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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.

  • Gtellez says:

    I applied last Tuesday, they mentioned that they would be in touch in the next 5 days, but I have not received any emails from them at all (not even confirming that they got my application). Should I wait or try to apply again today? If I’m accepted later than today, would I get the additional 5k avios?

    • Rhys says:

      I had that too but when I checked my Barclays app (for my current account) I saw the card had been added. It sounds like some people are starting to get cards through too.

      • Gtellez says:

        I don’t have the app, as I don’t have any other Barclays product.
        I think the main problem is that I have not provided any supporting document for my income (as many other people according to previous comments), so not sure if they would send a card without it…

        • Rhys says:

          I didn’t have to provide supporting documentation. By the sounds of it it’s just slow.

      • Pat says:

        I have the a Barclays app but don’t see the card account on it. Do I have to request it’s added?

        • Rob says:

          It will be added automatically – it has appeared for Rhys even though he’s not actually got his card yet.

    • Jrellis says:

      Same here, not heard anything from them so a question as to whether the HfP link has failed again?

      • smm says:

        Player 2 had this (no other Barclays products) – she phoned up the number on the back of the Plus card (search the HfP forums to find it) and they answered v promptly and were able to take security details and confirm that the application had been received, and approved and assure her it would all come in the post in due course.

  • K Gokani says:

    The above links to “apply here” don’t seem to be working,

    Is it just me or is everyone else getting it as well?

  • Simon says:

    I have tried to apply for the paid for card today, well before the deadline and it simply says that the offer is no longer available. I used the click through from the email from HFP.
    Like most things when they seem too good to be true….

    • Rhys says:

      It’s still showing for me. At what point did it say that?

    • Rob says:

      A couple of people had this, even last week, all very odd.

      I’d try it again using private browsing.

  • Pat says:

    I applied on Friday but was then asked to submit bank statements for income verification in order to up my credit limit which was £200. I uploaded my statements but have had 3 reminders to upload documents since then even though I’ve done it already. Has anyone else had this or something similar. The email (which is useless) states I can get in touch but without any account details or log in info I have to call the phone number only to be hold there’s over an hour wait.

    • Steven says:

      I had the same and when I asked them about this, they said you will keep getting the message until they have checked what you uploaded.

  • J says:

    ‘For the purposes of earning Avios, the amount of a purchase is rounded to the nearest £1. The amount of Avios earned is then calculated based on that amount.’

    Someone’s going to have fun with this!

    • Tim says:

      Can you still buy penny chews

      • J says:

        1p would be rounded down. I’m thinking more along through lines of automated £0.51 Amazon top-ups.

  • Felipe says:

    Applied, got rejected and my credit score went down because those people added a hard search on it. Thanks Barclays! Lost more than 50 credit score points because of you!

    • Rob says:

      1 – there is no such thing as a ‘credit score’ in the UK, it is just a random number created by a credit agency which no-one actually uses

      2 – if you’re not planning to get a mortgage or a loan this Spring, who cares? You’d get the same ding if you swapped car insurance provider or mobile phone company.

    • Rui N. says:

      50 points, the horror! I hope you can cope with it.

    • KP says:

      Wy didnt you do the eligibility checker first? That results in a soft search only.

  • Chris D says:

    This has probably been answered elsewhere by now, but: is there definite confirmation as to whether points earning is capped to the credit limit (like the Virgin card), like that clause in the terms and conditions implied?

  • pog2005 says:

    All went smooth for me. Applied last Monday. Card appeared online on Wednesday (and could view pin). Card arrived today – added to Curve no problem, and have made online transactions. No in person transactions yet!

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

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