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An expert’s guide to the best Barclays credit cards

March 26, 2022
13 min read
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Editor's Note

This guide is regularly updated with the latest information. 

Over the past several years, Barclays has made big changes to its lineup of credit cards on offer. The biggest shift is how the United Kingdom-based company is now focusing on cobranded cards, with partners like American Airlines, JetBlue and Wyndham.

For consumers, that means the end of Barclays’ own flexible card products like the now-departed Barclays Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard. The company is relying on the strength of travel and retail partners to get in front of cardholders.

If you’re looking to get a credit card that earns rewards with some of your go-to brands, here are our top picks for the best Barclays credit cards.

The best Barclays credit cards of 2022

The information for the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, JetBlue Plus Card, Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard, Wyndham Reward Earner Card, Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card, and Miles & More World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

This is a diverse list of cards, so let’s take a closer look at some of the top Barclays’ offerings to decide if any of these cards make sense for you.

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Comparing the best Barclays credit cards

Here’s a quick snapshot of how these Barclays cards stack up against each other:

Credit cardBest forBonusAnnual fee
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MastercardAmerican Airlines flyers.50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full within the first 90 days.$99.
JetBlue Plus CardJetBlue flyers.60,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days.$99.
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MastercardHawaiian Airlines flyers.60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days.$99.
Wyndham Rewards Earner® CardNo-annual-fee hotel card.30,000 bonus points, enough for up to four free nights at participating properties, after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.$0.
Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card

 

Mid-tier hotel card.45,000 bonus points, enough for up to 6 free nights at participating properties, after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.$75.
Miles & More World Elite MastercardInternational and premium awards.50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in purchases and pay the annual fee, both within the first 90 days.$89.

A closer look at these Barclays credit cards

Now let’s take a deeper look into each of these cards to see if any of them deserve a spot in your wallet.

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AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full within the first 90 days. This bonus is worth $1,062 based on TPG’s latest valuations.

Rewards: You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases with this card (which is fairly standard across cobranded airline credit cards). Get 1 mile per dollar on everything else.

Annual fee: $99.

Benefits: One of the best perks of this AAdvantage card is that you don’t need to hit a minimum spending requirement in order to earn the welcome bonus of 60,000 miles. Buying anything at all will trigger the sign-up bonus, as long as you also pay the $99 annual fee.

Other benefits include:

  • Inflight food and beverage discount: Receive a 25% discount in the form of statement credit for inflight food and beverage purchases
  • Inflight Wi-Fi credit: You’ll get up to $25 in statement credits annually for inflight Wi-Fi purchases.
  • Anniversary companion certificate: $99 companion fare (plus taxes and fees) after you spend at least $20,000 on your card in a year.
  • First checked bag free: You and up to four traveling companions will get your first checked bags free when flying domestic itineraries.
  • Preferred boarding: You’ll be allowed to board after Priority and before the rest of economy (which means you won’t have to worry about overhead bin space).
  • Travel Protections: Receive travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, 24/7 travel assistance services, trip cancellation and interruption coverage and more.

For more details, see our full review of the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard


JetBlue Plus Card

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: New cardholders receive 60,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days. That’s worth $780 based on our valuations.

Rewards: You’ll earn 6 points per dollar on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. As a point of comparison, the no-annual-fee version of this card, simply called the JetBlue card, offers half as many points on JetBlue purchases.

Annual fee: $99.

Benefits: The JetBlue Plus card is one of the most rewarding cobranded airline cards with an annual fee less than $100. Why? Well, for starters, you receive a 5,000-point bonus on every account anniversary. These points are worth about $65, according to TPG valuations.

In addition, you'll automatically receive a 10% points rebate on all awards booked out of the primary cardholder's TrueBlue account. There's no limit to the number of points you get back, and this even holds true when the cardholder is the head of a family pool — which is a key way TPG's Nick Ewen makes the most of his JetBlue Plus card every year.

Then, you get a $100 statement credit every year with your purchase of a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your card. You also receive 50% off inflight purchases, including alcoholic drinks and snack boxes, and you'll pay no foreign transaction fees outside the U.S. Other notable perks include:

  • Fast-track to Mosaic status: Get automatic Mosaic status after spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • Free checked bags: You and up to three travel companions on the same reservation will enjoy one free checked bag on JetBlue-operated itineraries.

