If you like your credit card rewards credited right back to your wallet with little to do, then the Barclay CashForward World Mastercard is worthy of your consideration.
Take a look at some of the reasons this card is a contender:
Earn a big signup bonus. When you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of the account opening, you'll get $200 cash back.
Spend more and save on interest. This card offers 0% introductory APR on purchases during the first 15 months.
Redeem points for more rewards. When you redeem your points for cash,statement credit, or gift cards,you'll get 5% bonus toward your next cash reward point redemption.
So, if you redeem 10,000 points for cash—which can be credited to your statement or deposited into your checking account—you'll get a nice 500 points added right back in for next time.
Tally more points on everyday purchases. You'll get 1.5% cash back every time you swipe, with no restrictive categories or time periods to worry about.
And you'll want to use this card only for everyday cash reward purchases, not for racking up miles for travel.
Don't be fooled by the "World" in its name — oddly enough, this card charges 3% foreign transaction fees.
If the ease of using the Barclay CashForward World Mastercard sounds like it could match your lifestyle and spending habits, then keep reading.
The credit issuer of the Barclaycard is Barclays, a bank that actually dates back to two London goldsmith bankers, John Freame and Thomas Gould, in 1690.
The Barclays name came nearly half a century later when the son-in-law of Freame, James Barclay, became a partner in the bank-smith business.
Competition: Chase Freedom Unlimited
Another consumer credit card that offers similar benefits is the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, which also offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
This card is not to be confused with the regular Chase Freedom, which offers 1% cash back and 5% cash back on certain categories (think gas, restaurants, and drugstores) that rotate throughout the year.
Snag a cooler sign-up bonus. Here's another thing that could put Chase Freedom out on top for consumers: The $150 sign-up bonus is yours when you spend just $500 in the first three months of opening the card.
Forget memorizing quarterly bonus categories. Don't get us wrong—5% bonus categories are awesome.
But what's not awesome is having to remember which quarterly category applies when you're swiping the card.
That's why Money Under 30 blogger Lauren Barret still believes this Barclaycard credit card far outweighs either Chase Freedom card. She writes:
"If you don't want to bother with quarterly categories (or even think about them), then the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard offers a slightly higher basic rewards rate than Chase Freedom or even the new Chase Freedom Unlimited card, which pays 1.5 percent back but does not share the CashForward card's 5% redemption bonus.
"But if you do use those quarterly categories, the additional 5% cash back makes a significant difference in your rewards bounty."
The two cards side by side:
|Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard||Chase Freedom Unlimited|
|How high of credit score do you need?||>700||>650|
|Average APR||15.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99% variable APR||15.99-24.74% variable APR|
|How big of sign-up bonus do you get?||$200 bonus when you spend $1000 in the first 3 months||$150 bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months|
|How much do you need to spend to get the bonus?||$1,000||$500|
|How many points do you get for every dollar?||1.5% cash back on all purchases When you redeem cash, you'll get a 5% bonus||1.5% cash back on all purchases, which can also be used as rewards points|
|How much is a point worth in real dollars?||$100 on everyday purchases = $1.50 cash back.||$100 on everyday purchases = 150 rewards points or $1.50 cash back|
Two other competitive credit cards to consider
We've mentioned that there is competition in the cash-back credit card world. Here are two more credit cards you might want to consider.
Spend freely with Chase Freedom. Unlike the Chase Freedom Unlimited mentioned above, the Chase Freedom version of this card adds in quarterly rotating bonus categories (gas stations, restaurants, movie theaters, and more) that offer 5% back, as well as 1% back on all purchases.
Spend $100 in one of the bonus categories and you'll get 500 points ($5 cash back), or spend $100 on everyday purchases to get 100 points (or $1, and you'll get 150 points for travel and miles or $1.50 cash back).
The 5% bonus categories cap you at $1,500 cash back per quarter.
Get cash when you shop—and when you pay it off. The Citi Double Cash card gives you 1% cash when you make a purchase and 1% back when you pay for the said purchase.
That means you are eventually getting 2% back for every dollar you spend.
You don't have to pay off your balance in order to get that double bonus—as long as you pay something toward your card each month, you'll get double bonus points.
Is It a Good Travel Card?
You would think that a credit card that has the word "World" in it would make it travel-friendly.
Not so with the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard.
If you're planning to use the card a lot in hopes of accruing more points for travel rewards, you'll very likely be disappointed.
Did we mention that there's also a 3% foreign transaction fee?
That decides it for us:
When it's time to grab your passport, leave this card at home.
Strength: Hassle-free Rewards
Some credit cards have strict categories or timeframes in which you must use them in order to get the max rewards benefits.
But when you're out shopping or at a restaurant, the last thing you want to be worried about is what category your bonuses are in this month.
With the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard, you won't have to worry about when you should swipe and when you shouldn't.
It's the reason Brendan Harkness of Credit Card Insider likes this card so much.
"The value of this card is in its simplicity. Instead of thinking about what card to use every time you shop, wondering if you'll get the most rewards with this one or that one, you can just go with your CashForward every time to earn 1.5% cash back."
