- About Barclaycard
- Who Should Get a Barclaycard Card?
- The Pros and Cons of Barclay Card
- Best Barclay Cards in the United States
- Best Cash Back Card – Barclaycard Cash Forward World Mastercard
- Best Co-branded Card
- Which Barclay Card is Right for You?
- What to Consider Before Choosing a Barclaycard Card?
- How to Apply Online for a Barclaycard Credit Card?
The best credit cards are the credit cards that provide you the most benefits while fitting your spending habits and lifestyle. The best Barclays credit card can allow you to generate cash back, or allow you to generate miles for free travel. For individuals that don’t spend a lot of time traveling, a cash back card might be the option for you. Prior to choosing any credit card, you should spend some time performing some due diligence to find out if the card that meets your spending needs.
Barclaycard is a sub-division of Barclay’s PLC which is a multinational financial institution. The card was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1966. Barclaycard was at first fully available in England, Wales, and Scotland but saw expansion into Malta, Gibraltar, and Ireland, as well as South Africa and the West Indies, during the period 1967-1968. Barclaycard was initially part of the Visa network and recently introduced American Express and MasterCard as of May of 2016. Barclaycard has more than 10-million customers in the United Kingdom and is presently the leading issuer of Credit Cards for the region. Barclays is headquartered in London, but its main offices are in Northhampton, with most of the company’s customer service based in India and the Philippines.
Barclaycard U.S. is headquartered in Wilmington, DE. The company generates customized, co-branded credit card programs for some of the country’s travel, entertainment, financial services businesses. The company employs approximately 1,300 employees.
Barclays is the parent company that issues Barclaycard. The business that Barclays conducted can be traced back to Quakers who established a business as goldsmith bankers in London England in 1690. The company financed Quaker traders in the new colonies in America and the Caribbean.
Barclays is a British financial service provider, bank and investment bank that operates domestically as well as internationally. The company headquartered in London. The company offers financial services including personal banking, corporate and investment banking, credit cards as well as wealth management. Barclays has a strong international presence operating in more than 40 countries around the globe and employs approximately 120,000 people. Barclays has multiple subsidiaries which include businesses such as a Barclaycard, Wealth Management and Corporate and Investment banking which includes capital markets trading. Barclays is a public company, and is part of the FTSE 100 index and is primarily on the London Stock Exchange. The company also is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Who Should Get a Barclaycard Card?
U.S. customers that shop at a specific store or company should consider a Barclaycard as their co-branded U.S. dominated cards, which allow customers to take advantage of attractive rewards. For example, Barclays issues a co-branded Jet Blue card that focuses the rewards that you receive based on air travel provided by Jet Blue. In some cases, these co-branded programs are inflexible, which means you should carefully read the fine print before signing up for a co-branded card. Barclaycard is specifically geared toward customers with good to great credit, but their standard card has some flexibility so if your credit score is on the borderline this card might be a good option for you.
The Pros and Cons of Barclay Card
Barclaycard has several cards allowing the company to meet the needs of many different types of consumers. They have a cash back card, as well as, robust travel programs. Some of their cards have zero annual fees, while miles programs generally have fees.
Pros of Barclay Card
The best part of the Barclaycard reward program is that there are no earnings limits or cap on how many points or mile you can earn when spending on your card. Additionally, there is no minimum threshold for accumulating points. For example, you are not mandated to spend a minimum amount on your credit card to begin to earn points or miles. Additionally, there are no rotating categories. This means you don’t have to pick the category where you spend the most to figure out how to gain the most.
Barclays card also keeps the accumulation rate static, which means that the earnings rate does not change depending on how much you spend. The points or mile that you accumulate do not expire by a certain date and there is no penalty if you miss a payment or pay late.
Barclays card has a program called Barclaycard Arrival which allows members to receive an additional 10% on miles when they redeem them for travel. The redemption rate that Barclaycard has on cashback is average at 1%. Lastly, Barclaycard Arrivals travel statement has a credit feature that allows customs to offset travel-related expenses by miles. They are generous when it comes to what they consider travel-related purchases.
Cons of the Barclaycard
When it comes to cash back as opposed to rewards or miles, the company has a minimum threshold for redemption. You need to accumulate 2,500 miles or 1,000 points before you can redeem cash back. This process is somewhat misleading as the Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard is labeled as a cash back card, but it is really a points card where you can redeem your points for miles. Additionally, there are no universal ways to boost your earnings, such as having an account at wealth management.
Lastly, the merchandise that you can redeem is less attractive than both the cash back or the miles redemption. Consumers are best off purchasing travel-related items or receiving cash back.
Best Barclay Cards in the United States
While Barclaycard has been available in the U.K. since the late 1960’s, it has only been available in the United States for 10-years. Barclaycard is very enticing to active military personnel, as it offers 0% APR on balances and waived fees.
