From airline cards that rack up miles on everyday spending to cards for popular hotel chains, there is a Barclays card for all kinds of cardholders.
Most notably, the bank offers an extensive portfolio of co-branded retail and travel credit cards – designed to offer users the opportunity to earn more with their favorite brands. From airline cards that rack up miles on everyday purchases to cards from merchants like Barnes & Noble, there is a Barclays card for every kind of cardholder.
What is Barclays?
Based in the U.K., Barclays is an investment bank and financial services company. In the U.S., the bank is well known for its wide variety of products and services – ranging from competitive online savings accounts to top-notch credit cards.
Among its offerings, Barclays partners with top airline, hotel and retail partners to offer cards that appeal to brand loyalists. With compelling rewards rates and benefits tailored to travel or shopping enthusiasts, it is easy to see why Barclays credit cards are so popular with U.S. consumers.
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard: Best American Airlines fans
Why we picked it: A favorite of American Airlines frequent flyers, the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®* lets users rack up miles on their American Airlines purchases, making it easier than ever to get to their next reward flight.
The card also offers an incredibly generous sign-up bonus – 50,000 miles if you make a purchase in the first 90 days and pay the card’s $99 annual fee. If you spend $20,000 in a year (for cardholders who tend to travel in groups, this is easy), you’ll also earn a companion certificate, which allows you to bring a friend on your next flight for just $99 plus taxes and fees.
- 2X miles on American Airlines purchases and 1X mile on other purchases
- Anniversary companion certificate if you spend $20,000 in a year
- Earn unlimited miles
- First checked bag free, preferred boarding and 25% savings on inflight purchases
- $99 annual fee
- Blackout dates on some awards
Who should apply: Frequent American Airlines customers big on traveling in groups, with relatives or family friends, will appreciate this card and its airport perks. Even solo globetrotters will love this card for its rewards and travel benefits.
Who should skip: If you don’t fly often or mostly fly with a different airline, you’ll find it difficult to justify this card.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Card: Best for everyday spending
Why we picked it: With no annual fee and an earning rate that supports high-budget purchases like gas and groceries, the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card is a great way for travelers to save up their hotel points for when they finally spend them. For purchases on Hotels by Wyndham and gas, you earn 5X points, and you earn 2X points on dining and grocery store purchases.
While Wyndham Rewards isn’t as famous as other rewards programs – giants like World of Hyatt and Hilton Honors can potentially offer more value – the hotel network still boasts over 9,000 properties, in more than 80 countries.
- 30,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
- Anniversary bonus of 7,500 bonus points if you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases
- Automatic Gold level (free Wi-Fi, late checkout and 10% more points on qualifying stays)
- No annual fee
- Points expire after four years
- Must book qualified stays through Wyndham
Who should apply: Cardholders entertaining the idea of travel in a few years will like this card for its no annual fee and easy rewards structure. This card is also good for hotel rewards program beginners who aren’t ready yet to commit to a larger hotel chain.
Who should skip: If you don’t spend much on hotels, preferring Airbnb, Vrbo or a friend’s couch, you don’t need this card. Cardholders who spend on groceries more than gas should also opt for a different card.
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard: Best to travel with a companion
Why we picked it: If Hawaiian Airlines is more your speed, Barclays offers a co-branded card with the airline dubbed the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®*. For a fairly reasonable $99 annual fee (waived the first year), it gives 3X miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases, 2X miles on gas, dining and eligible grocery store purchases and 1X mile on other purchases.
Most noteworthy, the card comes with a couple of companion perks. For one time only, you’ll receive a 50% companion discount on a roundtrip flight between Hawaii and North America when booked with Hawaiian Airlines. Each account anniversary, you’ll also get a $100 companion discount for a roundtrip flight between Hawaii and North America.
- 60,000 bonus miles if you spend $2,000 in first 90 days
- First checked bag free
- Annual $100 companion discount for roundtrip between Hawaii and North America
- Miles never expire
- $99 annual fee (waived for first year)
Who should apply: Cardholders living in North America, who cannot get enough of Hawaii, should definitely sign up for this card. Those traveling primarily to Hawaii, Oceania and Asia will also put this card to good use.
