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NEW: Get 25,000 bonus Avios with the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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In March 2022, Barclays launched two brand new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard credit cards.

These cards should fundamentally change your Avios collecting strategy if you are based in the UK.

The benefits are very impressive. The Barclaycard Avios Mastercards are, easily, the most rewarding non-Amex travel credit cards on the market. They are arguably the most valuable Visa or Mastercard credit cards in the UK of any sort.

In this article we run through the two cards to help you decide which one is best for you. You can learn more about the two cards on the Barclaycard site here.

Barclaycard Avios

The application page for Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card (25,000 Avios bonus) is here.

The application page for the free Barclaycard Avios credit card (5,000 Avios bonus) is here.

Irrespective of what Visa or Mastercard you are currently using alongside your BA Amex card, you should find that these two new cards are better.

I think the cards offer you more than the Virgin Atlantic Reward credit cards, and those were already head and shoulders (in my view) above all other UK Visa and Mastercard products.

Unfortunately, existing Barclaycard holders – which includes the old Hilton Honors card – cannot apply as you are restricted to one Barclaycard credit card at a time. Some cardholders are being targetted with a switching bonus via the Barclaycard app if you want to give up your existing product. If you choose to cancel your existing card you will need to wait six months before making a fresh application.

There are TWO Barclaycard Avios credit cards

I have summarised the two cards below and there are links at the bottom of this page to three more in-depth articles.

The bottom line, however, is that I recommend getting the paid card because of the big 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus. You can always trade down to the free card later.

Let’s summarise the two Barclaycard Avios credit cards:

Barclaycard Avios card

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 a Barclays Premier 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.

Note that the fee is paid monthly and you can downgrade to the free card via the Barclaycard app at any point.

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard credit card

Summary

The launch of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards is arguably a game changer:

An earnings rate which blows all other Visa or Mastercard products out of the water:

You honestly couldn’t ask for more from a non-Amex credit card. The earning rate of 1 Avios per £1 (free card) or 1.5 Avios per £1 (fee card) blows all of the competition out of the water. If you value an Avios at 1p, which we do in our articles, then you’d be getting an effective 1% to 1.5% return on your spending. This is 400%-500% more than your typical cashback Visa or Mastercard.

An annual BA upgrade voucher if you hit your spending target:

On top of an outstanding earn rate, you can earn a valuable annual cabin upgrade voucher for an Avios reward flight booking on British Airways. You can learn more about the Barclaycard Avios upgrade voucher in this article but it can easily save you 50,000+ Avios on a typical redemption.

A big sign-up bonus which most HfP readers will qualify for:

You also pick up a substantial sign-up bonus. Subject to the small print, you can get 5,000 Avios on the free card (spend £1,000 in three months) and 25,000 Avios on the paid card (spend £3,000 in three months).

My personal view – and what I will be doing for myself and my wife – is to apply for the £20 per month Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card. This gets us:

  • the 25,000 Avios bonus for spending £3,000 in three months
  • the higher earning rate and
  • the reduced £10,000 target for earning a cabin upgrade voucher

Once I’ve earned the bonus and the voucher we will reassess, based on how we feel about our BA Amex cards at that point. Because the £20 fee is paid monthly, we can downgrade at any time via the Barclays app.

Want to know more about the cards?

We have published three additional articles on the new Barclaycard Avios credit cards which can help you decide which one to get:

The official Barclaycard website comparing both cards is here.

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 (279)

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

  • Michael says:

    I would to apply for my wife for a card, but as she is a housewife and has no income they will not give her one, which is obviously understandable, but also really annoying.

    Do B/Card not take into account household income as part of the application?

  • Chris says:

    Sharing my experience in case others have PayPal/Curve problems, or can share an answer…

    Applied for the plus card, accepted with good credit limit by granting access to my current account records during the application, billed £20 a few days later per the T&Cs, then card arrived a week later. I don’t have any other Barclays products.

