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8 Mar 2022

Barclaycard launches new Avios credit cards - are they any good?

New customers could get up to 25,000 Avios points in the first three months
Barclaycard has launched two reward cards

Barclaycard has launched two new credit cards that reward customers with Avios points for every £1 spent.

Avios is a reward scheme that allows you to exchange points for money off flights and upgrades, car hire, hotels, experience days and wine.

The Barclaycard Avios and Avios Plus cards are available to new and existing Barclaycard customers and each offer a welcome bonus if you spend a certain amount within the first three months.

As global travel opens back up, could this save you money on a summer holiday?

Here, Which? looks at how Barclaycard's new deal stacks up to the competition and how to make the most of your Avios points.

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What's on offer?

Both cards allow you to earn Avios points for every £1 spent on the card - however you earn more with the Plus card which has a monthly fee.

You can use the app to track your points by downloading the Barclaycard app or logging into your British Airways Executive Club account, where you can choose how to spend your points.

Both cards come with Barclaycard's entertainment perks - which offer up to 10% off pre-sale tickets and access to Mastercard's Priceless.com.

Approval for both cards depends on your financial circumstances and borrowing history. Terms and conditions apply.

Barclaycard Avios Credit Card

This card has no monthly fee and you get one Avios point for every £1 spent.

New customers can get 5,000 Avios points when spending £1,000 in the first three months.

If you're an existing Barclays customer you can collect 1,000 Avios points if you spend £1,000 in the first three months.

New and existing customers can also earn a cabin upgrade voucher each year if they spend at least £20,000.

The card has a representative APR (variable) of 23.9% based on a credit limit of £1,200.

Barclaycard Avios Plus Credit Card

This card has a £20 monthly fee, but you will collect 1.5 Avios for every £1 spent.

New customers can get 25,000 Avios points if they spend £3,000 or more within the first three months - this is the equivalent of a return flight to a European city such as Milan or Palma, according to Barclaycard.

If you're an existing customer, you can get 5,000 points if you spend £3,000 within the first three months.

New and existing customers also earn a cabin upgrade voucher if they spend at least £10,000.

The card has a representative APR (variable) is 72.4% based on a £20 monthly fee and £1,200 credit limit. The APR on purchases is 23.9% variable.

Is Barclaycard a good provider?

Barclaycard scored an impressive 73%, placing it joint-10th with Co-operative Bank in our latest credit card satisfaction survey.

The survey reviewed 26 credit card providers in total. It scored highly for customer service, transparency of charges, dealing with complaints, and the ability to manage the card online or on an app.

If you're looking to take out your first credit card, or want to switch, you can check out our best and worst credit card providers and see which brands have been given Which? Recommended Provider status.

You can also have a look at our credit card company reviews for more detail on how customers rated brands for their services.

How does it compare?

Credit cardAvios rateOther perksRepresentative APRAnnual fee
Barclaycard Avios Credit CardOne Avios point per £1 spent. New customers get 5,000 points if they spend £1,000 in the first three months.Cabin upgrade voucher if you spend £20,000 in the first year. Access to Priceless, Barclaycard entertainment and up to five months free Apple Music and Apple TV+.23.9%£0
British Airways American Express Credit CardOne Avios point per £1 spent. New customers get 5,000 points if they spend £1,000 in the first three months.Get a companion voucher when you spend £12,000 each membership year on the card. Includes travel accident insurance and refund and purchase protection.24.7%£0
Barclaycard Avios Plus Credit Card1.5 Avios points per £1 spent. New customers get 25,000 points if they spend £3,000 during the first three months.Cabin upgrade voucher if you spend £10,000 in the first year. Access to Priceless, Barclaycard entertainment and up to five months free Apple Music and Apple TV+.72.4%£20 a month (£240 for a year)
British Airways American Express Premium Plus Credit Card1.5 Avios points per £1 spent and 3 Avios points for every £1 spent on British Airways or BA Holidays. New customers get 25,000 points if they spend £3,000 during the first three months.Get a companion voucher when you spend £10,000 each membership year on the card. Includes travel accident and travel inconvenience insurance and refund and purchase protection.101.4%£250

The Barclaycard and Amex cards are very similar in terms of the welcome bonus for new customers and the amount of Avios points you earn per every £1 spent.

The downside to both cards is that the welcome bonuses are only for new customers, so if you already have a card with one of these credit card providers, it could be worth applying for the other.

The Barclaycard Plus Credit Card is £10 cheaper a year than the British Airways American Express Premium Plus. Plus as you pay the Barclaycard fee monthly you could downgrade your card on the app to the free version once you have earned the welcome bonus and a cabin upgrade voucher.

If you're torn between the fee-free Amex and Barclaycard, the criteria to earn an upgrade voucher might swing it. It's easier to earn a companion voucher with the fee-free Amex as you have to spend £12,000 a year rather than £20,000 you would have to spend with the fee-free Barclaycard to get an upgrade voucher.

The other point to consider is that the Barclaycard deals are issued by Mastercard which is accepted in more places than Amex, however, you do get extra insurance perks with Amex - which could save you money.

Top tips to make the most of your Avios card

You could earn up to 80,000 points a year with these tips or convert them to 40,000 Nectar points.

Sign up to Barclaycard Avios Rewards (if you're eligible)

If you're a premium account holder with Barclaycard, you can sign up to Barclaycard Avios Rewards for £12 a month.

You earn 1,500 Avios points every month, 25,000 if you're opening your first account or 2,500 if you have been with Barclaycard for four months. You also get a 12-month anniversary bonus which includes a free cabin upgrade.

If you open up a Barclaycard Avios Plus Credit Card on top of this, you'll get £5 into your account every month and you could earn up to 80,000 Avios points in one year - enough for a trip to Tokyo, Dubai or New York.

However, to be eligible for premier banking, you'll need a minimum of £100,000 in savings or investments with Barclays or have an income of £75,000 or more paid into a Barclays current account so this option is not for everyone.

Convert your Avios point to Nectar

If you don't fancy spending your Avios points on a trip away, you could convert them into Nectar points.

All you need to do is link your Executive Club and Nectar accounts - you can convert 400 Nectar points into 250 Avios points - or vice versa.

If you select manual conversion, you can convert a maximum of 50,000 Avios and 80,000 Nectar - in multiples of 400 Nectar and 250 Avios every month.

This means if you got the Barclaycard Avios Credit Card and received the 25,000 bonus, this could be converted into 40,000 Nectar points - worth £200.

Always pay back the full amount

A reward credit card can be a great way to get rewarded for your spending.

However, they rarely come with 0% introductory offers on purchases, which means you should always aim to pay your bill in full every month - interest can be high and could wipe out any money you make in rewards.

If you will struggle to pay what you borrow in full every month, you may be better off considering a low-interest credit card or interest-free credit card.