Who should skip: If you’re traveling mainly in regions not served by Hawaiian Airlines, such as Europe or Canada, you should pass on this card. Solo travelers could also consider other travel credit cards.
JetBlue Plus card: Best for Western Hemisphere travel
Why we picked it: The JetBlue Plus Card has a rather generous rewards rate at 6X points on eligible JetBlue purchases and 2X points at restaurants and eligible grocery stores. The bonus category in restaurants and grocery stores is particularly attractive because you can rack up miles even if you don’t fly often.
The card comes with a slew of benefits like no foreign transaction fees, a free first checked bag and 50% savings on eligible food and drink purchased inflight. The icing on the cake – you get an annual $100 statement credit if you purchase a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your card.
- 60,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 and pay the annual fee in first 90 days
- 5,000 bonus points each account anniversary
- 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months (16.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% variable thereafter)
- Unlimited miles and no blackout dates
- $99 annual fee
- Potentially high APR
Who should apply: Travelers mainly vacationing in the Western Hemisphere (North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean) will love this card. If you fly mostly domestically and want a card that earns points even when you don’t travel, the JetBlue Plus card will serve you well.
Who should skip: People who tend to fly to Europe won’t find many JetBlue flights going that way, so they should skip this card. If you cannot commit to flying with a single airline and want more flexibility, you should keep shopping.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card: Best for business owners
Why we picked it: Excellent for business owners who spend mostly on travel and utilities, the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Business Card won’t let you down. Drove around all day and won’t make it back home? You’ll earn 8X points on Hotels by Wyndham and gas. Need to spend on Facebook ads but also keep the lights on at the office? You can earn 5X points on marketing, advertising and utilities. All other purchases, like office supplies or lunches for the team, still earn 1X point.
Of course, as a Wyndham Rewards card, it shines best during your hotel stays, either for you or the whole team on a business trip. In fact, the card grants automatic Diamond level so you can enjoy free Wi-Fi, 20% more points on eligible stays, early check-in and late checkout.
- 45,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
- 15,000 each account anniversary
- Automatic Diamond level
- Free employee cards
- $95 annual fee
- Potentially high APR
Who should apply: Business owners with a business that requires a lot of driving around and hotel stays will reap the benefits of this card.
Who should skip: Of course, if you don’t own a business, you are not eligible for this card. Cardholders whose business does not entail much travel may consider other business credit cards that offer cash back or statement credit.
Comparing Barclays credit cards
|Card||Rewards rate||Annual fee||Best for|
|AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®||$99|
|Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card||$0|
|Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®||$99 (waived for first year)|
|JetBlue Plus Card||$99|
|Wyndham Rewards Earner® Business Card||$95|
How to choose a Barclay credit card
Now that you’ve read through each card detail you’re torn with indecision. Which one fits your lifestyle? Which perks do you value more? Consider the following questions as you ruminate on the best Barclay credit card for your wallet.
- Which brand are you loyal to? Barclays cards are mostly partnered with airlines and hotels so that you earn rewards and enjoy benefits with that travel partner. If you’re already a diehard fan of JetBlue, Wyndham, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and more, the Barclay cards will prove their worth to you. If you aren’t much of a brand loyalist and prefer flexibility, you should shop outside the Barclay cards.
- Do you prefer to save on airfare or hotels? Confirmed brand loyalists who travel a lot must choose between an airline or hotel credit card. If you choose an airline card, you’ll enjoy perks like a free first checked bag, preferred boarding and even award flights. Those who prefer hotel benefits will enjoy a free night, early check-in, free Wi-Fi and more. Which aspect of travel you like to be pampered in – at the airport or in your hotel room – will influence which kind of card you should get.
- How often do you travel, actually? Be honest with yourself, and perhaps your travel companion, about how often you intend to travel. If it’s more than once a year, you should get a card with high rewards when making travel purchases. If you travel once a year or so, you should go for a card that earns good rewards in everyday categories like gas, dining and groceries, so you can save up all those points or miles for when you do travel next.
Barclays credit cards aren’t as robust as some other issuers, but some of them still offer great deals that are difficult to pass up. If you are a frequent traveler or shopper with any of the brands offering co-branded cards with Barclays, the rewards rates and benefits can be incredibly valuable.