Barclaycard to launch major new reward schemeEight million Barclaycard customers could benefit

25 January 2010

Barclaycard Freedom

Barclaycard's new rewards programme, Barclaycard Freedom, will offer 8 million cardholders cashback of 1% in thousands of shops.

The new reward scheme, which will be launched in March, will offer a new way to earn cashback. Unlike traditional cashback and reward schemes, there is no need to collect and save vouchers and no points to calculate – the rewards will be recorded on the card itself in pounds and pence.

How the Barclaycard Freedom reward scheme will work

Using chip and Pin technology, Barclaycard cardholders will automatically earn rewards, called ‘Reward Money’, when they use their Barclaycard at a participating retailer. Cashback will be 1% on most transactions and the company plans regular special promotions and giveaways.

After a transaction takes place, the cardholder will usually see their new Reward Money balance on the card machine. The next time they use their card in a participating retailer, they will see the value of their Reward Money balance appear on the card machine before they enter their Pin to pay. They can then choose to redeem some or all of their Reward Money towards that transaction or to continue to save up for a future purchase at another retailer within the scheme.

Which retailers will participate in the scheme?

Barclaycard has invited more than 30,000 retailers of all sizes to be partners in the Freedom scheme. On average, the company expects there to be 200 retailers within five miles of where a cardholder lives.

Sarah Newman, Managing Director of Barclaycard Freedom, said: 'The breadth of Barclaycard Freedom offers customers the chance to earn Reward Money when they do their weekly shop, go out for a meal or shop online. Barclaycard Freedom incorporates all of the best elements of other reward schemes and with no need to collect and save vouchers - the rewards will be in pounds and pence.'

This is an exciting development for our customers, our retail partners and for Barclaycard itself. By offering the chance for small and medium retailers to join a scheme with major UK brands, Barclaycard Freedom is supporting the high street at a time of very difficult trading conditions.'

A scheme to revolutionise the cashback credit card market?

Martyn Saville, Which? credit card expert, commented: 'If enough retailers sign up, this simplified reward scheme could revolutionise the cashback credit card market. Most cashback cards offer around 0.5% cashback, often with strings attached. If Barclaycard can offer 1% cashback, available to redeem immediately in a wide range of local shops, they could easily corner the rewards market with this new offer.

'It's important to weigh up the pros and cons of the individual card as some Barclaycard products are more competitive than others, but for consumers who clear their bill in full every month especially, this could be an excellent, easy-to-understand reward scheme that offers a win-win situation for Barclaycard, consumers and the local high street alike. 

'The number of cashback cards has declined in recent years, together with the level of cashback on offer. Innovative and easy-to-understand schemes like this new one from Barclaycard will hopefully encourage other credit card providers to up their game and provide better rewards for their customers.'

Get the best credit card for your needs

If you need advice in choosing the best credit card for your needs, read the free Which? guide to choosing a credit card. Once you know the best type of card for you, check out Which? Best Rate credit cards to find the most competitive deal available today, whether it's a cashback card, a card for borrowing or the longest 0% deal on balance transfers.

 

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what's going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.