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Updated January 7, 2016

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Review

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

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


For people with fair credit looking to earn rewards with no annual fee, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard is a solid pick. It offers 2x points on three common expense categories — gas, groceries, and utilities.

Barclaycard Rewards

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 for statement credits
  • No annual fee
  • 25.24% Variable APR

Bottom Line

Good rewards credit card for people with fair credit

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 add up rather quickly, making it best suited for people who plan to pay in full each month.

Tip: If you don't pay off your balance each month, consider a low interest credit card instead.

Who This Card Is Good For

  • Cardholders with fair credit or better: The credit card is available to people with just fair credit. In comparison, many rewards credit cards are only for people with excellent credit.

  • Commuters: Some cards give you extra rewards on gas but only for 3 months out of a year. With this card, you always get 2x rewards on purchases for gas (2 point for every dollar you pay at the pump), and that will add up quickly if you tend to go to the gas station once a week or so.

  • Cardholders who like easy redemption policies: This card’s rewards are pretty simple; the points system is consistently applied, there’s no limit on how much you can earn at the higher, 2-point tier, you don't have to sign up every 3 months like with some cards, and you can redeem your points for statement credit if you like.

Need a Rewards Card? Why This Card Is a Good Choice

  • There’s no annual fee: Getting a massive amount of rewards on a credit card is great unless you don’t use it enough to justify the annual fee. Many rewards cards tack on this extra expense but this one does not.

  • It’s easy to keep track of: With some rewards cards, you have to write yourself little Post-It notes every 3 months to remind yourself which types of purchases get higher amounts of rewards over others. With this one, all you have to remember is you get extra points for gas, grocery, and utility purchases. Tie your utility bills to your account and then all you have to remember is to pull out the Barclaycard when you go to the pump and the supermarket — or just use it as your everyday card and you’ll know you’ll always get something in return.

  • You get rewarded extra every time you grocery shop: Most of us spend hundreds of dollars at the supermarket every week. Unless you get most of your meals from the takeout counter, you will likely benefit more than you do now with the 2 points you’ll get back when you use this card to buy groceries. The best kinds of rewards credit card reward you for purchases you make anyway — rather than tempting you to buy purchases you don’t need just to get a few points back.

Ready to start earning rewards? You can apply online at Barclaycard's secure website.

Rewards

© Nicholas A. Tonelli (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Here's the deal: Every time you buy something on the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard, you earn reward points that can redeemed for statement credits. 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 rewards 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.

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 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.

What's the catch? 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 25.24%. 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 can be redeemed for statement credits (minimum $10)
  • 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 25.24%

How It Compares

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard vs Chase Freedom Visa: Do you have good to excellent credit? Check out how the Barclaycard Rewards credit card stacks up against the Chase Freedom, a cash back credit card.

 Barclaycard Rewards MasterCardChase Freedom
 Apply Now for Barclaycard Rewards MasterCardApply Now for Chase Freedom
 

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®

Chase Freedom®

 

Summary

 
  • 2X points on purchases for gas, groceries and utilities, and 1X points on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Points don't expire as long as account is open, active and in good standing
  • No limits on the number of points you can earn or redeem
  • Starting at 1,000 points for $10, points can be redeemed for statement credits and gift cards
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • $0 Fraud Liability on unauthorized charges
  • Earn a $150 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 14.24-23.24%
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like Gas Stations, Restaurants, and Select Grocery Stores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards never expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for PurchasesN/A0% Intro APR for 15 Months
Introductory APR for Balance TransfersN/A0% Intro APR for 15 Months
Purchase APR25.24%* Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.24% to 23.24% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR25.24%* Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.24% to 23.24% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Cash Back Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
Cash Back Rewards Cash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
Bonus Cash Back Bonus Cash Back: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. It's free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter.
Bonus Categories for 2016:
Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2016): Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls, and Amtrak® purchases)
Q2 (April 1 - June 30, 2016): Grocery stores (not including Walmart®, Target®, discount or warehouse club store purchases)
Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2016): Restaurants (details TBA)
Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2016): Holiday shopping (details TBA)
Point RewardsPoint Rewards: 2X points on purchases for gas, groceries and utilities, and 1X points on all other purchases 
Gas RewardsGas Rewards: 2X points on purchases for gas
Grocery RewardsGrocery Rewards: 2X points on purchases for groceries 
Smart Chip
 Apply Now for Barclaycard Rewards MasterCardApply Now for Chase Freedom

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Bottom Line

For applicants with a fair credit score, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard is a good choice. It earns points on 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)

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

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Follow @CreditDonkey or write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com
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 7, 2016. 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.

Editorial Note: 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 any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

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Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard
Apply for Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard
At Barclaycard's Secure Site
  • 2X points on purchases for gas, groceries and utilities, and 1X points on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Points don't expire as long as account is open, active and in good standing
  • No limits on the number of points you can earn or redeem
  • Starting at 1,000 points for $10, points can be redeemed for statement credits and gift cards
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • $0 Fraud Liability on unauthorized charges
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Point RewardsGas RewardsGrocery RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Limits on Rewards$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
25.24%* Variable
$0

Compare Barclaycard Rewards to:

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom®

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express


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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.