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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UPDATE – OCTOBER 2022:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.  We produce a monthly directory of the top UK travel credit card offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Credit Cards’ menu above.  Thank you.

Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card from American Express. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus. You can apply here.

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.

  • Dror says:

    I moved here recently from the USA. My BAEC address is still in the US and I have a U.S.-based BA Avios credit card. Can I apply for this card and get the 50k Avios?

    • Rob says:

      Very unlikely. Most people want 3 years of residency.

      • Jonathan says:

        There are usually specialist credit cards for new residents, these credit cards are mainly for those seeking to improve their credit rating, and they rarely offer rewards, but usually come with high interest rates, and low credit limits

      • Dror says:

        Thanks for the reply. Quick follow-up: can I collect Avíos from credit cards here AND in the USA? Or would that be problematic?

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          Unlikely. BA won’t credit avios from UK card unless your BAEC account is set to UK address. I’d assume same for US Card.

    • Jonathan says:

      You’re lucky that Amex have a special service for when people move to another country, providing of course Amex issue cards for the country you’re moving to

      Ireland (NI not affected) residents can’t get Amex cards, probably due to the government’s stamp duty on credit cards

  • Edward says:

    Ts&Cs seem to say voucher not issues until anniversary regardless of date hit spend? But after anniversary next one will be issued after spend hit. Does anyone else read it like that?

    • Rob says:

      Vouchers are being issued immediately.

    • JDB says:

      The BA voucher on anniversary relates to the Premier bank account one, but not the credit card one.

  • Pb says:

    I can only hope that these cards or rather the app and the website associated with them work differently to the Barclaycard Business version which has to be the clunkiest most un informative useless app I have had the displeasure to use , along with their entirely incompetent overseas credit assessment department.
    The one per cent cash back does partially make up for it though.

  • Charlie says:

    If you get the voucher and cancel the card, do you keep the voucher (in the same way you do with Amex)?

  • r* says:

    If my mom, who has no interest in points, were to get this card, is there any way to get the pts into my acct? Did there used to be a way to use nectar as a way to move them to a different baec acct? Is that still a thing?

  • Brian says:


  • harry b says:

    Still waiting to hear what and where these Mastercard World Elite privileges actually are,frustrating after this amount of time.

  • Aidan says:

    Good that the BarclayCards work with Apple Pay as of last week. Anyone know if they are going to ever work with Google Wallet/Pay? I’ve stopped using mine once I hit my £3k target as I only use my phone these days….

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

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