    Got constant 0002 errors using the Barclaycard iOS app, and couldn’t add card to PayPal or Curve, or make large transactions online. The phone team found a spelling error in my name, and corrected a bunch of other details (for some reason the system assumed I lived with my parents, owned my home with a mortgage), that felt like default inputs run amuck. That sorted the 0002 errors but not PayPal/Curve.

    Barclaycard fraud team believe the problem is with Mastercard extra authentication. Barclaycard fraud confirmed they have the details necessary so an extra authentication request should be answerable through the iOS app. They will ‘push’ my extra information to Mastercard so they are able to pose the extra authentication question. They said it could take 24 hours to six days for the Mastercard system to take.

    Does this chime with others’ experience?

    And is it just me or can you not see the Avios earned balance in the iOS app?

    • Phil says:

      Hi Chris

      I have exactly the same issues with PP and Curve.

      My wife is unable to link either and it falls down at the MasterCard authentication stage.

      I have a supplementary card and bizarrely it worked flawlessly with both.

      My wife is not getting the second stage authorisation come through and it aborts at that point.

      BC were hopeless despite asking to speak to fraud – their suggestion was to ring Curve and PP and ask them to do it manually!

      Still not sorted 🙁

      • Jack says:

        But when you added a supplementary card it worked with PP and curve?

        • Phil says:

          Yes absolutely bizarre – still trying to sort it.

          • chelynnah says:

            The only way to sort it with both Curve and PayPal is to call the fraud department. Ask them to look at the declines transactions. There is usually something not matching such as the address or phone number (even if it looks right in the app – for me it was the address first, and second time it had the landline instead of the mobile). They can fix it there and you can link while on with them.

            I had the same problem worh Curve and PP and they sorted it while on the phone. A week later I had a large online rand action declined and the decline gave me a phone number and reference code. The phone number was the fraud dept again, they checked it out, removed the decline and had me retry it and it worked again.

            They said it may take a week or so for the right phone number to filter through but on the meantime if there are any further authentication issues to call them. I was concerned because I am the secondary user, but as it was my card being declined they were able to speak with me after going through some security questions.

  • Matt says:

    I’m still waiting for my card to arrive. I’ve had the PIN and countless “helpful” emails. Was on hold to 1hr 20min before giving up. Emailed the fraud folk via a generic contact us form and was told… :
    We are aware that some customers are facing delays in receiving their cards.

    Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused to you.

    We are looking into this and the card should be with you in the next 4-5 working days.

    Accepted three weeks ago…the wait continues…. Yawn.

  • SurreyTravel says:

    Anyone know whether card is supposed to work with apple pay? Cannot get it to work and about to give up.

  • Jeremy Allerton says:

    Horrific experience with this card. I applied end of March and was accepted for the Avios plus card. I received the card with the £20 annual fee on 6th April. However with only a £200 credit limit until I upload supporting income documents. I keep getting this email: Unfortunately, we haven’t received all of the documents that we needed. Please check ‘Self-employed?’ and try again.
    The self employed section states:
    Self-employed?
    If you’re self-employed we’ll need these bank statements and your HMRC-headed SA302 form (tax return calculation) or HMRC online self-assessment tax calculation dated within the last 18 months. This needs to show that your tax return has been submitted.

    OK; The last four bank statements with my income were submitted, in fact, I sent the whole year. My latest self-assessment tax return including the submission reference from HMRC! was sent many times, Tax Computation (SA302) from my accountant (which is optional, as I already sent the submitted tax return) and even other supporting documents. Limit is 4MB, but did not even get to 1MB!
    I have probably spent 15+ hours speaking to their staff and no one seems to know or understand why. The latest, was they said they wanted confirmation of my tax return self assessment (whole report) being submitted. The HMRC submission reference is on every page!!!! All I get is this repeated message like a parrot.
    My income is well above the norm and have other credit cards with excellent limits etc.
    Never known such a horrible experience and don’t understand what else they want???? If it wasn’t for the generous Avios, I would have cut the card up and walked ages ago. Totally different to the Amex experience.

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

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