaycards again, so presumably the 6 months rule still applies. However, HFP comnents suggest how it is applied remains a lottery.

  • Shelly says:

    My partner and I have both recently applied for the ihg and Hilton cards and were accepted for both with no problems.

    • James67 says:

      Did you apply for the £99 IHG card and was this before or aftef your hilton application? Thanks.

      • Kipto says:

        Just to clarify, when using the Hilton free night voucher after spending £750 on the card, it has to be when there is points award availability for that night ?

        • Alan says:

          Correct – it has to have STANDARD reward availability (you can search by clicking ‘use HHonors points’ on the Hilton website) – ignore any premium room rewards results (they’ve normally be an odd number, standard rewards are round numbers)

  • AndyS says:

    This is great. I hold a plain barclaycard I don’t even want anymore, but it has a balance on it (a 0% transfer from several months ago) that I am trying to clear to ditch the card, now I probably don’t need to.

    I previously applied last november and was unsuccessful (presumably for this reason although they didn’t say, but I since managed another card so its probbly not my credit history)

    Would i still need to wait 6 months after the unsuccessful application as this is often the case on credit cards?

    Also I am seriously considering the 99 quid card. i could probably hit the annual spend, but the main attraction is platinum status. i wouldn’t normally get 40 nights in a year to get this. the extra points that level gives, and the double points on spend compared to the free card will seriously boost points balance.

    I know noone can advise me whats best for me, but am interested in others experiences of this card and ihg platinum vs club status in general

  • Kevin says:

    I was going to cancel my IHG card due to the renewal fee of £99 and to apply Hilton card. Following a phone call and discussion, they eventually waive the fee (only once been advice) and I thus decided to keep it instead of wait for 6 month to apply for the Hilton card.

    • Jumble Tales says:

      Same for me…except they wouldn’t waive the annual fee for me. I put around 10k through the card, but even after two lengthy attempts on the phone this month, the best they could offer was to downgrade me to the free IHG card. However they did offer me a pro-rata fee refund should I choose to cancel the card part way through this year. I didn’t think Barclays cards offered this.

  • VIP says:

    I am not sure how strictly Barclayscard follows this policy of not having HHonors and IHG Rewards card together. I applied for IHG rewards card after holding HHonors card for more than an year. And, luckily, I was accepted. I hold both cards since past 3 months now. 🙂

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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