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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


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.

  • Ernest says:

    Got my card today.
    1. App is a bit hit and miss.
    2. At the moment does not work with Apple Pay.
    3. Does not work with Curve Card as well.
    4. Easier to register on a Laptop or a web browser.

    • Rob says:

      It does work with Curve. You may need to make a chip & pin transaction to remove the security block.

      • Ernest says:

        For Apply Pay ‘Your issuer does not yet offer support for this card’
        For Curve Card ‘ Could not verify your card’

        Tomorrow I put a transaction and see if it removes the security block and report back

        • G says:

          Received my barclaycard today, added it to Curve without any issue.

          • Ernest says:

            Well I tried again. Put a transaction through.

            Still the same error message from Apple Pay and Curve Card

          • Rob says:

            Apple Pay isn’t going to work for another month. That shouldn’t be a surprise, it was even in our articles.

    • RT says:

      Mine works with Curve fine, although had to activate it first as didn’t work until then (kind of an obvious point tho)
      Not working with Google Pay yet

    • Ernest says:

      Current update.
      1. Cannot view my avios points on the app. Phoned CS to reset the app and now cannot use the app.
      2. App logging in is a nightmare. Gives me the error code 00002, I have to force close the app multiple times before I can log in and view my balance.
      3. Still cannot add it to my curve card or paypal. Phoned CS and transferred to the various departments, and still hasn’t been fixed, and I have used my card via chip & pin.

      CS at Barclaycard all I got to say is good luck. I will update once I sorted it all out.

  • Dipesh says:

    Agree with others that their tech and customer service are awful. Looking forward to cancelling this one.

    My 5k hfp bonus is not present in the avios section (whereas the 25k target is) , can anyone else see this?

    • Rob says:

      You won’t see it because it is nothing to do with your spend target.

  • TC says:

    Received the card today, activated online. There’s no way for me to check my avios because my BC app won’t work and the card won’t appear in the Barclays app. Tried to redeem the Apple benefits and surprise – they couldn’t find my account, even though I used the card this afternoon. BC customer service was supposed to call back today, didn’t happen. Tried to call the BC digital team but they close at 5pm. If anyone gets the BC app to work please let me know how and if you’ve managed to activate any of the Apple services as well. Thanks!

    • Rhys says:

      I managed to use the Apple benefits although admittedly not on the same day as the card arrive. I would give it a couple of days and try again – I assume the Barclays system needs to talk to Apple and it’s probably not lighting fast…there’s a thread in the forums about it too:

      • TC says:

        Thank Rhys, I’ll wait for a bit. Tbh I’m more concerned with the “We’re sorry but we haven’t been able to find your account. Please check your details or try again” message from BC than anything else, even though I can login online. But then it might explain why I can’t use the BC app and why the card isn’t appearing in my Barclays app – none of the systems are talking to each other

  • Jack says:

    For me, so far so good:
    Applied and approved for paid card on Monday 4th April (quick email confirming), card received 5 business days later on Monday 11th April.
    No additional documents required.
    Set up account online, including setting direct debit (email confirmation), viewing PIN and linking to BAEC so balance displays in iOS app.
    Just need to make a purchase with the PIN now.
    Hopefully the HfP 5k bonus won’t take too long to appear, although it’s slightly worrying not to receive some sort of confirmation about this.

    • Rob says:

      Not really, because I think everyone is getting 5k – people who applied in the first wave who get 5k as compensation for the initial card delays, and then our readers. The only people who may not get it are those who applied after 28/3 but not via our link.

  • Rich T says:

    My card arrived this morning, 14 days after application. The first £20 charge had been applied a week ago, and the spend target seemingly began on the day of application.

    Cue an excruciatingly ropey phonecall to try to sort it out. Tip: don’t use the ‘Direct call’ link in the Barclaycard app, as this eventually put me through to a staff member in a very noisy Barclays branch, who was only really geared up to deal with current-account queries.

    The upshot was that they cancelled my first month’s fee (? All I asked was for it to begin today rather than last week), but re. the spend target they insisted I had to take it up with ‘the third party website you applied through’, ie. HfP ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    All I want is my spend target to be three months rather than 2½…

  • Gurminder says:

    Received my card today after applying on the 4th April. Apple Pay not working – who launches a card without Apple Pay support now?? Telephone support not fantastic – if I need to call them more often – might just need to keep my Amex Gold open – at least with them Apple Pay works…

  • Miles says:

    I took advantage of the HfP offer of an extra 5,000 Avios if you got this card by 4 April; that’s on top of the 5,000 Avios you get if you spend 1K within 3 months. Is the HfP offer contingent on you fulfilling the 1K spend? When does HfP extra Avios arrive? Thanks

    • Rob says:

      No spend target. Will arrive in 60 days, but realistically earlier.

  • Claire says:

    If I use the card with curve abroad to withdraw cash do barclay card charge you anything for the cash withdrawal? I have curve black.

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

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