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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.
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:
The free card: Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
The representative APR is 28.9% 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
The paid card: Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
The representative APR is 78.9% APR variable, including the annual fee. The representative APR on purchases is 28.9% 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 can buy airport lounge passes for lounges in the DragonPass network for the discounted price of £18.50 per person per visit
Note that the fee is paid monthly and you can downgrade to the free card via the Barclaycard app at any point.
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
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility 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.