Until recently, Barclaycard was a credit card issuer focused on branded credit cards. Retailers of various types would use Barclaycard’s services to offer credit cards that seemed to be issued by the company whose name was on the card, like Barnes & Noble. The company is at work building its brand and presence in the United States to match its dominance in Europe, and has been launching credit cards with its own brand attached.
Earlier this year, Barclaycard launched the Barclaycard Ring credit card, a card and system that allows customers to have a say in how its terms and benefits are designed. For a more traditional program, the credit card issuer offers the Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard®.
The rewards program with this card doesn’t lead the cash back industry, but it isn’t bad. When you shop with the credit card, you earn one point per dollar. The bonus categories are gas, groceries, and utilities. If you shop in retailers that identify themselves within these three categories, you earn two points per dollar rather than just one. Keep in mind that not every gas station identifies itself as such, and the same is true about any category. For example, although you can buy groceries in large warehouse stores like Costco, you will not be able to earn double points when shopping there. Barclaycard is not responsible for how retailers categorize themselves.
As a result, and this is true with any rewards credit card, you need to watch the points you earn to determine whether you’re taking full advantage of the advertised offer. Barclaycard won’t help you.
You can redeem the points you earn when using the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard for flights, shopping, and dining, but you can also redeem your points for any purchase you have made on the card within the previous 30 days, if the cost was over $25. The redemption rate is 100 points per dollar. If you want to use your points to pay for the $50 dinner at a restaurant last week, you can redeem 5,000 points to reduce the cash you need to pay your credit card bill by $50. The credit for $50 will appear on the next statement you receive.
In order to earn and redeem points, your account must be in good standing, and you must be actively using your credit card. With this card, there seems to be the risk of having your account closed — and losing any points you accrued — if you don’t use your card for an extended period of time. Barclaycard may also choose to close your account if the quality of your credit has decreased significantly.
Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard offer
The issuer is currently offering a sign-up bonus for new customers of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard. If you apply now and are approved, you will receive a bonus of 5,000 points after your first purchase with the card. These points are good for a $50 statement credit in the manner described above or for $50 in purchases through Barclaycard’s rewards redemption website.
Although this sign-up bonus is lower than others available today, there is no up-front spending threshold or waiting period required before earning the points.
There is also an introductory APR offer. For 12 months, balance transfers and purchases will benefit from a 0% APR. Balance transfers during the first fifteen months are subject to an additional fee of 3% of the transfer amount or $10, whichever is lower. After those fifteen months, the balance transfer fee increases to 4% or $10.
After the APR introductory period of 12 months is complete, the regular APR applies to purchases and balance transfers. Currently, these rates are 14.99%, 17.99% or 24.99%, all variable, depending on the quality of your credit. Cash advances receive an APR of 25.24%, and if you miss a payment or otherwise fall into the penalty box, your APR increases to up to 30.24%.
As with any credit card rewards program, the benefits are only worthwhile if you pay your bill in full every month and avoid interest fees and late charges. This card offers its features without an annual fee, making this a good choice for consumers who want an everyday rewards program with which you can profit immediately. Compare this with rewards programs that offer more features but have an up-front cost that requires customers to spend money first just to break even.
If this offer meets your expectations for a rewards credit card, apply here.