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Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®: A Worthwhile Cashback Contender?

Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®: A Worthwhile Cashback Contender?

A pretty decent flat rate cash back credit card that can earn you 1.5% cash back on every purchase, plus a 5% bonus every time you redeem
Editor's Rating: 4.5/5.0
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Editor's Rating

{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

4.5/5.0

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

The Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® offers a 1.5% rewards rate, that is bumped up slightly after your first redemption, thanks to a 5% bonus. That, combined with the $200 bonus you get after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days, makes this a pretty decent card to have. In the long term, it can't outperform the best flat rate cash back credit cards, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card or Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. However, until you spend $20,000 on your credit card, this one will offer superior value.

Good For..Bad For…
  • Short-term rewards, thanks to $200 bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening
  • Long-term value, since it can't compete with 2% cash back cards
  • Use outside of the U.S. due to a 3% FX fee

Review: Is the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® Worth It?

The Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® one of the better flat rate cash back credit cards. It provides users with slightly better rewards than one of our other favorite cash back cards, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. Choosing between the two cards ends up being a trade-off between better rewards and overseas spending. While this card will provide you with the better value, it has a 3% foreign transaction fee that makes it less-than-ideal for use outside of the United States. In the long-term, however, we recommend users use a 2% cash back credit card. While it doesn’t have any annual fee, using the card comes at a very high opportunity cost, past the $40k mark because of other options. If you could use either this card or the a 2% card to make a purchase, you should always opt to pay using the latter, since you stand to gain an additional .5 percentage points. However, 2% cash back cards do not, typically, give users any bonuses as a trade-off.

Bottom Line: The Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® is a pretty decent credit card to have, due to higher-than-average rewards and no annual fee. We recommend that consumers get this card in conjuction with the Citi® Double Cash Card or Fidelity® Investment Rewards® American Express® , in order to maximize their value.

Benefits & Features of the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®

The Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® is a flat rate cash back credit card, giving cardholders 1.5% back on every purchase they make. With that, there are no categories to keep track of, and no need to optimize your spending. Plus, every time you redeem rewards for this card, you will receive a 5% bonus towards your next redemption. That will effectively boost your ongoing cash back rate to anywhere between 1.51% and 1.57%. The rewards can be deposited into your bank account, used as statement credit or turned into gift cards - all at the same rate.

Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®

Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Every time you redeem get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
  • Free online FICO® Credit Score
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Every time you redeem get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
  • Free online FICO® Credit Score
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Regular APR
15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
N/A
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The information related to the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

If you manage to spend at least $1,000 on your Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® within the first 90 days of account opening, you will receive a $200 cash rewards bonus. Keep in mind that in order to qualify, you must make $1,000 in purchases – that means balance transfers and cash advances don't count.

How Do The CashForward Rewards Work?

If you make $5,000 in purchases using the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®, you will earn $5,000 x 1.5% = $75 in rewards. Going forward, the next time you spend $5,000 and redeem for cash back, you will receive $5,000 x 1.5% = $75 PLUS a 5% bonus. That comes out to $75 x 5% = $3.75. Therefore, your cumulative rewards will come out to $75 + $3.75 = $78.75. Since up to this point you have spent $10,000, and received $75 + 78.75 = 153.75 in rewards, your effective rewards rate becomes $153.75 / $10,000 = 1.5738%.

In the short-term, going from redemption-to-redemption, it may seem like you may receive a significant boost, but if you look at your total rewards earned against total overall spending, you will never be coming out from this with a rewards rate higher than 1.6%.

How Does The Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® Compare Against Other Credit Cards?

In order to see if the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® is of any value, it’s important to see it against the backdrop of other credit cards. Below we compared its performance to other popular cash back credit cards.

Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® vs Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® is one of our favorite cash back credit cards. It does not offer one flat rate, like the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®. Instead, it offers 5% cash back in categories that rotate each quarter throughout the year, on up to $1,500 in purchases. On everything else, it earns just 1% cash back. As long as a small portion of your overall spending falls into these 5% bonus categories of the Chase Freedom®, it will become a better value than the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®. All you have to do is make sure to follow which categories are currently earning you the best rewards for the given months.

In the short-term, the Chase Freedom® has a worse bonus. If you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months, you’ll receive $150. That’s one of the best bonuses, though not as good as the bonus on the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®.

Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® vs Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a flat rate 1.5% cash back rate, and has a slightly worse bonus than the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®. Because the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® has the ongoing 5% bonus you get towards every redemption, it will almost always edge out the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card and perform slightly better. The difference will be negligible at first, but over enough time the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® will produce the better value.

One place where the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is superior is overseas spending. The Capital One card doesn’t come with any foreign transaction fees. The Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® will charge you 3% every time you use it outside of the United States. Therefore, when traveling abroad, you should always use a card like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard® vs Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card is a flat rate credit card as well, earning users 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and another 1% back when that purchase is paid off. That effectively translates to a rewards rate that is far better than the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®. However, one downside of the Citi® Double Cash Card is the fact that it doesn’t come with any welcome bonus. Therefore, if you can qualify for the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®’s $200 cash reward bonus, you will have the better short-term value. It won’t be until you have spent roughly $40,000 on your credit card, that this difference will be made up for, through the superior rewards rate. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best rewards in the short-term, we recommend the Barclays CashForward™ World Mastercard®.

Comparison Tool

If you are still unsure of how different cash back credit cards can fit into your budget, and which will provide you with the highest rewards, you can use our interactive tool below. By inputting your estimated monthly spending, the tool will calculate your estimated rewards for each card.

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Assumptions based on $1,430 monthly spend
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Comments and Questions

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).