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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.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2022 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.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus 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 card

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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

American Express Amex Gold

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

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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 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:

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

American Express Business Gold

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

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (49)

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

  • AndyR says:

    Any recommendations on where to use the Hilton free night in London? I am Diamond so somewhere to spend a while in the lounge would be good. Thanks.

    • Guesswho2000 says:

      Hilton on Park Lane – I used a free night which was due to expire there just over a year ago, adding on a second night as a points & cash redemption – was Gold at the time, got upgraded to the Clarence suite with exec lounge access – I was very impressed.

    • Rob says:

      New Bankside has good feedback but Conrad is the highest quality with an excellent lounge.

    • AndyR says:

      Thanks both, will check them out.

  • Martin says:

    Is there still a 6 month holiday required?
    I just cancelled my IHG card before my annual fee was due and was hoping for a HIlton card until I realised their daft T&C stopped me getting a bonus.

  • Ash says:

    I cancelled my barclaycard two weeks ago as soon as the news came out about partnership cards. Oh well…Their loss.

  • What's the Point says:

    I am correct in thinking it used to be 4 Hilton Points for each £1 spent in Hilton?

    Their website now states:

    Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for every £1 you spend at hotels and resorts within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio.

  • RobC says:

    just spent 30 mins on the phone with barclaycard as i got rejected. i hold a platinum card with them, which has no reward benefits to speak of and i want the hilton. everyone at barx is telling me you can only have one card and that was the reason i was rejected. I have asked for my case to be escalated and they are calling me back in 48 hours. Rob, any further details you have on this which i can shove in their faces about the policy change would be greatly appreciated!

    • Rob says:

      The new rule was verbally explained to a few readers over the last week or so. I did not write about it as the website was not changed. However, as one reader got it in writing yesterday I felt happy to run it.

      • Robc says:

        Update!… Got a call back today from Barclays stating that I was indeed in the right and that I am eligible for the hhonors card in addition to the non partnership card which I already have. Moral of the story is always trust in HFPs and don’t take the word of the call centre agents! Now to research which Conrad or Waldorf I should stay in…

  • Ben Davies says:

    I was told during the week by secure message that I couldn’t have 2 barclaycards. Now i have found this on their website

  • Ryan says:

    I’ve got both the free and premium card linked to my account for some reason they didn’t take off the free one. I have received my premium activation bonus but sill 4 weeks later my status is remaining at gold!

  • Steve says:

    Just applied for a IHG Premium Rewards Card and been turned down because I already have a Barclaycard. Spoke to customer service !! who confirmed it was because I already hold a Barclaycard. Talked about the link mentioned above, concerning two cards, and told that this was an old web page and no longer valid. Cancelled my Barclaycard in disgust

    • Lavar56 says:

      Just got my letter confirming I was rejected for HH card due to me already having an Barclaycard (standard platinum thing I’ve had for twenty years).

      Says you can’t have both so application was cancelled and won’t affect credit rating.

      Not much consistency going on here!

    • Henk says:

      I’ve had exactly the same experience – rejected, and received a letter yesterday confirming that because I already had a card I couldn’t get the IHG one. Rob – you may need to update your article based on these experiences…

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

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