About Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard
The Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard is one of those cards you don’t hear much about.
Part of the reason is that Barclays only really gets mentioned in discussions about travel credit cards; their Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard frequently makes the experts’ top-10 lists.
We think it’s a shame that the CashForward isn’t making any top-10 lists because, based on our research, it’s got some great rewards that put it near the top of the list when it comes to cash rewards cards.
There are three very specific reasons why we believe this card should be mentioned among its more popular competitors. We’ll explain what those three reasons are later in this review.
Before we get there, though, we want you to know that everything you read in this review is the result of our research of the card’s fine print and its rewards program. If we draw any conclusions about the card, those conclusions will be based on hard facts.
Our goal is to present the Barclaycard CashForward in an easy-to-understand format. To meet that objective, we’ll present the card in a comprehensive way by following this outline:
- Rewards and benefits
- Rates and fees
- Expert opinions and consumer input
We’ll wrap up our review by listing the card’s pros and cons. We’ll also tell you, based on our research, who we think would most enjoy owning this card.
The Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard’s Rewards
We believe this cash rewards credit card has three rewards-related features that put it among the best cash rewards cards out there.
$200 Sign-Up Bonus
One of the common perks you’ll find with cash rewards cards is a cash bonus given to you if you can spend a certain amount of money within 90 days of being approved for your card. In most cases, the cash bonus is $150 and the spending requirement is $500.
The CashForward breaks from that requirement in two ways. First, the cash bonus is $200 instead of $150. Second, the spending requirement is $1,000, not $500.
You might be wondering how much of a difference that spending requirement makes. Well, based on spending habits we’ve seen from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we believe the average household and/or individual can easily hit the $1,000 requirement within 90 days.
So, with that in mind, we think that the $200 bonus is pretty much automatic, giving this card an advantage over competitors like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, Capital One Quicksilver and the Bank of America Cash Rewards.
1.5% Rewards Rate
While the quick cash bonuses the Barclaycard CashForward gives you is great, that bonus only happens once and really doesn’t help you in the long-term. This is where the cash rewards rate comes in.
When we say that the CashForward has a 1.5% rewards rate, we mean that Barclays will add 1.5% of your purchase to your rewards balance.
So, if you buy a new mattress and the grand total is $1,000, then you’ll earn $15 in rewards. That cash will be added to your rewards balance, which you can keep track of from your Barclays online account.
You can redeem the points for cash but, according to Barclays’ fine print, you can only do so when you have at least $50 in rewards.
We did some more research and found that those rewards dollars can be deposited to a U.S. checking or savings account, your CashForward balance or those rewards can be used to buy gift cards.
5% Bonus on Cash Redemptions
The final rewards feature that makes the CashForward card a legitimate choice is the 5% bonus you get whenever you redeem your rewards for cash.
Here’s how it works. Every time you redeem your cash, Barcalys will deposit a reward of 5% of whatever you redeemed. So, if you cash out $300 in rewards, Barclays will add $15 to your rewards balance.
When you add in that 5% bonus, your 1.5% rewards rate gets even better. How? Well, it takes a little math but it’s not that bad.
Let’s start with the easy part. If you spend $10,000, you’ll get $150 in rewards. Easy enough.
When you cash in that $150, you’ll get 5% added back to your account, or $7.50.
In all, that $10,000 of spending will earn you $157.50, or a total rewards rate of 1.575%, pushing it past the Quicksilver and Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% rewards rate.
Here’s a chart to show you how this card stacks up against other cash rewards cards:
|Card||Rate||Rewards per $10K|
|Regions Bank Prestige||1%||$100|
|PNC Cash Rewards||1%||$100|
Even though the Double Cash and USAA cards have higher cash back rates, the USAA card is available only to members of USAA (military).
Also, while the CashForward doesn’t match the Double Cash’s 2% cash back rate, the card’s $200 bonus means you could earn just as much as the Double Cash for two or three years, depending on how much you use your card.
For example, if you spend $10,000 a year, at the end of three years you’ll get $672.50 in rewards with the CashForward ($200 bonus included) and $600 in cash rewards with the Citi Double Cash.
The Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard’s Benefits
Most credit cards are part of a benefits program specific to the credit card network they’re in. The Hyatt Visa, for example, is part of the Visa Signature program. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite card.
The CashForward is a part of the World MasterCard program, which entitles you to specific travel-related benefits.
For starters, certain airline fares you book with your CashForward World Mastercard will get discounts. Here’s a quick list, based on information provided by MasterCard:
- Up to 15% off Lufthansa Business, Premium Economy and Economy fares
- Up to 12% off Etihad Airways First, Business and Economy fares
- Up to 10% off certain Business Class fares on Qatar Airways
You’ll also get free perks at Luxury Hotels & Resorts stays, a $50 shipboard credit on Royal Caribbean cruises and complimentary preferred status and/or discounts at the following car rental agencies:
- Budget Rent A Car
- Avis Rent a Car
- Sixt Rent a Car
- National Car Rental
Your CashForward World MasterCard also comes with zero fraud liability, which means you aren’t responsible for fraudulent purchases made to your card as long as you report them promptly.
The CashForward World MasterCard’s Rates and Fees
Here’s a quick overview of the rates and fees you can expect with this card:
- APR: 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, based on your credit scores
- Cash advance APR: 26.24%
- Annual fee: 0%
- Balance transfer fee: $5 or 3%, whichever is greater
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- Late/returned payment fee: Up to $37
The CashForward’s APR is a little higher than some of the cash-rewards cards we listed earlier and the same as the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Everything else listed in the rates and fees is pretty standard, all the way down to the foreign transaction fee and the late/returned payment fee.
Expert and Consumer Opinions About the Barclaycard World MasterCard
Many of the expert sites other than HighYa had high praise for the CashForward, hailing it as a solid option for a cash back card.
Consumers were equally happy with the CashForward. In fact, the card was selected as a Cardholder’s Choice on Credit Karma, an honor given to cards with consistent, positive reviews from consumers.
This is expected, considering research company J.D. Power said Barclays is the third-highest major company in terms of credit-card customer satisfaction.
Pros of the Barclaycard World MasterCard
Our research shows that the Barclaycard has an above-average rewards program and a formidable 0%-interest offer.
These two factors make this a high-earning card that’s a good option if you have a high-interest balance you want to transfer.
Cons of the Barclaycard World MasterCard
We’d say the biggest drawbacks to this card are the fact that you can’t redeem your rewards until you have a $50 balance and that the lowest APR is 15.99%.
Many of the cash-back cards we review let you cash in on rewards in increments of $25, while others let you redeem any balance you want.
Who Is This Card Good For?
We believe the CashForward World MasterCard is a good fit for consumers who have high-interest balances they want to transfer to a cash rewards card with above-average rewards rates.