Barclaycard: Payment Services and Credit Card Provider
Barclaycard is a British credit card provider that is wholly owned and run by Barclays Bank. With over 10 million cardholders, it's a mainstay of the UK economy and provides plenty of benefits for loyal customers. This buyer's guide will help you find the ideal Barclaycard and use it to access discounts across the retail spectrum.
New Way of Paying
Barclaycard was the UK's first modern credit card. It first appeared in 1966, with its trademark blue, white and gold striped colour scheme, and rapidly grew in the late 60s and 70s as consumer credit started to take off.
The firm participated in the VISA system when it was launched in 1977, and was one of the first UK credit card providers to offer rewards for its customers, starting a loyalty program back in 1986. At the same time, Barclaycard created a popular image through its iconic commercials featuring celebrities like Alan Whicker and, more famously still, Rowan Atkinson as a bumbling British spy.
Through skillful image cultivation and its reliable services, the card became a staple of British personal finance, attracting 10 million customers by 2017 (20% of all UK cards). It continues to innovate, striking up partnerships with hotel groups like Hilton and major aviation companies as well as running its own entertainment venue and pioneering wearable payment methods.
Nowadays, Barclaycard is a major credit card provider in the UK. You can make purchases on credit via VISA, MasterCard or American Express, so almost any UK retailer will accept your card. You can pay for transport via contactless payments, manage your money online, consolidate debts and accumulate bonus points to redeem on little extras. So there are plenty of reasons to have one, but finding the right card isn't so simple.
How Do You Access Your Barclaycard Account?
When you take out a Barclaycard, almost anything you need to do can be achieved online via the company's online banking service. You'll find the login pages on their website, where signing up takes no more than a few minutes if you are a cardholder.
To access the MyBarclaycard service, you'll need to go back to your registration documents to find your Barclaycard ID, your passcode and the “memorable word” you specified when you acquired your card. But don't worry if you can't find these details. Your Barclaycard number and security questions will also allow you to get into the online banking site.
When you've logged in, you'll be able to check all of your recent transactions, make money transfers, pay off debts and set up e-mail or SMS alerts to let you know when payments are going to be due. You can also get in touch with Barclaycard's support team and manage your Rewards Points if you've chosen a Freedom Rewards card.
To manage your account when you're on the go, you can also use your phone or tablet and the Barclaycard app. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.
Barclays offers a range of different credit card options, not all of which will be ideal for you, so look carefully and pick an option that meets your financial limits and spending habits. Here are the main options you'll find at the HotUKDeals Barclaycard listings:
Balance Transfer Cards – These cards are specially created to allow you to move credit card balances from one bank to another. For instance, you may have £2,000 in debt on one account paying an interest rate of 5%, but Barclaycard's balance transfer cards could offer an interest-free period for 6 months, letting you save money (theoretically). So, if you have run up debts at other banks and need to consolidate what you owe, but still need access to a credit card, these cards could be the ones to go for. Barclaycard's Platinum balance transfer cards always come with time limits. During these periods, zero interest rates apply, but you'll need to pay off your debt by the time they end or significant rate rises kick in. But if you're able to do so, these cards are an excellent option.
0% Purchase Cards – Essentially very similar to Barclaycard's balance transfer cards, these cards tend to come with a couple of years (or more) of zero-interest credit, at which point you'll see your rates spike. Within the time limit, as long as you clear your monthly debts, there's no interest to pay, making them a practical option for disciplined credit card users.
Standard Purchase Cards – Most people tend to take out standard Barclaycards. These function, as you might expect, offer a set rate of interest for all credit card purchases (typically between 7% and 21% although that can change). Some come with perks for travellers, like no-fee Sterling transactions, so if you intend to head overseas regularly, they are well worth considering.
Rewards Cards – These are the cards that true bargain hunters should go for. Why? It's simple. Rewards Cards allow you to accumulate Freedom Rewards Points with every purchase or hotel room discounts via the Hilton Honors card.
Credit Building Credit Cards – If you haven't got a great credit rating, these are the cards to go for. They usually have tight credit limits (up to £1,200) and high interest rates should you fail to pay them off in time. However, if you do stay clear, they let you build up a reliable credit rating before graduating to other cards.
Business Barclaycards – Barclaycard is also a major supplier of credit cards to businesses across the UK. These could be for small business owners to replenish stock or make essential purchases, or prepaid cards for employees. For small businesses, Barclaycard offers features like flexible loans, interest-free period bonuses for regular payments and partnerships with vehicle or equipment hire companies that deliver extra savings. They also offer payment solutions for online and bricks-and-mortar businesses, which small retailers may well find attractive.
