UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2023: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.
SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.
Keep up to date with the latest UK credit card bonuses by signing up for our free daily or weekly newsletters.
Barclaycard has brought back its astonishing sign-up deal on its new Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard.
If you apply by 30th May via this link you will receive 50,000 Avios when you spend £3,000 within three months.
This is an unparalleled deal, especially when you remember that the monthly fee for the card is just £20 and that you cancel at any time.
In the very worst case scenario, assuming you can’t get the flight redemptions you want, you could turn your 50,000 Avios into £333 of Nectar points. That’s not a bad sign-up bonus at all …..
If you don’t want to pay any fee at all, there is also a special offer of 10,000 Avios on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard.
However, I genuinely don’t recommend getting the free card with 10,000 Avios if you believe that you can spend £3,000 in three months to earn 50,000 Avios on the paid card.
Had the card before? If you have previously cancelled a Barclaycard Avios credit card, you cannot get the bonus again without a 24 month gap. As the cards are only 14 months old, no-one is yet in this position. You are welcome to reapply after a six month gap but you will not receive any bonus.
The new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard credit cards are impressive
These two credit cards cards, launched in 2022, should fundamentally change your Avios collecting strategy if you are based in the UK.
They are, easily, the most rewarding non-Amex travel credit cards on the market and arguably the most valuable Visa or Mastercard credit cards in the UK of any sort. Whilst Barclaycard would love you to swap your Amex card for its Mastercard, there is nothing to stop you running both cards side by side.
Irrespective of what Visa or Mastercard you are currently using alongside your British Airways American Express 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, but not Hilton ones, 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.
The application page for Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card (now 50,000 Avios) is here.
The application page for the free Barclaycard Avios credit card (now 10,000 Avios) is here.
There are TWO Barclaycard Avios credit cards
I will run over the benefits of both of the Barclaycard Avios cards below. The bottom line, however, is that I recommend getting the paid card because of the huge 50,000 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:
- 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 until 30th May 2023
- You earn 1 Avios per £1 spent
- No annual fee
- 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 sign-up bonus for new Barclaycard customers of an astonishing 50,000 Avios if you spend £3,000 in three months – this is a special offer which runs to 30th May 2023
- 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 discounted access (£18.50) to airport lounges via DragonPass
There is a £20 per month fee (reduced to £15 for customers who hold Barclays Avios Rewards via a Barclays Premier current account via a £5 monthly cashback credit)
Note that the fee is paid monthly and you can cancel at any point. You may also be offered the chance to downgrade to the free card via the Barclaycard app, but this is not guaranteed.
You can learn more in our other article today
There are additional articles on this deal if you want to learn more:
- We look at ‘19 questions on the Barclaycard Avios credit cards, answered‘ which should answer any immediate issues you have
- We look in more detail at ‘Which Barclaycard Avios credit card is best for you?‘ for people who want a more in-depth look at how they work
- We look at how the Barclaycard Upgrade Voucher works, which you trigger at £20,000 of spend on the free card and £10,000 on the paid card
This is an amazing deal. The ability to pick to 50,000 Avios – worth £333 of Nectar points even if you use them in the least rewarding way! – from a £20 per month credit card is exceptionally generous.
Even if you don’t / can’t apply yourself, how about someone else in your Household Account?
There is also a lot of long term value in these cards:
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 British Airways 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. We will look at this in detail in another article this week, but this can easily save you 50,000+ Avios on a typical redemption.
A big sign-up bonus which most HfP readers will qualify for:
For total clarity, you qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card. The only bonus rules are:
- anyone who currently has any Barclaycard, including the Hilton Honors one, or has had one in the last six months cannot apply at all
- anyone who had a Barclaycard Avios Mastercard within the last 24 months, but more than six months ago, can apply but will not receive a bonus
My personal view is that you should apply for the £20 per month Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card. This gets you:
- the 50,000 Avios bonus for spending £3,000 in three months (for applications by 30th May)
- the higher earning rate and
- the reduced £10,000 target for earning a cabin upgrade voucher
How to apply
PS. After you have applied, you may receive various emails from Barclaycard which talk about receiving 25,000 Avios or 5,000 Avios, which are the standard bonuses. You can ignore this messaging – you will receive the 50,000 Avios or 10,000 Avios as long as you apply by 30th May and hit the spending target.
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.