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

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

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"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"

Contents

The Barclaycard 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 - 18 month BT offer 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 Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® Worth It?

The Barclaycard 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.

Graph comparing different rewards rates among cash back credit cards

The only way a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer wouldn’t always offer you the better value, is if you weren’t paying your credit card bill in full every month. However, if you are already engaging in such a practice, we recommend holding off on using credit cards, as the interest you pay will counteract any value you get out of either card.

Bottom Line: The Barclaycard 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 - 18 month BT offer or Fidelity® Investment Rewards® American Express® , in order to maximize their value.

Benefits & Features of the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

The Barclaycard 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.

Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% Variable
Card Details
  • Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase. Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
  • Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $50
  • Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Enjoy a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases.
  • Plus, you'll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
  • No annual fee

If you manage to spend at least $1,000 on your Barclaycard 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 Barclaycard 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 Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® Compare Against Other Credit Cards?

In order to see if the Barclaycard 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.

Barclaycard 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 Barclaycard 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 Barclaycard 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. For example, in the second quarter of 2016 you can earn bonus rewards on grocery store purchases and wholesale clubs.

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 Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®.

Barclaycard 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 Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®. Because the Barclaycard 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 Barclaycard 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 Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® will charge you 3% every time you use it outside of the United States. Therefore, when travelling abroad, you should always use a card like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® vs Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer 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 Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®. However, one downside of the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer is the fact that it doesn’t come with any welcome bonus. Therefore, if you can qualify for the Barclaycard 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 Barclaycard 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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Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the Rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s sign-up bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards Value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any sign-up bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
$0 1.99%
$200
Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
$715
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase. Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
  • Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $50
  • Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Enjoy a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases.
  • Plus, you'll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
0 x $0.01 = $200
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 715
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
$0 1.85%
$150
Get $150 bonus after spending $500 within the first 3 months
$665
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your Quicksilver card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 515 x $1 = $515
Bonuses
0 x $1 = $150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 665
Discover it® for Students
$0 1.43%
$171
Discover gives a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. (New cardmembers only)
$514
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 13.99% - 22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • New! Free Social Security Number alerts, we’ll monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.*
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like Amazon.com, restaurants, ground transportation and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.99% - 22.99%.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Bonuses
171 x $1 = $171
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 514
Chase Freedom®
$0 1.37%
$150
Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
$493
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Bonuses
0 x $1 = $150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 493
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Credit Card
$39 1.21%
$0
$437
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $39
APR 24.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your QuicksilverOne card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 515 x $1 = $515
Less Annual Fees -$78
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 437

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

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.

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.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.