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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.

  • Polly says:

    Any hotel partners? Just a thought, as earning Marriott points atm.. OH was thoroughly spoiled at the W in Sentosa Island, can’t wait to return.. obvs have Bonvoy cards, but just checking if any hotel transfer partners attached to the BC. We are looking at the paid one, possibly, but we have the WE, no fee atm.
    Thanks, Rob.

  • points_worrier says:

    1 avios is better. But you won’t get the fee-free FX, and it is a mastercard rather than Visa, with associated loss of use with our favorite revolutionary.

  • Paul says:

    Applied a few days ago, decision was deferred to further review. How long do they usually take / is a confirmation email typically received confirming receipt of the application? I unfortunately never received anything so was wondering if they application was received ok following all the IT issues

  • Ron says:

    Data point – applied and accepted on Monday evening, got the card today!

    • Flyfordun says:

      I applied Tuesday morning very early. Hopefully it will arrive today!

    • Marie D says:

      I applied for the paid card Monday afternoon via HfP link, accepted straight away, got the card and PIN today, activated and all set. Just need to make a chip and PIN purchase so I can hopefully add the card to Curve (tried adding just now but didn’t work)

    • KP says:

      Approved on Tuesday night with a £20k limit. Card arived just now. So far, so good

    • JDB says:

      Same here, applied last Monday evening and arrived today, all activated, set up online and with Curve. They make you jump through a lot of hoops, but all in all a smooth and much better experience than anticipated after so many posts from naysayers.

    • WendyJ says:

      We applied and we’re approved about 3pm last Monday. We even received the email confirmation that so few seem to have received the same day. Since then it’s been radio silence and sadly no card today, unless the post is running seriously late today.

      I registered the details for online banking at the same time as application approval, which says we should be able to log in by receiving a text if we don’t have the CVV. Tried that today, but it says they don’t have a mobile registered, so CVV is the only way. I was hoping to log in to check on the status.

      It accepted everything up to that point though so who knows.

      • WendyJ says:

        2 emails an hour later after I posted, welcoming OH to his new card. Hopefully the card arrives today.

  • qiang says:

    after two failed application, I gave it last try last Wednesday, same “we will get in touch within the next 5 working days…..”, so far nothing from them yet, two more days to go !

  • BLT says:

    Applied via eligibility checker, provisionally accepted then completed application and accepted. Verified income via online banking and given a 20k limit. Used a different bank account than my Barclays premier account. My situation is very similar to those reporting rejections, decent income, no debt other than mortgage and pay CC off monthly.
    Thanks for promoting the offer Rob.

  • Dirtyneedlebluesky says:

    awful applicant experince.

    this could go down as an example on how not to launch new products.

    • Pat says:

      Agree! As someone who works in financial services and in customer experience, this has been a terrible experience. Barclays really needs to improve the application experience both both accounts and cards.

  • Laurence says:

    Anyone else having problems with applications. Applied on Friday and got a message that my application had been approved but then another about problem with the application but dont worry weve got all your information and will get back to you. Heard nothing since. Should I apply again? Dont wasnt to miss todays deadline for the bonus

    • Rachel says:

      I’m in the same boat, I don’t want to reapply if its in process… but the radio silence is worrying!

    • haasha says:

      My friend applied for the black card on Wednesday, got the “we need to do few more checks” response and nothing else since. Yet the card arrived in post today with decent credit limit.

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

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