Best Barclaycard for Travel
The Barclay Arrival Plus World Mastercard offers excellent benefits but focuses on customers with excellent credit. While the card has no annual fee in the first year, it rises to $89 per year in subsequent years. You can earn 2 miles per dollar spent on any purchase and get a 5% bonus when you redeem your rewards.
The signup bonus you receive when you initially spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3-months is 40,000 bonus miles. That is equivalent to $400 in travel statement credits or can be used for a purchase. So, if you rented a car you would be able to offset the amount you spent with the statement credit you received from signing up for the card. If this is something you do once a year, the $89 annual fee is paid for 4-years. You will also receive an additional benefit of 5%, which brings the effective reward rate of 2.1% which is one of the highest reward rates for travel cards. Travel statement credits are available for airfare, hotels, car rentals, train fare, Ubers, and taxis, among other expenses.
Despite an initial waver for the annual fee in the first year, the $89 annual fee is quite steep for a flat rate travel card. There is an initial redemption of 10K miles for a travel statement credit which is also one of the highest bars amongst travel cards. So, while the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is one of the highest earning miles reward cards, it does come with some strings.
Best Cash Back Card – Barclaycard Cash Forward World Mastercard
The Barclaycard Cash Forward World Mastercard allows consumers to earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases used with the credit card, has zero annual fees, and provides customers with a 5% bonus when you redeem your rewards. As opposed to many other cash back cards, this card is really a rewards card that allows you to redeem cash back.
The Barclaycard Cash Forward card provides new customers with $200 in rewards where they can receive cash back after you spend $1,000 during the first 3-months of opening a credit card account. Additionally, you can also receive a redemption bonus of 5% which increases the effected cash back rate to 1.6%.
One of the drawbacks of using the Barclaycard Cash Forward Mastercard is that you can only redeem with a minimum redemption amount of $50, which is relatively steep compared with Barclaycard competitors.
Best Co-branded Card
Barclaycard is very active in the co-branded credit card space in the United States. The JetBlue Plus Card comes, is one of their best sellers and has some very attractive features especially if you fly a lot with Jet Blue. Jet Blue has its hub in New York but is active throughout the United States and the Caribbean. The JetBlue Plus card has a robust sign on bonus where you will earn 30,000 points if you spend $1,000 within the first three months of receiving your card.
Additionally, you can earn 6-reward points for every $1 you spend on Jet Blue purchases. The credit card awards you with 2-points for every dollar you spend purchasing groceries and at restaurants and 1-point for all other purchases.
Also, you can earn 5,000 reward points after your account 1-year anniversary. On JetBlue flights, you will avoid up to $100 in costs by not having to pay for you and up to 3 other people for your first checked-bag, that is on your reservation. So, if you are traveling with a family of 4, you are saving on each flight you take with Jet Blue.
The Jet Blue Plus Card has a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first year, which will revert to a higher rate between 12.99% and 25.99% depending on your credit score. Additionally, the card has a $99 annual fee.
Which Barclay Card is Right for You?
While some Barclay cards are focused on good to great credit such as the Barclay Arrival Plus World Mastercard, they have some products such as their Barclay Card cash forward card and Jet Blue Plus Credit card where they will consider fair credit scores. Beware if the rates on these cards, if you carry a balance you can pay up to as much as 25.99% on balances which could overshadow any rewards you might receive from signing up. In many cases, this is the strategy that Barclaycard uses to generate income. They expect that a certain percentage of their customers will carry a balance, and will pay for the benefits they use to incent customers to sign up.
What to Consider Before Choosing a Barclaycard Card?
If you are not a frequent traveler, then the mileage cards that Barclaycard issues in the United States are not worth it. If you cannot use a statement credit for travel or do not use Jet Blue, then their two best mileage cards will not generate significant benefits. The Barclaycard Cash Forward card is not as attractive as other cash back cards, which send you cash to a checking account or reduce your statement balance by the cash credit. Make sure you carefully read the terms and conditions of each card before pulling the trigger on a Barclaycard credit card.
How to Apply Online for a Barclaycard Credit Card?
You can fill out the online application where you will provide your social security number of your tax identification number if you are a business. Barclay card will run your credit and then will alert of their decision along with a credit line amount. You can also apply for Barclaycard over the phone.
Barclaycard has been in business for more than 50-years but made its entrance to the United States approximately 10-years ago. Barclaycard has a presence in reward, miles, and cash back credit cards, and focuses most of their business on co-branded cards. Their cash back card is satisfactory but there are other produced by competitors that are better. Some of their co-branded cards have great perks especially for travelers, but if you have borderline credit the rates can be elevated. Their miles card is good, and allow you to use rewards as travel credits which is beneficial to those who are constantly on the road.