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Your questions about the new Barclays Avios Rewards scheme answered

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On Monday we ran an article explaining how you could earn 25,000 Avios with Barclays Avios Rewards and Barclays Premier Banking – along with an annual upgrade voucher!

You can find out more on the Barclays website here.

As a reminder, you need to join Barclays Premier Banking or Barclays Wealth and then opt in to Barclays Avios Rewards if you want to take part.

Barclays Avios Rewards review

Barclays Avios Rewards has a £12 monthly fee and lets you earn:

  • a 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus for new customers (2,500 Avios for existing Barclays Premier customers who joined over four months ago)
  • 1,500 Avios per month for as long as you remain a member
  • 2,000 Avios for taking out a mortgage and 700 Avios per month thereafter
  • up to 150 Avios per month for contents and building insurance for the first year
  • an annual cabin upgrade voucher for a British Airways flight

Your questions answered

There were over 300 comments on our introductory article about Barclays Premier and Barclays Avios Rewards. These included questions about eligibility requirements, joint accounts and more.

We put the most common questions to Barclays. The answers below are therefore ‘official’ as long as we have understood them correctly.

We will run a further article, looking at the upgrade voucher and how it works, tomorrow.

What order should I sign up for Barclays Premier and Barclays Avios Rewards to qualify for the 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus?

There are two ways you can do this.

The first route is to sign up for Barclays Premier Banking. Once your account is open, you activate Barclays Avios Rewards and only then use the current account switching service to move over your existing current account. You must make sure that the current account switch is completed within three months of signing up to Barclays Avios Rewards.

The alternative route is to sign up for Premier, use the current account switching service and only when that is done activate Barclays Avios Rewards. In this instance, you need to join Barclays Avios Rewards within four months of opening your Barclays Premier account to qualify for the bonus.

In both cases you need to make sure you use the current account switching service to be eligible for the bonus.

Can I still sign up for Barclays Avios Rewards if I don’t want to switch my account?


Barclays Avios Rewards is available (or will be available, once the rollout is complete) to anyone with a Barclays Premier account.

You only need to close your existing account with another bank if you want to receive the 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

If you do NOT close down your existing bank account, you are still eligible for:

  • the 2,500 Avios bonus for joining Barclays Avios Rewards
  • the 1,500 Avios per month on-going benefit and
  • the annual upgrade voucher

This looks attractive. You are losing out on the 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus by refusing to close down your existing current account, but you still get all of the other benefits including the upgrade voucher.

There is one odd little catch. As a non-switcher, you need to join Barclays Premier Banking and wait four months if you want the 2,500 Avios bonus for joining Barclays Avios Rewards. If you join Premier and immediately sign up to Avios Rewards, you don’t get the 2,500 points. On the upside, your upgrade voucher will arrive four months earlier.

We know this sounds odd but it is because of the deadlines put in place for those who are switching.

Barclays avios Rewards review

What is the joint account eligibility criteria for Barclays Premier Banking?

You can open a joint account with Barclays Premier Banking, but you cannot meet the income criteria between you. At least one applicant must earn over £75,000 on their own.

A couple where one partner earns £80,000 and the other earns £40,000 WOULD be eligible to open a Barclays Premier account.

A couple earning £35,000 and £55,000 would NOT be eligible, as neither partner earns above the minimum income threshold even though they are over the £75,000 total between them.

On a joint account, can either party receive the Avios or does it have to be the person earning over £75,000?

It doesn’t matter. Either member of a joint account can be the nominated member of Barclays Avios Rewards, irrespective of income.

For the purposes of ‘voucher planning’, the upgrade voucher does not have to be used by the person whose BA account it is on, although the booking must be made from their BA Executive Club account. We will look at this more closely tomorrow in a separate article on the upgrade voucher.

Is the £75,000 income requirement gross or net?

The income requirement is based on your gross income.

Am I eligible for Barclays Premier if my base pay is below £75,000 but my bonus takes it over?

