The best Barclaycard credit cards of 2017

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In a Nutshell

Whether you're looking for travel or cash back rewards, a balance transfer or a 0 percent intro APR promotion, Barclaycard has a card for you. Review the best Barclaycard credit cards of 2017 to find your next card.

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At a glance: The best Barclaycard credit cards of 2017

Best flat-rate travel rewards Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®
Best cash back rewards Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®
Best intro APR promotion for balance transfers Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
Best hotel rewards The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card
Best airline rewards JetBlue Plus Card

There’s no one “best” credit card out there for everyone — Barclaycard or otherwise. The right one for you will depend on your creditworthiness, spending habits and card preferences.

With that said, Barclaycard offers a wide array of cards for every type of spender. And if you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll be even more pleased by Barclaycard’s selection.

Several airlines and hotel chains, such as JetBlue and Wyndham Hotel Group, have co-branded credit cards with Barclaycard. These cards reward you with points toward airfare, hotel stays and other travel perks redeemable with the specific brand in question.

“It’s worthwhile to check out those specific co-branded cards to earn multipliers on your specific travel spend,” says Alex Cohen, founder of Birch, an app that helps cardholders track spending and maximize credit card rewards. With the JetBlue Plus Card, for example, you can earn six points per dollar on JetBlue purchases, as well as two points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores and one point per dollar on all other purchases.

But even if you’re not into travel, you’ll still find solid options. Whether you want a great cash back rate or a generous balance transfer promotion, you’ll likely find a Barclaycard that fits your needs.

Best for general travel rewards: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® 

From our partner
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Who’s it for?

Folks who love to travel but prefer low costs over brand loyalty. “It’s really great for your average traveler who wants to get into the mile space without the headache and with a ton of flexibility,” says Cohen.

Why we like it

With the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, you’ll earn two miles per dollar spent on all purchases. This card can also help you kick-start your next trip with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles (worth the equivalent of $500 travel statement credit), which you can earn if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening.

When it comes time to redeem, you’ll get 5 percent of your miles back to use toward your next redemption. Plus, the card’s $89 annual fee is waived the first year, giving you some time to accumulate rewards without a fee cutting into their value.

The card also comes with other valuable travel benefits, including travel accident and trip cancellation insurance, a 24/7 MasterCard World Elite concierge service and chip-and-PIN capability.

Watch out for

The card’s minimum redemption amount (i.e. how many miles you need before you can redeem them for rewards) is a little high. You can only redeem miles for travel statement credits starting at 10,000 miles, which means you won’t be able to redeem those miles for travel purchases under $100.

How to use it

When planning your next trip, book everything as you usually would — just be sure to use your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® when you book. Once a travel-related purchase clears, you’ll have 120 days to redeem your miles for a full or partial travel statement credit. This means you can pay for the travel in advance and then earn the miles to get a credit.

Each mile is worth 1 cent if redeemed for a travel statement credit, so a $200 reward would require 20,000 miles to get a full travel statement credit.

Best for cash back: Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® 

From our partner
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Who’s it for?

Everyday spenders who want the simplicity of a flat rewards rate (1.5 percent) and the flexibility of cash back.

Why we like it

The Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® offers a nice rewards rate of 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase. It also offers a decent $200 sign-up bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening. There’s no annual fee, and when you redeem, you’ll get a 5 percent redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption.

Rewards aren’t the only strength of this card, though. You’ll get an introductory 0 percent intro annual percentage rate (APR) promotion on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.74%, 20.74% or 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness.

Watch out for

If it’s a huge sign-up bonus you’re after, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® can’t deliver. Also, watch out for the card’s balance transfer fee — you’ll pay 3 percent of each transfer with a minimum of $5 — and note that rewards redemptions start at $50.

How to use it

You don’t need to keep track of bonus categories with this card, making it a great one to keep top of wallet. You can also use the card to help manage debt. Its 0 percent intro APR promotion gives you 15 months to carry a balance without worrying about interest. Heads up, though: You’ll have to make your balance transfer(s) within 45 days of account opening to qualify for the promotional balance transfer APR.

Best for balance transfer promotions: Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® 

From our partner

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

From cardholders in the last year

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Who’s it for?

People looking to consolidate high-interest debt with no balance transfer fees attached.

