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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)

  • Alex says:

    So I have Barclays Premier Banking current account for a couple of years now. When I opened it, I didn’t use switching service. I also have two HSBC current accounts, one of which I can easily close, as I don’t need both. If I activate Barclays Avios Rewards and use current account switching service, will I be eligible for 25k avios?

    • Rob says:

      No, because you haven’t done it within 3-4 months of joining Premier.

      You would get the 2,500 and no need to close a HSBC account to get that.

  • David R says:

    I believe a joint income of at least £75,000 qualifies. (Did when I upgraded my current a/c earlier this week!)

    • Rob says:

      The answers in the article are official Barclays policy and they say one person must earn £75k.

      • Alex says:

        But they don’t have any means to check that. One can say they earn 80k gross, but allocate 40% of their salary to the pension scheme, so net payment landing in the bank account is much lower than would be expected.

  • Jonny says:

    Apologies if this question has already been asked and answered.
    If me and my wife sign up for new Premier banking accounts (we both qualify individually) and then activate Avios Rewards on both accounts, we will each get an upgrade voucher every 12 months. So after 2 years we will have 4x upgrade vouchers between us. Is it then possibly to use all four vouchers at the same time on a new Avios Redemption booking (assuming their are Avios seats available).

    • Jonny says:

      And by my calculations that would be a £576 spend (£12 a month x2 for 24 months) to receive 72,000 Avios points (1500 per month x2 for 24 months) and 4x vouchers (enough for a business class return flight for 2x people). Plus any sign-up bonuses one or both of us trigger.

    • AndyW says:

      Each voucher is a return (or two one ways) and you won’t be able to use 2 on one ticket, so you would only use two vouchers for two people

      • Doog1000 says:

        Wonder if you can split the one ways as you can with the Virgin voucher – ie use one half of the voucher on a single ticket say in Summer and the other half of the voucher on another one way later in the year?

      • Anna says:

        You could book outbound flights for 4 people though, and then return in a lower cabin class if you only had enough avios for that. With the Lloyds voucher I a couple of times I used BA out in CE for 2 of us then booked LCC for the return.

      • Jonny says:

        So if two people wanted to travel you would need to make two individual Avios bookings on the same flight and then apply 1x voucher to each booking? End result being an upgrade to Business return for two people. Then just hope you can get seats together.

        • Rob says:

          Yes, that’s how it will work I think.

          As the vouchers last 2 years and you earn 1 per year, it is possible that someone who has 2 vouchers in their own name may be able to upgrade, return, two people on the same booking. Need to wait and see.

  • Craig says:

    First stage done, fairly painless. Now waiting for the trigger to opt out of Blue Rewards and opt in to Avios. Has anyone seen where in the app this appears?

    • Sarah says:

      I have been accepted for an account but the Avios rewards is not showing yet. Rob said it is being rolled out gradually so to keep checking the app.

      • Dann says:

        Barclays told me it should be live for everyone by the end of the month!

  • TomD says:

    Any Barclays card worthy of holding? If I have to close my HSBC Premier I lose my WEMC as well (in my 2nd year, so already got the 1st year bonus)

    • The real John says:

      If you want to keep HSBC just open another account anywhere and switch that

  • Red Flyer says:

    I successfully applied Monday and debit card landed on doormat this morning.

  • Jonny says:

    Just read this in the terms and conditions of the upgrade voucher.
    “A Member can use up to two (2) of their own Cabin Upgrade Vouchers earned with Barclays Premier Banking for any one booking.”
    Given that one voucher = one passenger on a return trip, does that mean in 24 months time when I would have 2x vouchers I could use them on a return flight for both myself AND my wife.
    Am I also right that to get a Club World upgrade you have to booking World Traveller Plus seats. i.e. Premium Economy to Business.

    • Jonathan says:

      “Am I also right that to get a Club World upgrade you have to booking World Traveller Plus seats. i.e. Premium Economy to Business.”

      You need Avios availability in Club World but you will pay the Avios needed for a WTP redemption. It’s more like a discount voucher than an upgrade one as it’s the upgraded cabin availability which counts. The voucher doesn’t work on cash tickets. You would pay the Club World taxes/fees/surcharges as well.

    • Peter says:

      I assume that’s correct, at least what I’m planning to do in two years time..

  • Russ says:

    Is the upgrade voucher valid on all oneworld carriers which can be bought with avios?

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