Barclaycard has launched two new credit cards giving its customers the opportunity to collect Avios points for every £1 spent.
The Barclaycard Avios and Avios Plus cards are available to new and existing customers and come with additional travel perks.
The free version offers new customers 5,000 Avios points when spending £1,000 in the first three months. Existing customers who switch collect 1,000 points if they spent £1,000 in the first three months.
Customers collect one point for every £1 spent. One industry expert has labelled the new cards as ‘the most generous Visa or Mastercard credit cards available in the UK.’
New and existing Barclaycard customers can boost their Avios balances
New members who sign up for the Avios Plus card will be rewarded with 25,000 points when spending £3,000 or more within the first three months, equivalent to a return flight to a European city.
Existing customers will collect 5,000 points if they spend £3,000 over the same period.
Customers using the card face a £20 monthly fee, but collect 1.5 points for every £1 spent. Avios points can be converted into flights, flight upgrades and hotel stays.
Additionally, the paid-for card is charged monthly – not annually like equivalent American Express cards – meaning once the bonus is secured, the card can be downgraded.
Rob Burgess, founder of website Head for Points, says: ‘Nothing stops you getting the Avios Plus card for a few months whilst you earn the 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus and then swapping to the free card.
‘You can even downgrade via the Barclaycard app with no need to call up.’
He also recommends those with a free British Airways American Express credit card to consider cancelling it and switching to the new free Barclaycard Avios card.
Nothing stops you getting the Avios Plus card for a few months whilst you earn the 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus and then swapping to the free card. You can even downgrade via the Barclaycard app with no need to call up.
Rob Burgess – Head for Points
‘All Amex cardholders need to carry a Visa or Mastercard around for places where Amex is not accepted.
‘Swapping your Amex for the free Barclaycard lets you slim down your wallet or purse and reduce the number of monthly card bills you receive.’
As always with reward credit cards like this, you need to stick to the rules or face sky-high interest penalties – namely, you must pay off the balance as you go along.
Rob warns that the interest rates on these cards, if you don’t repay your balance in full every month, are ‘exceptionally high’ at plus-20 per cent per year.
‘The benefits of any rewards you would earn will be quickly swamped by interest charges.
‘If you can’t clear your credit card balance each month, you should be using a credit card with a low APR, preferably under 10 per cent. You won’t earn any rewards but you will be a lot better off.’
A new Barclays Premier current account holder joining Barclays Avios Rewards (£12 per month), in addition to taking out the new Barclaycard Avios Plus card (£20 per month) as a new customer, could earn over 80,000 points and two cabin upgrade vouchers in the first year – enough for a return flight to New York, Tokyo or Dubai.
They would also receive £5 back into their current account, each month, for holding both products.
Rob says: ‘Bizarrely, the cards are also amazing value for people who never go near an aircraft.
‘The ability to transfer Avios points to Nectar points at a rate of 1 to 1.6 means that the free Barclaycard Avios card yields 0.8 per cent in shopping vouchers.
‘This is 300 per cent to 400 per cent more than the typical UK cashback Visa or Mastercard – the Amazon, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer credit cards only pay 0.2 to 0.25 per cent back on general spend.’
Other benefits include an annual cabin upgrade voucher if customers spend at least £20,000 on the free card and at least £10,000 for Avios Plus customers, as well as Barclaycard’s Entertainment perks, which offer up to 10 per cent off pre-sale tickets, food and drinks at selected events and venues.
Barclaycard’s new offer could net you up to 25,000 Avios points which can be used on flights and hotels
Cardholders will also be granted access to Priceless which is available exclusively to Mastercard cardholders and provides further discounts across entertainment, culture, travel and shopping.
‘With Britons itching to go on holiday after almost two years of restrictions, we’re delighted to be launching two new cards that will help customers get away from often, to see the people and places that matter most,’ said José Carvalho, head of consumer products at Barclays.
‘As value-for-money continues to be front-of-mind in 2022, our partnership with IAG Loyalty will help customers maximise the value they get from their everyday spending, enhancing their overall travel experience and make that much longed for trip a reality.’
Both cards are available to new and existing Barclaycard customers on application – find out more here.