Why we like it

Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® offers the relatively unique combination of a 0 percent intro APR promotion for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers made in the first 45 days of account opening and no balance transfer fee. After that, a variable APR of 13.99 percent will apply. With some other cards charging 3 to 5 percent for balance transfers, Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® could save you a significant amount of money in fees from the get-go.

The card is also generous when it comes to other typical credit card fees. It charges no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and a flat $3 cash advance fee.

Watch out for

Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® doesn’t offer a traditional rewards program. Instead, its Giveback™ program acts as a profit-sharing program for those who use the card. How much you benefit from the program depends on a variety of factors, including the total returns of the program. That means if the program isn’t doing well, you may not get anything. It’s a somewhat confusing model that should not be mistaken as a substitute for a traditional rewards program.

How to use it

If you’re taking advantage of the balance transfer promotion, don’t procrastinate. The promotion applies only to balance transfers that post within 45 days of opening the account.

If you see something about the card that you don’t like, speak up. Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard® really pushes the idea of community involvement, inviting cardholders to submit and vote on ideas to improve the card. You can also discuss various card- and other money-related topics with other cardholders.

Best for hotel rewards: The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card 

From our partner

The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card

From cardholders in the last year

Who’s it for?

Frequent travelers who are loyal to Wyndham Hotels and Resorts or want to score resort vacations for less.

Why we like it

Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card offers a lot of value for no annual fee. You’ll get 15,000 bonus points after your first purchase, good at any of Wyndham’s participating properties worldwide. (According to Barclaycard, those 15,000 points are enough to redeem for up to one free night at a participating Wyndham Rewards hotel.)

You’ll also get three points per dollar spent on participating hotel stays and two points per dollar spent on eligible gas, utility and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart). You’ll earn one point per dollar spent on everything else (excluding certain Wyndham Vacation Ownership timeshare down payments).

Watch out for

As with any hotel or airline rewards program, you may be limited in your redemption options. With Wyndham Rewards, you do have the option to redeem your points for gift cards, merchandise and other types of rewards. But you may not get as good value out of your points if you do so.

How to use it

With Wyndham Rewards, a one-night stay at any of the hotel chain’s properties costs you a minimum of 15,000 points (subject to some restrictions, such as minimum stay requirements). This may also include Wyndham’s all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

Even if you don’t stay at Wyndham hotels often, the card’s bonus rewards on gas, utility and grocery store purchases make it easy to rack up rewards quickly.

Best for airline rewards: JetBlue Plus Card 

From our partner

JetBlue Plus Card

From cardholders in the last year

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Who’s it for?

Frequent travelers who spend big and fly JetBlue often.

Why we like it

The JetBlue Plus Card offers big rewards on JetBlue purchases, giving you six points per dollar spent. You’ll also get a 30,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening to help you cover your next flight. And every time you redeem your points, you’ll get 10 percent back to use toward your next redemption.

You don’t have to worry about blackout dates or seat restrictions. And once you get to the airport, you’ll get a free checked bag.

Watch out for

Compared with general travel credit cards, you don’t get a lot of options when it comes to redeeming your JetBlue points. For example, you can redeem for JetBlue flights or JetBlue Vacations, transfer your points to a partner airline or use your points to pay for a magazine or newspaper subscription. This may not be an issue, however, if you use a more flexible credit card for other purchases.

Also, keep in mind that the card’s $99 annual fee is not waived the first year. That said, you receive 5,000 bonus points annually after your account anniversary. This bonus helps offset the annual fee.

How to use it

Don’t forget to take your card with you on the plane, where you’ll get 50 percent off eligible in-flight purchases. You can also take the card overseas and use it with no foreign transaction fees.

If you’re a big spender, consider using this card as your top of wallet. You’ll get TrueBlue Mosaic status for a year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases with the card during the previous year. With Mosaic, you’ll get a second checked bag free, no change or cancellation fees, early boarding and more.


Bottom line

Barclaycard has a wide array of travel credit cards, plus competitive cash back and 0 percent intro APR cards.

As you’re searching for your next credit card, be sure to shop around. Consider each card’s benefits as well as its drawbacks. Sign-up bonuses and above-average rewards are nice, but make sure the annual fee won’t become a problem in the long run. Your best bet is to get a card you’ll want to keep.


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