Barclays introduced the first credit card to the U.K. in 1966. The company’s U.S. branch, Barclaycard, has been offering credit cards in the U.S. since 2004 when it started partnering with companies to offer “co-branded” credit cards.
The Annual Percentage Rate for all of Barclay’s Credit Cards range from 8.25% to 27.24%. Balance Transfers range from 8.25% to 27.24% and 8.25% to 27.49% for Cash Advances. These rates are similar to many of their competitors, with the lower end of the range being less than the starting point for some cards offered by other companies.
All of these APRs are variable, meaning they are based on the Prime Rate. This can be unfavorable for customers, since the prime rate can fluctuate, making the APR change in ways unanticipated by the cardholder. It isn’t bad if the prime rate goes down, but it is detrimental if the rate increases (which is more likely).
Your due date is at least 23 days after the close of each billing cycle. Barclay will not charge you interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month. Otherwise, they will begin charging interest on balance transfers, checks and cash advances on the transaction date. If you are charged interest, the charge will be no less than $2.00 ($0.50 for residents of Iowa at the time of account opening).
Annual fee range
The Annual fee for Barclay’s list of credit cards range from $0 to $995 per year. The annual fee depends on the card you select. Some of Barclay’s cards (such as their Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®) have no annual fee at all, which makes them superior in this area to some companies who have cards that each charge annual fees. The upper end of this range is indeed more expensive than competitors, which typically ranges from $0 to $499.
Barclay customers can get support by phone, email and fax. The advantage they have over some credit card companies is that they offer toll-free phone support for questions and for fraud reporting. There is also an international number. When you call, they have it set up where you can find out pertinent information using automated options, such as:
- Check current balance
- Check available credit
- Pay your credit card
- Most recent payment
- Minimum due date
- Payment due date
- Transfer a balance
- Change your PIN
- Check credit card transactions
Unfortunately, Barclay’s phone hours are not listed. Most companies provide phone hours so you know when you can call.
Foreign Transaction Fees
For cardholders traveling abroad, Barclay charges Foreign Transaction fees ranging from 0% – 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. This rate is more favorable than some companies who charge a flat 3% rate. In addition, this rate is on par with the credit card industry average, making Barclay sufficient in this area.
Barclay offers an expansive list of credit cards, consisting of the following:
- Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®
- Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
- Carnival World MasterCard
- The Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card
- Diamond Resorts International® MasterCard®
- Holland America Line Rewards Visa Card
- Priceline Rewards Visa
- Princess Cruises Rewards Visa Card
- Wyndham Rewards Visa Card
- Barnes & Noble MasterCard
- L.L.Bean Visa Card
- NFL Extra Points Visa Signature Card
- Upromise World MasterCard
Options for Rewards
The majority of Barclay’s credit cards are rewards cards. They offer cardholders many rewards benefits and options, depending on the specific card. Here are some examples:
Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®:
- Unlimited cash rewards with no annual fee
- $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
- earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase.
- 5% cash rewards redemption bonus every time you redeem to use toward your next redemption.
Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
- no annual fee
- 2X points on gas, utility and grocery store (excluding Target® and Walmart®) purchases
- 1X points on all other purchases
- Redeem for a deposit to a U.S. bank account, a statement credit or gift cards, starting at 1,000 points for $10
Carnival World MasterCard
- Everyday purchases earn you FunPoints®
- Get cruise discounts on Carnival and the World’s Leading Cruise Lines, onboard gifts and amenities
- Earn a free cruise
- Get/earn a free hotel night with points from every purchase
- For every dollar you spend, you earn points that can be redeemed for free nights at Choice Privileges® locations
- Earn bonus points for your first purchase and your first eligible stay.
Barnes & Noble Mastercard
- earns you points redeemable for gift cards and discounts on Barnes & Noble store purchases for books, music, etc
- earn a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card after your first purchase
- free shipping
- earn points toward gift cards, discounts, freebies
L.L.Bean Visa Card
- free return shipping
- free monogramming
- exclusive cardmember sales at L.L.Bean
- earn coupon dollars good toward L.L.Bean purchases.
Barclay currently offers customers bonus points, including the following:
NFL Extra Points Visa Signature Card
- earn 10,000 bonus points after qualifying transactions, enough to redeem for $100 cash back
- Earn and redeem points for cash back, NFL team jerseys, game tickets, and VIP access to once-in-a-lifetime NFL experiences
- 20% off purchases made with the card at NFLShop.com ($20 off every $100 you spend)
- special ticket financing on eligible NFL ticket purchases
- Card is customized with your favorite NFL team’s logo
Barclay has a Security Center page on their website. This page has a toll free 800 number in case you lose your card or it is stolen. They also offer a security feature called SecurPassTM which is a verification method to help confirm your identity when you attempt to log in on an unknown device. Barclay sends your SecurPassTM code to either your email, cell or phone number they have on file. You have to enter the SecurPassTM code in place of your password when you log in to your account on the same device you used to request the code. This method provides more security than some of their competitors who only have a fraud line or just give customers fraud self-protection tips.
Here’s some of the other online security technology:
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to offer a 2048-bit secure link between your browser and Barclays.
- A Global Digital certificate signed by Symantec assures that you’re communicating with Barclaycard and not a copycat site.
- Time-out built in to your log-in session, so your connection to Barclay’s site closes after a short period of inactivity. (This protects you when you forget to sign out).
- Firewalls and other technology to block unauthorized traffic to Barclay’s site.
- Up-to-date monitoring routines stop unauthorized access.
- Encryption: All communication between you and Barclaycard is encrypted, as well as between Barclaycard and their business partners
Regarding customer’s liability in case of fraud or a stolen card, Barclay offers $0 Fraud Liability protection. This fraud liability coverage means you aren’t responsible for unauthorized purchases made with your card that you report to Barclay. It doesn’t matter if your card is lost, stolen or breached – online or offline – you’re protected. This protection applies to all of their credit cards.
Uniquely, Barclays offers a total of 13 credit cards. (Most companies offer around 3 cards). Also different is their variation of credit cards. For example, they offer a Barnes & Noble Mastercard, which offers Barnes & Noble rewards benefits. The majority of the cards Barclaycard offers in the U.S. have rewards programs that are tied to specific companies, including travel sites, cruise lines, airlines, and retailers.
Barclay charges cardholders up to $37 for late payments, depending upon the state that you live in at the time of account opening. This cap at $37 is high and fails to obey the Credit Card Act which states that late fees for credit cards should be capped at $25 to avoid consumers paying more in late fees than the actual credit card balance.
Building Credit/Student Cards
While some companies offer student cards, “starter” cards or credit cards to build credit, Barclay does not. All of their cards are Rewards cards and require you to be in good credit standing. This is a disadvantage for younger people (i.e. millennials) and students who need opportunities to build up their credit history.