Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

18 questions about the new Barclaycard Avios credit cards, answered

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

There are two new Avios earning Barclaycard Mastercard credit cards on the market! American Express is finally seeing some strong competition, although you can (and should) apply for both.

These are very, very good products with everything you could ask for, and are easily (in my view) the most attractive Visa or Mastercard credit cards in the UK. You get:

  • a great sign-up bonus which the majority of HfP readers will qualify for
  • a very high Avios earning rate
  • an annual BA cabin upgrade voucher for hitting spending targets

Every HfP reader in the UK should seriously consider applying for one of these cards.

The application form for the paid card (25,000 Avios bonus) is here and here for the free card (5,000 Avios bonus).

barclaycard Avios flat float

We’ve tried to answer the questions you may have

In this article, we’ve put together answers to 18 questions which we had about the new cards, and which we thought you might have too.

Barclaycard has contributed to and approved these answers.

Barclaycard Avios card

Before we jump into the Q&A, let’s summarise the two Barclaycard Avios credit cards again:

The free card: Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

Note that the card has a representative APR of 23.9% variable.

The benefits are:

  • No annual fee
  • A sign-up bonus for new Barclaycard customers of 5,000 Avios if you spend £1,000 in three months
  • You earn 1 Avios per £1 spent
  • You earn a British Airways cabin upgrade voucher if you spend £20,000 in a card year
  • Whilst not travel related, you also get up to five months of Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade for free

You can apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

The paid card: Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Note that the card has a representative APR of 72.4% variable based on a £20 monthly fee and an illustrative £1,200 credit limit. The APR on purchases is 23.9% variable.

The benefits are:

  • A £20 per month fee (reduced to £15 for customers who hold Barclays Avios Rewards via their current account)
  • A sign-up bonus for new Barclaycard customers of 25,000 Avios if you spend £3,000 in three months
  • You earn 1.5 Avios per £1 spent
  • You earn a British Airways cabin upgrade voucher if you spend £10,000 in a card year
  • You receive Mastercard World Elite privileges
  • Whilst not travel related, you also get up to five months of Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade for free

You can apply here.

Barclaycard Avios

Key questions on the Barclaycard Avios credit cards

“Do I need to have a Barclays Premier current account to get these credit cards?”

Absolutely not. These new cards for everyone.

For total clarity, these are ‘open market’ products which anyone can apply for. (Subject to status, UK resident, over 18 etc …. but you get the point.)

“Can I get a sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios credit cards if I have a British Airways American Express credit card?”

Yes, absolutely. Having a British Airways American Express card makes no difference – you still qualify for bonus on the new Barclaycard Avios credit cards.

You get a 5,000 Avios bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios card for spending £1,000 in three months, but most HfP readers should be looking at the 25,000 Avios bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus card. This requires you to spend £3,000 in three months.

“Can I get a sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios credit cards if I currently have a Barclaycard credit card or the Barclaycard-issued Hilton Honors credit card?”

No. You would need to cancel your existing Barclaycard product and wait six months before you reapply if you want to receive the full bonus.

Some existing Barclaycard holders will receive a targetted switching offer via the Barclaycard app. You would receive a smaller Avios bonus if you agree to switch.

“Can I get a sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios credit cards if I have a Barclays current account, loan or mortgage – but not a credit card?”

Yes, you’re fine.

“Is there a minimum commitment period for the Barclaycard Avios Plus card?”

No. The card fee is charged monthly, at £20. You can cancel at any point.

“Can you upgrade and downgrade between the two cards?”

Yes. If you want to swap between Barclaycard Avios Plus and Barclaycard Avios, you can. Go to the Barclaycard (or Barclays) app and select ‘Change to a different card’ under your existing Barclaycard in the ‘Cards’ section of the app. It will happen automatically.

You can also apply to upgrade via the same route, but this will require approval from Barclaycard.

Your ‘spend to date’ towards the cabin upgrade voucher will restart from scratch if you upgrade or downgrade.

The most likely scenario is that you have the Barclaycard Avios Plus card, trigger your cabin upgrade voucher at £10,000 after a few months and then downgrade (saving £20 per month of card fee) for the rest of your card year.

“Can I apply for both Barclaycard Avios credit cards?”

No. You can only hold one of the two cards at once.

However, it is perfectly OK for both you and your partner to apply for your own individual cards and to earn a bonus and a cabin upgrade voucher on both cards.

“Do the cards worth with Apple Pay?”

The cards will work with Apple Pay, but it is not yet live. Barclaycard tell us that it is coming soon.

“Can I have free supplementary cards?”

Yes.

However, instead of issuing a supplementary card, you should consider – if you can meet the target spend for the sign-up bonus – applying for a separate card for your partner. This would allow you to earn a 2nd annual cabin upgrade voucher and, of course, earn a second sign-up bonus.

“Can I manage my Barclaycard Avios credit card via an app?”

