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Barclays 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.
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 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 Barclays’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 $0 for the first year, then $89.
Benefits of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
- Comes with a generous sign-up bonus: Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
- 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.
- 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 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 $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 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 – 18 month BT offer.
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 Barclays and you have excellent credit, this is your best bet.