Barclaycard Rewards World MasterCard Review

February 7, 2012 No Comments »
Barclaycard Rewards World MasterCard Review

Another week, another credit card review.

Today we’ll take a look at the “Barclaycard Rewards World MasterCard.”

If you’re not familiar with Barclays, they are one of the largest banks in the world (top 10 in fact), based out of London, England.

And their “Barclaycard” division is one of the largest credit card issuers in Europe.

So it looks as if they’re now attempting to make a push into the United States as well with the release of this credit card.

Barclaycard Rewards World MasterCard Offers 0% APR for 12 Months

The first thing that stood out about this credit card is the 0% APR period, which is offered for a solid 12 months for both purchases and credit card balance transfers.

After that, the credit card APR will rise to a variable 14.99%, 17.99%, or 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness.

The cash advance APR is a variable 25.24%, and the penalty APR is 30.24%, which may come into effect if you make a late payment, go over your credit limit, or make a payment that is returned.

The good news is there isn’t an over-the-limit charge with this credit card.

The credit card grace period is 23 days after the close of each billing cycle to avoid associated finance charges.

There is no annual fee with the Barclaycard Rewards World MasterCard, though there is a balance transfer fee of either $10 or 3% of each transfer, whichever is greater.

If you happen to transfer a balance after the initial 12 months of card membership, the balance transfer fee will rise to 4%. Of course, it wouldn’t make much sense to transfer a balance once the introductory APR disappears.

And despite this being a globally branded credit card, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee (See best credit cards to use abroad for alternatives).

Barclaycard Rewards Program

Now let’s talk about their rewards program.

You can earn 5,000 bonus points after your first purchase, which is clearly the main draw.

5000 bonus points = $50 statement credit

And you earn 2 points for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, and utility purchases.

Finally, you get 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else.

The points do not expire, there is no fee for redemption, and there is no limit to how many you can earn or use.

Points can be used as statement credits to pay for purchases made with the Barclaycard Rewards World MasterCard, so it’s basically a rebate program.

Just know that you must use your Barclaycard Rewards World MasterCard at least once every six months (or maintain an account balance) to ensure your outstanding points aren’t forfeited.

And obviously if you close your account you lose your points.

Final Thoughts on Barclaycard Rewards

There’s nothing mind-blowing or groundbreaking with this credit card. It’s got the equivalent to a $50 opening bonus, and double points for gas, groceries, and utilities.

Perhaps the public utilities bonus points are a unique draw that you won’t find with any other credit card.

The other potential win with this credit card is that it’s not issued by the major U.S. credit card issuers, such as American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi or Discover.

In other words, you can transfer an existing balance from any one of those credit card issuers, which could come in handy for those who have “run out of options” in the balance transfer department.

*For the record, balances can’t be transferred unless the two credit card issuers are different companies.

Getting approved may also be easier than with other issuers for comparable credit cards, as data from Credit Karma revealed a credit score distribution that starts as low as 551.

So it’s certainly got some benefits, and provides another option for those looking for something different in the credit card world.

See also: Barclaycard Ring MasterCard review.

(photo: Charlotte Gilhooly)

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