Best Barclays Credit Cards Fall 2020

Best Barclays Credit Cards Fall 2020

From airline miles and hotel points to Hawaii vacations, Barclays offers many good options for world travelers.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Barclays has established itself as a trusted brand in the credit card arena, especially among travelers who are looking for solid rewards. If you're interested in adding a travel rewards card to your wallet to rack up miles or points toward flights and hotel stays, there are more than a few Barclaycard options that may catch your eye. Based on cards available on ValuePenguin as well as on Barclays' site, we've rounded up a list of Barclays credit cards that are likely to provide you the best value for summer 2020, especially if travel plans are on the horizon.

Best Barclays credit cards 2020

What is Barclays? | Card benefits | How to get approved | FAQs

Best Barclays card for airline miles

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard®

Earn 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase in the first 90 days and paying the $99 annual fee.

Our thoughts

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard® could be a great fit for travelers who routinely book flights with American Airlines. This card offers an impressive introductory miles bonus for eligible new cardmembers, along with a simplified rewards structure to make earning American Advantage miles easier. There is a $99 annual fee but there's no foreign transaction fee and it has valuable card benefits such as an anniversary companion certificate every year and a first checked bag free.

Benefits

  • Earn 2X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, along with one mile per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Great introductory welcome bonus that only requires you to pay the annual fee and make a purchase on the card.
  • Preferred boarding and a first checked bag free are included as card benefits.
  • Receive a 25% in-flight savings credit toward eligible food and drink purchases.
  • Earn a companion certificate good for one guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after spending $20,000 each anniversary year.

Drawbacks

  • $99 annual fee.
  • Steep annual spending requirement to earn the companion certificate.
  • No introductory APR offer for purchases.

Runner up Barclays card for airline miles

JetBlue Plus Card

Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee.

Our thoughts

The JetBlue Plus Card offers excellent incentives for JetBlue flyers, including a generous 6 points per dollar on eligible JetBlue purchases. This card could also appeal to travelers who want to earn above-average rewards on everyday spending, including dining out and grocery store purchases. It's also easy to redeem points for JetBlue flights with no blackout dates.

Benefits

  • Earn 6X points per dollar on eligible JetBlue purchases, 2 points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Competitive welcome offer.
  • Unlock Mosaic benefits once you reach $50,000 in purchases for the calendar year.
  • Purchase a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more and enjoy a $100 statement credit, which can help to offset the annual fee.
  • Take advantage of a 50% in-flight savings on food and cocktails.
  • First checked bag free for you and up to three companions on the same reservation when you use your card to book.

Drawbacks

  • $99 annual fee.
  • JetBlue points only transfer to one other airline, Hawaiian Airlines.

Best Barclays card for hotels

The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card

Earn 32,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Our thoughts

Travelers who book stays with Choice Hotels may appreciate the rewards and benefits offered by The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card. This card earns an outstanding 15 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at Choice Hotels. There's No Annual Fee, and, along with an opportunity to earn an introductory welcome bonus, cardmembers can also earn bonus points each card anniversary year. All around, it's one of the best hotel cards for earning points with No Annual Fee.

Benefits

  • Earn 15 points per dollar on eligible Choice Hotels purchases, plus get 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Snag 5 points per dollar when you purchase Choice Privileges points or Choice Hotels gift cards.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Enjoy Elite Gold Status in the Choice Privileges program and get a 10% points bonus each time you book a qualifying stay.
  • Great welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card. The points are worth up to four free nights at select Choice Hotels properties.
  • Get an additional 8,000 bonus points each year when you charge $10,000 or more to your card.

Drawbacks

  • 3% foreign transaction fee applies to purchases outside the U.S.
  • There's an introductory APR offer for balance transfers but not purchases.

Best Barclays card for business

AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®

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.

Our thoughts

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard® is one of the best airline cards for business travelers for several reasons, starting with its introductory bonus, which allows you to earn up to 75,000 miles. There is a $95 annual fee but there's no foreign transaction fee, which is a plus for travelers who go on frequent international business trips.

Benefits

  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases as well as 2 miles per dollar on eligible office supply, telecom and car rental purchases.
  • All other purchases earn 1 mile per dollar.
  • Earn a 5% AAdvantage® miles bonus each year on your account anniversary.
  • Add employee cards with no annual fee.
  • Take advantage of valuable benefits such as a 25% in-flight savings credit on eligible purchases, a first checked bag free for yourself and up to four companions and a companion certificate valued at $99 (plus taxes and fees) when you spend $30,000 or more annually.

