Credit card review: Barclaycard Rewards

Feb 29, 2020

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Here at TPG U.K., we’re huge advocates of maximising your travel experiences by earning and redeeming points.

But, we also recognise that depending on your situation, you may be happy with a no-nonsense cash discount on your purchases rather than diving into the world of loyalty points. Fortunately, Barclays offers a simple credit card product that does just that.

Who Is This Card For?

This card is marketed toward people looking for a simple cashback card, combined with no annual fee. It’s also for those that are happy to forego some of the additional benefits provided by other cards that earn points but also carry annual fees.

The eligibility requirements are oddly high for such a basic card — you must be aged 21 years or older, have at least four years experience of managing credit and have a personal income of more than £20,000.

Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee

You will receive an additional £25 cashback for making a single purchase within the first month of receiving the card, provided you apply by 6 March 2020.

This card has no annual fee.

Representative example: 22.9% APR with a purchase rate of 22.9% per annum and an assumed credit limit of £1,200.

Earning

This is a simple card with a simple cashback earning structure — you will earn 0.25% cashback on your everyday spend. If you were to spend £1,000 on the card each month, over the course of the year that would equal £30 cashback. Plus the £25 welcome bonus, it would bring the total to £55.

That’s not a bad reward for a no-annual-fee card, provided you can make that purchase in the first month in order to trigger the £25 welcome bonus.

Perhaps the best feature of this card is that there are no foreign transaction fees when you use it for foreign purchases — and you will earn the cashback on these purchases too. Note that you must always choose the local currency payment option in order to avoid the FX fees on this card, which you should be doing anyway.

You will not earn cashback when using the card to withdraw money at cash machines abroad, and note there is a 2.99% cash advance fee on cash withdrawals.

Related: Should you use a credit card to withdraw cash while travelling?

Redeeming

As you’re earning straight cashback rather than loyalty points, you’ll receive the cashback annually on your card anniversary date. There’s no hassle in trying to redeem any benefit — it’s automatically done for you.

Perks

As a no-annual-fee cashback card, this product doesn’t come with many perks, although the best benefit is really the lack of foreign transaction fees referred to above. There’s also:

  • Purchase protections covering refunds for purchases of more than £100 (if you cannot obtain a refund from the retailer); and
  • 5% savings on Barclaycard Entertainment events and presales like The 1975, Simply Red, Russell Howard, and The Script.

Which Cards Compete With This Card?

In the no annual fee cashback card space, there are some strong competitors that do provide better cashback amounts. For example, the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card offers 5% cashback on all purchases (up to £100 in total) made during your first three months after you activate the card. You would need to spend £2,000 in that period to receive the full £100 cashback. It also has no annual fee.

After the first three months of card membership (where you’ll earn the 5% cashback discussed above), you’ll then earn on this Amex card:

  • 0.5% cashback for the first £5,000 spent on purchases; and
  • 1.0% cashback after that first £5,000, with no limits.

Related: These are the best UK cashback credit cards for 2020

Bottom Line

This is a basic card with fairly basic rewards. There’s no annual fee and the lack of foreign transaction fees is a great perk, though the cashback rate (even taking into account the welcome bonus of £25) is low compared with competitors’ cashback cards. Note that the eligibility criteria is quite high for a no-annual-fee card.

You can apply for this card here.

Featured photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.