Barclaycard challenges Air Miles

Barclaycard will massively upgrade its discount scheme for air travel next week in a move observers say puts it in direct competition with British Airways’ highly successful Air Miles scheme.

Barclaycard holders will be able to use the points-based discount scheme Profiles to fly to 250 destinations worldwide, compared with the previous limit of just 13 European cities. The scheme offers tie-ups with eight leading airlines including American Airlines, Air France and British Midland.

One industry source says: “This massive upgrade in Barclaycard’s service is a direct attempt to steal the successful business that Air Miles has built up over the past few years.”

Barclaycard itself was being more coy about the challenge. “Some people will see this as a challenge to Air Miles, but we do offer a range of other discount products too,” a spokeswoman says.

Air Miles, launched in 1988, says it is not afraid of the competition. Though it only offers 230 destinations, it points out that almost 1.5 million passengers have flown BA flights through it. More than 400 companies take part in the scheme.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here