Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®
Annual Fee: $0
Credit Required: Excellent
Rewards Program and Signup Bonuses*:
- Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase
- Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
- Redeem your cash rewards as a deposit into your bank account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $50
- Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
- 0% introductory APR for 15 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.74%, 20.74% or 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
- No annual fee
Intro Balance Transfer
0% for 15 Months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
15.74%, 20.74% or 25.74%* Variable
Barclaycard was the first credit card issued outside of the United States when it was introduced in the U.K. in 1966. Barclaycard currently is the leading credit card issuer in Europe. But many consumers in the United States are still unfamiliar with the card issuer that only entered the U.S. market in 2004. Barclaycard now has several credit cards available in America, and it has rightly earned a reputation for its generous rewards cards.
The latest Barclaycard is the CashForward World Mastercard, which was introduced in November 2015. Here's what you should know about this new cash back card.
Overview of the CashForward Rewards Program
The CashForward™ World MasterCard® is designed for people who want a straightforward cash back program without worrying about rotating categories. And thanks to its generous rewards program, you can earn up to 1.575% cash back on each purchase:
- The card earns a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
- You also get a 5% cash back redemption bonus every time you redeem to use toward your next redemption. That means you get an extra $5 for every $100 you redeem.
Your cash rewards won't expire as long as your account remains active, open, and in good standing.
The Sign-up Bonus
The Barclaycard CashForward card has a good sign-up bonus for a card with no annual fee.
You can get a $200 cash back reward after spending just $1,000 during the first 3 months.
The card also comes with a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months. But keep in mind (1) there is still a balance transfer fee of 3% if you transfer a balance, and (2) you need to complete your transfer within the first 45 days after you open your account.
Other Cardholder Benefits
The CashForward card also includes World Mastercard benefits (detailed below), as well as these perks offered by Barclaycard*:
- Use your card with confidence, $0 Fraud Liability protection means you're not responsible for unauthorized charges you report to us.
- Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad.
- Free online access to FICO® Credit Score lets you keep an eye on your credit and get alerts when we learn that your score has changed.
World Experiences and Offers
World MasterCard credit cards are partnered with Relais & Chateaux, Fairmont, and Mandarin Oriental properties to give you automatic upgrades and other benefits. If you pay for a stay at a Fairmont hotel, for example, you get an automatic room upgrade to the best available and free late checkouts. Mandarin Oriental property stays include free breakfast, priority check-in, and VIP status.
Master Rental Insurance
MasterCard has one of the best car rental insurance programs in the industry. This benefit pays for physical damage and theft to most rental cars when you pay with a World MasterCard.
This trip protection benefit includes lost ticket replacement, lost luggage assistance, lost document replacement, and travel assistance.
Lost and Delayed Baggage Insurance
World MasterCard reimburses you up to $100 per day for 3 days for amenities if your baggage is delayed for over 4 hours.
The purchase protection program includes some great consumer warranty, accidental damage and price protection benefits:
- This warranty program doubles the coverage on the original manufacturer's warranty by up to 12 months.
- The purchase protection also covers damaged or lost items within 90 days of purchase up to $1,000 per item.
- The price protection benefit means you can be refunded the difference if you buy something with your CashForward card and the same item is sold within 60 days for a lower price.
As noted above, this card comes with no annual fee.
It's other fees are fairly typical:
- Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of each balance transfer; not less than $5
- Cash Advance Fee: 5% of each cash advance; not less than $10
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
How Much Cash Can You Earn Back?
Curious how much cash back you would earn if you used the CashForward card exclusively?
Here's what the average American household spends per year according to the Department of Labor:
- Utilities: $7,000
- Food: $6,600 ($3,500 groceries and $2,500 dining out)
- Entertainment: $2,500
- Gasoline: $1,900
- Clothing and services: $1,600
- Vices (alcohol and cigarettes): $775
- Personal care: $600
- Miscellaneous spending: $665
If you used the CashForward card for all of that spending (totaling $21,640), it would equate to $325 cash back, plus the 5% bonus of $16 for a total of $341.
So how does this compare to other cards?
Barclaycard CashForward™ vs. the Competition
We are going to compare Barclaycard CashForward™ against both the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card (read our review) and the Citi Double Cash card (check our our review) based on the spending of the average American household detailed above (which totals $21,640 per year).
After that, we will reveal how the CashForward card performs in our own ranking of cash back rewards cards.
Compared to Blue Cash Preferred
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card is an annual fee credit card that earns cash back as follows:
- 6% back at grocery stores (up to $6,000 a year)
- 3% back at gas stations and some department stores
- 1% back on everything else.
With the same spending, and assuming you use standalone gas stations and $800 a year at department stores, you would earn $445.40 back per year. This breaks down to $210 back on grocery spending, $57 back on gasoline, $24 back on clothing, and $154 on everything else.
The Blue Cash Everyday card does have a $75 annual fee, though, which reduces your reward to $370 cash back. This is a slight advantage over the CashForward card.
Compared to Citi Double Cash
The Citi Double Cash card is another flat-rate cash back card that earns 1% back on all purchases and another 1% back when you pay off your purchases. The Double Cash card has no annual fee.
With the same spending, and assuming you pay off your balances in full each month, you would earn $433 cash back a year with the Double Cash card.
Overall Cash Back Performance
We admit that for some people, there may be a better option to the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®. But you will need to spend a lot of money on groceries and gas with the Blue Cash Preferred to overcome the annual fee. And the Citi Double Cash requires full payment to unlock all of its potential.
For this reason we still went though the exercise of seeing how the CashForward credit card ranks overall compared to other cash back rewards programs.
If you check out our Epic Guide to Cash Back Credit Cards, you will see that this is a very competitive cash back card that performs better as you spend more. This is because the signup bonus offer is not quite as generous as some others offer.
You can definitely earn more cash back with other credit cards, depending on your spending habits. Still, the CashForward card is a solid flat-rate cash back card that earns you a very strong 1.575% back on everything with no hassles.
We like that it is easy to use, and does not require you to sign up for rotating rewards or make sure you are shopping at stand alone grocery stores and gas stations to get your bonus points.
That being said, if you tend to spend a lot on gasoline or groceries, another card like the Blue Cash Preferred may be a better option.