Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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)

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

  • Jonny says:

    Understood. Just done a quick calculation:
    LHR to JFK (in December)
    WTP = 66,000 Avios
    Club World = 110,000 Avios
    So you’re saving 44,000 Avios (still have to pay the Club World taxes).
    You can buy 45,000 Avios for £735 (without a promo).
    12x months of Barclays Premier = £144.
    So a max saving of £591.
    If you manage to nab Avios on extra 50% promo (which most of us would try to do) then you could buy 45,000 Avios for £495.
    So the saving is reduced to £351.
    Still a decent chunk of money, but not as good as originally thought.

    • Genghis says:

      But with the 12 months of Barclays Premier you’re also earning 1,500 x 12 = 18k avios?

      • Jonny says:

        You’re right. Forgot about that.
        So assuming those 18,000 Avios are worth around £200 on a 50% promo, then overall saving is about £550. Which is definitely more decent!

        • Genghis says:

          I’d probably think of it as the £12 fee covering the 1,500 avios that you’re getting back (they’re worth £12 min converted to Nectar) then the voucher is “free”.

          • Rob says:

            That’s how I see it.

            Actually the way I see it is this: I keep all my banking with HSBC Premier, I open a Barclays Premier account (no switch, no bonus) and then happily pay £144 per year for 18,000 Avios and my upgrade voucher.

            And then, in a year or so, if Barclays does impress then potentially I do move other stuff over.

          • Jonny says:

            Hi Rob. That’s exactly what I’m thinking. Already got HSBC Premier and BA Amex Premium Plus for the 2-4-1 vouchers, and this will just be a little extra. Not planning on switching either.
            Quick question – Does HSBC premier have any ongoing promo, or is it just the initial 40000 points followed by 40000 on 1st anniversary? If it doesn’t I’m just about at my 1st anniversary so switching might be worth it after I’ve triggered the second 40000 points.

          • Rob says:

            HSBC, in theory, lets you churn WE with a 6 month gap so you might want to cancel after the 2nd year and then reapply a bit later.

          • Genghis says:

            @Rob. Same. I’m sticking with HSBC Premier but will also apply for Barclays Premier primarily for the voucher. As a family of 3, combining this with the Amex 241, I think, makes sense.

            @Jonny. Once you’ve paid your second year £195 fee you’ll get the anniversary bonus of 40k HSBC points. As the card fee is non-refundable, I’d keep the card for the rest of the year since you’ve paid for what I consider to be a high earning non-Amex card earning convertible points. If paying the £195 fee then doesn’t work for you, you can always cancel completely – or drop down to the free Premier card – for 6 months min and then get the WE card again for the SUB and anniversary bonus. It’s very much possible. However, I consider the WE card to be the strongest card in my arsenal so happy to keep paying the £195.

          • Jonny says:

            @Genghis – I will pay the renewal on the WE card to get the 40000 points. Will then consider whether to cancel the card, wait 6x months and then re-apply to get another 80000 points. Most of my spend goes on AMEX so don’t normally put a lot onto WE card (unless I need to hit the £12K annual spend target).

          • 747_Brat says:

            @Genghis
            Sorry to jump in but what day counts as the Day 1 of the 6 month cool off – the day you put in the request for the downgrade or the day you make your first transaction on the free Premier card?
            Thanks.

          • Genghis says:

            @ 747_Brat I presume when actually downgraded per online acct, say.

          • 747_Brat says:

            Thanks Genghis

    • Ian McDowall says:

      The main issue for me is that on lots of flights avios seats aren’t available in wtp. And if you buy economy with avios to use the voucher then there won’t be availability in wtp. Qed.
      Surely on most long haul this is not an option to use the voucher. Its OK for a European short haul but a lot less value to be had.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Using it for long haul makes sense mainly
        For CW anyway as the surcharges aren’t significantly different between wtp/cw

  • Ian says:

    For those of you saying you will open a Barclays Premier account without switching, bear in mind that the eligibility criteria states that your income has to be paid into the Barclays account.

    • Genghis says:

      De jure and de facto?

      • Ian says:

        I merely repeat the terms and conditions, as stated on the Barclays Premier Banking web pages. I see no reason to believe they wouldn’t enforce this condition.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Seems a good offer, I’m with First Direct and get nothing from it, other than a good app.

    My main concern on switching is that I’ve now got 3 x FTV with BA 241 wrapped up until 2023 plus another 241 in my BA account. Not sure I can spend another voucher.

  • mike says:

    Question: I’ve been with Barclays for years and have a legacy Woolwich Openplan Offset Mortgage. Is the Premier current account compatible with the *ex WOOLWICH Openplan* offset mortgages?

    • KBuffett says:

      I have an ex-Woolwich offset mortgage, but I’m not 100% sure if it’s labelled as Openplan. In my experience, all Barclays accounts are ‘compatible’ to be offset, even cash ISA’s. There is also a relatively new option online to select which accounts you want linked to your offset mortgage. To be clear, I have a Premier current account that offers against said mortgage.

      • KBuffett says:

        And to add, I’ve saved tens of thousands in mortgage interest. Amazing account if you have cash or access to funds from your businesses.

  • Dean says:

    Apologies if I missed this bit…. is there a requirement to pay your salary into the Barclays account to be premier eligible?

    I have a few current accounts and I am willing to transfer & switch the one that does not get my salary. Will this work? Will I get the 25k sign on? (I am not a Barclays customer)

    • Ian says:

      Yes, the website clearly states you have to have a minimum income of £75,000, paid into the account.

  • Jim S says:

    I have had the offer to upgrade to premier banking in my Barclays app for a year or two now but my main salary is just under 75k. However, I transfer money from another bank to this account for credit card payments etc so it obviously takes me over their benchmark to deem me as applicable – would Barclays require evidence of what this additional ‘income’ is from if I apply?

    • Rhys says:

      If Barclays are offering to upgrade you I imagine they know how you are using the account and are okay with it….

  • Phil G says:

    Is there any news on the time gap between previously having a Barclays account and eligibility for the 25k points

  • Paul Diggins says:

    Anybody got a view on what constitutes a current account to switch? I have a Monzo that I don’t really us, but is a current account, so was thinking of switching that… I’ve seen other promos where they insist on a minimum of two direct debits also, but can’t find anything like that with the Barclays account…

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

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