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When you are trying to earn cash-back rewards, the challenge is to earn as many as possible while paying the fewest amount of necessary fees. This is especially true if you have less than perfect credit due to some missed payments or a high level of debt. There are many cards that offer high rates of cash back with large annual fees, while other cards offer modest rewards with no annual fee. The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard offers double rewards for all gas, utility and eligible grocery store purchases, with no annual fee.
An Introduction to the Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard
For each dollar spent on gas, utility and eligible grocery store purchases you earn two points in Barclaycard’s rewards program (excluding Target and Wal-Mart), and one point on all other purchases. When you earn 1,000 points you can redeem them for a $10 statement credit, a deposit into your checking or savings account or gift cards with various merchants. There is no limit to the amount of points you can earn and, if your account is open and in good standing, they never expire.
Other benefits include free online access to your FICO credit score and chip card technology that compatible with the Chip and PIN implementation that’s common in Europe, Canada and other parts of the world. Barclaycard also offers to automatically review your credit limit after six months to determine eligibility for a credit line increase. The variable APR for this card for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances is 25.24% APR, which is a variable rate that is tied to the Prime Rate. There is no annual fee for this card, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all charges processed outside of the United States.
The Advantages of the Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard
This card has no annual fee and offers a strong rate of cash back for purchases at gas stations, payments to utility companies and for all purchases made at grocery stores. Since grocery stores often sell a variety of non-food items, there are many ways to earn these rewards. Another advantage is that new account holders can receive automatic credit line increases after six months of having their account open. And since this card is offered to applicants with fair credit or better, it’s possible that some new customers with less than perfect credit could be approved, but with a limited line of credit at first. With a record of on-time payments, these new account holders could have their credit limit automatically expanded six months after account opening. (You can see where your credit currently stands by getting a free credit report summary on Credit.com.)
The Disadvantages of the Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard
This card has a relatively high variable interest rate of 25.24%, but that is to be expected from a card that is offered to people with fair credit. Like other rewards credit cards, applicants will often find lower rates on cards that have no rewards. In addition, applicants with excellent credit could still find lower interest rates on other cards that are designed for customers with their credit profile. Customers who plan on carrying a balance may want to focus on finding a card with the lowest interest rate, not one that earns rewards. Finally, this card does impose a 3% foreign transaction fee on your purchases, so it’s best to use a card without this charge when traveling outside the U.S.
Who Is the Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard Right for?
This card is right for someone who has fair or good credit who is trying to rebuild their credit history and is unable to be approved for the most competitive reward credit cards. Considering that this card has relatively low requirements for approval, it offers an excellent rate of return for the most common purchases that many cardholders will make.
This is also a card for someone who avoids interest charges by paying each month’s statement balance in full. With such a high standard interest rate, this is not a card that you want to carry a balance with.
Common Questions About the Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard
Q.Does this card offer a sign-up bonus?
A. There is no current sign-up bonus for this card.
Q. What kind of stores count as grocery stores?
A. Grocery stores are identified by their merchant codes, but Wal-Mart and Target stores are excluded from earning double rewards. Also excluded are warehouse clubs, drug stores, discount stores and merchants that sell a limited number of grocery items.
Q. How can rewards points be redeemed?
A. Once over 1,000 points have been earned you can request to have your points redeemed in one of three ways. You could have an ACH deposit in your checking or savings account, which takes 3 to 4 business days to post. You could also request a statement credit, which takes 1 to 2 business days. Finally, gift cards are available, which you will receive within 7 to 10 business days.
At publishing time, Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.