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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 2021, especially if travel plans are on the horizon.
Best Barclays credit cards 2021
|AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®||Airline miles||Good/Excellent||Read Review|
|JetBlue Plus Card||Runner up for airline miles||Excellent||Read Review|
|The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card||Hotels||Good/Excellent|
|AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®||Business||Good/Excellent|
|Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®||Hawaii||Good/Excellent||Read Review|
|The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®||Discount travel||Excellent/Good||Read Review|
|AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®||Airline miles||Read Review|
|JetBlue Plus Card||Runner up for airline miles||Read Review|
|The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card||Hotels|
|The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®||Business|
|Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®||Hawaii||Read Review|
|The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®||Discount travel||Read Review|
To make choosing the right card easier, we've looked at credit cards reviewed on ValuePenguin as well as cards on major issuer sites to compile a list of the best rewards credit cards available right now. Our recommendations are based on the additional value you can earn with the cards — including the rewards value, cost of ownership and value of benefits such as travel and purchase protections, lounge membership and airline companion passes. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers. Learn more on how we calculate rewards.
Best Barclays card for airline miles
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
Earn 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days.
The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite 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 0% foreign transaction fees and it has valuable card benefits such as an anniversary companion certificate every year and a first checked bag free.
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent 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.
- $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 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full within the first 90 days. Earn an additional 50,000 bonus points after spending a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 12 months.
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.
- 6X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X at restaurants & grocery stores, 1X 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.
- $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, enough for up to 4 free nights at select Choice hotels. Earn 8,000 anniversary bonus points every year after spending $10,000 or more on purchases.
Travelers who book stays with Choice Hotels may appreciate the rewards and benefits offered by The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card. This card Earn 15 points per $1 spent at eligible Choice Hotels. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. Earn 5 points per $1 spent on the purchase of Choice Privileges® points or Choice Hotels gift card purchases. There's $0 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 $0 Annual Fee.
- Earn 15 points per $1 spent at eligible Choice Hotels. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. Earn 5 points per $1 spent on the purchase of Choice Privileges® points or Choice Hotels gift card purchases.
- $0 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 $0-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.
- 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® World Elite Business Mastercard®
Earn up to 75,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles. 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.
The AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite 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.
- Earn 2X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 2X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent at eligible office supply, telecom and car rental merchants. Earn 1X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn a 5% AAdvantage® miles bonus each year on your account anniversary.
- Complimentary employee cards.
- 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.
- 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®
Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
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 $99 annual fee but you'll pay 0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars foreign transaction fee.
- Earn 3X miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases, 2x miles on gas, dining and grocery store purchases & 1X miles 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.
- 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®
40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days
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 5X miles on eligible purchases at flyfrontier.com, 3X miles on restaurant purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases. Plus, it offers 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.
- 5X miles on eligible purchases at flyfrontier.com, 3X miles on restaurant purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases
- 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.
- 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 World Elite Mastercard®, JetBlue Plus Card, The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card, AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite 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.
Barclays offers both general travel rewards cards as well as partners with unique airlines, such as JetBlue Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and Frontier Airlines to develop airline-affiliated cards. No matter the choice, there are plenty of great Barclaycard options to choose from.
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 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 World Elite 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 World Elite 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.
Here are answers to a few more lingering questions you may have about Barclays and its credit card offerings.
Is Barclays a good credit card company?
One way to measure the quality of a credit card company is customer satisfaction. According to J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, Barclays received a rating of 806. That's the average rating for satisfaction across all U.S. credit card companies included in the study. Barclays ranked just behind Chase and Capital One, which suggests that for the most part, its customers have good experiences with Barclays credit cards.
Which Barclays credit card is the best?
The answer to this question ultimately depends on what you need and want from a Barclays credit card. For travel purposes, the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is the best overall thanks to its combination of rewards and card perks. But a different Barclays credit card may be more suitable if you're interested in earning cash back or points on everyday spending.
How long does a Barclays credit card take to arrive?
According to Barclays, it can take between seven and 14 days for your new credit card to arrive in the mail once your application has been approved.
How many Barclays credit cards can I have?
Barclays doesn't impose a limit on the number of cards you can have, though there are a few rules to keep in mind. You can't have more than one of the same Barclays card and there's no guarantee that you'll be approved for more than one Barclays credit card.
Can you use a Barclays credit card anywhere?
Barclays credit cards bearing the Visa or Mastercard logo can be used anywhere Visa or Mastercard are accepted. Just keep in mind that using your card abroad could trigger a foreign transaction fee.
Does my Barclays credit card cover car rental insurance?
That depends on which Barclays credit card you have. Not all Barclays travel cards include car rental protection as a card benefit. You'll have to read the fine print on your card agreement to find out if you're covered.
How easy is it to get a Barclays credit card?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer. If you have an excellent credit score and solid income, it could be very easy to qualify for a Barclays credit card. On the other hand, if your credit is in the poor to fair range or you have a high debt-to-income ratio it may be more of a challenge to get approved.
How do you check your application status for a Barclays credit card?
Barclays offers a simple online form that you can use to check the status of a credit card application. You can also check your status by calling (866) 928-8598.
Who is Barclaycard owned by?
Barclays is a multinational publicly-traded company. Its largest shareholders include Dimensional Fund Advisors, Northern Trust Corporation and Royal Bank of Canada.