Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

19 questions about the Barclaycard Avios credit cards and the huge 50,000 Avios bonus, answered

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On Tuesday, Barclaycard launched an astonishing deal on its new Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard.

If you apply by 18th July via this linkyou will receive 50,000 Avios when you spend £3,000 within three months.

This is an unparalled deal, especially when you remember that the monthly fee for the card is just £20 and that you cancel at any time.

barclaycard Avios flat float

There is also a 10,000 Avios bonus available on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercardsee here. As long as you can easily spend £3,000 in three months, however, I’d recommend getting the Plus card for the 50,000 Avios bonus and then reviewing after a while.

These are very, very good products with everything you could ask for, and are easily (in my view) the most attractive Visa or Mastercard credit cards in the UK. You get:

  • a great sign-up bonus which the majority of HfP readers will qualify for
  • a very high Avios earning rate
  • an annual BA cabin upgrade voucher for hitting spending targets

The application form for the paid card (50,000 Avios bonus) is here and here for the free card (10,000 Avios bonus).

We’ve tried to answer the questions you may have

In this article, we’ve put together answers to 19 questions which you may have had about the cards.

Barclaycard contributed to and approved these answers when the cards launched, which is when we first ran a version of this article. We have updated the answers where necessary to reflect feedback from the last three months.

Barclaycard Avios card

Before we jump into the Q&A, let’s summarise the two Barclaycard Avios credit cards again:

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 10,000 Avios if you spend £1,000 in three months (this is a special offer to 18th July)
  • 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 their current account)
  • A sign-up bonus for new Barclaycard customers of 50,000 Avios if you spend £3,000 in three months (this is a special offer to 18th July)
  • 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.

Barclaycard Avios

Key questions on the Barclaycard Avios credit cards

“Do I need to have a Barclays Premier current account to get these credit cards?”

Absolutely not. These new cards for everyone.

For total clarity, these are ‘open market’ products which anyone can apply for. (Subject to status, UK resident, over 18 etc …. but you get the point.)

“Can I get a sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios credit cards if I have a British Airways American Express credit card?”

Yes, absolutely. Having a British Airways American Express card makes no difference – you still qualify for bonus on the new Barclaycard Avios credit cards.

Until 18th July 2022, you get a 10,000 Avios bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios card for spending £1,000 in three months, but most HfP readers should be looking at the 50,000 Avios bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus card. This requires you to spend £3,000 in three months.

“Can I get a sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios credit cards if I currently have a Barclaycard credit card or the Barclaycard-issued Hilton Honors credit card?”

No. You would need to cancel your existing Barclaycard product and wait six months before you reapply if you want to receive the full bonus.

Some existing Barclaycard holders will receive a targetted switching offer via the Barclaycard app. You would receive a smaller Avios bonus if you agree to switch.

“Can I get the Barclycard Avios Mastercard if I am a supplementary cardholder on someone else’s Barclaycard Avios Mastercard?” / “Can my partner apply for their own card if they are already a supplementary card on my Barclaycard Avios Mastercard?”


A supplementary card ‘belongs’ to the original cardholder, not to the person whose name is on it. Someone who is currently a supplementary cardholder can still apply for their own card and receive a sign-up bonus.

“What are the churning rules on these cards if you currently or recently had a Barclaycard?”

The rules are different based on what card you previously had.

As mentioned above, if you have a non-Avios Barclaycard, including the old Hilton credit card, you qualify for the full Avios sign-up bonus if you cancel your existing Barclaycard and wait six months. This is bad news for the current offer but you’d be in good shape to apply after Christmas.

If you have a non-Avios Barclaycard and want to swap NOW, you may be offered a swap deal via the Barclaycard app. The sign-up bonus is small, however – just 1,000 Avios for the free card and 5,000 Avios for the Plus card. You would be giving up your existing Barclaycard to do this – you cannot have two cards. This deal is not available to holders of the old Hilton card – your only option is to cancel and wait six months.

If you have an Avios Barclaycard, you qualify for another sign-up bonus if you cancel your existing card and wait for 24 months. (Obviously Barclays could make the rules even stricter before this starts to kick in for anyone during 2024 – it is a purely theoretical rule at present given that the cards only launched in March.) You can re-apply for the card after six months but you won’t get another bonus.

“Can I get a sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios credit cards if I have a Barclays current account, loan or mortgage – but not a credit card?”

Yes, you’re fine.

“Is there a minimum commitment period for the Barclaycard Avios Plus card?”

No. The card fee is charged monthly, at £20. You can cancel at any point.

“Can you upgrade and downgrade between the two cards?”

