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.
Barclays 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 Barclays Rewards MasterCard lives up to its promises.
First, a Little History
Barclays has been around for more than 300 years. The founders began as goldsmith bankers in Lombard Street, London, in 1690. The name didn't include "Barclay" until the son-in-law of one of the founders joined the business. Over time, the name evolved, and Barclays is one of the most trusted and well-known banks in the world.
Through the centuries, Barclays has helped finance fast passenger ships, car manufacturers, and mass transit systems. The bank even remained open during the Blitz of 1940, when the Luftwaffe bombed London. Barclays was also responsible for the UK's first credit card, the Barclaycard, and the world's first ATM. Today, Barclays sponsors sports teams and youth initiatives.
Now, Barclays is working to establish itself in the United States, and one of its offerings is the Barclays Rewards MasterCard.
How This Card Works
The Barclays Rewards MasterCard comes with a straightforward points rewards system. You receive two points for each dollar spent when you buy gas and groceries. You also receive two points per dollar for utility payments made with your credit card. All other purchases earn one point for each dollar.
You can redeem your points like cash to pay for purchases you have already made, meaning that your points are essentially redeemed for statement credit. This system means that you don't have to worry about blackout dates and other restrictions on reward redemption. Barclays doesn't limit your ability to earn points and cash back/statement credit.
Because there are no category rotations, you don't have to sign up to receive your rewards each quarter. You just make purchases as always to receive your rewards points.
You won't pay an annual fee with this card and Barclays won't charge you a fee if you are over the credit limit.
As with many other credit cards, you receive standard benefits, including $0 fraud liability, travel insurance, and other perks. 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 Barclays Rewards MasterCard.
While you won't pay an annual fee, and you don't have to worry about over the limit fees, there are some other costs associated with this card. The APR is 24.00% variable. There is a 3% fee on foreign transactions.
The main benefit of the Barclays Rewards MasterCard is the generous bonus points on everyday purchases like groceries, gas, and utilities. This means that you don't have to worry about signing up for different categories each quarter. The types of purchases that garner you bonus points also make it easy to incorporate your credit card spending into your regular budget. 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.
Additionally, 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.
It's also a nice touch that there is no over the limit fee, along with no annual fee.
In order to participate in the rewards program, your account has to be in good standing. Also, read the fine print since there are account activity requirements associated with this card.
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.
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.