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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.

  • Linda M says:

    Rob says:
    12 Apr 13:55
    Apple Pay isn’t going to work for another month. That shouldn’t be a surprise, it was even in our articles.

    So frustrating – I should have come to this forum first (or maybe been more diligent in reading your articles Rob).

    I’ve spent a couple of hours speaking with Barclaycard and Apple Support teams trying to figure out why I can’t upload my Barclaycard Avios Plus card to Apple Pay Wallet. Barclaycard told me it was an Apple Issue, and Apple, after running various diagnostics on my device told me it’s a bank issue. You’d think Barclaycard support team would have the information to give customers. My legs are tired after being given the run around 😆.

    I’ll wait until mid May before trying to upload it again. Thanks Rob.

  • Matt says:

    My purchases are counting towards the £10,000 needed for the voucher in the app but not the £3,000 needed for the welcome bonus points. Welcome bonus stuck at £0 spent. Should I be worried?

    • Rob says:

      Don’t see why. The 25k is triggering for people without issues, I’ve seen the emails Barclaycard is sending out.

      • Matt says:

        OK. I guess I just have to hope the spend recorded in the app doesn’t matter

  • mikeedanz says:

    Anyone using the Android Barclaycard app had any luck viewing their Avios balance? Keeps crashing whenever I try. Interestingly the app doesn’t allow me to add a second cardholder but this is possible if you register for the online service and go that way. Thought the online approach would allow me to check my Avios but that would be far too easy, that can only be done by the app. Back to square one.

    • Matt says:

      I can see my avois balance in the android app, takes a day or so after a purchase to account for the points. However as above it isn’t applying my spending to achieving the bonus avois points.

  • Rich says:

    Has anyone got the Hilton card and considering cancelling to trigger the 6 month wait before applying for this card? Given you can no longer get the Hilton card I’m in 2 minds as to whether to cancel it.

  • I will says:

    My partner applied for the free card by mistake. He got the card and tried to upgrade and Barclaycard flatly refuse. Told him he could cancel the card and re apply in 6 months. What utter stupidity!

  • nigelwalsh says:

    I have to chuckle, just got my card… with a £200 limit.. whats the point!.. Ill stick to BA Amex, Amex Plat and others I guess.

    • Rob says:

      This is the holding limit. You were told on screen when you applied that you would receive a higher limit when you submitted the income verification documents they requested. Once you upload these, you get the higher limit you were shown.

      • nigelwalsh says:

        Ah I missed that part, as I have been away – but also already uploaded docs, so was surprised to see (and over 5 days ago), thanks Rob, will wait. I did try to call them but bank holiday hours..

  • Ian says:

    Applied using the HfP link for the 10,000 Avios welcome bonus after £1,000 spend. Was accepted, card arrived quickly and all good. However, in the app, it’s counting to the ‘normal’ welcome bonus of 5,000 Avios. Will the additional 5,000 just appear after I hit the target or should I get in touch with them?

    • Rob says:

      The 5,000 is totally separate because it is NOT spend related. You’re getting it even if you never use the card. It will drop in within 60 days of the promo end, so another 48 or so before you need to worry.

  • Tony C says:

    I was thinking of applying for this, but as my only income now is from a SIPP (which I only draw down irregularly) and State pension I’m not sure how I can convince them I have enough to meet the card payments. Amex and Lloyds don’t seem to have a problem with me though, and I am mortgage and rent free, with no other regular outgoings other than normal living expenses.

    Any tips? I don’t want to apply and get rejected.

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

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