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Forums Payment cards Barclaycard Avios Am I missing the point?

  • masaccio 778 posts

    240 quid a year and the earning rate is no better than Virgin right? My earn rate on Mastercard is fairly slow and just enough to trigger bonuses so the Virgin card is going to take at least another year before I have enough for PE->Upper upgrades but that’s OK.

    Just trying to decide whether it’s worth a switch and they seem much of a muchness.

    Aston100 1,449 posts

    You able to spend £3k really quickly in order to get the SUB and then cancel (or downgrade to the free card)? Thus minimising the monthly fee (It is charged monthly, not all up front).

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 6 months ago by .
    masaccio 778 posts

    You able to spend £3k really quickly in order to get the SUB and then cancel (or downgrade to the free card)? Thus minimising the monthly fee (It is charged monthly, not all up front).

    So 30k Avios for 60 quid (ish) is the big pull if I am happy enough with the Virgin card instead. That is certainly a decent rate even for putting up with Barclays. I’ve no intention to switch current account to them. I tried the current account for a couple of months and discovered that for me it’s too painful for the handful of Avios.

    YC 233 posts

    Struggling to burn Virgin points as their route is pretty limited (unless you regularly visit USA). So I definitely value avios more. Why not cancel virgin at anniversary, take the barclays card for SUB/cancel and resign up virgin card for SUB (6month gap)?

    PeteM 776 posts

    I have both, having taken out the Virgin card last year. My plan is to get to £10k with the Virgin card, get my upgrade voucher and shut it down before the next anniversary. I have no real use for Virgin points.

    I am having no end of issues with the Barclaycard, but I’ve already reached £3k, so as soon as the bonus Avios post I am downgrading and the free Avios card will be my long-term non-Amex card.

    CarpalTravel 375 posts

    Virgin have crippled their reward flights so I am cancelling that card and going all in with nectar, sorry, Avios.
    The “Barclavios” is cheaper than the Amex (I have companion flights waiting to be used) and so it gives me the time to do the 24month Amex reset as well as give me the ability to guilt free, cancel the Virgin card, meaning further savings. Issues aside, it is a great card for me, especially with a credit limit 2.5x the Virgin Card.

    masaccio 778 posts

    That is a real shame about Virgin. I used to be Gold for ages with them (though not long enough for lifetime Gold) and Upper Class always felt like a treat in a way that CW hasn’t since. Not actually being able to redeem would be miserable, even to the Caribbean which is usually not too difficult with BA, especially if like me you have no issues travelling in August (cheap, not much rain, hurricanes are rare).

    I guess one option would be cut my losses on Virgin but then I have to overcome the heart versus head problem.

    CarpalTravel 375 posts

    I am with you on that, but even my (and their) most common route (LHR->JFK) has got virtually nothing available. I had to book with BA and really didn’t want to as the JFK lounge is awful whereas VAA’s one makes you feel like a celebrity. Given that limitation and the comparative lack of other options with the Virgin points, Avios win.

    Tom2 113 posts

    Rob has said award availability is being addressed by Virgin. I have 300k points (with 2 upgrade vouchers) that at the moment are worthless unless i am planning a trip to New York in January/Feb next year (which has lots of availability).

    I wish there was an outlet to just sell them! I know i can cash out to Hilton but most of my chain stays are with Marriott.

    CarpalTravel 375 posts

    I have more than double that and am equally as stuck! Virgin also used to trump BA over seat selection charges but with the new Club Suite layout it no longer matters. Saying to Rob that they are going to sort it seems like placating talk to me. They could do it anytime they wanted, if they wanted.

    masaccio 778 posts

    Well Virgin woes aside I submitted an application and was accepted instantly as 30,000 Avios for 60 quid is a good offer. I may keep or downgrade depending upon whether Virgin actually pull their finger out soon. Quite what I would otherwise do with Virgin points mind…

    I did need to switch computer and browser to click through HfP’s dodgy affiliate links though (work machine blocks its DNS, Safari blocks referral and third-party nastiness)

    masaccio 778 posts

    Well Virgin woes aside I submitted an application and was accepted instantly

    Ah and then Barclays failed to let me register for online access. And after I went to the trouble of generating a random passcode and random memorable ‘word’

    2ilent8cho 17 posts

    Compared to the Amex £250 fee, the £240 does seem poor value. You don’t get the extra reward seat availability, you don’t get 3x Avios on BA.com transactions and you cannot use it to upgrade to First Class reward availability.

