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Review of the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Nov 01, 2017

Although Smashed media does receive compensation from some card issuers as advertisers, this does not in any way influence our overall judgement of a card, or how one card is compared to another. Barclaycard and Mastercard have not endorsed this content in any way.

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The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® is a pretty basic credit card, offering a decent cash back reward for every purchase you make.

The value of this card is in its simplicity. Instead of thinking about what card to use every time you shop, wondering if you’ll get the most rewards with this one or that one, you can just go with your CashForward every time to earn 1.5% cash back. You’ll also get a 5% bonus on your rewards every time you redeem them.

If you’re looking for a straightforward card without a lot of extra features, this one fits the bill. Read on to learn more about it and see if it’s the right card for you.

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
  • Editors’ Rating
Apply Now

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 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 on balance transfers for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Our Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

We gave the CashForward 4 out of 5 Stars, because the cash back deal on every purchase is almost as good as you’ll find on a general rewards card like this. The signup bonus, $200 for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, is about as good as it gets on most credit cards.

There’s no annual fee and the interest rates on purchases and balance transfers are very favorable, both big points in this card’s favor. You’ll also get a 15-month 0% introductory interest rate on purchases and balance transfers, which is almost as long as they come.

This is a very simple card, however. There are very few extra benefits, which limits this card’s usefulness compared to many other reward cards with more extensive perks and services.

Although there isn’t much to it, this card does well in a few areas that matter most to many spenders: the rewards, the signup bonus, and the interest rates.

Insider Advice: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy

  • This card is designed for all kinds of spending, rather than for a particular category like gas or groceries. For many people, a good strategy is to use this card in combination with another reward card that offers more cash back or points for gas and grocery purchases. You can use that other card whenever you buy gas or groceries, and use the CashForward for all other purchases.
  • You’ll get 1.5% cash back for every purchase plus a 5% bonus every time you redeem your rewards. That comes to the equivalent of 1.575% cash back on every purchase you make.
  • There is no annual fee on this card, so it can potentially be completely free to use. We recommend that you pay off your balance in full each month to avoid accruing interest or late fees. The card will cost you nothing to use, and the cash back you earn will be pure profit.
  • The signup bonus is quite good, letting you earn $200 cash back by spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Make sure you take advantage of this because that’s the equivalent of getting 20% cash back.
  • You can redeem your cash back in 3 different ways: as a statement credit to lower your balance, directly into a checking or savings account, or for gift cards. This is a nice bit of flexibility, especially the ability to deposit directly into a bank account, which isn’t found on most cards.
  • When it comes to the extra perks and benefits, this card doesn’t have very many. But it does provide free online access to one of your FICO credit scores, which can be quite useful, along with travel assistance services from MasterCard that can help out if you get stuck on the road.
  • This card comes with both Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-PIN EMV technology, so you can use it at terminals that require either a signature or a PIN. This is good to have when traveling outside the U.S., where you might find PIN terminals, but you’ll be charged a foreign transaction fee of 3% with this card.

The Rewards

This card provides 1.5% cash back along with a 5% bonus every time you redeem your cash back. That means you’ll effectively be earning the equivalent of 1.575% cash back on every purchase after you redeem your rewards.

Earning

  • 1.5% cash back reward on every purchase you make
  • 5% redemption bonus every time you redeem your rewards (to use with your next redemption)
  • $200 cash back signup bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days

Cash back rewards will be rounded to the nearest cent, and there is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.

Your cash back will persist unless your account becomes inactive, which is defined by Barclaycard as no balance, payments, or transactions for 6 months.

Redeeming

Redemptions start at $50, and you’ll have 3 options when redeeming your cash back:

  • Statement credits
  • Direct deposit into a checking/savings account ($500 daily limit)
  • Gift cards (subject to availability)

As mentioned above, you’ll get a 5% bonus on your cash back whenever you redeem. Let’s do a bit of math to see how far that 5% redemption bonus goes.

Say you spend $1,000 with the card. How much will your total cash back reward be?

To calculate the 1.5% cash back: $1,000 × .015 = $15.00.

To calculate the 5% redemption bonus: $15.00 × .05 = $0.75.

To calculate the total reward: $15.00 + $0.75 = $15.75.

So, your total reward for spending $1,000 will be $15.75. That extra 5% isn’t much, but it’s better than not getting it.

