Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® Review & Tips
Most of the time, if you want to earn rewards from your credit card purchases, you have to make sure you carry a fairly high credit score to qualify. While some of the best rewards cards are reserved for those with excellent credit ratings, there are cards available with valuable rewards programs for people who have lower credit scores.
The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is one card is a rewards credit card for those who have fair credit scores and want to earn rewards on every day types of purchases. This card awards double points for gas, utilities, and grocery store purchases, as well as one point for each dollar spent on all other purchases.
Although it provides a valuable rewards program for earning points on purchases that aren’t always included with other rewards cards, it is specifically designed for those with fair credit. If you’ve been looking for a rewards credit card for earning points that can be redeemed for cash, but have found it difficult qualifying because of your credit score, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is a solid card to consider. Here’s what you should know about the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®.
Main Card Benefits of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
- 2x points. This card awards 2x points for each dollar spent on gas, utility, and grocery store purchases, and 1x point for each dollar spent on other purchases. There are no caps on the number of points you can earn, and points do not expire. Many other cards awarding these types of everyday categories carry limits, and once you reach the spending limit, those purchases only earn one point per dollar.
- Easy redemption. You can redeem your points when you reach 1,000 for a $10 deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account, statement credit, or for gift cards with popular retailers. Each point is worth approximately one cent per point, which is competitive when compared to other rewards cards, especially those whose point values decrease to as low as half a cent per point when you choose to redeem for cash or other options.
- Access to automatic credit line reviews. Even though you have fair or average credit, if you manage your account responsibly, you could qualify for a credit limit increase in as soon as 6 months after opening the account.
The Best Feature of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®: Double Points on Everyday Purchases
One of the best features of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is the ability to earn unlimited double points on gas, utilities, and grocery store purchases, which are considered everyday types of purchases. It’s particularly easy with this card to rack up points that you can redeem for cash by simply using your card while you’re paying bills and running errands.
In addition, it’s one of the best rewards programs available particularly for consumers who may have had credit problems in the past or are just starting out and haven’t established enough credit to qualify for some of the more elite types of rewards cards. Because this card is designed for those with fair or average credit ratings, you could qualify with a credit score in the low 600s, while most other rewards cards require a score, at least, in the low 700s. If you manage your account responsibly, this card can help you build a positive credit history and help to increase your credit score, leading to better rewards cards and offers in the future.
Other Reasons to Choose the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
Free FICO Score
This card includes access to your FICO score so you can manage and monitor your credit rating while you work on improving and increasing it. As a cardholder, you can easily access your credit score online.
$0 Fraud Liability
As a cardholder, you’re protected against fraudulent purchases and won’t be held responsible for charges you don’t authorize and report to the card issuer.
The Costs: Other Fees to Consider
There is no annual fee for the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®, but the APR for purchases and balance transfers is 25.24% variable APR. You’ll find that many cards designed for fair credit charge extra fees and carry higher APRs than other cards. The benefit of this card is there is no annual fee to pay each year just to carry the card. Other fees you should keep in mind include the following:
Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® Fees
|Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®||Fees|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 3%, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 5%, whichever is greater|
|Late payment fee||$37|
|Returned payment fee||$37|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%|
It’s important to note that the foreign transaction fee of 3% is going to cancel out any rewards you earn with the card if you need to use it for foreign transactions. If you frequently travel, you should avoid using cards that charge foreign transaction fees. Otherwise, your foreign purchases are going to cost you more than many of the rewards and card benefits are worth.
Tips for Managing Credit Cards with High APRS
Because this card carries a higher than normal APR, it’s important that you pay your balances in full each month rather than month to month in order to avoid paying interest. Otherwise, the interest will add up, and you’ll end up paying more than the rewards you earn are worth. If you aren’t able to pay your balance in full every month, it may be more cost-efficient to choose a low-interest credit card instead, even if there aren’t any extra rewards or card benefits.
Further, the high APR also means this card isn’t a card you want to transfer a balance to unless the card you transfer from carries a higher APR than 25.24%. It’s also important to keep in mind that there is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, before you make the decision to transfer any balances.
Final Verdict: Is the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® a Rewards Credit Card Worth Considering?
If you’re looking for a no-annual-fee rewards credit card to help you earn a little extra when you spend on gas, utilities, or groceries, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is worth considering. Because it’s one of the few everyday rewards cards without an annual fee and without any limits on the number of points you can earn in the bonus categories, there is an opportunity to rack up a lot of points just on purchases you plan on making anyway.
This card, however, isn’t the best for those who frequently travel abroad or carry balances from month to month because of the extra fees involved in these scenarios. The high APR will cost you more than any rewards you will earn if you aren’t diligent in paying your balance off every month. Further, if your credit score is higher than what is considered fair or average, you can likely qualify for better rewards cards that offer sign-up bonuses worth hundreds of dollars as well as a variety of other valuable perks.
It is still a solid choice for consumers with fair credit who want to earn extra rewards when you use your card on everyday purchases. Although it carries a high APR, there isn’t an annual fee to worry about paying every year, and you can certainly get around the APR if you pay your balance off each month. For those who don’t quite reach the excellent credit ratings, there are very few rewards credit cards available that provide the benefits and reward opportunities this card offers.