10,000 Avios and no annual fee for a limited time only: A review of the Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

May 11, 2022

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British Airways’ Executive Club is the largest and most popular airline loyalty programme in the United Kingdom.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to collect Avios, the currency of Executive Club, is with an Avios co-branded credit card that earns Avios for every purchase you make.

Today, we’re taking a look at the brand new no-annual-fee Barclaycard Avios Mastercard which has an exclusive bonus for TPG UK readers for a limited time only.

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In This Post

Who is this card for?

The Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is a base-level card designed for people who want to begin collecting Avios, the currency of the British Airways Executive Club, without paying any annual fees. This card is also for travellers who already fly British Airways or its Oneworld partners and want to boost their Avios balance through everyday spending.

Welcome bonus and annual fee

There’s no annual fee in the first or subsequent years, and 5,000 bonus Avios after spending £1,000 in the first three months of card membership.

TPG UK readers will receive an additional 5,000 Avios within 60 days of successful application of the card if you apply here by 23 May 2022.

Based on TPG’s current valuation of Avios, that welcome bonus is worth around £110, which is an excellent deal for a card with no annual fee.

If applicants do have an existing Barclaycard they may be eligible to switch to an Avios Mastercard through the Barclaycard app and if eligible will receive a reduced welcome bonus of 5,000 Avios for the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard, or 1,000 Avios for the Barclaycard Avios Mastercard.

Representative Example: This card has a representative APR of 23.9% variable and a purchase rate of 23.9% variable with an assumed credit limit of £1,200.

Earning

Because this card doesn’t carry an annual fee, you may not think you can easily earn Avios for your everyday spending. However, you will receive 1 Avios per £1 spent on all purchases which is a great rate for a no annual fee card. Unfortunately, no bonus Avios are earned for spending directly with British Airways or other Avios partners.

Remember, if you meet the minimum spend of £1,000 in the first three months to earn the 5,000 Avios welcome bonus referred to above, you’ll also earn an extra 1,000 Avios, as you’ll be earning 1 Avios for every £1 spent as well as the 5,000 bonus for TPG UK readers.

As a Mastercard, you can expect acceptance at more retailers than with American Express.

Additionally, the card charges a 2.99% foreign transaction fee, which is more than the value of the Avios it would earn for these purchases. Because of the foreign transaction fee, it might be best to leave this card at home when you’re travelling internationally or making a non-Sterling purchase.

Redeeming

Avios are easy to redeem because there are so many options, from flights, cabin upgrades, hotel stays, gift vouchers and shopping. Read our ultimate guide to redeeming Avios here.

Those 11,000 Avios are enough for a return peak, or off-peak flight with British Airways from London to Edinburgh (EDI), Copenhagen (CPH), Berlin (BER), Amsterdam (AMS) or Jersey (JER), plus £17.50 in fees, taxes and surcharges as part of British Airways’ great Reward Flight Saver offer.

Upgrade Voucher

With this card you will also earn a valuable cabin upgrade vouchers with British Airways every 12 months. You can upgrade a return Reward Flight booking by one cabin, for example from World Traveller Plus Premium Economy to Club World Business Class on any British Airways flight with Reward Seat availability in the higher class, except up to First Class.

You won’t be charged any extra Avios for the upgrade when redeeming the cabin upgrade voucher. Fees, taxes and surcharges are payable for the higher class.

You can earn a cabin upgrade voucher after each 12 months, provided you have spent £20,000 on the Barclaycard Avios Mastercard, over those 12 months. You could use the cabin upgrade voucher to upgrade from Euro Traveller to Club Europe in Europe, or World Traveller Plus to Club World on the long-haul routes.

Related: A review of British Airways World Traveller Plus on the refurbished 777

Which cards compete with this card?

The premium version of this card, the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard, does have an annual fee but comes with a much larger welcome bonus and earns more Avios per pound spent.

But the most important difference is that you’ll earn the lucrative cabin upgrade voucher sooner — after spending only £10,000 on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard versus £20,000 on this no annual fee card.

If you are planning to spend £10,000 on any British Airways cobranded credit card in your card membership year, the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard may be a better option as it’ll trigger the cabin upgrade voucher much sooner.

Bottom line

This is an exciting new addition to U.K. credit card market. With no annual fee, it’s a low-risk way to dip your toes into the world of points and miles and doesn’t come with the same frustrating restrictions on welcome bonuses that American Express has imposed. Having a Barclaycard does not affect your ability to earn a welcome bonus with an American Express card, and vice versa.

There’s a solid earn rate and the ability to earn a valuable cabin upgrade voucher each and every year, though note you’ll earn this voucher in half the time with the premium version of the card.

You can apply for the Barclaycard Avios Mastercard here but remember the bonus 5,000 Avios is only available to TPG UK readers until 23 May 2022.

Featured image by Barclays / The Points Guy

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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