Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Card Review
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.
Pros and Cons
Good rewards credit card for people with fair credit
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.
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.
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.
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 Plus ($89 annual fee).
(This article was originally written by David and has been updated by Cynthia)
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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 February 26, 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.
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