Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard vs. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa

In the battle of the cash-back credit cards, Wells Fargo Cash Forward Visa has a slight edge over Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard. Check out our head-to-head analysis to learn why.

If you're looking for a solid cashback credit card, here's a comparison of two similar cards worth paying attention to.

Want to learn more about the difference between cash back and other kinds of rewards? We've got you covered here.

The Verdict

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa has a slight edge over the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard because of its cash rewards and redemption options

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa and the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard are two stand-out cards in the credit world.

If you're looking for strong cash-back rewards, you'd do well to have either card in your wallet.

But even with Barclaycard's 5% bonus when redeeming cash-back rewards (which, when crunching the numbers and categories, isn't as strong as we're led to believe), we're leaning toward the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa because of its overall benefits and rewards, particularly for those consumers who are embracing digital payment methods.

Why One Wins

Wells Fargo is stronger than Barclaycard because it is the more digital-friendly cash rewards card

If you're attached at the hand to your smartphone and prefer to use Apple Pay or Android Pay instead of reaching for your wallet, then you'll see where we're coming from with our vote for Wells Fargo's cash-back credit card.

Protect your phone. Swipe and tap without worry—your expensive smartphone is covered (up to $600) in case of accidental damage or theft.

How Many Smartphones Are Shipped in the U.S. Each Year?

Earn more with Apple Pay or Android Pay. Get a higher rate of cash-back rewards for the first year when you shop using either app.

Stay on track with Cash Track. This handy online feature, accessible to cardholders when they log onto the Wells Fargo site, helps you keep track of and set goals for your cash-back rewards.

People love Wells Fargo because of its easy-to-achieve sign-up bonus

Some sign-up bonuses require careful planning and big spending. Not so with the Wells Fargo Mastercard and its current reward bonus promotion.

New cardholders can now snag a $200 cash-back bonus when they spend just $1,000 within the first 90 days.

Even on a modest budget, that's rather easy to come by—just charge $11.11 a day for 90 days, and the $200 reward bonus is yours.

The biggest customer complaint about Wells Fargo is that it's not good for travel

The Wells Fargo card is a cash-back card, not a travel card. Of course, you can apply your points toward statement credit when you pay for travel with your card, but if it's airline miles or hotel points you're looking for, this card will disappoint.

Also, if you're thinking of taking this rewards credit card with you as you travel the globe, be prepared to get socked with a 3% charge on all foreign transactions.

The Wells Fargo Mastercard is proof that no credit card is perfect. Even with great cash-back perks, this reward card won't get you very far with travel. If you were hoping for a one-size-fits-all card for your wallet, keep searching.

Then again, Barclaycard Cash Forward World Mastercard could be better than Wells Fargo because of its more generous terms for purchases and balance transfers

More time, less interest. You'll have 15 months—not 12—of 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers when you open a Barclay Cash Forward World Mastercard.

Can three months really make a difference? It sure can. So if you're in the market to open a new card for a balance transfer or a big shopping spree, the Barclaycard could be the winner.

People love Barclaycard because of the 5% bonus on cash-back redemption

Get more when you redeem cash-back points. When it's time for you to cash in some of your reward points, Barclaycard will tack on an extra 5%. So, when you redeem $100 toward cash or statement credit, you'll get $105 instead.

The biggest customer complaint about Barclaycard is that the cash-back rewards are not that impressive

When this reward bonus card made its debut in 2015, it didn't exactly impress pundits who were quick to recognize that, on almost every feature, better deals weren't at hard to find elsewhere.

The takeaway

The main lure of this card is the 1.5% cash-back rewards on all purchases. If this is enough of a good deal for you, then this Barclaycard is a contender for your spending.

About Each Company

Barclays and Wells Fargo not only have a huge footprint in the financial world, but the two companies also have one in the entertainment world.

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY opened in 2012. It is home to the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, the Islanders hockey team, and countless concerts.

The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia opened in 1996. It is home to the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, the 76ers basketball team, and the Philadelphia Soul arena football team.

Like at the Barclays, people can usually rock out to internationally renowned music acts whenever sports isn't center stage.

Despite Wells Fargo's recent negative headlines, sports and music fans know the Wells Fargo Center is a place to have a good time.

The takeaway

You've likely heard about the Wells Fargo scandal. Big banks—all of them—tend to have a checkered past. So where does that leave you as a cardholder?

Focus on the card benefits. It's important to know that regardless of how good or how bad the reputation of the credit card issuer, you don't have to be a banking customer in order to have a card.

You have a choice of cards, but not card issuers. If you have a strong affinity for a bank, then it might make sense to visit or go online to said bank and apply for a bank-backed credit card that way.

U.S. Credit Card Accounts

If you've got a strong aversion to a bank or credit card issuer, then it will pay to read the fine print before clicking send on any application to ensure that your financial nemesis has nothing to do with your new card.

