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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.

  • Anita says:

    Hi there, I’ve been approved for the Avios Plus card and have received emails asking me to activate a card that I haven’t received (although I have a pin!). I’m guessing there is a supply issue with cards and that they’ll arrive at some point but has anyone else had a similar experience with everything else arriving apart from the actual card?

    • Rhys says:

      Cards have been taking at least a week for most people to arrive

    • William Kerr says:

      yes I had to wait 2 weeks from approval for card to arrive …

  • AK says:

    Applied an accepted for the free card on Tues 29th
    PIN letter arrived Wed 6th
    Few emails arrived asking me to activate card etc – started to worry me a bit
    Today, Mon 11th card arrived
    Set up App OK (a bit laborious) but not currently allowed to request 2nd card holder and only 5000 bonus AVIOS showing.

    Now need to start using it!

    • rob says:

      did u do barclays or barclaycard app?

      • AK says:

        Barclaycard app

      • Rhys says:

        They’re both identical

        • TC says:

          My Barclays app is not showing my Barclaycard and the Barclaycard app is having some sort of technical breakdown every time I open it to register. I get through one step and it crashes and have to start again. It’s such a faff.

    • William Kerr says:

      remember to set up a direct debit – possible on bank apps

  • rob says:

    received card today, was dispatched 29/3, no idea how I can see my avios balances via the app as its pretty poor. Says under rewards and expected to see my linked BA club number, maybe it takes time to update after registering.

    • Rhys says:

      Should be a button that says ‘View Your Avios’ when you click into the account

  • T says:

    Rubbish experience with Barclays here. Apparently they don’t find it acceptable that people have moved recently. Said I was provisionally accepted subject to address and ID checks which were provided. Got a letter to say declined. Appealed and got an even more generic text. I guess people are not allowed to make credit decisions anymore. The CS tries hard but can’t make up for a general lack of corporate responsibility. Shame on you Barclays. Now wait 6 months because they can’t make a credit decision themselves? Wow.

  • mikeedanz says:

    Accepted on 30 March, card finally received today, 11 April. App useless. Request to add second cardholder denied, View Avios balance causes app to crash. Card incompatible with Google Pay. Customer services 1 hour wait times. So far, total rubbish.

  • Stephan says:

    Accepted on 31 March, card received today, 11 April. Slow but so far app and site working. Just need to start spending and hopefully get my bonus avios..

  • Harley says:

    VERY disappointed with this card. Signed up to the Plus, took an age to arrive. Then find out you can’t add it to Apple Pay unit 10 May. Furthermore, the app doesn’t work and just gives me an error. If I hit the spend bonus and collect the bonus Avios, can I cancel the card? I’ll stick to Amex I think!

  • Zain says:

    Seems like Barclays have a rubbish Android dev team. The app looks dated, there’s no option to link the card to Google Pay, the link to Avios button crashes the app and there is just a general slowness about it that makes me wonder if they have any IT resources at all. Terrible, terrible first day with the card.

    Won’t be surprised if the HFP 5k bonus doesn’t post due to ‘technical issues’. Poor Rob and Rhys will be inundated with enquiries.

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

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