Barclays is a multinational investment bank and financial services company with a British origin. The company can surely brag about its long history, which dates back to 1690.
This undoubtedly is an incentive for customers to put a lot of confidence in the company due to its rich experience in the financial sector.
The company is also responsible for several groundbreaking innovations in the sector. For instance, the first ATM was introduced by Barclays in its Enfield Town branch in North London. Barclays is also the world’s first financial institution to offer online banking solutions to its customers.
Nowadays, Barclays operates in 50 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and America.
Barclays arrived at the U.S. market as Barclaycard U.S. in 2004, after the acquisition of Jupiter Bank. Despite the existing high competition, in 2009 the company took its place among top-10 credit card issuers in the U.S.
After enriching its offers with the launch of mobile app and personal loans, in 2018 Barclaycard was rebranded into Barclays U.S. by offering a number of personal banking products.
Nevertheless, Barclays can be marked with a couple of disadvantages, mainly linked to its poor presence in the U.S. Firstly, be prepared to face a lack of ATM network.
There is also no cash withdrawal opportunity. Secondly, the branch network is not developed, having only five branch locations across the country.
Therefore, its main focus is internet banking. So if you want your bank to be near or not really accustomed to internet banking, then Barclays is not the best option for you.
As a general rule, to get approved for Barclays credit card, your credit score should be between 600 and 850. The score, which most probably ensures the approval of your application, is about 720.
Therefore, before applying for a Barclays credit card, you might better consider checking your credit score and if needed, take necessary steps to improve it.
One more advantage of Barclays is that there is no limit on the maximum number of cards you can have. For example, if you can typically have from 4 to 5 cards for American Express (charge cards not included), at Barclays, there is no such general rule.
Nevertheless, you might have a hard time getting your credit card application approved if you are currently a Barclays credit cardholder, but you don’t really use it. This is very logical, as the company questions your interest in its product, taking into account that you are not very active as a customer. So, even if you have a great credit score and sufficient income, you might better make some spending form your current Barclays card for at least a month before applying for a new one. This will undoubtedly reduce the risk of being rejected.
Currently, Barclays credit card range is entirely composed of co-branded offers. The lion’s share is collaborations with airlines, with several notable solutions for travel cards suggested to the potential customers.
Apart from this, one can also come across with very interesting credit cards in Barclays portfolio that could meet their specific needs. Therefore, you might be able to find your “dream credit card” that you thought would never exist.
At Barclays official website’s credit card section the cards are divided into 6 categories:
- Cards that are suitable for travel
- Cards developed with retail stores and offer advantages while shopping among their portfolio,
- Cards which offer privileges while spending on entertainment,
- Cards for everyday use,
- Cards with cashback offers
- Cards for Business needs and expenses
While viewing the categories, you might notice that the same credit card might appear in more than one category.
For instance, NFL Extra Points credit card which offers cashback will also appear in the Entertainment section.
Now let’s have a look at some of Barclays notable credit cards, that we think are worth consideration.
Co-branded with American Airlines, this card is a perfect option for the airline’s frequent customers. Firstly, what is great about AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard is the possibility of getting the sign-up bonus right after your very first purchase in the first 90 days with no minimum spending requirement.
So either you purchase an airline ticket or a donut, you will collect your 60.000 AAdvantage bonus miles. Secondly, with this card, you will earn 2 miles per spent dollar on American Airlines purchases.
You will also continue collecting one mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. One more great thing about AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard is its 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening.
Afterward, a variable APR will apply, which will be equal to 17.74%, 21.74% or 26.74% based on your creditworthiness.
But, as the main focus of this credit card is traveling, the perks of this card are the most vivid while traveling with American Airlines.
You and your companions (up to 4) can get first checked baggage for free on domestics American Airlines flights.
Also can get preferred boarding for you and up to four companions for all the flights operated by American Airlines.
You will also be able to get rewards for your inflight purchases on American Airlines operated flights.
You will receive up to $25 back as statement credits on inflight Wi-Fi purchases and 5% inflight savings as statement credits on food and beverages when you use your card onboard.
To show you that you are a valued customer, Barclays will offer you an Anniversary Companion Certificate.
After spending $20,000 on purchases and keeping your account open for 45 days after your anniversary date, you will receive a Companion Certificate of $99 to use for 1 guest.
While AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard is greatly praised and solicited by American Airlines frequent flyers, it has one major drawback, which is the high annual fee equal to $99.
So, a very logical question arises: is it worth it?
The answer depends on how much you value the miles. For occasional flyers, the miles are not that valuable, so they might have difficulty paying off the card’s annual fee.
Nevertheless, if boarding a plane is not occasional for you, you will easily pay off $99 annual fee.
