Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Review: A Promising New Card From an Old Bank
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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 account, 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.
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.
- $0 Annual Fee
- 25.24%* variable APR (purchases and balance transfers)
- 3% Balance Transfer Fee (or $5, whichever is greater)
- 3% Foreign Transaction Fee
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.
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.