Written by Karen Bryan
I received a small package from Barclaycard which felt as through it had something inside. When I opened the envelope it was a silly pop-up box extolling the virtures of the new Barclaycard Cashback Card. As I’m an existing Barclaycard customer, (unintentionally, as they bought the Egg credit card division), the enclosed letter opened with a cheery “Hello Karen” continuing with a lot of drivel about this year’s Jubilee and Olympics and how Barclaycard have come up with other ways to put a smile on my face.
Well Barclaycard, after reading through all the terms and conditions of your new cashback credit card, my expression is much closer to a scowl than a smile.
The Barclaycard Cashback card gets off to an enticing start talking about the 6% welcome bonus cashback on your 5 biggest purchases per month for the first three months. £ signs flash before my eyes as I think of the £17.52 cashback I could earn on our £292 car insurance premium due later this month. If I made several large purchases over the first three months, I could rake in a few hundred pounds here.
Then I read that you have to make at least 15 purchases a month on the Barclaycard, or you’ll only earn a measly 0.5% on all purchases made that month.
It goes from bad to worse; near the bottom of the letter comes the revelation of a £24 annual fee and the £120 cashback cap for the first three month period.
Barclaycard you can stuff your new cashback card. You claim that “you’ll love its simplicity with no tiers and thresholds”. In my opinion, the 2% cashback for the largest 5 transactions and 0.5% for the other transactions is a tier (defined as two or more levels arranged one above another in WordIQ). The £120 maximum cashback during the first three months and the 15 transactions a month are thresholds (defined in Dictionary.com as a level at which something happens).
I’ll stick with a combination of my:
- Current (former Egg) Barclaycard which is simple – I get 1% cashback on all my purchases with no annual fee.
- Halifax Clarity Card which gives me £5 cashback when I spend £300 a month, with no annual fee.
- Aqua Reward Credit Card which gives me 3% cashback on all purchases, up to a maximum of £100 a year, with no annual fee.
Barclaycard’s Response – 8 October 2012
This relates to the tiering of cashback amounts based on annual spend levels. This is seen for example with the Capital One World Mastercard (0.5% up to £6K of annual spend, 1% for £6K to £10K and 1.25% over £10K of annual spend).
Our card is designed so that our customers have the ability to earn a market leading rate of 2% cashback each month on their five largest purchases.
This enables customers changing monthly spend patterns to be dynamically rewarded rather than them having to break through fixed annual spend tiers to get to a top rate of cashback, which would then only be earned at the higher rate on the spend above the tier amount.
The £120 maximum cashback on the top five monthly purchases in the first three months relates to an introductory offer and not the ongoing card proposition. This level is set above the limit seen with other providers such as Amex Platinum Cashback and Capital One World, who both have a £100 cap on the first three months.
Also, there is no limit on the cashback that can be earned in the first three months on the remaining purchases (i.e. not top five) that earn 0.5% cashback.