Yes.

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard credit card

“Are the cards managed entirely online or can I choose to receive paper statements?”

You can choose to receive paper statement or go paperless – it is up to you.

“Will there be ‘card linked offers’ (eg ‘get a £5 credit for spending £20 at Mr Mop’)?

Yes, you can access retailer discounts through the Barclays app.

Barclays also has a feature called ‘linked loyalty’. Once you opt in, you can earn loyalty points at selected retailers in their own reward programmes simply by paying with your Barclaycard. There is no need to carry a separate loyalty card. Barclays will track your transaction and notify the retailer to add points to your account.

“Do the cards charge a foreign exchange fee when used abroad?”

Yes. Barclaycard charges the industry-standard 2.99% fee when your card is used abroad.

“How does the cabin upgrade voucher work?”

We will published a separate article here on how the Barclaycard Avios flight upgrade voucher works.

They are identical to the vouchers offered by Barclays Premier to Barclays Avios Rewards members. They are similar – but in a number of key areas better – than the upgrade vouchers offered on the defunct Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards, if you had one of those.

“Is the cabin upgrade voucher expiry rule the same – 24 months – on both cards?”

Yes. Whilst the spending target is different depending on which Barclaycard Avios card you get (£10,000 on the Plus card vs £20,000 on the free card), ALL vouchers are valid for two years.

The other terms and conditions of the upgrade voucher are also identical irrespective of which card you earn it from.

This is a key difference between the British Airways American Express companion vouchers, which are less attractive if earned on the free card, and the Barclaycard Avios vouchers.

“Can I earn more than one cabin upgrade voucher per year?”

Not on the same Barclaycard Avios credit card, no.

You CAN earn two cabin upgrade vouchers per year if you are ALSO a member of Barclays Avios Rewards via Barclays Premier current accounts.

You CAN earn two cabin upgrade vouchers in your household if both you and your partner apply for your own Barclaycard Avios credit cards and both hit the annual spend target.

“Does the spend target for the cabin upgrade voucher work on calendar years or card years?”

Card years. You have 12 months from the date that you are accepted for the card to hit the £10,000 or £20,000 target (depending on whether you have the free card or the paid card) to earn a cabin upgrade voucher.

“Can I hold this card AND a British Airways American Express card?”

Subject to the usual credit approvals, yes.

Whilst I’m sure that Barclaycard would like you to give up your BA Amex entirely, I think – realistically – most HfP readers will initially apply for a Barclaycard Avios card to use alongside their BA Amex. Whether you decide to keep both long term, or eventually switch entirely to Barclaycard, will be up to you.

Conclusion

If you have any further questions about the new Barclaycard Avios credit cards, please post them in the comments and we will do our best to get them answered over the next few days.

Click to read our two other introductory articles on the cards:

“Which Barclaycard Avios credit card is best for you?”

How does the Barclaycard Avios cabin upgrade voucher work?

How to apply

You can apply for the free Barclaycard Avios credit card (5,000 Avios bonus) here.

You can apply for the Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card (25,000 Avios bonus) here.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibly to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.

Comments (167)

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

  • NorthernLass says:

    Is anyone else’s spend tracker for the sign up bonus not moving (though the one for the upgrade voucher is)? I can’t get a coherent answer from Barclay’s about this.

  • Mohammed Fahim says:

    Couple of questions:

    1) How soon are welcome bonus points added to your account?

    2) If I cancel the card after hitting the spend will I be eligible for the welcome bonus (with amex you can’t reapply for 24 months to be eligible)? I couldn’t see it anywhere on the eligibility section

  • Nicholas says:

    Should the 5000 bonus avios from the HfP referral show on the spend tracker? Mine just states the 25k bonus. As an aside, I had to call Barclaycard today because despite seeing the card in the app I still haven’t received it 6 working days after being approved! They charged the £20 fee and started the bonus countdown the day of acceptance though. Not impressed. I asked them to change this as I can’t use the card until I have received and activated it! Apparently they will ‘look into it’. It also took 45 mins on hold. So far, the service has been vastly inferior to American Express.

    • Rob says:

      No, the 5k has nothing to do with spend and will drop in automatically during the next 60 days.

  • Eddie Gillespie says:

    Hi, applied & received for the paid version of the Barclaycard Avios card. I have my personal tax bill due in June, can I use the card to pay HMRC to meet the £3k spend criteria? ( I know they charge a card fee)

  • G Flyer says:

    The app, registration and activation process are prehistoric. I never understand why incumbent dinosaurs like Barclays don’t just apply for Monzo or Wise, to learn what an efficient customer focused on boarding experience looks like. Plus Barclaycard security set-up is a joke: 5 digit numerical app code? 8 letter memorable word? 6 digit activation code? 3 word greeting? Who on earth thinks that most customers will remember any of that… it’s just creates a security risk where customers will recycle other log-ins, or write them down.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.