I want to spend some time over the Bank Holiday weekend looking again at the new Barclays Premier and Barclays Avios Rewards partnership, so you can see if it is worth signing up.
Barclays Avios Rewards has just celebrated its first anniversary, with those who signed up at the beginning receiving their first BA upgrade voucher.
Barclays is now allowing you to open a Barclays Premier account online – click here – and there is still a 25,000 Avios bonus for signing up. You will earn 43,000 Avios in total during your first year.
Barclays Premier is the only way to earn Avios from a UK current account.
What is important to remember about Barclays Avios Rewards is that – unlike a credit card reward – there is no spend requirement. As long as you move your current account to Barclays Premier, pay in your salary and opt in to Barclays Avios Rewards you will receive a monthly bonus and an annual BA upgrade voucher.
The new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard makes Barclays Premier more interesting
Having both Barclays Premier and a Barclaycard Avios credit card would let you earn two upgrade vouchers each year. This would allow you to:
- upgrade a return flight, in both directions, for two people travelling together, or
- upgrade a flight in one direction for four people travelling together
If you had been put off applying for Barclays Premier before because one voucher per year was not enough, it may be time to think again.
What is Barclays Avios Rewards?
Barclays Avios Rewards is a new rewards scheme for Barclays Premier Banking and Barclays Wealth current account holders.
Here are the headline details:
- There is a £12 monthly fee for Barclays Avios Rewards
- You receive 1,500 Avios per month
- You receive a ‘cabin upgrade voucher’ after 12 months (more details below)
There are bonus points if you have other products, including:
- Mortgage – 700 Avios per month, with a one-off bonus of 2,000 Avios when taking out a mortgage
- Life cover – 150 Avios per month for the first 12 months (500 Avios if critical illness cover is included)
- Home cover – 75 Avios per month for contents insurance, 75 Avios per month for buildings insurance, 150 per month for combined cover, all payable for the first year of cover only
How does the upgrade voucher work?
The upgrade voucher will be triggered after you have been a Barclays Avios Rewards member for 12 months, and every 12 months thereafter.
It will appear in your Executive Club account within five days of your 12th monthly membership fee being paid.
The voucher will be valid for travel taken within two years of the date of issue.
You can use the voucher to upgrade, by one cabin class, a return Avios Reward Flight for one person, or a one-way Avios Reward Flight for two people.
Upgrades can only be processed if there is Avios reward availability in the higher cabin. Additional taxes and charges may be due. Bookings cannot be upgraded to First class.
The voucher benefits are transferrable to another person but the flight must be booked from the ba.com account of the Barclays Premier member, who is responsible for paying the necessary taxes, charges and Avios.
The vouchers are not hugely useful for short haul travel because, by accident or design, they price off the ‘£1 taxes and charges’ option which is not the best value choice. That said, if you tend to book the ‘£1 taxes and charges’ option because it minimises your cancellation costs, you will be getting a genuine benefit.
Are you eligible for Barclays Avios Rewards?
Barclays Avios Rewards is only open to Barclays Premier Banking and Wealth customers.
To open a Barclays Premier Banking account, you will need an income of £75,000+ OR at least £100,000 saved or invested with Barclays.
You can also apply by opening a current account with Barclays Wealth, which is open to people with over £500,000 of investable assets.
Get 25,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus
New Barclays Premier Banking or personal Barclays Wealth customers will receive a 25,000 Avios joining bonus. To receive this, you’ll need to move your existing current account to Barclays via the Current Account Switching Service, within three months of joining Barclays Avios Rewards.
The sign-up page is here.
Existing Barclays customers will receive a one-off bonus of 2,500 Avios when they join Barclays Avios Rewards.
Barclays Avios Rewards is worth a serious look if you meet the £75,000 income criteria or are willing to move £100,000 of savings to Barclays.
You will receive, in your first 12 months:
- 25,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus
- 18,000 Avios via your 12 x 1,500 Avios monthly bonuses
- A potentially very valuable upgrade voucher
….. for a total cost of just 12 x £12 monthly fees. After the first year, it remains a good deal in my view – you will be paying £144 for 18,000 Avios and an annual upgrade voucher.
The ability to add a second annual upgrade voucher via the new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard makes the deal even more interesting – especially as the card comes with its own bonus of 25,000 Avios.
You can find out more, and apply, on the Barclays Premier website here. Online applications are now possible.