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Best Barclays Credit Cards of 2020

NerdWalletOctober 8, 2020

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As of mid-2019, the Barclays credit card portfolio was made up entirely of "co-branded" cards. Co-brands are cards issued in partnership with a store, airline, hotel chain or other company or organization. Over the years, Barclays has offered some fine cards under its own label — most notably the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® — but it is not currently accepting applications for any of those proprietary cards.

This page lists the best of Barclays' co-branded cards and provides alternatives for consumers interested in one of the company's now-unavailable proprietary cards.

BEST CO-BRANDED CARDS ISSUED BY BARCLAYS

Uber Credit Card

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $100 Uber Cash after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days..

Rewards:

  • 4% cash back on restaurants, takeout, fast food, bars and UberEats.

  • 3% cash back on hotels, airfare and vacation home rentals.

  • 2% cash back on online purchases including Uber, online shopping and streaming services.

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

Annual fee: $99.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase in the first 90 days and paying the $99 annual fee.

Rewards:

  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.

  • 1 miles per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Notable perks: 

  • Earn an introductory Companion Certificate good for one guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after making your first purchase in the first 90 days and paying the $99 annual fee. Then, each anniversary year, earn a Companion Certificate good for one guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after spending $20,000 on purchases and your account remains open for 45 days after your anniversary date.

  • First checked bag free for you and up to four others traveling on your reservation.

  • Priority boarding.

Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®

Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $99.

Sign-up bonus: Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Rewards: 

  • 3 miles per dollar spent on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases.

  • 2 miles per dollar on gas, dining and grocery store purchases.

  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Notable perks: 

  • One-time 50% off companion discount for round-trip travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines.

  • Annual $100 companion discount for round-trip travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines after each account anniversary.

  • First checked bag free on eligible bags for the primary cardmember.

Barnes & Noble Mastercard®

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card after your first purchase.

Rewards: This card offers two kinds of rewards — one for spending with Barnes & Noble, and the other for spending at other merchants.

  • 5% back on all purchases at Barnes & Noble, in-store or online. The 5% appears as a credit on your statement.

  • 2 points per dollar spent at restaurants (excludes Barnes & Noble Café), and 1 point per dollar on all other spending. When you accumulate 2,500 points, you automatically receive a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Notable perk: 

  • 12 months of Barnes & Noble membership ($25 value) after spending $7,500 in a year.

Upromise® Mastercard®

Annual fee: $0.

Rewards:

  • 1.25% cash back on all purchases.

  • Purchase amounts can be rounded up to the nearest dollar, with the entire rounded amount earning 1.25% cash back.

  • Get a 15% bonus on the cash back you earn when your Upromise Program account is directly linked to an eligible 529 College Savings Plan.

Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 32,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days, enough for up to 4 free nights.

Rewards:

  • 15 points per dollar spent at eligible Choice Privileges locations with your card and Choice Privileges membership.

  • 2 points per dollar on other purchases.

  • 10% points bonus every time you purchase a stay with Choice Hotels.

Notable perks:

  • Earn 8,000 anniversary bonus points every year you spend $10,000 or more on purchases with your card by your account anniversary date.

NFL Extra Points Credit Card

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 10,000 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 90 days, enough to redeem for $100 cash back.

Rewards:

  • 2 points per dollar spent on NFL and team purchases like eligible NFL tickets and merchandise purchases at NFLShop.com and at team pro shops.

  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

  • Points can be redeemed for cash back (at 1 cent per point) or for tickets or NFL experiences.

Notable perks: 

  • Special financing on ticket purchases.

  • 20% off purchases at NFLShop.com.

ALTERNATIVES TO PROPRIETARY BARCLAYS CARDS

No longer available: Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

» What it offered: Regularly a top NerdWallet pick among credit cards for travelers, this card gave you 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Miles could be redeemed for any travel purchase — flights on any airline, stays at any hotel, and so on. The card offered a great sign-up bonus and gave you 5% of your miles back when you redeemed, for an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $89.

» Alternative: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card provides the same basic benefits: 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, with miles redeemable for any travel purchase. It also provides some perks that the Barclays card didn't, like reimbursement for the application fee for TSA Precheck or Global Entry. The annual fee is $95.

» For other options: See NerdWallet's best travel credit cards.

No longer available: Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®

» What it offered: This was an upgraded version of the Arrival Plus card that Barclays tried out for about six months in 2018 before discontinuing it (and bringing back the Arrival Plus). It, too, offered 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. But instead of rewarding new cardholders with a big sign-up bonus, the card focused its affection on loyal cardholders by offering up to 75,000 bonus miles a year, depending on how much you spent. The card also offered some other perks, for a higher annual fee of $150 (waived first year).

» Alternative: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a suitable alternative to this card, just as it was for the Arrival Plus.

» For other options: See NerdWallet's best travel credit cards.

No longer available: Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

» What it offered: This was the no-annual-fee version of Barclays' travel card. It worked the same way as the Plus and Premier versions, except that instead of getting 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, you earned 2 miles per dollar only on travel and dining and 1 mile per dollar on everything else.

» Alternative: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card earns 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases (Bank of America® customers in the Preferred Rewards program can earn even higher rates). Points can be redeemed for travel purchases, and the issuer has an especially broad definition of "travel." The annual fee is $0.

No longer available: Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®

» What it offered: This card gave you an unlimited 2 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries and utilities, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Points were worth about a penny apiece. The annual fee was $0. What really made the card stand out was that it was available to consumers with fair (or "average") credit. Most rewards cards require at least good credit.

» Alternative: If you're looking to earn rewards with fair credit, consider the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. It pays unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The annual fee is $39.

No longer available: Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

» What it offered: Introduced in 2015, this was one of a slew of cards offering 1.5% cash back on all purchases. It distinguished itself by giving you a 5% bonus each time you redeemed your rewards, so if you redeemed $100, the issuer would kick an additional $5 into your rewards balance for your next redemption. As with most cash-back cards, the annual fee was $0.

» Alternative: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® also has a rewards rate of 1.5% cash back (plus between 3% and 5% in certain categories) and an annual fee of $0.

» For other options: See NerdWallet's best cash-back credit cards.

No longer available: Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

» What it offered: A lower ongoing interest rate was the signature feature of this no-annual-fee card, although Barclays experimented with a $0 balance transfer fee and 0% APR periods. The issuer built a community among users by offering a modest rewards program based on the card's financial performance and giving cardholders the opportunity to suggest and vote on new features.

» Alternative: For a good interest-free period on purchases and balance transfers, check out the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card. If gives you an introductory APR of  0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

Last updated on October 8, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.