Yes. If you want to swap between Barclaycard Avios Plus and Barclaycard Avios, you can. Go to the Barclaycard app and select ‘Change to a different card’ under your existing Barclaycard in the ‘Cards’ section of the app. It should happen automatically, but note that the option may take some weeks to become available. Anecdotally it is working fine for some people but is not showing for others.

You can also apply to upgrade via the same route, but this will require approval from Barclaycard.

Your ‘spend to date’ towards the cabin upgrade voucher will restart from scratch if you upgrade or downgrade.

The most likely scenario is that you have the Barclaycard Avios Plus card, trigger your cabin upgrade voucher at £10,000 after a few months and then downgrade (saving £20 per month of card fee) for the rest of your card year.

“Can I apply for both Barclaycard Avios credit cards?”

No. You can only hold one of the two cards at once.

However, it is perfectly OK for both you and your partner to apply for your own individual cards and to earn a bonus and a cabin upgrade voucher on both cards.

“Do the cards work with Apple Pay?”

The cards do now work with Apple Pay, yes. Google Pay is not yet supported.

“Can I have free supplementary cards?”


However, instead of issuing a supplementary card, you should consider – if you can meet the target spend for the sign-up bonus – applying for a separate card for your partner. This would allow you to earn a 2nd annual cabin upgrade voucher and, of course, earn a second sign-up bonus.

“Can I manage my Barclaycard Avios credit card via an app?”


Barclaycard Avios Mastercard credit card

“Are the cards managed entirely online or can I choose to receive paper statements?”

You can choose to receive paper statement or go paperless – it is up to you.

“Do the cards charge a foreign exchange fee when used abroad?”

Yes. Barclaycard charges the industry-standard 2.99% fee when your card is used abroad.

“How does the cabin upgrade voucher work?”

We will publish a separate article here on how the Barclaycard Avios flight upgrade voucher works later this week.

They are identical to the vouchers offered by Barclays Premier to Barclays Avios Rewards members. They are similar – but in a number of key areas better – than the upgrade vouchers offered on the defunct Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards, if you had one of those.

“Is the cabin upgrade voucher expiry rule the same – 24 months – on both cards?”

Yes. Whilst the spending target is different depending on which Barclaycard Avios card you get (£10,000 on the Plus card vs £20,000 on the free card), ALL vouchers are valid for two years.

The other terms and conditions of the upgrade voucher are also identical irrespective of which card you earn it from.

This is a key difference between the British Airways American Express companion vouchers, which are less attractive if earned on the free card, and the Barclaycard Avios vouchers.

“Can I earn more than one cabin upgrade voucher per year?”

Not on the same Barclaycard Avios credit card, no.

You CAN earn two cabin upgrade vouchers per year if you are ALSO a member of Barclays Avios Rewards via Barclays Premier current accounts.

You CAN earn two cabin upgrade vouchers in your household if both you and your partner apply for your own Barclaycard Avios credit cards and both hit the annual spend target.

“Does the spend target for the cabin upgrade voucher work on calendar years or card years?”

Card years. You have 12 months from the date that you are accepted for the card to hit the £10,000 or £20,000 target (depending on whether you have the free card or the paid card) to earn a cabin upgrade voucher.

“Can I hold this card AND a British Airways American Express card?”

Subject to the usual credit approvals, yes.

Whilst I’m sure that Barclaycard would like you to give up your BA Amex entirely, I think – realistically – most HfP readers will initially apply for a Barclaycard Avios card to use alongside their BA Amex. Whether you decide to keep both long term, or eventually switch entirely to Barclaycard, will be up to you.

More to come

There are two further articles coming later this week to help you make the most of this huge 50,000 Avios sign-up offer: “Which Barclaycard Avios credit card is best for you?” and “How does the Barclaycard Avios cabin upgrade voucher work?”.

How to apply

You can apply for the free Barclaycard Avios credit card (10,000 Avios bonus) here.

You can apply for the Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card (50,000 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 (111)

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

  • Rob H not Rob says:

    Any point reapplying if you got rejected first time around (no change in circumstances and not self employed) ?

    • Ismail says:

      I was rejected the first time a couple months ago, same as you (no change in circumstances and not self employed) and I got accepted yesterday

  • Vinay says:

    will a person be eligible for the bonus if they currently hold a supplementary card for the barclaycard avios card?

    • Danny says:

      This should be the 19th question as it is one of the most frequently asked questions in previous articles. Probably doesn’t matter anyway as most people don’t read the articles or comments properly and expect to be spoon-fed.