How to Pick the Right Barclaycard Account
Whenever you take out a credit card with Barclaycard or anyone else, there are certain things to look for in the small print:
APR – The Annual Payment Rate is the interest rate you'll pay on your credit card debt if you fail to pay off your debt at the end of your month. It varies between cards and is partly dependent on your credit rating. Less reliable borrowers tend to have cards with higher APRs and vice versa for those with no issues. You'll also see a number called the “purchase rate”. This is almost always the same as the APR for consumer credit cards and is the rate you'll pay for any purchases you make.
Assumed Credit Limit – Your credit limit is simply the amount of money Barclays will lend to you over a single month. Again this varies depending on which card you have, which in turn depends on how Barclays assesses your credit risk. Generally speaking, your rate is flexible and can increase (or decrease) depending on your credit history, which is an incentive to spend wisely and pay off debts on a monthly basis.
Fees – Many credit cards extract annual fees for administration and credit management. The good news about Barclaycard is that they don't currently charge any such fees, which is one of the reasons why their cards are so popular.
So, which card is best for you? The answer is, it depends. It depends on whether you intend to use the card mainly in the UK or abroad; it depends on whether you need to amalgamate debts from other accounts, or whether you have a complex credit history. Finally, it depends on whether you want to take advantage of Freedom Rewards points.
Generally speaking, you need to find a card that you can afford. Be honest about your monthly credit limit. You need to be able to pay this off regularly. Missed payments can send your interest rate soaring and push your credit rating through the floor. But then again, you need enough credit to make having the card worthwhile.
If you are transferring a balance, Barclaycard has plenty of 0% options, but they aren't unique. They will ramp up the interest rate if you fail to clear your debts, so plan ahead and make sure that you can before you commit to a particular card.
As a rule, it pays to be cautious when picking a credit card. If you visit a local Barclays branch, you can talk through your options with a qualified financial advisor who will try to assess your needs and resources. That's probably the best way to ascertain which card to go for, and you'll find a Branch Finder at the Barclays website.
Finding Great Deals Using Your Barclaycard
As we mentioned earlier, many Barclaycards feature the ability to earn Freedom Rewards Points as you spend. But how exactly do these work, and how can you use them to access fantastic everyday deals?
As you spend, you'll gradually build up Freedom Rewards Points at a rate of 1 point for every £1 spent, or 2 points for every £1 at UK supermarkets and on TFL transportation. If you accumulate 1,750 points, you'll qualify for a £5 voucher, so over a year of spending it's easy to imagine earning between £30 and £50 of free credit.
Sometimes, Barclaycard also run special Freedom Rewards offers. For instance, they might offer 400 points off an escape to Alton Towers for a limited time. When these offers become available, you need to be quick to take advantage. The good news is that almost all of them are listed at HotUKDeals as soon as Barclaycard make them public.
Save Money on Tickets to the Barclaycard Arena
Situated in the heart of Birmingham, the Barclaycard Arena is a 15,800 capacity music and sports venue that should be conveniently located for almost all UK customers. And there's good news for music fans with Barclaycards: cardholders are often able to make big savings on tickets at the venue.
For instance, the Arena operates a Fee Free Friday promotion that waives any booking or credit card fees for Barclaycard customers, effectively resulting in a 10% discount.
As well as major savings, Barclaycard holders can also enjoy fast-track queuing and contactless payments at concessions inside the arena, making the gig-going experience that much more pleasurable.
How to Find Barclaycard Deals
If you want to make big savings on your credit card transactions, now could be the perfect time to take out a Barclaycard. The firm offers a range of ways to pay off your debts via zero interest grace periods, which could be your ticket to sustainable finances.
If that sounds like you, check out the HotUKDeals Barclaycard listings to find the most recent balance transfer deals. But it's also wise to consult a financial advisor before applying for anything. They should be able to help you find a card that provides the perks you need at a rate that you can afford.
When it comes to finding deals on transport, accommodation, clothes, experiences, food and music, Barclaycard offers plenty of options. If you are a cardholder and want to make the best use of your Freedom Rewards, make sure you bookmark the HotUKDeals Barclaycard listings, as we won't miss a single discount.
Check the listings around Black Friday and Christmas too. Barclaycard and their partners tend to offer seasonal deals just like any other retailers, and if you need to purchase gifts, it makes no sense to miss out.
Make Big Savings with the Barclaycard Offers at HotUKDeals
With a Barclaycard in your wallet, you can extend your credit limit, make more purchases, manage your debts and build up rewards points to spend on life's little luxuries. Keep track of every discount available to cardholders and make the most of your card by staying in touch via the Barclaycard HotUKDeals listings.