The Best Barclays Credit Cards of 2013
Looking for the best Barclays credit cards? While not as popular in the US as they are in Europe, Barclays does have a number of cards available to American consumers. Many of them are geared toward travelers and are tied to very specific destinations, but there are a few that will appeal to a wider client base. If you’re not satisfied with products from guys like Chase or Capital One (maybe they’re just too “mainstream”), this collection of cards is worth a look. Here we bring you the very best Barclays credit cards available this side of the Atlantic.
Priceline Rewards Visa No Annual Fee Credit Card
Barclays offers a ton of travel cards. Most of them fill very specific niches (the Icelandair card, for example). The Priceline card, on the other hand, is a great multi-purpose travel credit card. It has a base rewards rate of 2 points per dollar spent–double what most cards offer. Every “Name Your Own Price” purchase on Priceline earns 5 points to the dollar. Rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards or statement credits over $25. Basically, you can redeem for anything you can buy with your card. Right now, the Priceline card comes with a lovely little introductory gift for people who need to transfer a balance. The 0% transfer APR lasts 15 months, and balances transferred within the first 30 days earn a 5,000 point bonus worth $50. Since making a transfer will incur a balance transfer fee, the bonus helps offset the cost. Oh, and did we mention? There’s no annual fee. Awesome.
Choice Privileges Visa Signature
If you’re looking for a decent hotel credit card, you may want to consider the Choice Privileges Visa Signature. First off, it has a base rate of 2 points per dollar spent. That’s good, but maybe not as good as it might seem. For most rewards programs, you can count on points to be worth about a penny apiece. But by our estimate, Choice Points have a value of only $0.08 each. That means 2 points to the dollar equates to a 1.6% rate–which is still pretty good. Buying Choice Privileges points or Choice gift cards will get you 5 points to the dollar, and all purchases at Choice locations kick back 15 points per dollar. At 16,000 points, the signup bonus is good for two free night stays. You get 8,000 points after your first purchase, and the other 8,000 after you use your card to pay for a night at Choice Privileges location. Locations include the Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Econolodge and more.
Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature
Here’s another hotel credit card, but this time with a little more panache. If you like sleeping in style, the Wyndham Visa Signature could prove an invaluable travel companion. The base rewards rate is a flat 2% on all purchases. That alone is enough to rake in some serious bonus cash. Purchases at participating Wyndham locations will be eligible for an accelerated 5% rate. The signing bonus is also pretty huge at 30,000 points (worth about $300). Every year, on the anniversary of your signing, you get a nice little thank-you gift–one free night stay. The Wyndham Visa even comes with a low balance transfer APR in case you have some debts to pay off. Remember, you’ll still have to pay a balance transfer fee, but it can be well worth putting a freeze on interest for 15 months. The annual fee is $69, but it’s waived the first year, and your rewards will easily make up the difference.
Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard – Excellent Credit
As the name states, you have to have pretty stellar credit to be approved for this offer. But if you qualify, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard may be well worth your time. We’re sort of in love with this card, mostly because it offers great rewards for no annual fee. It earns 1% back on all purchases and double rewards on gas, groceries and utilities. By doubling up earnings on the essentials, you’re guaranteed to hit those bonus categories on a regular basis. Points can be redeemed for a number of options, including shopping, dining and flights without blackout dates. Rewards are not capped and will not expire for the life of your account. Additionally, the Barclaycard Rewards grants 12 months of 0% purchase APR. If you have some big purchases to make in the near future, you have an entire year to pay them off without incurring interest. All in all, not a bad fee-free card.
Virgin America Visa Signature
We’ve already talked about a couple hotel cards, but what about a card for frequent flyers? The Virgin America Visa Signature is one of Barclay’s most rewarding airline branded credit cards. It earns 3 points per dollar on Virgin America purchases and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Every $5,000 you charge gets you an additional 300 bonus points (capped at 1,200 a year). After making a single purchase, you’ll be granted a 20,000-point signup bonus (worth about $200). If you make a balance transfer in the first 30 days, you’ll receive an additional 5,000 points (worth about $50). To entice you to make a transfer, the Virgin America Visa comes with a 15-month 0% balance transfer APR–anything you move to your new card will be interest-free for over a year. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll get $150 off a companion ticket once a year. There are no blackout dates to contend with, and the annual fee is fairly low at $49. So. Many. Perks.