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Most cash-back credit cards reward you for spending, but the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® adds a little something extra. Aside from earning decent flat-rate rewards on every purchase, you’ll also get a bonus whenever you redeem your rewards, which goes toward your next redemption.
Here’s what you should know before applying.
Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®: Benefits and basics
The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and gives you a 5% cash rewards bonus toward your next redemption when you cash in. If you redeemed $100 in rewards, for example, you’d get an additional $5 added to your rewards balance for your next redemption. That effectively raises the earn rate on this card to 1.575%. The annual fee is $0.
Here’s why you might want to get this card:
It comes with a 5% redemption bonus. About one in five consumers didn’t redeem any credit card rewards last year, according to a NerdWallet study. If you don’t always make time to cash in, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®’s redemption bonus might give you some motivation to do so. You can redeem a minimum of $50 in cash-back rewards for a gift card, statement credit or a deposit into your bank account.
You get a sign-up bonus and a 0% APR promotion. In addition to fair rewards, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® offers a 0% APR promotion: 0% on Purchases for 15 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening), and then the ongoing APR of 15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable APR. If you’re paying off a large purchase, or plan to carry a balance in the first year, this benefit could save you hundreds on interest. The card also offers a modest sign-up bonus: Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening.
You’ll get a free FICO score online. Barclaycard will also send you alerts when your score changes.
The card offers travel protections, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance. If you pay for your travel with this card, you can get your nonrefundable traveling costs reimbursed if you have to change your plans because of sickness, severe weather or other covered events. Such benefits aren’t available on most other cash-back cards.
Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®: Pitfalls and other possibilities
The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® might not be the best choice for you. Here’s why:
It doesn’t offer the highest flat-rate cash-back rewards rate. The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®’s effective earn rate of 1.575% is better than the run-of-the-mill 1.5% rewards many cash-back cards offer, but it’s not the best flat-rate cash-back card around.Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, which offers an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, and another 1% cash back on every dollar you pay off. Like the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®, it also comes with a free FICO score, trip cancellation insurance and an annual fee of $0. As long as your credit’s in good shape, you might be better off applying for a card that delivers more rewards.
You need excellent credit to qualify. If you have good-not-great credit, you might have a better chance qualifying for the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. It comes with a similar 1.5% cash-back rewards and a nearly identical sign-up bonus: One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Like the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®, it offers a 0% APR promotion: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 9 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR. Even though the card doesn’t require excellent credit, it offers good long-term value.
You can’t redeem less than $50 at a time. Compared with other cash-back cards, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®’s $50 redemption minimum is relatively steep. The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has no redemption minimum, which makes it easy to cash in on every last penny you earn, and the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer’s redemption minimum is $25.
Sign-up bonus aside, you’d have to spend $3,334 on the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® before you could redeem your rewards. And while you’d get a bonus for cashing in, you wouldn’t be able to access it until you spent another $3,331.50. Frugal spenders might be better off with a different card.
You can compare this card against other cash-back alternatives on our list of best credit card offers.
Is the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® right for you?
If you’re a big spender, and you’re looking for an extra incentive to redeem your cash-back rewards, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® might be an OK card for you. But before applying, consider cash-back cards with a higher rewards rate and more-flexible redemption options.
Last updated April 20, 2016.
Image via iStock.