Here are some redemption values for various levels of spending:

Amount Spent Initial Cash Back Earned 5% Redemption Bonus Total Cash Back Earned
$500 $7.50 $0.38 $7.88
$1,000 $15 $0.75 $15.75
$3,000 $45 $2.25 $47.25
$5,000 $75 $3.75 $78.75

The Benefits

Your card may come with more benefits than are listed here. Check your Guide to Benefits to learn the specific benefits available to you.

Free Access to One of Your FICO® Credit Scores

Easily keep track of your FICO credit score online, and get alerts if it changes. We’re pretty sure that Barclaycard will use the FICO Score 8 from your TransUnion credit report. If you can confirm this, let us know in the comments.

Many issuers today will offer free access to one of your FICO credit scores, but if you don’t have another way to check your TransUnion score this card is a good option for that.

Mastercard Travel Assistance Services

Call for help when you’re on the road, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. May also provide useful pre-trip information and referrals for where to find services when traveling 100 miles or more from home.

Take note that the cardholder will need to pay for any third-party costs involved for services like towing, tire changes, jumpstarts, etc. Mastercard will only assist you in finding the help you need.

Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-PIN Technology

This card has EMV technology for added security when making purchases. Unlike many cards, which only have Chip-and-Signature, the PIN function of this card makes it usable at terminals around the world that only accept PINs and not signatures. Read more about EMV technology to learn why this might be important for you.

Fraud Protection

You will not be held responsible for unauthorized use of your card. Report any unauthorized activity to Barclaycard immediately.

The Costs & Fees

Annual Fee Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Regular Purchase APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
$0 0% for 15 months 15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable 15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable 26.24% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
3%, Minimum $5 5%, Minimum $10 3%
Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Up to $37 Up to $37

As you can see, you’ll get an introductory 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months with this card. Although you’ll accrue no interest during that time, the balance transfers themselves will incur a fee of 3% ($5 minimum). For balance transfers, this introductory rate only applies to transfers made within the first 45 days of card ownership.

After your 0% interest period runs out, you can still completely avoid accruing interest on purchases or transfers by paying off your balance in full each month.

Since this card has no annual fee it should be basically free to use as long as you avoid interest and late or returned payment fees. Commit to using your card responsibly, and it will treat you well.

The Bottom Line

The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® is a simple rewards card, offering a steady amount of cash back without much else to worry about.

You’ll get the same 1.5% back everywhere you shop, with a nice $200 signup bonus and no annual fee. This is a pretty solid deal compared to most reward cards. There aren’t many extra perks to speak of, but this card is a good option for building your credit because you can check one of your credit scores for free, anytime you’d like. This isn’t a very rare feature, however, as many issuers will let you check one of your credit scores for free, but if you don’t have any other way to check your TransUnion score this card will let you do that.

The CashForward is also a good pick if you need a card with the Chip-and-PIN feature, which is useful when traveling outside of the country. Most issuers only offer cards with Chip-and-Signature, but Barclaycard tends to provide cards that can handle both. This card does have a 3% foreign transaction fee, however, so you’ll have to pay extra for that convenience.

How to Apply for the Barclaycard Cash Forward Mastercard

Want to apply for this card or learn more? Just click the Apply button below. You’ll need to apply through Barclaycard, which will usually pull your TransUnion credit report.

This card is meant for people with good credit, so you’ll probably have a decent chance of being accepted as long as you have some credit history established and no delinquencies or major blemishes on your credit report.

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
  • Editors’ Rating
Apply Now

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 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 on balance transfers for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Alternatives to the Barclaycard Cash Forward Mastercard

Discover it

Like the CashForward, the Discover it (Review) is a reward card with no annual fee. It also has a 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers, which will last for 14 months.

But unlike the CashForward, this card offers a 5% reward category that switches every 3 months. This means it’s good for certain kinds of shopping, and you have to keep an eye on the current reward category to know where you’ll get the best cash back deals.

Some of the categories throughout the year include gas stations, restaurants, home improvement stores, and Amazon.com.

Discover has a great signup offer, doubling the total amount of cash back you earn after your first year. That means you’ll be earning 10% cash back in those rotating reward categories, and that’s a great deal in the world of credit cards.

The Discover it also comes with a decent set of extra perks and bonuses that the CashForward does not have, like shopping and travel protections. These can potentially be very handy if you get into a difficult situation with a merchant or while traveling.

A great strategy would be to use both the CashForward and the Discover it cards together. You can use the Discover it for any purchases within its current reward category, and use the CashForward for everything else.

Read more about how these cards stack up to each other in our comparison of the Barclaycard CashForward and Discover it Credit Cards.