For more details, see our full review of the JetBlue Plus card.


Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. That’s worth $540 based on TPG’s valuations. Additionally, you’ll receive a one-time 50% companion travel discount.

Rewards: The card offers 3 miles per dollar on Hawaiian Airlines purchases. Although not industry-leading, the card has a decent return on select everyday spending categories: 2 miles per dollar on gas, dining and grocery spending and 1 mile per dollar on everything else

Annual fee: $99.

Benefits: One unique feature of this Hawaiian Airlines card is that it lets you transfer HawaiianMiles miles between accounts.

Other perks include:

  • Annual $100 companion discount for round-trip travel between Hawaii and the mainland after each account anniversary
  • Free checked bag for the primary cardmember when you use your card to purchase eligible tickets directly from Hawaiian Airlines
  • Discounted award flights
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits

For more details, see our full review of the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard.


Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points, enough for up to four free nights at participating properties, after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. That’s worth $330 based on TPG’s valuations.

Rewards: Earn 5 points per dollar on eligible hotels by Wyndham and gas station purchases, 2 points per dollar on dining and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart), 2 points per dollar on eligible purchases made at Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fees and loan payments), and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Annual fee: $0.

Benefits: This card offers automatic Wyndham Rewards Gold status, which includes free Wi-Fi, preferred room selection and late checkout. You'll also have the opportunity to earn 7,500 bonus points each anniversary year after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases. Cardholders also enjoy a 10% points discount on redemptions for free nights and pay no foreign transaction fees.

Wyndham has over 9,000 properties worldwide, and while its Rewards program might not be the most popular, there are many unique hotels to choose from.

For more details and to apply, see our link here for the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card.


Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 45,000 bonus points, enough for up to four free nights at participating properties, after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. That’s worth $495 based on TPG’s valuations.

Earning rate: Earn 6 points per dollar on eligible hotels by Wyndham purchases and gas station purchases, 4 points per dollar on dining and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart), 4 points per dollar on eligible purchases made at Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fees and loan payments), and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Annual fee: $75.

Benefits: Wyndham Rewards Platinum status is an automatic perk on the card, which includes all the same perks of Gold status plus early check-in, car rental upgrades with Avis and Budget, and a Caesars Rewards status match. Cardholders receive 7,500 bonus points each anniversary year with no spending requirement.

If you routinely stay at Wyndham hotel brands such as Wyndham, Hawthorn Suites, Days Inn and La Quinta, the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card may be a valuable addition to your stays. The automatic Platinum status alone can be valuable, and the 7,500 points on your anniversary can more than offset the $75 annual fee.

For more details and to apply, see our link here for the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card.


Miles & More World Elite Mastercard

lufthansa first class
You can use the Miles & More program to book Lufthansa first-class seats more than 14 days in advance. (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 award miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days and payment of the annual fee. That’s worth $700 based on TPG’s valuations.

Rewards: You’ll get 2 award miles per dollar on ticket purchases with Miles & More “integrated airline partners.” This includes AirDolomiti, Austrian Airlines Group, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Luxair and SWISS. Unfortunately, there are no other bonus categories, so you’ll earn 1 award miles per dollar on everything else.

Annual fee: $89.

Benefits: The Miles & More card is an intriguing option for those that are invested in any of the airlines that comprise the Lufthansa Group. You can redeem miles for Star Alliance flights at favorable rates. You’ll also receive two complimentary Lufthansa Business Lounge Vouchers after each account anniversary, a companion ticket and the ability to convert award miles into status miles once each calendar year.

Bottom line

Barclays has several solid options when it comes to potential credit cards to add to your wallet. Since the issuer no longer offers its own cards to new applicants and instead works with brand partners, it’s important to select a card that aligns with your lifestyle.

If you care about any of Barclays' cobranded partners, then go for one of these cards. But if you’re looking for something a bit more versatile, look beyond Barclays to card options that allow you to transfer points or to receive straight cash back.

Featured photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

Featured image by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

5X points
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 Points
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 80,000 Points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees