Advertiser Disclosure

NerdWallet’s Best Barclays Credit Cards

Nov. 19, 2018
NerdWallet's Best Barclaycard Credit Cards
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

A venerable British bank with a history spanning more than 300 years, Barclays only began issuing credit cards in the U.S. in the 21st century. But those cards have already become favorites for many consumers.

Barclays 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 rewards cards and boasts one of the best flat-rate travel cards around, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®. Here are our favorite Barclays credit cards

Best for travel: Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Apply Now on Barclays's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate on all purchases, not just bonus categories
    • Sign-up bonus
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Has annual fee
    • Minimum redemption required for travel

    Annual Fees

    $89

    APR

    • APR: 17.99% - 21.99% APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 27.24%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

    Intro APR

    • 0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening
  • Additional Information
    • Limited Time Offer: Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
    • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
    • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
    • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
    • View Rates and Fees

Benefits of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

  • The card earns 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.
  • Rewards can be redeemed at a rate of 1 cent per mile for credit against travel expenses. Miles can be used to pay for airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, train fare and taxis, among other things.
  • The sign-up bonus is generous: Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Every time you redeem miles, you get 5% of them back. That gives the card an effective rewards rate of 2.1%, one of the highest earn rates among flat-rate travel cards on NerdWallet.
  • The card has chip-and-PIN capability and charges no foreign transaction fees.

Drawbacks of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

  • The annual fee, when it kicks in, is relatively steep — $89.
  • There’s a minimum redemption of 10,000 miles ($100) for travel statement credit, one of the highest minimums among all cards on NerdWallet.
  • You can redeem for cash back starting at 5,000 miles, but miles are worth only half a cent apiece when redeemed this way (5,000 miles equals $25).

The bottom line

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® offers one of the richest reward rates of any flat-rate card — cash back or travel. 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 balance transfers: Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

Apply Now on Barclays's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Balance Transfers
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • No rewards

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 13.99% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 13.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 13.99% APR will apply
  • Additional Information
    • Enjoy a 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 13.99% APR will apply
    • Low 13.99% variable APR on purchases and cash advances
    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • International Chip and PIN
    • View Rates and Fees

Benefits of the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

  • The annual fee is $0.
  • You get an introductory APR of 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% Variable APR. That’s a fairly low ongoing rate.
  • There’s no balance transfer fee on transfers made after 45 days from account opening. Those made within 45 days incur a fee of 2% or $5, whichever is higher. However, that’s still lower than the typical range of 3% to 5%.
  • Cardholders can suggest new features and weigh in on product ideas.

Drawbacks of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

  • While some cards offer you an introductory $0 balance transfer fee and an introductory 0% APR period, the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® is an either/or proposition. Transfer within 45 days, and you’ll pay a fee but get a 0% period. Transfer after 45 days, and you’ll pay no fee but get no 0% period.
  • There’s no 0% intro period for purchases.

The bottom line 

With its 0% period and its lower transfer fees, the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® can be a good balance-transfer card for a consumer whose other options are cards that charge fees up to 5%. And because the fee goes away entirely after 45 days and the ongoing rate is lower than what you might get on rewards cards, it’s worth considering if you expect to make multiple transfers over time.