Drawbacks

  • Miles earned do expire if you don't earn or redeem them at least once every 18 months.
  • Unlike some business travel rewards cards, this one doesn't include complimentary airport lounge access as a card benefit.

Best Barclays card for Hawaii

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Our thoughts

Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii's largest and longest-serving airline and, whether you travel there occasionally or frequently, its rewards card can get you closer to a Hawaiian vacation. The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® makes travel purchases rewarding, with 3 points per dollar earned on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases. Plus, the card offers companion discounts on Hawaiian Airlines flights every year on your card anniversary. There is a $0 intro annual fee first year, then $99 annual fee but you'll pay no foreign transaction fee if you use your card for purchases outside the U.S.

Benefits

  • Good rewards for Hawaiian Airlines purchases, along with 2 miles per dollar on gas, dining and grocery store purchases.
  • Earn 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Book free flights on Hawaiian faster when you qualify for the welcome bonus.
  • The first checked bag is free on eligible flights and discounted award flights are available on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • Get a one-time 50% off companion discount for round-trip travel, plus a $100 annual companion discount on eligible flights.
  • Redeem miles for flights with partner airlines, including JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic.

Drawbacks

  • Miles can expire without at least one active redemption every 18 months.
  • Companion discounts also have an expiration date and are use-it-or-lose-it benefits.

Best Barclays card for discount travel

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®

Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in the first 90 days

Our thoughts

Frontier is a budget airline offering low-cost flights, and The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® makes it easy to save even more on travel. This card offers 5 miles per dollar on eligible purchases at flyfrontier.com, plus a chance to earn qualifying miles toward Elite Status. This card doesn't have quite as many bells and whistles as other airline cards from Barclays, but it could be a great fit if Frontier is your preferred airline.

Benefits

  • Along with 5 miles per dollar on Frontier purchases, earn 3 miles per dollar on dining and 1 mile per dollar on everything else.
  • To earn the card's introductory bonus, you only need to spend $500 and pay the annual fee within the first 90 days.
  • Earn 1 qualifying mile toward Elite Status with each dollar spent.
  • Earn a $100 flight voucher each anniversary year when you make $2,500 in purchases.

Drawbacks

  • At least one purchase is required every six months to keep miles from expiring.
  • Award redemption fees apply unless you qualify for a waiver.

The information related to AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard®, JetBlue Plus Card, The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card, AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®, Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® and The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

What is Barclays?

Barclays is a financial institution based in the United Kingdom offering personal, business and corporate banking services. While its primary focus is the U.K., Barclays Bank also serves customers around the world, including the U.S.

Barclay credit card benefits

Barclaycards come with a number of benefits that add to their appeal. From a travel perspective, here are a few of the top benefits to know about.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance and rental car insurance can give you peace of mind when booking a trip. Barclays offers a range of travel protections with its various cards, though the benefits you enjoy may depend on the card. The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard®, for example, comes with travel accident insurance, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, baggage delay insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver coverage. The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®, on the other hand, doesn't explicitly state any travel insurance benefits in its terms and conditions.

No foreign transaction fees

Foreign transaction fees can add to the cost of purchases made outside the U.S. Barclays features several cards that have no foreign transaction fee, including the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard® and the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®.

Chip and Pin technology

EMV chip cards are designed to be more secure so you don't have to worry as often about your card details being hacked or compromised. Barclays credit cards feature EMV chip technology, giving you an added layer of security protection on purchases.

How to get approved for a Barclays credit card

Getting approved for a credit card from Barclays isn't an exact science, as the bank doesn't explicitly state credit score or income requirements for its cards. Generally, your odds of approval for a Barclays card hinge on having a good to excellent credit score, low debt-to-income ratio and consistent income. If you already have at least one credit card with Barclays, that can also work in your favor if you have a positive account history.

Rebecca Lake has been writing about personal finance and business for nearly a decade. In addition to covering credit cards and investing for U.S. News, she's a regular contributor to CreditCards.com and The Balance. She's also worked with a number of banking and financial brands, including Citibank, Discover Bank and AIG Insurance.

Lake's other publication credits include a number of credit-focused personal finance sites, such as Credit Karma, Credit Sesame and CreditDonkey. As a small business owner, she's particularly interested in educating entrepreneurs, fellow business owners and side hustlers on how to build credit by leveraging credit cards and loans. Originally from the mountains of Virginia, she now lives on the coast of North Carolina with her two children. You can follow her on Twitter @seemomwrite or connect with her on LinkedIn.

These responses 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.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).