Yes. Eligibility is based on gross annual income, including bonuses.

Am I eligible if I take less than £75,000 in drawings from my company but the accounts clearly show that I could take more if I wished?

No, unless you specifically plan to increase your drawings to £75,000.

Are existing Barclays customers with a basic current account eligible for the 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus?

You can’t get the 25,000 Avios bonus, unless you’ve been a Barclays customer for less than 4 months.

You can get the 2,500 Avios bonus for existing Premier customers. You would need to upgrade to Barclays Premier and then join Barclays Avios Rewards. Confusingly, you need to wait four months after upgrading to Barclays Premier if you want to receive the 2,500 Avios bonus. If you upgrade to Barclays Premier and immediately join Barclays Avios Rewards you do not receive the 2,500 Avios bonus.

Existing Barclays Premier customers are eligible for the 2,500 Avios bonus for joining Barclays Avios Rewards if they have been a Premier member for at least four months. If they have been a Premier member for less than four months, they may qualify for the 25,000 Avios bonus if they meet the rules and use the current account switching service to move an existing account from elsewhere.

Does holding a mortgage with Barclays help with the eligibility requirements if I am just beneath the threshold?


The only alternative to having a £75,000+ gross income is to have £100,000 saved or invested with Barclays.

Can I join Barclays Avios Rewards twice, via a joint account and a separate personal account?

The same person cannot have two Barclays Avios Rewards memberships. You are allowed two Barclays Premier Banking accounts (one as a joint account, one as a sole account) but you can only earn Avios in your name on one of them.

If you and your partner both want to join Barclays Avios Rewards, and earn an upgrade voucher each per year, one of you would need to open a sole account alongside your joint account. The other person would be the nominated Barclays Avios Rewards member on the joint account.

If both of you earn over £75,000, of course, you can both open sole accounts if you wish.

Any other questions?

If you have any further questions, please ask them below. If they are of general interest we will put them to Barclays and report back.

You can find out more about Barclays Avios Rewards on the Barclays website here.

Comments (162)

  • Anna says:

    So even if neither of you earns £75k, is it the case that if you had £100k savings with Barclays you’d be eligible for as long as the amount of the savings didn’t dip below that amount? (Though obviously Barclays might not be the best place to put your savings, which would have to be considered!)

    • The real John says:

      Yes. I could transfer my ISA to barclays, but it would cost an extra £100 per year plus £1 extra per transaction than iweb.

      If I do one trade every other (business) day that is £200+ extra per year basically for the voucher, plus the switching bonus as a one-off. Not worth it IMO.

      Trying to sell my flat so if this goes through I could possibly have £200K cash (wife could get a sole) to bag the avios, but not sure this is worth chasing really, more interested in stock picking lol

      • Jonathan says:

        If you’re trading every other day then the evidence is pretty clear that your investment returns will be significantly lower over the long run than a buy & hold strategy so I’d say the extra £200 dealing fees are small beer!

        • The real John says:

          The evidence from my share dealing statements shows otherwise.

          Anyway your point is irrelevant as regardless of my trading skill I would still be £200 better off not moving to barclays. Unless moving to barclays somehow improves my trading skills.

          You might as well say that someone earning 75k a year shouldn’t be bothered about 25000 avios as they can earn it in one day of work. This argument doesn’t hold as it’s 25000 avios more than they would have got otherwise.

    • TJ says:

      This is the problem for me. I’d quite happily invest £100k with Barclays but their current savings and investment products – even by today’s standards – offer abysmal RoR when compared to market leaders. The interest lost would outweigh the benefits unfortunately.

  • Mikeb says:

    Are existing Barclays customers with a basic current account eligible for the 25,0000 Avios sign-up bonus.

    Well I’ll be closing down my basic account then. Stupid Barclays could then me from free account to paid one.

    • Richard G says:

      Yeah, I’m tempted to do this. This setup definitely discourages people with standard Barclays accounts to upgrade.

