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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?

Yes.

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?

No.

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)

  • aDifferentSimon says:

    I just want to know more about the 25,0000!

  • Jay says:

    Do you have to pay your salary into the Barclays account? Have a couple of current accounts but the one I would be switching is a personal one while I pay into my joint one.

    • Rob says:

      As long as money is going in, they won’t mind. Remember that the self employed often move money in from a sole trader business account in their own name to a personal account.

    • Scallder says:

      From the website (reference 8): To join Premier Banking, you’ll need to have a minimum of £100,000 in savings or investments with us, or have an annual gross income of £75,000 or more paid into a Barclays current account. We’ll review your eligibility for Premier Banking regularly. If your circumstances change and you no longer meet the Premier eligibility criteria, we’ll switch your account to the Barclays Bank Account in our Personal Banking service.

      Wording somewhat ambiguous but they could take from that the salary need to be paid directly in to the account.

      • Rob says:

        Not really, because a sole trader or SME owner won’t have a salary – it will be lumpy transfers from other accounts, often in that persons name.

        I would guess a fairly high % of £75k+ earners fall into this category. Earning £75k purely from a salaried job (not as a partner, not as a company owner, no dividends involved) is not so common.

  • Chris H says:

    Do you know how they check the £75,000 eligibility?
    Also, concerning the “wait 4 months to link to Avios to qualify for the 25,000 Avios”, is that 4 months from opening the account, or from today. In other words if I wait to open the account for, say, 2 months, will I only have to wait another 2 months?

    • Alex says:

      I opened Premier Bank account with Barclays two years ago. I did qualify for it as my total gross salary is above 75k, but I never moved any payments to this account. as I opened it for different purposes. Also they never asked for proof of my salary, they just accepted my words. It’s been two years and they didn’t raise any concerns so far.

      • Chris H says:

        Thanks. Proving my income is over £75,000 which is from a variety of sources is difficult, especially as it see saws above and below that year on year.

      • Chris H says:

        I was just applying, and it says you have to have £75,000 paid into a Barclays Current account every year. They review each account every year and can close accounts if you fail to meet their criteria. So if I don’t do a full transfer, I am unlikely to pay that amount into the account each year and may fall foul.

        • The real John says:

          You won’t have 75k going into your account per year unless your salary is 125k, your income is tax-free or you cycle money.

    • Rob says:

      4 months from when you open the account.

      The £75k may be taken on trust for now but they will look at what is being paid into your account.

  • Craig says:

    One quick question Rob/Rhys, anything in it for HFP if I follow a particular link before I start?

  • Victor says:

    As an existing Barclays Premier customer, the ‘button’ appeared on my app yesterday. I tried a couple of times to use it but kept getting error messages. I called Barclays and they switched all my accounts to paperless (despite the sign up site saying this could be done afterwards). I have now got it to a stage where it shows my BA Avios balance on the rewards section of the app, but states that I still need to link an account to it. I think there are a few IT glitches that need ironing out

  • Mark says:

    As an existing Barclays Premier account held for some years plus having a buy to let mortgage with them what can and wats the best way to maximise any Avios points?

    Thank you

  • Anon says:

    I don’t want to switch any of my existing current accounts to Barclays (I get good benefits from all the existing ones I have). Can I open a current account at a different bank, then switch it to Barclays immediately? Or is there some sort of cooling off period / regulation that prevents this from happening?

    • sloth says:

      yes

    • James says:

      Just open at your normal bank if you are a lloyds halifax bos bank usually no hard search then move the new account. You dont need to open at a separate bank just a separate new account.

  • Richard G says:

    Still really annoyed that having a Barclays current account (the bog standard one) stops me getting the 25,000 Avios. Would have been much fairer for it to apply only to people that already had a Premier account.

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