Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

19 questions about the Barclaycard Avios cards and our 1 million Avios prize draw, answered

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Today is the start of Round 2 of our exclusive Barclaycard / Head for Points FOUR MILLION AVIOS competition.

There are four separate prize draws, each covering two weeks and each offering one prize of one million Avios. If you successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards between today and 5th March, you will be entered into the second draw.

Full details of the competition can be found in our other article today which is here.

Win 1 million Avios with Barclaycard

The two Barclaycard Avios Mastercards 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 (25,000 Avios bonus) is here and here for the free card (5,000 Avios bonus).

You will ONLY be entered into the competition if you apply via the special links on Head for Points.

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 in 2022, which is when we first ran a version of this article. We have updated the answers where necessary to reflect feedback since then.

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 25.9% 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
  • 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 75.0% variable based on a £20 monthly fee and an illustrative £1,200 credit limit. The APR on purchases is 25.9% 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 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 receive discounted access to airport lounges via DragonPass
  • 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 cards are for everyone.

(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.

You get a 5,000 Avios bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios card for spending £1,000 in three months, but most HfP readers should be looking at the 25,000 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. You will not be entered into the ‘win one million Avios’ competition if you do this – the competition is only for fresh applications made via links on Head for Points.

“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.

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 – and you would not be entered into our competition to win one million Avios. 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. 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 this is a bit hit and miss.

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 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?”

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.

You can find out more about the Barclaycard upgrade vouchers in this article.

“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.

How to apply

You can apply for the free Barclaycard Avios credit card (5,000 Avios bonus) here.

You can apply for the Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card (25,000 Avios bonus) here.

Both of these links will automatically enter you into our exclusive ‘win one million Avios’ competition.

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.

Comments (41)

  • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

    As noted previously, the Barclays vouchers are rubbish unless you begin from a London airport. I priced up as an example London to Larnaca in July, following suggestions that Far Europe still has some merit when using these vouchers.

    LHR-LCA 30 June-03 July
    Cash: £1096
    Barclays voucher (pricing at RFS max Avios option; no choice to choose otherwise): 27,500 Avios + £1 = £276 at HfP valuation
    Avios regular redemption: a mix of cash and Avios combos; the lowest overall cost being 19,500 Avios + £141 = £336 at HfP valuation.

    • Froggee says:

      It does sound like there are some issues if flying from the provinces but to counter this, I booked Granny Froggee in Club to Cincinnati from Edinburgh using mine and it provided good value:

      EDI-CVG 13-27 June
      Cash – now £3,200, but was more like £2,000 when I booked for non-refundable
      Barclays voucher – 85,000 Avios + £350 = £1,200
      Best regular Avios redemption – 100,000 Avios + £850 = £1,850

      Barclays voucher provided real value here.

      • NorthernLass says:

        Did you have to call to book this, @Froggee, I can’t remember?

        • Froggee says:

          I did. But for once I was rewarded with an agent who knew exactly what to do. She seemed very familiar with the Barclays vouchers so hopefully it will percolate through the agents in time!

      • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

        Putting aside the voucher as mere window dressing, for a monthly fee of £15, there is of course a breakeven point where the Avios earned at 1.5 per £1 spent offsets the £15. All contingent on being able to extract value from the Avios eventually of course.

      • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

        Also, where’s next year’s 85K Avios coming from? We’ll all make some use of the Barclays vouchers long haul in the short run, but beyond an initial 2 or 3 long haul redemptions it’s hard to see where people are going to earn sufficient Avios from to use 1-2 Barclays vouchers per year (2 being BarPrem customers)

        • Froggee says:

          Current household account balance = 1.3m Avios. Amex MR and Nectar would add a few hundred thousand to that. I’ve stopped working so am no longer earning big chunks “for free” but a family of four flying J twice a year long haul adds up. I’m hopeful that I will be able to run the balance down to zero as earn and burn is definitely the way forward with Avios. The new Amex voucher will hopefully be a game changer for that as it seems that availability is now easier to come by from EDI. And if I can occasionally use a Barclays voucher too then happy days.

  • Chris W says:

    I cannot begin to imagine how much money Barclays are losing on this Avios credit card experiment.

  • Byron Lewis says:

    Business use on this card?? T’s & C’s say ‘shouldn’t be used’ – is this a legal term?? It sounds a bit vague. I’d like to get it but it would predominantly be for business purchases. Surely it would say ‘cannot’ or ‘must not’?

    • Rob says:

      Here’s the problem. You are buying business products under the cover of Section 75 insurance, which does not apply to business purchases. If you don’t claim under S75, of course, arguably its not an issue.

      Obviously, Barclaycard would also prefer you to get a business card because the fees charges to shops are literally 6x higher.

      The bigger issue is when business cards are used for personal transactions, because this goes against the interchange capping regulations.

      • Byron Lewis says:

        Thanks for the clarification. Don’t think i’ll bother. We need a business card with avios thats not Amex really, thats also suitable for sole traders like me. Amex isn’t accepted by 90% of my suppliers. I had the gold card, spent on one major supplier for a one off purchase, got the avios and cancelled recently. Shame the Capital on tap card does not allow sole traders.

        • Gordon says:

          You can add your credit cards to pay pal and pay via that way. I pay the wholesalers that way that do not accept Amex. This has been mentioned on hfp previously.

    • JDB says:

      The terms are perfectly clear using this terminology. The strength of the wording as you perceive it also doesn’t really matter when they can close your account without reason on two months notice if they don’t like what you are doing.

      • No longer Entitled says:

        Fair, but they also need to know what you are doing.

        Thousands per month on adverts is probably not personal use but for a huge number of items there is no real way to determine the use.

        • JDB says:

          The more common way people get caught is spending disproportionate to your disclosed income which then prompts further enquiries.

          • Gordon says:

            I have had a Barclays business account for many years and also a Barclays current account that is now a Barclays premier account.
            I have always used an Amex and now barclaycard for my fuel (30k miles pa) and to pay my wholesalers and then just pay off the credit cards for the invoice amount from my Barclays business account so it does not get lost on the accounting side of things. I have never had any issues with Barclays. But as it’s been said greed gets people caught out. So don’t be greedy….

  • Vasco says:

    Would downgrading cause a hard credit check? Don’t want to lose the credit line, but also not really using the card enough to justify the fee.

  • reds says:

    I have spent so far spent £21k since getting the Avios Plus CC and have received the upgrade voucher after hitting 10k. If I downgrade now to the Avios CC, will I get a 2nd voucher? Or do I have to spend another 10k?

  • S879 says:

    Can you book an open jaw using the Avios Barclaycard voucher? I can’t find any return availability, but when I try to check availability from another destination back to London, it says it has to originate in UK. Does it have to be a one way or return?

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