    If you do have the Barclays Premier Account with Avios Rewards you get the Barclaycard Avios Plus for £15 instead of £20. So based on a £15 fee I think its worth it so long as you are spending more than £1000 a month on the card. As to buy 1000 Avios is £31. Thats 32.2 Avios per £1, so £15 is equal to 483 Avios. So on the free card spend £1000 get 1000 Avios, on the paid card spend £1000 get 1500 Avios. But the more Avios you buy the more you get per £1, so scale it up to £255 for 15,000 Avios which is close to the fee when viewed annually and its 58 Avios a £ to buy, so £1200 a month spend would now be the break even spend to justify the fee.

    Thats the maths I’m using, so I view it as you need to be spending at least between £10,000 and £12,000 a year on the card to justify the fee. If not I would say pay for the Amex BA Card as its a better value voucher and just use the free Barclaycard Avios card for where you cannot pay with Amex.

    CarpalTravel 375 posts

    With that comparison I think you are missing out the big advantage of the Avios Plus card which is not only getting 25/30k bonus points, but also that it allows you time to reset the 24month Amex clock, opening up the opportunity for a further 25-30k bonus points there too.

    Assuming you don’t have a need to earn companion vouchers for a couple of years, that’s potentially ~60k bonus points alone (or £975 worth, using your approach) of Avios that this card opens up. Obviously the free Avios card is another option.

    If you are serious about Avios collecting, and with these cards you should be, I think you also need to look beyond a simple monthly cost/spends/return and be more strategic.

    masaccio 778 posts

    With a BAPP Amex for both me and the OH I think we are likely maxed out on what we could plausibly find useful long haul redemptions for, as well as being at the limit of available Avios to spend. So I will downgrade the Barclaycard when I get the bonus. As for a Barclays account, that’s not happening: my brief use of it showed me that I value a good online bank more than the extra Avios. But it looks like plenty of people get on with Barclays well enough and even value the Barclays staff they interact with (they were all hopeless for me).

    This has made me just think about a card for the OH though. 60k is better still as you say. Assuming we can deliver on the spend that is. Some holidays coming up but all pretty much prepaid.

    Scott 257 posts

    You able to spend £3k really quickly in order to get the SUB and then cancel (or downgrade to the free card)? Thus minimising the monthly fee (It is charged monthly, not all up front).

    So 30k Avios for 60 quid (ish) is the big pull if I am happy enough with the Virgin card instead. That is certainly a decent rate even for putting up with Barclays. I’ve no intention to switch current account to them. I tried the current account for a couple of months and discovered that for me it’s too painful for the handful of Avios.

    To correct your arithmetic – you’re not getting 30k Avios for £60, as you could get 10k Avios with the free card. The £60 gets you the difference between the paid card and the free card, i.e. 20k Avios.

    Aston100 1,449 posts

    You able to spend £3k really quickly in order to get the SUB and then cancel (or downgrade to the free card)? Thus minimising the monthly fee (It is charged monthly, not all up front).

    So 30k Avios for 60 quid (ish) is the big pull if I am happy enough with the Virgin card instead. That is certainly a decent rate even for putting up with Barclays. I’ve no intention to switch current account to them. I tried the current account for a couple of months and discovered that for me it’s too painful for the handful of Avios.

    To correct your arithmetic – you’re not getting 30k Avios for £60, as you could get 10k Avios with the free card. The £60 gets you the difference between the paid card and the free card, i.e. 20k Avios.

    34.5k avios for spending £3k on the plus card.
    If you can get it done in the first month, then it will cost you £20, else £40 or £60 in months 2 and 3.

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