Weakness: High Minimum Required to Redeem Cash
Still, there are other cash-back cards out there that give this card a run for its money.
Nick Clements at the Magnify Money blog is not as impressed with the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard.
"Barclaycard is a late entrant to the cash back market. For being so late, they certainly don't seem very eager to take market share. On almost every feature, you can find a better deal somewhere else."
Clements also brings up another excellent point: You can't redeem your cash back until you've got at least a $50 balance.
That means you'll have to spend over $3,000 on your card before you can think about redeeming your cash.
Other credit cards, like Chase Freedom, allow you to redeem as much as you want for as little as you want.
Good For Those Who: Have Excellent Credit and Prefer to Use One Main Credit Card
While there are definitely benefits to having a cadre of credit cards at your disposal, it's understandable you'd want to keep a single card with you for most purchases.
The Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard fits the bill.
And with no-interest introductory APR on purchases for the first 15 months, you'll likely reach for this card often.
It also bears repeating that this card does require a credit score of at least 700 for approval.
The Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard will work best anywhere in the U.S. that Mastercard is accepted.
This is a cash-back card, not one that's branded for a certain store or category of purchases.
Feel free to swipe this bad boy anywhere you see the Mastercard logo.
The Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard will work just fine overseas, but with a 3% foreign transaction fee charged each time you purchase something, we'd advise keeping this card stateside.
How the Card Works
Whether you prefer online or in-store shopping sprees, here's what you can expect as Barclay card holder:
Easy-peasy points accumulation on everyday purchases. Since you receive 1.5% back on every purchase regardless of category, you'll see those points rack up quickly when you make this card your go-to each day.
Get a better rate for balance transfers. While there is a fee of 3% for the initial transfer (or $5, whichever is greater), you can save big bucks with no interest for 15 months.
Protect yourself against fraud. Didn't make those charges you see on your statement? You're not liable to pay for them when you report them as fraudulent.
Redeem points on your own time. Cash back rewards don't expire, as long as you keep your account open and in good standing.
Stop memorizing reward categories. All you have to remember is that you'll get 1.5% back every time you swipe.
Redeem cash back points for 5% more cash. When you're ready to redeem your points for cash, statement credit, or gift cards, you'll get a 5% bonus for next time.
That means for every 1,000 points you redeem, you'll get 50 back.
Check your FICO score for free. Log in to your account online to see your score updated monthly. Many cards have jumped on this bandwagon, but not all, so this is a nice benefit if you haven't had access to a free score previously.
Interest rates and APR
Show off your FICO. Your approval chances for this card are good if you've got an excellent score of 700 or higher.
Skip the APR for 15 months. Balance transfers and purchases are interest-free for the first 15 billing cycles.
After that, if you've still got a balance, the APR will shoot back up to 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% (variable rate) depending on your credit score.
Live fee-free. There's no annual fee—so hold onto more of your cash back.
Use your debit card for cash instead. Because there's 26.29% interest on all cash advances—plus a 5% fee—it's rather expensive to get some quick cash.
Transfer high-interest balances. You can waive the interest for 15 billing cycles when you transfer your balances within 45 days of opening the card.
After 15 months, whatever is left to get paid off will be hit with 15.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99% variable interest rate.
Don't miss a payment. You'll not only damage your credit score, but you'll get socked with a $37 penalty fee. (So much for the cash back!)
Leave this card when you leave the country. While the Barclaycard CashForward World card sounds like a "worldly" card, you'll have a 3% finance charge piled on to your purchases when you shop outside the U.S.
What People Love: Generous Sign-up Bonus
Unlock a bigger sign-up bonus. The experts at The Motley Fool share this praise:
Since this card currently offers the most generous incentive to new cardholders ($200 cash back after spending $1,000 within three months), I see no reason to opt for one of the other 1.5% cash back cards.
Score big with a big score. "If you've secured an excellent credit history, there may not be a better $0 annual-fee cash-back card," The Motley Fool also notes.
Biggest Consumer Complaints: Credit Limits
Don't bank on a huge credit line. It makes sense that for an everyday credit card, you'll want to get a sizable credit limit so you can swipe as often as you need.
But given that you need excellent credit to get this card in the first place, it appears you might need uber-excellent credit in order to get a limit that will be a good match for your spending habits.
One commenter named Lawrencegopnik took to Reddit to complain about a ridiculously low credit limit for the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard, despite his having an income of over $100,000:
"I was approved, but only at a credit limit of $250. So basically if I were to max out my limit and pay my bill once per month, I still wouldn't be able to hit the bonus ($250 x 3 = $750)."
Spend accordingly to hit the sign-up bonus. Lawrencegopnik takes it in stride, as the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard isn't the only credit card in his wallet.
Still, he writes, "...I do find it distasteful what Barclay is seemingly trying to pull here (assuming this is the typical credit limit they give to the lower-income people this card is designed for).
"I'll be able to hit the spend requirement no problem, but those who fall into the target market for this card may not find it so easy to pay off their card more than once a month, or may not be aware of the need to do so until the three-month period is up."