Designed with Choice hotel, this card is a perfect option for those who prefer the Choice hotel chain. The suggested points collecting system is quite generous for purchases within the hotel.
- You will get introductory 32,000 bonus points which is enough to stay up to 6 nights for free at Choice hotels. The minimum spending amount is $1000, within the first 90 days, which is quite realistic.
- Also, you will receive 15 points for each dollar spent at Choice hotels.
Your other purchases will not be neglected as well; for each dollar spent, you will get 2 points. The latter is not that interesting if you are not frequently staying at Choice hotels, so you might want to consider other cards.
This card suggests 8000 anniversary-bonus points to the cardholders who succeed in spending at least $10,000.
The other major perk of this card is that it comes with no annual fee. So you have no problem to pay off the cost of the card because it is free.
As most cards suggested by Barclays, Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card also comes with a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening.
Afterward, the annual percentage rate will be equal to 16.99%, 21.74% or 26.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card holders are divided into two opposite sides. Those who travel and succeed in staying at Choice hotels frequently praise the card for suggesting generous benefits without an annual fee.
Nevertheless, for the rest of the cardholders, it is quite uninteresting and not worth considering as there are no other major perks.
Developed in partnership with Miles and More by Lufthansa, this card is the best option for those who travel between the U.S. and Europe.
You will continue collecting miles for your air ticket purchases made directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners, by receiving 2 miles for each dollar spent. For the rest of your purchases, 1 mile will be granted for $1 spent.
Nevertheless, the main perk of Miles & More World Elite Mastercard is the Companion Ticket that you’ll receive each account anniversary. With the help of this perk, you will get an extra ticket on an economy class fare on any flight beginning from the United States and traveling to Europe, the Middle East, Africa or Far East.
If considering the price of international flights, this is a real bargain. As an additional bonus, the card will ensure you two Lufthansa Business Lounge Vouchers each year for your pleasant and comfortable trip.
Like most Barclays cards, the reviews of Miles & More World Elite Mastercard are very mixed. The cardholders who travel to Europe frequently eagerly praise the card for its advantages and consider the $89 annual fee very fair. Nevertheless, others consider the benefits of the card quite mediocre.
In Barclays credit card line, Uber Visa card might be the most convenient cashback card due to a variety of categories and simplicity of usage. You will be able to get cashback for entertainment, dining, and even for travel purchases.
The program is quite simple with the following cash back options:
- 4% back for every $1 spent on purchases made directly through Uber Eats, and purchases made at restaurants including take-outs and bars
- 3% back for every $1 spent on air tickets, hotels and vacation home rentals
- 2% back for every $1 spent on eligible online purchases including Uber, online shopping and video and music streaming services
- 1% back for every $1 spent on all other purchases
But first, you will be able to get $100 once you have spent $500 on purchases within the first 90 days. And all of this is offered without any annual fee.
One more interesting perk is the possibility of getting up to $600 in mobile phone protection, including damage and even in case of theft. To get the advantage of this perk in those unpleasant situations, you just have to use your Uber Visa Card to pay your monthly mobile phone bill.
Mainly the cardholders love Uber Visa Card for the variety of its categories and the fact that there is no annual fee. Nevertheless, for some people, the process of applying for the card was already frustrating as you can do it only via Uber app.
So many cardholders complain of spending too much time on the search for the application.
Barclays offers co-branded cards for customers with very specific needs. Barnes and Noble Mastercard is one example of it. This card will be your dream card if you consider yourself a book lover.
Firstly, this card comes with no annual fee and gives you the chance to earn a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card after your first purchase, despite its value. Afterward, you will get 5% back on all Barnes & Noble purchases carried out with your card both in-store and on the official website. You will also collect 2x points for dining in restaurants excluding Barnes & Noble Café. For the rest of your purchases, you will get 1x for each dollar spent.
One more major perk of this card is the possibility of checking your FICO Credit Score online for free. This will help you always to be alerted about your score and take the necessary steps if needed.
Those who get this card are mostly happy about it as it enhances the pleasure of each purchase made in the favorite store with cashback and other perks. As the card has a very specific target, people who opt for it already know what to expect.
So you might have a hard time finding an unsatisfied customer. So, if you really enjoy buying books, you should go for it. If not, I would suggest continuing the search for the best credit card for you.
The market offers are various, and each credit card comes with different perks and benefits. Moreover, airlines, retail companies, and hotel chains in cooperation with credit card issuers create cards that can perfectly fit your expectations and needs.
Barclays cards are a great example of strong co-branded solutions that are an ideal option for travelers, book lovers, those who prefer cashback, etc. Therefore, my advice is to really dive into Barclays credit cards and choose the card from which you will benefit the most.
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