Rewards and Bonuses

Both cards offer solid cash-back bonuses of 1.5%.

Unlike other cards, where you'll have to memorize bonus categories that change every quarter, you can count on Wells Fargo or Barclaycard to deliver the same rewards on all purchases.

Wells Fargo ups the ante for Apple Pay and Android Pay users—to the tune of 1.8% cash-back rewards for the first year.

But if you're the type of person who prefers to swipe a card or—gasp!—still pays your credit card bill with a paper check, you'll miss out on this bump in reward.

The Barclaycard offers a 5% bonus when you redeem your cash-back rewards. That sounds like a lot, but it's not—it only comes out to slightly more than the 1.5% cash back on regular purchases.

The takeaway

There are many credit cards competing for your attention by offering similar rewards. Read the fine print carefully to make sure that the one you choose matches your spending habits.

Benefits

Like many credit cards, both the Wells Fargo card and the Barclaycard offer consumers benefits that extend far beyond what you get when you swipe the card at a merchant.

If you've ever gotten a finger or—ouch!—your cheek cut by a cracked smartphone, then you'll want to read this next part carefully:

Stay connected to Wells Fargo's cell phone insurance. One of the biggest fears in the digital age is to smash your smartphone before your contract is up for renewal. You can breathe a bit easier with Wells Fargo because this card has your back with cell phone protection.

Skip the cell phone insurance with your carrier. Just say no to Verizon, AT&T, etc. and yes to telephone protection that comes with all Wells Fargo credit cards.

Pay yourphone bill with this card. Don't overlook this step—in order to get up to $600 in damage or theft coverage, you'll need to pay your monthly phone bill with your Wells Fargo card.

Users Are Generally Satisfied With Their Cell Phone Plan

Be careful with your phone. No insurance plan is perfect, and you'll likely have to pay some money regardless of your coverage.

This particular insurance policy may carry with it a $25 deductible, and you're capped at 2 claims per year. Plus, if you lose your phone, you're out of luck completely.

Wells Fargo takes you further into the digital age.Wells Fargo's history may hearken back to the days of horse-drawn carriages, but the company is now very much grounded in our present tech-driven world.

Download Apple Pay or Android Pay to earn more rewards. During the first year your account is open, you'll get 1.8% on all transactions made with either digital wallet.

There's no spending cap and there are no extra surcharges, so enjoy this benefit for 12 months upon opening the Wells Fargo card.

Use Cash Track to set goals. Sometimes cash-back rewards can get a bit tricky, so you're left in the dark as to how much you're actually accumulating each month.

With Cash Track, not only do you know how much you have, but you can also set up your spending patterns to see how much you'll get in the future.

Barclaycard protects you against fraud.Credit card scams are at an all-time high. If you've got the Barclaycard, you can rest assured you will not be responsible for any payments for fraudulent purchases.

The takeaway

Although you will probably make your credit card choice based on those rewards and perks you get when you swipe the card, it's a good thing when there are other benefits to be had just for being a cardholder.

Rates and Fees

If you prefer to keep more of your money when it comes to using credit cards, you're in luck. Neither the Barclaycard nor the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa charges an annual fee.

This means you get to keep all of your cash-back rewards. Pay off that balance every month, and you've truly got two completely free options for your wallet.

There are foreign transaction fees. When it comes to taking your card on the road—or rather, the plane, for that matter—the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card and Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard cards aren't likely travel companions.

That's because both charge 3% for foreign transactions.

No-interest balance transfers aren't free. Though you'll save a ton with 0% introductory APR for 12 months with Wells Fargo and 15 months for Barclaycard, you will have to pay a 5% fee to initiate the balance transfer.

Make sure you pay off the balance within the no-interest terms so that you don't wind up paying even more in the end.

The takeaway 

To be fair, neither card bills itself as a travel card (though the "World" designation on the Barclaycard kind of has us scratching our heads). So it might make sense to leave either one home in favor of a travel rewards card when you leave the country.

And while a 5% balance transfer fee is nothing compared to the double-digit interest you could be spending if you kept that balance on another card, you should crunch those numbers to see if a balance transfer is worth it.

Customer Service

When you've got millions of customers, it's hard to please everyone. When you're a bank the size of Wells Fargo or Barclays, it's impossible.

Wells Fargo

One irate consumer named Fabrizio had this to say about Wells Fargo on the Consumer Affairs website: "Wells Fargo offers some of the worst credit cards you can get...starting from the bank upper management, with its publicly known history of deception, which became a media scandal with the creation of phony accounts years ago."

Fabrizio goes on to complain about Wells Fargo's "stingy" rewards programs and its "extremely heavy handed" approach to late fees and interests.

