Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is a rewards credit card which you can get even if you have only fair credit. But at the same time it lets you earn the same high rewards that you normally find on top rewards cards for people with excellent credit. That makes this card stand out.

But the benefits don't stop at rewards, and even if you have excellent credit this card is still worth a closer look. This card has special perks that encourage you to build your credit, but it isn't the best card for you if paying your credit card bills on time is not a habit you possess. It also isn't a great card to get if you have credit card debt you want to transfer, and you will find out why as you read on. I've done a detailed review here so that you can have a better idea of the pros and cons of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®, and see how it compares to other rewards cards.

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard<sup>®</sup>

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®

  • Our Rating:
At Barclaycard's secure website


  • Rewards program.
  • No annual fee.
  • Complimentary FICO® Credit Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers.
  • Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Credit Scores from your Barclaycard online account.


  • No introductory APR offer.


24.99%* Variable






  • 2X points on purchases for gas, groceries and utilities
  • 1X points on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Points don't expire as long as account is open, active and in good standing
  • No limits on the number of points you can earn or redeem
  • Starting at 1,000 points for $10, points can be redeemed for statement credits and gift cards
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • $0 Fraud Liability on unauthorized charges

In This Review:

Things We Like About Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
Our Least Favorite Things About Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
How Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® Compares With Similar Cards
Our Verdict On Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®

Things We Like About Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®

  • No annual fee. This is a great benefit, considering you can earn up to 2x points on certain purchases! Most other cards for fair credit either skimp on the rewards, or charge you an annual fee.
  • Earn 2x points on purchases for gas, groceries and utilities. You can also earn 1x points on all other purchases and as long as your account is open, active and in good standing they will not expire. The categories of purchases which you earn high rewards for are things that you most likely spend a good amount of money on every month, which sets this card apart from other rewards cards which save their higher rewards for less common purchases like dining out and travel.
  • Points can be redeemed for a wide variety of things. You can use your points to redeem for gift cards, merchandise, cash back statement credit or statement credit for purchases made within the last 90 days. You will need 1000 points minimum in order to redeem.
  • No limit on the amount of points you can earn. This allows you to save points and then redeem them towards a big purchase as a statement credit, or get gift cards towards things you would normally pay for.
  • Active card members will also benefit from free access to their FICO® Credit Score which you can check online through your Barclaycard account. This is a big perk which you don't get with most credit cards. If you have fair credit, tracking your credit score can help motivate you to continually improve your credit. The FICO® Score is the credit score that many lenders look at. Reports will also be sent to each of the three major credit bureaus each month to help you rebuild your credit score.
  • You get alerts if your credit score changes. Every time your credit score changes (good or bad) you get an alert, so you can see your progress immediately, and be alerted if something you are doing is damaging your credit score.
  • You may get a credit line increase when you make payments on time. Barclaycard will review your credit line after you make 5 consecutive on-time payments. So paying your credit card bill in full and online won't only help you avoid paying the APR, but it will also help you get a bigger credit limit.
  • No over-the-limit fee. If you go over your spending limit, you won't have to pay any over-the-limit fee. Many cards charge an over-limit fee when you pay for a purchase that overshoots your credit limit.
  • Chip card technology gives your card global acceptance and security when paying at chip-card terminals. EMV chip credit cards are becoming the new standard in the U.S., so this card is future-ready.
  • $0 Fraud Liability on unauthorized charges. If your Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is lost or stolen and used without your authorization, you will not be liable for those charges. This perk gives you a lot of peace of mind. Just make sure to report the loss or theft as quickly as possible.

Our Least Favorite Things About Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®

  • No 0% introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers. Unlike many other rewards cards out there, this card doesn't have any 0% intro APR offer for new card members.
  • High APR on purchases and balance transfers. If you carry a balance on this card, a 24.99% variable APR will apply. Because this card is designed for people with average credit, the APR is relatively high compared to a card that's meant for people with excellent credit. I recommend that you pay off your balance each month so as not to incur any interest fees! This also is not a good card to transfer any credit card balances onto, because it has a high APR and the balance transfer fee is 3% of each balance transfer (not less than $5).
  • You pay a high cash advance fee when you use this card to get cash (at ATMs, for example). The cash advance fee is 5% of each cash advance, and the minimum cash advance fee you will pay every time you get a cash advance is $10. So if you are in the habit of drawing cash from your credit card, this card can get quite expensive. Stick to using your card to pay at merchants directly in order to earn rewards and avoid paying to get cash.

How Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® Compares With Similar Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a nice rewards card for those who have excellent credit (compare that to Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® which you can get with fair credit) and are willing to pay the introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $95 (Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® has no annual fee). Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rewards you with 2 points per $1 on travel and dining at restaurants, and 1 point per $1 for all your other purchases. This Chase card has solid travel benefits, so if you travel a lot then you should consider this card. If you just want rewards for your daily purchases, then Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is probably a better choice, especially if you aren't sure that your credit is excellent.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card – Earn 20,000 Bonus Points lets you earn 2 ThankYou Points for each $1 spent on restaurants dining and entertainment, and 1 ThankYou Point on other purchases. Points don't expire and you can collect as many as you want. By comparison, Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® rewards you for more everyday purchases, as it gives you 2X points per $1 on purchases for groceries, gas and utilities (and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases). The ThankYou rewards program you get with Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card – Earn 20,000 Bonus Points might give it a slight advantage, as you can redeem rewards in many different ways (Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® rewards you with points which can be redeemed for statement credits and gift cards). Both cards have no annual fee, but you have to have excellent credit to apply for Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card – Earn 20,000 Bonus Points. On the other hand you can get Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® as long as you have fair credit, so it's much more accessible.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is similar to Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® because it's also a card for people with fair credit. But it lets you earn cash back rewards rather than points. You earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, which is much better than the 1% that most cash back credit cards give you. But other than the fair credit requirement and the fact that this is a rewards card (albeit cash back), it doesn't have a whole lot in common with Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®. First of all, this card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers until September 2016, while Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® doesn't have an intro APR offer. You pay a $39 annual fee to use Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, while Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® has no annual fee. You can earn some decent cash back with this card, as you get cash back for all purchases you make, though you have to take what you spend on the annual fee into account.

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® has no annual fee and lets you earn rewards at a rate comparable to most top rewards cards. You can get it even if you only have fair credit.

  • Our Verdict:

The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is an excellent choice of card for those of you who have fair credit and want a card that rewards you on all your spending. The thing I like most about this card is that you get to earn 2x points on groceries, gas and utility purchases, and face it, unless you are a restaurant critic or a travel journalist by profession, you probably spend more money on groceries, gas and utilities than what you spend on things like travel, going to the movies and eating out. So the rewards categories offered by Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® have a wide appeal. On top of that, you earn 1x points on all other purchases.

Another advantage of this card is that points don't expire and there’s no redemption fee, no matter what you choose to redeem your points for. You may redeem your points as statement credit, which can be used to deduct from any purchase made with this card, or for gift cards (which can be redeemed for stuff you would otherwise buy). Just note that this is not a good card to use if you don't pay your balance in full by the due date every month, as it has a 24.99% variable APR! But as long as you do make your payments in full and on time, this is one of the best rewards credit cards you can get with fair credit.

Click here to go to the official Barclaycard website to apply online for Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® now.