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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.

  • mhuk01 says:

    How soon after triggering the 25,000 Avios bonus are they credited to your account?

    • Rob says:

      People are getting emails fairly promptly after hitting the target. Not sure if they are being sent separately or added to the end of month target?

  • Dr Chris says:

    I am having a terrible service with Barclay’s customer service and do not know what to do, and would like some guidance from Rob or team. I signed up for the £20/month card. Had the card around 1 month. I have tried to call their customer service team around 7 times now, waiting on the phone around 1 hour each time (worst customer service for a company I’ve ever encountered). Spoke to them on each of these occasions about two issues: 1. Avios points not showing in my App, despite latest version, up to date Android version and brand new Samsung S22 phone etc. 2. The fact my card was 3 weeks late to arrive, as the first eventually arrived opened, so I refused to activate and use (as whoever opened it may have taken photo of card etc, to use online), so I wanted them to reset my 3 month start period for the welcome bonus etc, as they had already charged me the £20 fee, despite me not activating a card…. Despite the operators, on each of these occasions, taking details and apparently ‘escalating’, no one has got back to me, and I find myself keep calling up about the same two issues. I am in limbo, as I am unsure if I am 1. collecting avios points 2. Attaining the welcome bonus threshold 3. Paying £20 for a service I am not getting. Their customer service is so unprofessional, I honestly do not know what to do now, as ideally I would like it resolved, but the other option would be to cancel the card I guess. Wonder if others have had this issue, and if Head for Points could escalate this to Barclays as a ‘general issue’, if others are having similar concerns. I feel Head for Points will be receiving significant commission from Barclays, so may take a biased approach, but it would be nice to see an impartial approach and I would like to hope I am wrong. Please kindly help, as I am so frustrated with Barclays. This is my first dealing with this bank and have had an excellent service from Amex and HSBC.

    • Darran says:

      My wife’s card also came in an open envelope. Looked like a knife had been used across the top and down one side. It had also cut through the leaflets inside. BC assured my wife that it hadn’t been activated and that see could keep it and they would put a note on the account incase we notice any dogy transactions. She didn’t want the risk so just ordered a replacement card which was also offered at the time. It came 5 days later. In our case customer service was great. Didn’t ask the question about resetting the three month welcome bonus period so can’t comment about that.

  • CollectPoints-UK says:

    Any news on what the world elite offers?

  • Zain says:

    Rob/Rhys, will you post an article soon re: World Elite benefits available with this card, if any?

    • Rob says:

      When Barclays confirm what you get, yes 🙂

      You can try registering here https://travel.mastercard.com/product/mastercard/homepage although it wasn’t accepting Barclaycard numbers as of late February.

      • Luca Maiano says:

        The UK world elite page does not have much to go with it, but as far as the bin is recognised, one should be able to register with many Car Rental companies and obtain some sort of status.. i have done that years ago with my HSBC and the. When I switched to the Amex Platinum on those accounts o
        I got basically the same Status level.

  • Michael says:

    If one gets the 25k fairly quickly is it worth remaining a card holder until day 60 (tbc) and pay another 2/3 times £20 just to get the 5k HfP bonus (worth £40 in nectar for example)?

    • Zain says:

      Guess you answered your own question! Assuming the HFP bonus is deposited inside 60 days as mentioned by Rob previously, you’d spend £40 in monthly fees, and earn £40 worth of Nectar back so you’re not losing out on anything.

    • Rob says:

      Partly depends on what you are spending given the extra 0.5 Avios per £1, and how likely you are to hit the £10k for the voucher.

      • Michael says:

        Presumably you need to keep the account open to use the voucher though – not just do 10k then close or downgrade (should it ever be allowed)?

  • TC says:

    Has anyone had any success adding the card to Billhop? It’s still not appearing in the Barclays app for me, still not able to redeem apple offers and now I can’t add the card Billhop. All I can do is keep calling customer service but nothing seems to be getting fixed. Does anyone have any other ideas other than closing the account down? Thanks

  • SurreyTravel says:

    Received the card quickly with rather high spending limit, so all good. I activated the card successfully but then tried to pay online two things and both didn’t work, so will try tomorrow with pin somewhere as maybe that is needed for first transaction? More importantly I cannot add it to applepay whatever I try? did anyone succeed adding to Apple Pay? Thanks!

  • Michael says:

    Even though I received a message from B/Card a few weeks ago saying that I would receive 5000 Avios into my B/Card account as a compensation for the teething troubles, yet have yet to appear in my account . It is just showing the 25000 that I have received. Has anyone got these yet and how were they received? Thank you

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

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