The Barclaycard App
You can always log on directly to the Barclay website to review card activity and pay your bill, but for a tech-savvy person such as yourself, the Barclaycard app is the way to go.
You download it to your iPhone, iPad, or Apple watch.
You can also download the app to your Android from the Google Play store.
The app allows you to keep an eye on your account while on the go:
- Check your balance
- Pay your bill
- Review transactions
- See your latest FICO score
- Set up account alerts
Per recent reviews, consumers seem to be happy with the recent version of the app.
Applying Online for the Card
Visit the website, where you'll fill out an application and get a near-instant decision. If you have trouble with your application, call 866-371-4787.
This card requires excellent credit. Be sure to space out your credit card applications by at least six months so that you give your credit score time to recover from the hard pull the credit card issuer will do.
Closing Your Account: Call Customer Service
Call 866-928-8590 and speak to a customer service representative. Remember, though, that your credit score will dip with the lowered credit limit.
If you've got other outstanding debt, consider keeping this card open and in good standing for a while until you pay the rest of your bills.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I cancel my card?
Call the number on the back of your card. If you no longer have your card, call 866-928-8590 for customer service.
What can I use my Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard for?
You'll probably use it for everyday purchases. With no bonus categories to remember, this card makes getting cash back a breeze.
Where and what stores can I use my Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard?
You can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
How long does it take Barclay to refund my credit card?
It depends on the merchant's refund policy. If you don't receive one in due time, you can call the number on the back of your card to dispute a payment.
How can I check my Barclaycard credit card balance?
Log on to the website or the app.
How do I withdraw money from the Barclaycard CashForward World credit card?
You can create a PIN for this card by calling customer service. Your PIN will allow you to use the card securely at ATMs.
Can I get a cash advance and are there any related fees?
The APR for cash advances is 26.29%, plus a charge of 5% or $10, whichever is higher.
Can I pay for my Barclaycard CashForward World credit card with a gift card, a different credit card, or PayPal?
No. You can only pay your card with a check or direct debit from your checking account.
Can I use my Barclaycard credit card without the physical card?
Yes. If you're not in the store to swipe, simply keep your 16-digit number and your 3-digit security code handy for online purchases.
How do I add an authorized user to the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard?
Call 877-523-0478 to add a user.
Are there any upgrades on the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard?
How soon can I use my Barclaycard credit card once I receive it?
As soon as you call the number on the card or go online to confirm receipt of your card, you can start spending.
How do I contact Barclaycard credit card services?
How do I report a stolen Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard?
Can someone co-sign for a Barclaycard credit card?
What credit score do I need to get approval for the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard?
700 or higher
What credit score do I have to maintain so my account is not closed?
While no score is required to maintain the card, some users have reported that Barclaycard has lowered their credit limits when other new credit cards are opened within six months.
If you keep your credit utilization low on all of your other cards, you should be fine with Barclaycard.
Will my credit score drop when my account gets closed?
Yes, so be sure you've got minimal debt on other cards because losing this credit line will lower your debt ceiling.
Which credit bureaus does Barclay credit card report to?
For credit card applications, Barclaycard pulls mainly from Transunion.
Can I build my credit with the Barclay credit card?
You'll need a strong existing credit history to be eligible for this card.
Is there an expiry date on the card?
Yes, just as there is on any other Mastercard.
Is there a credit insurance program, and how will it cover me if I lose my job?
There is no credit insurance plan offered. Should you have trouble making minimum payments, contact customer service before your payment is due to inquire about the possibility of a modified payment plan.
Can I have two credit cards from Barclay at the same time?
Yes. There are various other Barclaycards with bonuses and perks to choose from.
Can I transfer money from my Barclay credit card to another?
No. You cannot initiate a balance transfer from one Barclaycard to another.
Is it hard to get a Barclay's credit card?
Some Barclaycards require good to excellent credit, while other cards are ideal if you are establishing or reestablishing credit.
So if you are new or reentering the credit card world, the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard won't be the right choice.
We suggest calling the customer service number and discuss with an agent which Barclaycard is right for you.
How long does it take to receive the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard once I have been approved for it?
You'll receive your card in about 7 to 10 business days.
It's true, there are other cash back cards that offer better reward rates.
But here are some good reasons to go with the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard:
Enjoy the signup bonus. $200 is nothing to sneeze at for a signup bonus.
The $1,000 minimum spend that you need for the bonus can get stretched out over 3 months—easy peasy for someone who uses this card for everyday purchases.
Skip the strict spending categories. No worries about remembering what category has a bonus and when.
Also, unlike with the Chase Freedom, you don't have to worry about manually activating your bonus benefits—your 1.5% cash back is fired up and ready to go at all times.
Apply your cash back toward big purchases, including travel charges. It's true that you can't rack up travel rewards with this card. (Don't worry: There are other, better Barclay cards for that.)
But, if you are a frequent traveler, you can always apply your cash back rewards to your travel bill and keep roaming about the planet—preferably with a no-fee foreign transaction card in tow.
Do you use the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard?
How has the card worked out for you?
Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?
Let us know in the comments below.