One thing to note off the bat is specifically for business owners: Barclays’ policy says you will not earn miles if you are making purchases for a business.
It’s also important to note that the sign-up bonus may only be available to new cardmembers with Barclays, and there are other restrictions (as with most cards), so be sure to check the full Terms and Conditions.
We always recommend checking the new cardmember clause and the exclusion of certain states/territories clause.
The 120-Day Redemption Restriction
Remember that you have only 120 days to redeem your rewards for travel credit. Also, you can only redeem for one item, so you can’t aggregate multiple expenses into a bigger reward.
This means that you’ll likely be using your points to pay off one big expense, like a plane ticket or a hotel visit.
If you are prepaying for something you know you want to use rewards on, be sure you already have the points to pay for it, because you won’t be able to pay it off after 120 days.
Of course, there may always be another travel purchase in the future, but it’s worth it to do a little planning.
Balance Transfers and Points Expiration
For balance transfers, you have 45 days from the time your account opens to post them to your account and take advantage of the 0% introductory APR for 12 months. After that, a variable APR of 18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% will apply.
Note that your balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% (whichever is greater) will still apply. This is certainly a better deal than paying 15%+ interest, but still comes at a price. Finally, know that you won’t accrue points for the balance transferred.
Your miles, like most cards, don’t expire as long as your account is still open and in good standing. Unlike many cards, though, Barclays actually considers your card closed if you haven’t used it in 6 months.
It’s inadvisable to just have a card sitting around if you’re not going to use it and it carries an annual fee after the first year, but in this case, they’ll actively close you up!
If you do want to close the account, make sure to use the miles before that. Note that while we discuss the value being 2.1x, the actual case is that you get 5% back each time you redeem.
So if you redeemed for 10,000, you’d get 500 miles back in your account to put towards your next purchase. If you redeem 30,000, that’s worth 1,500.
If you eventually want to close off your account, you’re going to have unused miles simply because you get the rebate each time you redeem.
To minimize this loss, try to make your last redemption right at 10,000 points so you’ll have the least possible amount of miles left in the account.
Earning Miles Details and Autopay
When you earn miles, any amount less than a dollar is actually rounded. If it is $0.50 or greater, it is rounded up, and $0.49 or less is rounded down.
So a purchase of $43.50 will count as $44 and earn you 88 points. A purchase of $43.49 will count as $43 and earn you 86 points. Consider this when leaving tips at restaurants!
Also, Barclays has a very strict policy on earning and redeeming miles. For example, if you ever forget to pay your bill by the due date, you may not earn miles for any purchases from that month.
You also might not be able to redeem miles. So be sure to put on that bill on autopay!
Other Unique Features
Below is a list of additional benefits you’ll get if you sign up to this rewards credit card. These are pulled from their benefits explanation document.
Express delivery – If you’re really excited for your card to come, you can actually request it to be next-day delivered; be sure to check this option when you are signing up. A signature will be required, so you’d have to be at home to receive it.
Complimentary FICO credit score – Always know your credit score by tracking it through your account. You get a free FICO score that will give you access to your score over time.
This is cheaper than paying $5-$15 for credit tracking services, although you will only get the one score rather than all three.
MasterCard World Elite Concierge – Someone is available 24/7 to help you with your travel or everyday needs.
You will be given your own profile so that whenever someone helps you they’ll have access to your preferences and be able to assist you more thoroughly.
Barclays gives the example of using the service to find a local expert to provide on-site assistance when you’re having something delivered and can’t be there. They also suggest you can get into unique dining and entertainment venues through them.
There is no mention of price anywhere here, so may as well call and see what you can get through the service (1-888-963-7036)!
Luxury Travel – This program ensures you have access to some great travel options when you’re ready. Give them a call 24/7 and you get a free travel agent to help you plan and book your vacation packages.
The World Elite Hotels and Resorts Portfolio includes Starwood, Hyatt, and many more. The World Elite Air Program includes Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, and more.
Actually, the air program has some pretty valuable benefits. First, it can give you a complimentary upgrade to business class if you book a full fare economy class ticket.
Second, if you book a full-value business class ticket, you can get a free ticket or up to 50% off on a ticket, depending on the airline.
For the business traveler, that means you could bring your spouse with you on your trip! Finally, the program has savings across the board on international travel.
If you’re a private jet charterer (who isn’t??), then you can get some good deals as well. Some of these include $500 off, 5% off, and complimentary meals.
Barclays also partners with cruise operators such as Royal Caribbean, Avalon, and Regent. This can get you a potential savings of up to $500 per cabin if you like to take cruises.
Finally, they are partnered with tour companies, rental car agencies, and chauffeurs to bring you additional savings on your travel in style.
You can get complimentary status with any rental car agency so you can enjoy better cars while on the road, although anecdotally this doesn’t always work.
Price protection coverage – You can get refunded for finding a better price on an item within 120 days of purchase at up to $250 per item and $1,000 per year. Simply send in your receipt and the newly-found price to receive the difference.
It needs to include all the details of the offer in order to be eligible, and unfortunately, they don’t accept internet advertisements. Also, there is a list of exceptions like cars, boats, and more.
Purchase security – For up to 90 days after the purchase of an item, you may be able to get replacement, repair, or reimbursement. The maximum here is $1,000 per item and $50,000 per year.
This covers things like fires, vandalism, weather, spacecraft (we’ve all had that happen!), and theft. Again, there are exceptions.
Return protection – Similarly, for up to 90 days you can get reimbursement for items that can’t be returned to the vendor. The maximums are $1,000 per year and $500 per item.
Extended protection – Their extended warranty program doubles your warranty (up to one year maximum). The original warranty must be three years or less.
MasterCard Global Service – This is a 24/7 service for lost and stolen cards, emergency card replacement, and cash advances. Various numbers are listed in the benefits document and differ per country.
Auto rental collision damage waiver – Deny the rental agency’s protection and get the value of the car covered in case of damage.
Travel assistance services – Similar to a AAA service, they will help you out in a pickle on your travels. Call 1-800-MC-ASSIST and you will have free use of the service, although you may incur charges for things like towing or whatever third party help you need.
Travel accident insurance – You are covered for up to $250,000 for travel accidents, baggage delays, and trip cancellation. The baggage portion of your Barclays travel insurance gives out $100 per day for up to three days of missing bags.
However, this payment is limited to essential items needed during the emergency. Trip cancellation covers you for up to $1,500 of cancelled or interrupted trips.