Barclaycard has been issuing credit cards in the U.S. for only a little over 10 years, but they’ve already become favorites for many consumers.
Barclaycard is one of the few issuers to offer 0% APR and waived fees to active-duty military personnel. The issuer also offers redemption bonuses on some cards and boasts one of the best flat-rate travel cards on NerdWallet, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®.
To find the best offers available, we surveyed Barclaycard’s credit cards and compared annual fees, rewards rates and other factors. Here are the three cards that earned top marks.
Best for travel: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on any purchase and get a 5% bonus when you redeem your rewards. The annual fee is $89 - Waived first year.
Benefits of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
- Comes with a generous sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.
- Offers a 5% redemption bonus, giving it an effective rewards rate of 2.1%, one of the highest earn rates among flat-rate travel cards on NerdWallet.
- Rewards can be redeemed as travel statement credit and used to cover airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, train fare and taxis, among other expenses.
- Comes with chip-and-PIN capability and no foreign transaction fees.
Drawbacks of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
- Annual fee is relatively steep; the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a better deal for those who spend less on travel.
- Has a minimum redemption of 10,000 miles for travel statement credit, one of the highest among all cards on NerdWallet.
The bottom line
Among all flat-rate travel credit cards on NerdWallet, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® offers one of the highest earn rates. Its flexible rewards also make it an excellent choice for families who travel together and people who book trips through budget travel websites. But the high minimum redemption might be a deal-breaker for some.
Best for fair credit: Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
Earn 2 points per dollar spent on groceries, gas and utilities, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. The annual fee is $0.
Benefits of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
- Comes with a free FICO score, updated monthly.
- Offers a generous rewards rate on everyday purchases, compared with other credit cards for people with fair credit.
- Redemptions start at only 1,000 points, redeemable for $10 cash back.
Drawbacks of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
- Doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus.
- Not a good card to carry a balance on. The ongoing APR is 25.24% Variable.
The bottom line
When it comes to credit cards for people with fair credit, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® offers some of the most generous rewards on the market. But if you get it, make sure to pay off your bill in full each month to avoid the card’s high interest rate.
Best for cash back: Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®
Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, plus a 5% bonus when you redeem your rewards. The annual fee is $0.
Benefits of the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®
- Comes with a decent sign-up bonus: Get a $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening.
- Offers a 5% redemption bonus, giving it an effective rewards rate of 1.575%.
Drawbacks of the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®
- Has a minimum redemption of $50, one of the highest among cash-back credit cards on NerdWallet.
- Marketed to people with excellent credit, but offers fewer rewards than other cash-back cards, such as the Citi®Double Cash Card.
The bottom line
The Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® isn’t the most rewarding cash-back credit card available. But if you’re looking for decent cash-back rewards from Barclaycard and you have excellent credit, this is your best bet.
We surveyed Barclaycards in each category, weighing different attributes for each group. For travel credit cards, we consider the sign-up bonus, the annual fee, rewards rates for travel purchases, redemption flexibility, point value, foreign transaction fees, acceptance rates and notable extras. For fair credit credit cards, we consider the annual fee, rewards rate, access to financial literacy resources, APR and notable extras. For cash-back credit cards, we consider sign-up bonus, annual fee, annual value of cash back if all the bonus categories were maxed out, the cash back program, the simplicity of the rewards and notable extras.
Image via iStock.