Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Review: A Promising New Card From an Old Bank

By Miranda Marquit. Last updated 11 March 2016. 5 comments

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One of the most venerable banks in the world is now offering a rewards credit card to consumers in the United States. The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is another in the recent trend of credit card offerings that go back to basics with a straightforward, non-rotating rewards system.

Barclaycard promises that the Rewards MasterCard will provide cardholders with extra rewards for the things they buy most every day. Let's take a look at whether or not the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard lives up to its promises.

How This Card Works

The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard comes with a straightforward points rewards system. You receive 2x points when you buy gas and groceries (excluding Target and Walmart). You also receive 2x points for utility payments made with your credit card. All other purchases earn 1x points. There is no annual fee. (See also: Best Credit Cards for Earning Rewards for Groceries)

You can redeem your points for deposits to a U.S. checking or savings accoung, statement credits or gift cards, starting at 1,000 points for $10. This system means that you don't have to worry about blackout dates and other restrictions on reward redemption. Points don't expire as long as your account is open, active, and in good standing.

Other Benefits

MasterCard benefits. This card comes with MasterCard benefits, and you qualify for them depending on which account you end up with. Platinum, World, and World Elite benefits apply, depending on which version of MasterCard you receive as your Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard.

Free FICO credit score. For as long as you're a cardmember, you'll receive complimentary online FICO credit score access, which gives you an easy way to keep an eye on your credit. You can also receive alerts for when your credit score changes. (See also: Credit Cards with Free Credit Scores)

Credit line increase. After making 5 consecutive on-time payments, your account will be reviewed and you may be eligible for a credit line increase.

Costs

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 25.24%* variable APR (purchases and balance transfers); 25.49% variable (cash advance)
  • 3% Balance Transfer Fee (or $5, whichever is greater)
  • 3% Foreign Transaction Fee

Pros

Rewards on everyday purchases. The main benefit of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard is the ability to earn bonus points on everyday purchases like eligible groceries, gas, and utilities. Since you buy gas and groceries on a regular basis, this card rewards you for common purchases, rather than requiring you to go out of your way for entertainment and restaurants to get more points. (See also: Best Credit Cards for Dining Out)

Easy rewards program. The ease of redeeming rewards, and the fact that there are no blackouts and no limits, makes this program straightforward and easy to deal with.

No overlimit or annual fee. It's also a nice touch that there is no over the limit fee, along with no annual fee.

Cons

High APR. The APR is among the highest you'll find with any credit card, which can become expensive if you consistently carry a balance. It's important to make sure you pay your balance in full each month in order to avoid paying high amounts of interest on your purchases. If you typically carry a balance from month to month, it's best to choose the credit card with the lowest APR. (See also: Credit Cards with Low Interest Rates)

Foreign transaction fees. It's also a bit disappointing that there are foreign transaction fees. Many credit cards are moving away from these fees, and one would hope that a bank with an international reputation and presence wouldn't charge foreign transaction fees.

Who This Card Is Best For

The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is ideal for someone who is interested in earning extra rewards for everyday purchases. It's perfect for the consumer who puts all of his or her groceries and gas on the credit card and then pays the balance at the end of the month. It is also a great card for those who can arrange to pay their utilities automatically by credit card; you can get double the points without having to think about it.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® today!

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 bank, card issuer, airline or hotel chain.


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Guest's picture
Karen

I have this card and it is wonderful. Your "Who This Card is Best For" section is dead on. I never carry a balance, and I budget every month, so every expense I put on the card was something I was going to buy anyway, like groceries (and it doubles points at Walmart, very useful if you're picking up non-groceries like clothes or gardening stuff, you still get double points!). Every few months I get $30-$35 off my statement. So basically, I'm getting free haircuts, free water/sewer/trash at my apartment, and free tanks of gas. I saved up for cruise tickets, and I used the card to pay them in installments, thus earning more points and boosting my credit line, which improved my credit score. It's a great card, I've been very happy with it.

Guest's picture

I have heard a lot about this card. It makes me want to get it but I am not sure I want to add another card to my plate. My goal is to only keep two at all times. I never really card for earning rewards but I have been hearing alot about the benefits and uses of rewards lately.

Guest's picture
Landlord

This card rocks...especially if you are a landlord who pays utilities or a business owner with high fuel costs. I get most points at 2/$1. I redeem most around 67/$1. So it's really like $33.5 spent/$1 of reward...a kickback of almost 3% for purchases I already make!

Guest's picture
Guest

This Barclay's card has been an unmitigated disaster. I was overseas when my bank switched from a Visa card to the Barclay's Master Card and they have been completely unmanageable. They seem unable to cope with a card holder being overseas.

My last card was voided on the day of the switch, and I have been overseas now for 23 days with no credit card at all. At this point I don't know if I'll ever get a valid Barclay's card out here.

They may have great rewards but heaven help you if you are overseas and need assistance -- card lost, stolen, etc. As far as I have experienced, they are completely inept at handling situations like this.

Guest's picture

We use the card and it's great! I also like that it will breakdown how many points you are earning on the transaction page. The only negative is they don't offer Direct Connect to Quickbooks like Chase does, but an overall nice card for someone who doesn't carry a balance.

Guest's picture
JJ

Barclays has been great overall.. have had them for coming up on 3 years now. I have been rebuilding my credit. They have automatically increased my credit line since then. I have a $10k limit but started out at $2k or so. I agree that their interest rate well into the 20s is horrid. Solution is to not carry a balance. If I must carry a balance, I have a single digit interest rate card for that.

It appears I may be grandfathered in because I still get 2x points at Target and Walmart . I think they realized going to these 2 store can be "cheating'.. so newer people getting the cards won't have this benefit sadly.