New anti-churning language on Barclays card

It’s no secret — credit card companies have been actively putting in new measures to combat gaming in credit card rewards over the past few years.

And it looks like Barclays just added a new explicit restriction to earning its welcome bonus on the Frontier card and others like the Aviator Red.

If you look at the application page, it now states:

40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days

It looks like the new change is that they are requiring users to pay the annual fee “in full.”

In cases where the annual fee is not waived, it usually hits soon after that first statement closes so the window of earning the bonus and closing your card is very tight.

So I’m wondering if people were paying only part of the annual fee and then canceling after that at some point? I honestly didn’t even know that was a possibility.

Barclays had language regarding paying annual fees in the past but it looks like they are reiterating paying it “in full” on certain cards. I’m wondering if churning was bad on certain cards they felt the need to add it?

It’s not a huge change but I do think that it is indicative of the focus that banks are putting on to prevent churning-like activity.

In this case, you can’t blame the bank since canceling a card right after earning a bonus is about as egregious as you can get when it comes to churning.