An expert’s guide to the best Barclays credit cards

May 7, 2020

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Over the past few 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, Uber, and JetBlue.

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 2020

The information for the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, Uber Credit Card, JetBlue Plus Card, AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard, Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard, Wyndham Rewards Visa Card, 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 card Best for Bonus Annual fee
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard American Airlines flyers 60,000 AAdvantage bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full within the first 90 days $99
Uber Credit Card Rideshare users  $100 after spending $500 in the first 90 days $0
JetBlue Plus Card JetBlue flyers 40,000 TrueBlue points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee $99
AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard Business owners Earn 65,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Earn 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card $95
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard Hawaiian Airlines flyers Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days $99
Wyndham Rewards Visa Card Hotel points Earn 15,000 bonus points after your first purchase or balance transfer $0
Miles & More World Elite Mastercard International and premium awards Earn 50,000 award miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days and payment of the annual fee $89

 

A closer look at these Barclays credit cards

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

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

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

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 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 $840 based on TPG’s latest valuations.

Rewards: You’ll earn 2x miles on Amerian Airlines purchases with this card (which is fairly standard across cobranded airline credit cards). Get 1x miles 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 a statement credit for inflight food and beverage purchases
  • Inflight WiFi 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
  • 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. Now that Citi is cutting these benefits across its cards (including the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®), these protections are even more value.

The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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

Uber Credit Card

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Once approved, cardholders will receive $100 after spending $500 in the first 90 days. That’s a pretty decent bonus for such little spending needed on this card.

Rewards: You’ll receive 5% back on Uber purchases (including Uber rides, Uber Eats and JUMP bike and scooter rentals), 3% back on dining, hotels and airfare, and 1% back on all other purchases.

Annual fee: $0

Benefits: For a no-annual-fee card, the Uber Card has a few nice perks, including a cell phone insurance coverage of up to $600 if you pay your monthly bill with the Uber card as well as no foreign transaction fees.

In addition, all of the bonus categories are incredibly generous for a card that has a $0 annual fee. However, there’s a catch. You only earn Uber Cash, which can be used on Uber purchases. Your rewards will automatically be deposited into your Uber account in $50 increments, although you can manually move rewards over at any amount.

For more details, see our full review of the Uber Credit Card

JetBlue Plus Card

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

Sign-up bonus: New cardholders receive 40,000 TrueBlue points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee. That’s worth $520 based on our valuations.

Rewards: You’ll earn 6x points per dollar on JetBlue purchases, 2x points 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.

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 Eat Up snack boxes. Other notable perks include:

  • Fast-track Mosaic status — Get automatic Mosaic status after spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • 10% rebate on award flights — When you redeem TrueBlue points for a JetBlue flight, you’ll earn 10% of those points back
  • No foreign transaction fees

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

AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 65,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Earn 10,000 AAdvantage miles when a purchase is made on an employee card. If you earn all 75,000 American Airlines miles, TPG values that at $1,050.

Rewards: Like most other airline credit cards, the earning rates are not this card’s strong suit. Aviator business cardholders earn 2x miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases, 2x miles per dollar spent at eligible office supply, telecom and car rental merchants, and 1x everywhere else.

Annual fee: $95

Benefits: This AAdvantage Aviator Business card includes a few notable perks, including ones you typically expect on an airline card. Your first checked bag is free for you and up to four companions. You’ll also receive a 5% bonus on all miles earned from qualifying purchases on your card (not including your welcome bonus) each year upon account renewal.

Other benefits include:

  • Annual companion certificateEvery year that you spend at least $30,000 on eligible purchases, you’ll receive a companion certificate good for one round-trip domestic itinerary. Just pay $99 plus applicable taxes and fees.
  • 25% inflight savings: Enjoy a 25% discount on inflight purchases when you pay with your Aviator card.
  • Bonus Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs): You can earn $3,000 bonus EQDs towards AA elite status by spending $25,000 on your card in a single calendar year.
  • Complimentary employee cards.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

For more details, see our full review of the AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard

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

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. That’s worth $450 based on TPG’s valuations. Additionally, you’ll receive a one-time 50% companion travel discount.

Rewards: The card offers 3x miles on Hawaiian Airlines purchases. Although not industry-leading, the card has a decent return on the everyday spending categories: 2x miles per dollar on gas, dining and grocery spending and 1x 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 cardholder on Hawaiian Airlines-operated flights between North America and Hawaii and between neighboring islands
  • Inflight purchase credit for elites — Pualani Elite Platinum and Gold members are eligible to receive an inflight purchase credit of $10 a day, up to $100 a year. It can be used to cover onboard entertainment, beverages, and premium meals
  • 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 Visa Card

Photo by The Points Guy

Sign-up bonus: Earn 15,000 bonus points after your first purchase or balance transfer. That’s worth $165 based on TPG’s valuations.

Rewards: The Wyndham card offers 3x points at Wyndham hotels and Wyndham timeshare properties. In terms of everyday spend, you’ll also 2x points per dollar on eligible gas, utility and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart), and 1x mile per dollar on everything else. That’s not a terrible return for a card with no annual fee.

Annual fee: $0

Benefits: Those 15,000 points are enough to redeem for two free nights at a Tier 1 Wyndham property, or one free night at a Tier 2 property. Get automatic Wyndham Rewards Gold membership with the card, entitling you to perks like late checkout, preferred selection, and more. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees and rollover nights never expire.

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. However, note the award chart change that took into effect in early 2020.

For more details, see our full review of the Best Wyndham properties to book with points

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 2x award miles per $1 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 1x award miles per $1 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.

How we choose the best Barclays credit cards

We reviewed Barclays credit card lineup and studied their sign-up bonuses, rewards, perks and annual fees. This included all of the issuer’s cobranded cards.

As always, you can head to the TPG cards hub to see other best credit cards currently available.

Bottom line

Barclays has several solid options when it comes to potential credit cards to add to your wallet. Since Barclays does not have its own cards and instead works with brand partners, it’s important to select a card that aligns with your lifestyle.

If you care about any of their cobrand partners, then go for one of these Barclays 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 Eric Helgas / The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.