Barclaycard has a new cash back rewards card called the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® which earns a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no earnings cap. There is also no annual fee and an upfront sign-up bonus. Here are the highlights:
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase.
- Get a $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening.
- Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption.
- Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into your bank account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $50.
- Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing.
- 0% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
- No annual fee.
I suppose the 5% cash rewards redemption bonus could be used to think of this card as a 1.575% cash back card (1.5% times 105%), but keep in mind that it is structured as an incentive to keep you using the card. For example, if you redeem $100 in cash rewards, you will get $5 added to your rewards balance good towards your next redemption. You have to reach $50 to cash out again. You wouldn’t want to stop using the card and lose that “free money”, would you?
The competition. Chase and Capital One also have their own versions of 1.5% flat cash back:
However, it is important to note that there are competitors with higher effective cash back rates. Some have a few additional requirements which you may or may not find too much trouble.
- Citi Double Cash Review
- Fidelity Rewards Visa Credit Card Review (must have Fidelity account)
- BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card Review (must have BofA or Merrill Edge account with $50k+ assets)
- USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Card Review (must be USAA member and $1,000 monthly direct deposit)
Bottom line. The CashForward World MasterCard is Barclaycard’s entry into the “simple, no hassle cash back rewards” category. The 1.5% cash back is competitive with similar no-annual-fee offerings from Capital One and Chase (with this card offering an additional small redemption bonus on top), but I would also compare it with the offerings from Citibank and other issuers listed above first. You also receive a free FICO score updates from Barclaycard.
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