  • Letsfly says:

    Are existing Barclays customers with a basic current account eligible for the 25,0000 Avios sign-up bonus?

    ….You can’t get the 25,000 Avios bonus, unless you’ve been a Barclays customer for less than 4 months…

    ….If they have been a Premier member for less than four months, they may qualify for the 25,000 Avios bonus if they meet the rules and use the current account switching service to move an existing account from elsewhere.

    Can I clarify – if I had a barclays basic account, upgraded yesterday to Premier… can I get the 25,000 avios or not?

    • Rob says:

      No, unless you only opened it in the last 4 months.

      If you wait 4 months before joining Avios Rewards then you’ll get 2,500 Avios, if you activate Avios Rewards now you get nothing.

  • Mark Stewart says:

    If my earning are not £75000 but I have an allowance that takes me over £75000 would that make me eligible ?

  • Daniel says:

    Does anyone know if this works in conjunction with or instead of Barclays Blue Rewards?

  • memesweeper says:

    Any suggestions on a good ‘donor’ account?

    – I want to keep Monzo
    – I *definitely* want to keep Starling
    – Monese shut me down…

    … any suggestions?

    • The real John says:

      Do you have a relationship with any other bank?

      I already have 3 accounts waiting for the next switch offer (TSB, Bank of Scotland, Santander). I opened these for high interest but the rates have dropped. I could easily open another account with these banks if I needed to.

      Do not switch Monzo or Starling as they may not let you open a new account in the future and they seem to be limited to one account per person. High street banks don’t really have such restrictions. HSBC is fussy though (I am banned from them because I had no activity on my account for a year and then sent myself £1000 which I immediately used to pay Amex.)

    • MD says:

      Good question. I donated my Monzo account to open the recent Virgin one. In the process of doing that I noticed that Monese was not on the list of providers who have signed up to the easy switching scheme. Does anybody know, does that mean Monese can’t be used to switch away from at all? Seems strange.

      I’d happily get rid of Monese, never could get the Co-op here to reliably accept Amex! Main bank is HSBC which I’m keeping, and they definitely won’t provide a second account. Would like to keep my Starling too.

      • Genghis says:

        Monese is not a bank.

        • MD says:

          Technically true. But they do offer what they call a bank account.

          And thanks 747B, that’s what I was referring to above which I noticed during the Virgin switch.

      • 747_Brat says:

        Monese hasn’t signed up for the industry wide current account switch service:

      • Rum says:

        I’ve been contemplating the same thing.
        HSBC Premier is my main account. Recently opened a Starling account which has no hard credit check. I like the way Starling does everything, including the 0% FX loading charge. I’ve only really used it for eBay sales and to link to PayPal.
        Today I opened Monzo with a view to using that as my ‘donor’/switching account. Again, I don’t think this one does a hard credit check. I do like the app, but I think they may have more chargers than Starling.
        I’d be disappointed if this is a once in a lifetime account… so I am in a bit of a dilemma as to which to use to switch. I’m keeping HSBC for now and one other of these newer accounts, but ultimately not sure which one to sacrifice for a switch.

    • memesweeper says:

      thanks for all the suggestions, I think LLoyds will be the ‘winner’ 🙂

    • Jeremy says:

      Do you know if I can sign up for a current account with a high street bank and then immediately switch out to Barclays? My plan is to sign up to Santander as the ‘donor’ account.

      • Rum says:

        The only downside with this is that you will end up with two credit checks: one with Santander and then again with Barclays. Unless you already have some sort of relationship with either bank.

    • P4D says:

      I am trying Co-Op bank.. want to leave Starling in case I might want to use in future

  • peter says:

    As the upgrade voucher expiry is 2 years, nothing stops me from waiting 2 years and upgrading two tickets for myself and my partner? (Obviously assuming availability)

  • Dermot says:

    I have a Barclays Business current account and no others. Would I be eligible for the bonus Avios on sign up?

    • Richard G says:

      Interested to know this myself, would save me moving both my business and my personal accounts away from them.

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