Why it makes sense to pay £12 per month for thousands of bonus Avios

Jun 3, 2021

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Barclays and Avios have joined forces to offer an exciting and unique new banking product for British travellers and points and miles collectors.

The Barclays Avios Rewards programme is the only way to earn Avios from a current account in the U.K. The new product allows members to earn 1,500 Avios every month, a valuable upgrade voucher after each year of holding the account and other benefits.

Related: The complete guide to the Barclays Avios Rewards programme

Today, we’re taking a look at why the Barclays Avios Rewards programme is worth paying £12 per month in order to take advance of its benefits.

How it works

If you’re eligible for Barclays Avios Rewards, you can opt-in through the Barclays app. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll receive the following perks:

  • 25,000 bonus Avios if you are new to Barclays, open a Barclays Premier current account and perform a current account switch from your existing bank to Barclays Premier within 90 days — worth £275 based on our most recent valuations;
  • 2,500 bonus Avios if you have already held a Barclays Premier current account, or a Barclays Personal Wealth current account for at least four months — worth £28 based on our most recent valuations;
  • 1,500 Avios each and every month you are enrolled in the Barclays Avios Rewards programme (18,000 Avios per year, worth £198 based on our valuations); and
  • A British Airways cabin upgrade voucher at the end of every 12 months you are enrolled in Barclays Avios Rewards.

You’ll need to ensure you’ve signed up for the British Airways Executive Club programme, which is free, so Barclays can send the Avios to your account each month.

Make sure you meet the criteria to enrol in the Barclays Avios Rewards programme. This means you must have either a Barclays Premier account and/or a Barclays Personal Wealth account. To open a Barclays Premier account, you must have a minimum annual gross (i.e. before tax) income of £75,000 that you can deposit into a Barclays account via your monthly earnings. You can open a Barclays Premier account jointly with someone else, but at least one account holder must meet this income requirement by themselves.

To qualify with a Barclays Personal Wealth current account, you must have at least £100,000 invested in savings or investments with Barclays.

(Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

Why it makes sense

In order to take advantage of those perks within the Barclays Avios Rewards programme, there’s a fee of £12 each month. You might be asking yourself why you would pay a fee each month when you be using a current account that does not charge any account keeping fees?

Firstly, remember you’ll earn 1,500 British Airways Avios each and every time you pay that £12 fee (i.e. every month). TPG currently values those 1,500 Avios at around £17. As you are only paying £12 each time to earn those £17 of Avios, you’re coming out in front before you even factor in any other benefits of the programme.

Secondly, remember that after 12 months of being enrolled in Barclays Avios Rewards and paying the 12 monthly fees of £12 each (£144 in total), you’ll receive a valuable cabin upgrade voucher.

You can read a detailed guide on how this voucher works and how to maximise it here, but let’s do a quick calculation on this benefit to a popular destination like Dubai (DXB). While the United Arab Emirates is currently on the U.K.’s red list, remember, first, that you won’t earn the upgrade until you’ve been in the programme for 12 months and can’t redeem it until you after you’ve earned it. This means if you signed up today, you couldn’t use the voucher until June 2022 at the earliest, and I certainly hope there is no red list by that date.

If you were looking to book one person return in British Airways Club Suite business class from London to Dubai on a peak date with Avios, you would normally pay 120,000 Avios plus about £538 in fees, taxes and surcharges. By applying your Barclays Avios Rewards cabin upgrade voucher, the amount of Avios required drops to only 80,000 Avios, as you would only be required to pay the Avios required for World Traveller Plus premium economy, even though you are booking into and will be travelling in Club Suite.

Related: Suite Escape: A Review of British Airways’ Club Suite on the A350 From London to Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Photo by Jorg Greue/Getty Imagesl)

Bottom line

Annual fees on points and miles-earning credit cards are nothing new. You could look at those fees as an exchange for the value of the welcome bonus, points for everyday purchases, upgrade/Companion Vouchers and other perks you enjoy by holding that card over the course of each year.

Monthly fees for essentially keeping a current account open may seem unreasonable at first, especially if you are used to fee-free banking. But Barclays Avios Rewards offers a really attractive value proposition with its new programme. Considering you are already coming out ahead each month on the £12 monthly fee with the 1,500 Avios you’ll be given each month, then being able to save 40,000 Avios on a very comfortable return flight to Dubai next year is a great deal.

You can join Barclays Avios Rewards here.

Featured image by Ben Smithson / The Points Guy

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