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Updated January 21, 2015 7:58 PM PT

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Card Review

Read more about Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® from Barclaycard, a CreditDonkey advertiser

This article has references or links to products from our partners. We receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You support CreditDonkey by using our links. (read more)


For people with fair credit looking to earn reward points with no annual fee, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard is a solid pick. It offers 2 points per dollar spent on three common expense categories — gas, groceries, and utilities. However, it does have its drawbacks, especially if you're the type of person who does not pay off your balance each month. The card comes with a high interest rate, which can accrue rather quickly, making it best suited for people who plan to pay in full each month.

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard
Apply for Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard
At Barclaycard's Secure Site
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1 point per $1 everywhere else
  • Use the points you earn like cash to pay for almost any purchases you've made.
  • No redemption fees, no limit on the points you can earn and no complicated set up.
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus monthly providing you the opportunity to rebuild your credit score
  • Complimentary FICO® Credit Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Cash Back RewardsPoint RewardsGas RewardsGrocery RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Limits on Rewards
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
24.99%* Variable
$0

Overall Score

3.8

Rewards

4.5

Interest Rates

3.0

Fees

3.5

Benefits

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Earn reward points
  • No annual fee
  • 24.99% APR

Bottom Line

Good rewards credit card for people with fair credit

Rewards

Every time you buy something on the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard, you earn reward points. You earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on gas, grocery, and utility purchases. You earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on all other purchases.

There is no limit to the number of points you can earn. Some cash back programs limit the number of points you can earn per year in bonus categories, so the chance to earn unlimited double points is a welcome distinction.

Once you have earned enough points, you can redeem them for a statement credit. This amount will reduce your account balance, but it will not be applied toward your minimum monthly payment. With 5,000 reward points, you would have enough for a $50 statement credit, which, on the average, translates into 1 cent of rewards for every dollar you spend. Note that you must have a minimum of 1,000 points to make a redemption. The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard has an advantage over other cards in this regard, as many cards will not allow you to redeem rewards for less than $20.

Alternative Offer

If you're a traveler and enjoy earning miles, you might be better suited to apply for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card. The Arrival Plus card is more likely to win over frequent fliers who prefer to garner miles to redeem for airline tickets or hotel stays. The disadvantage is that the Arrival Plus has an $89 annual fee.

Build Credit

The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard can help you build your credit history. Every month, Barclaycard reports your payment track record for this card to the three major credit agencies.

Plus, as long as you’re an active card member, you get complimentary FICO scores. Since this a key figure lenders use to determine your creditworthiness and how much they charge you to borrow from them, it's important for you to monitor it, and this card makes that responsibility easy. Keep your eye out for an sudden drops — if you have been paying on time and don't carry a large balance, a decline would be questionable and could indicate that you’ve been a victim of identity theft.

Since the Barclaycard welcomes not only borrowers who have excellent scores but fair ones too, it’s a good card to lean on if knowing your credit score is a priority. (Scores range between 300 and 850, and any score over 720 is considered excellent.) Your ability to pay your bills on time and your debt to credit limit ratio have a big impact on your score. Read this article for an in-depth explanation of your score and how it affects you as a borrower. With your Barclaycard online account, once you opt-in, you'll have instant access to your FICO score.

Because this card takes on applicants with fair credit, it has a relatively high interest rate. The APR on this card is currently a variable 24.99%. You need to be sure to pay off your purchases each month; otherwise your interest payments will be quite expensive and will negate any upside to the rewards you get. If you suspect you'd likely carry a balance on your next card, consider looking into a low interest credit card instead.

Pros

  • Earns reward points on all purchases; points are good for cash back against past card purchases
  • Earns unlimited double reward points on all gas, grocery, and utility purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Available to applicants with fair credit

Cons

  • Relatively high purchase APR, currently a variable 24.99%

Bottom Line

For applicants with a fair credit score, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard is a good choice. It earns cash back on all your purchases, has no annual fee, and is a solid general rewards card.

However, if you prefer cards that are geared towards specific rewards, Barclaycard also offers additional cards such as the Barclaycard Arrival (no annual fee) and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus ($89 annual fee).

(This article was originally written by David and has been updated by Cynthia)

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

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David R is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped families make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Barclaycard. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Barclaycard. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on March 29, 2013. This content may have been updated on January 21, 2015. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Barclaycard website for updated information.

More Articles in Reviews

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard
Apply for Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard
At Barclaycard's Secure Site
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1 point per $1 everywhere else
  • Use the points you earn like cash to pay for almost any purchases you've made.
  • No redemption fees, no limit on the points you can earn and no complicated set up.
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus monthly providing you the opportunity to rebuild your credit score
  • Complimentary FICO® Credit Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Cash Back RewardsPoint RewardsGas RewardsGrocery RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Limits on Rewards
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
24.99%* Variable
$0

Compare Barclaycard Rewards to:

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

Intro APR (Purchases)Intro APR (Balance Transfer)Regular APR
N/A
0% for 12 months (must be completed within first forty-five days of account opening)
14.99% or 18.99%* Variable
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsTravel Rewards
  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 14.99% or 18.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Book the travel you want — airfare, hotels, cruises and more and earn miles on your purchase
  • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
Apply for Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard
Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom®

Intro APR (Purchases)Intro APR (Balance Transfer)Regular APR
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
13.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
  • Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 13.99-22.99%
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases between 1/1/15-3/31/15 at grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases), movie theaters, and Starbucks® stores
  • You'll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like restaurants, gas stations, and Amazon.com. It's free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee and rewards never expire as long as your account is open
Apply for Chase Freedom
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Intro APR (Purchases)Intro APR (Balance Transfer)Regular APR
NoneNone
15.24% - 19.24% Variable
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsCar Rental InsuranceExtended Warranty
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months.
  • Earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn As You Spend: Get 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles for all other eligible dollars spent.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply.
Apply for Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus Review

If you want to earn 2x miles with all purchases and have the flexibility to redeem miles toward any airline purchase, consider the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard. The $89 annual fee card lets you earn miles quickly with no ...
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