"I have been a loyal (I should add stupid) customer of Wells Fargo for over 10 years, but just closed the credit card after been charged $40 between late fees and interest charges for my one and only late payment ever."

Barclaycard

Sometimes, it just doesn't pay to be a good customer. Robert, a verified reviewer on the Consumer Affairs website, posted this lament about his Barclaycard: "I have had a Barclays credit card for over 10 years and pay off my full balance each month. In the past 12 months I have charged over $70,000 to the card, so with my excellent payment history, I'm a good customer."

After Robert's bank made an error on an auto payment this month, making it several days late, Barclays charged Robert a $27 fee, he recalls.

"I explained the situation and asked for a refund and Barclays repeatedly said they were unable to refund the fee. The $27 isn't the issue—Barclays's response seems automated and showed no customer concern whatsoever. The card has been destroyed and patronage is history."

The takeaway

How do we put this nicely? Pay your card on time and pray that you don't have to call customer service for anything at either company.

Apps and Websites

You're not still getting paperless statements, are you? If you are, we won't tell, but getting either of these credit cards might finally bring you over to online banking for good.

Wells Fargo

Save a stamp. Pay online or download the app for Apple or Android. You'll see an account snapshot and be able to pay your bill with just a few taps and swipes.

The Future of Global Mobile Payment Transactions

Earn more with your smartphone. Plus, the extra cash-back for using Apple Pay or Android Pay is a plus with us. (No wonder Wells Fargo offers protection for your phone!)

Keep track of cash back. Cash Track is a game changer for cardholders who like to track their rewards down to the penny. This feature allows you to see just how your spending sways your cash-back rewards.

Barclaycard

Track your account on the go. Download the app for Apple or Android and track every penny you spend and cash-back reward you earn.

Pay your bills from anywhere. Forget to pay the cable company? Log into your account and pay directly from your checking account. You can access your account anywhere with a secure WiFi signal.

The takeaway

If you're still paying your credit card with a personal check, you're doing it wrong. Set up your card online or through the app to pay your bill automatically every month—you'll never have to worry about getting hit with late fees again!

Getting Started

The best and fastest way to get started is to apply for a card at the Barclaycard or Wells Fargo credit card home page.

The best way to begin with either card

The Wells Fargo card and the Barclaycard have the same sign-up bonus.

It's one of the easiest ones out there to attain, in fact: spend $1000 in three months to get a very nice $200 signup bonus.

Depending on your budget, you might arrive at that $1,000 much sooner than 90 days.

But if you put less than $333 a month on your credit card, then you might want to wait until holiday shopping season or when you're ready to book a family vacation so you can secure that sweet sign-up deal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both cards offer the same sweet deal: Spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of opening the card and earn $200 in cash-back rewards.

What are the benefits of keeping the card open after the sign-up bonus?

Both cards offer 1.5% cash-back rewards on all purchases. Additionally, for the first year with the Wells Fargo card, you'll get 1.8% back if you use Apple Pay or Android Pay.

Which card offers a better 0% interest promotion?

Barclaycard wins out here—it offers 15 months of interest-free payments on purchases and balance transfers; Wells Fargo offers 12 months only. (Note there is a balance transfer fee of 5%.)

What are the interest rates for each card provider?

After the first year of no interest, Wells Fargo has a variable interest rate of 13.99%–25.99%. After the first 15 months of no interest, Barclaycard has a variable interest rate of 15.99%—25.99%.

Are there annual fees?

Neither card charges an annual fee.

How about foreign transaction fees?

Yes, both cards will charge you 3% when you shop outside of the country.

Can I get a cash advance?

You can get cash with either card, but you probably don't want to—the cash advance fee is saddled with a 5% fee and 24.99-26.99% APR for the Wells Fargo card. For the Barclaycard, it's a 5% fee plus 26.24% variable APR.

What kind of FICO score do I need for these cards?

You'll need a FICO score in the good to excellent range for either card.

How do I cancel either card?

Canceling either card is as easy as calling up the customer service number on the back of the card. However, we recommend the following before you do so:

Pay off the balance. Some credit cards won't close your card until it's paid off—worse, they might lower the limit drastically until you do. The best thing is to just pay it off or transfer the balance to another card.

Open another card. Unless you plan to zero out all other debt at the same time, know that your credit limit will be lowered with a card closing. Keep that credit ceiling as high as possible so that your credit score isn't docked.

Conclusion

This one came down to the wire, but we stand firm on the Wells Fargo card as the better one overall.

We can't help but like a card that rewards you for digital payments (even if it's only for the first year) and keeps you on track for bigger rewards through its Cash Track online feature.

So for sheer overall convenience, Wells Fargo is the winner.

We've covered all the different cards offered by Wells Fargo before, if you're interested to learn more.

Do you have a Wells Fargo card or a Barclaycard?

How has it worked out for you?

Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?

Let us know in the comments below.


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