  • Chris says:

    I think it’s clear but to clarify, I have the free Barclaycard avios card which I applied and received the 5k avios bonus last month. Does this mean I cannot now upgrade to this paid card and be eligible for the 50k bonus (albeit with the new £3k spend target etc). Thanks

  • Paul says:

    Barclaycard are a mess!
    I took out the paid version and added my wife as a card holder. After two months we hit the target spend so downgraded.
    My wife then took out the paid card and added me and things got interesting.
    First a request for additional ID for me. Rather than complain I sent the copies they requested. Then, letter arrives saying no card could be issued as they could not identify me (did I mention I sent proof of ID? Passport, Driving licence and………. Barclaycard Avios Statement……..)
    My wife called but could not get a straight answer. It’s been weeks. What a farce!

  • DZOO says:

    Does it work with Curve when travelling abroad?

  • Lee says:

    Does anyone know which of the Mastercard World Elite privileges are actually part of this card yet or is that still a mystery?

    • Rich says:

      Mystery / non existent.

      • Billdub says:

        According to their complaints department… They said WE referred to

    • Navara says:

      Here is an IHG offer on priceless and a list of cards eligible for the offer.
      someone may want to give it a try and report back. I’m a Hilton card holder.
      As a Mastercard® cardholder you can access this exclusive offer, at participating luxury and lifestyle brands across Europe: Regent® Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants and Hotel Indigo®. Book and stay a minimum of 2-nights from 1 June 2021 until 30 June 2022 with your Mastercard on our exclusive rate and enjoy:

      • A minimum of £80 or €90 in-hotel credit at participating Regent® Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, or a minimum of £35 or €40 at participating Hotel Indigo® Hotels.
      • 10% off our best flexible rate across Europe
      • Early check in and check out
      • Room upgrade
      • Exclusive to World Elite™ Mastercard®, World Mastercard®, Platinum Mastercard®, World Mastercard Black Edition®, World Mastercard™ (Europe), World Mastercard® Rewards, World Elite Debit Mastercard, World Elite Mastercard-Immediate Debit, World Debit Mastercard Embossed, World Mastercard Black Edition-Immedite Debit, Mastercard Prepaid Platinum Travel Card, World Mastercard-Immediate Debit, Platinum Mastercard-Immediate Debit, Debit Platinum Mastercard, Mastercard Platinum Prepaid Travel, Mastercard Salary Platinum, World Mastercard for Business, Mastercard Preferred/World BusinessCard Card, Mastercard Preferred/World BusinessCard Card, World Elite Mastercard for Business, Debit Platinum Mastercard-Delayed Debit, Mastercard Corporate World Elite Card, Heloc Platinum Mastercard, World Prepaid Travel Debit, Platinum Mastercard Prepaid General Spend, Mastercard Corporate World, Platinum Debit Mastercard Unembossed, World Debit Mastercard Rewards, Platinum Debit Mastercard Prepaid General Spend, World Black Edition Debit and World Prepaid Travel

      • Red Flyer says:

        15% off easyJet plus membership too.

      • Navara says:

        Just been reminded we used Tesco world elite card with preferred hotels for an offer at the grand excelsior Malta

    • luke says:

      its a printing mistake.
      dunno how people are willing to pay £240 a year for just more ba points….amex offer much more for that price.

  • Geoff says:

    Typo: “Do the cards worth with Apple Pay?”

    • Red Flyer says:

      Yes as of last week.

      • Geoff says:

        Actually much longer ago – first used mine on 2 June. But the comment was about the typo – which is clearly missable.

  • Mike says:

    Can you link the card to curve and then buy premium bonds ?

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      Oh god, Mr X is gonna be spitting his breakfast cereal out when he reads this

      • Rich says:

        I think it best if JDB answers that one, he appears extremely knowledgable on all these sorts of questions.

        • JDB says:

          I think most people know the answer but the reality is, the more often the question is asked and answered, the more likely the usual answer will become incorrect.

      • NorthernLass says:


        • NorthernLass says:

          That was to Blair Waldorf, not questioning JDB’s knowledge of card Ts and Cs!

    • Amber says:

      I’d like to know this too please!

      • CarpalTravel says:

        Posts on the forum are indicating that Curve is the common factor in Barclaycard accounts being terminated by Barclays…

        • Rob says:

          Indeed, which is why we’ve not written about. You won’t be a cardholder for long.

          • Mike says:

            Well I only need to be a card holder long enough to buy £3k premium bonds and get 50k avios ! A month / 6 weeks max is the plan

          • Youllnever says:

            @Mike assuming that you don’t plan on ever applying for the card again then yeah that sounds fine.

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

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