Chase Freedom

Again, the Chase Freedom (Review) card has no annual fee and comes with a 0% intro APR for 15 month, just like the CashForward.

This card offers a set of rotating 5% cash back categories, rather than providing a set amount of cash back for every purchase like the CashForward. You’ll earn that 5% back on different types of purchases throughout the year, including gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and movie theaters.

The signup bonus is pretty good with the Chase Freedom: $150 cash back for spending $500 in the first 3 months. You’ll only have to spend half as much to get this bonus compared to the bonus for the CashForward, but you won’t earn quite as much. You’ll actually get another small signup bonus with the Freedom, $25 cash back for adding an authorized user and making your first purchase within the first 3 months.

A few extra benefits are available with the Freedom, like purchase protection and an extended warranty. But there aren’t very many and they won’t be too valuable most of the time, so the differences here are not too crucial.

Learn more about these two cards in our comparison of the Barclaycard CashForward and Chase Freedom Credit Cards.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

This card is different than the regular Chase Freedom, and is pretty similar to the CashForward. The Chase Freedom Unlimited (Review) has no annual fee, a 0% intro APR for 15 months for purchases and balance transfers, and provides 1.5% cash back on all purchases — these are all the same exact terms as the CashForward.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has just a few extra benefits and they aren’t particularly valuable, so it also matches the CashForward in this category.

There are two important differences between the Freedom Unlimited and the CashForward: the signup bonus and the cash back redemption bonus. The Freedom Unlimited offers $150 cash back for spending $500 in the first 3 months, compared to $200 cash back for spending $1,000 with the CashForward. You’ll also get a 5% redemption bonus every time you redeem your cash back with the CashForward card, and you won’t get that bonus with the Freedom Unlimited.

That means you’ll earn a bit more back for the signup bonus and an extra 5% bonus every time you redeem, which ends up being the equivalent of 1.575% cash back. Since these cards are so similar in every other way, those features mean the CashForward has the better offer.

Still undecided? Get a more in-depth comparison of the Barclaycard CashForward and Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Cards.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards is set up much like the CashForward. The Quicksilver card has no annual fee and offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase, just like the CashForward. But the Quicksilver doesn’t provide that 5% bonus on redemptions that the CashForward does.

The Quicksilver has a 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers, but at only 9 months it’s much shorter than the CashForward (which offers 0% APR for 15 months).

The signup bonus for the Quicksilver is a bit lower than the CashForward as well, providing $150 for spending $500 in the first 3 months. It will be easier to get than the bonus for the CashForward, but you won’t earn as much.

When it comes to the extra benefits and features, the Quicksilver card has the better offer. You’ll get a nice set of Visa Signature® benefits, which include complimentary travel upgrades and discounts, purchase protections, and a concierge you can help for assistance any time. The Quicksilver also has no foreign transaction fee, so it’s a good spending option for when you’re outside the country (the CashForward has a 3% foreign transaction fee).

Overall, although these cards are very similar, the CashForward ends up being more rewarding and useful thanks to the larger signup bonus, the 5% bonus on redemptions, and the longer 0% APR period. The Quicksilver has better extra perks, but that usually isn’t the most important deciding factor when deciding between cards.

If you still can’t choose, dig into the details in our comparison of the Barclaycard CashForward and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Cards.

Citi Double Cash

The Citi Double Cash (Review) is a popular and rewarding card, offering 2% cash back for every purchase you make at no annual fee. This beats out the 1.5% cash back you get from the CashForward, even when you factor in the 5% bonus you’ll get on redemptions because that only provides an equivalent of 1.575% cash back.

The Double Cash card offers a 0% intro APR for 18 months for balance transfers only, and not purchases. You won’t earn any cash back on balance transfers. So the Double Cash is less versatile in this category compared to the CashForward, which offers a 0% APR for 15 months for both purchases and balance transfers. The Double Cash wins if you’re looking for more time to pay off a balance transfer, but if you want to pay off big purchases over time the CashForward is the clear choice. But remember that there are other cards designed specifically for balance transfers, and you’ll find the best transfer offers with them.

The Double Cash does not offer any kind of cash back signup bonus, so here the CashForward easily wins because it offers $200 for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

For the extra perks and benefits, the Double Cash offers a more extensive set of features. These include reduced price and exclusive tickets to a variety of events, a price matching feature to make sure you don’t overpay on items, and a concierge to assist with any non-emergency needs.

Overall, the Double Cash card will provide a consistently higher amount of cash back than the CashForward card, 2% instead of an equivalent of 1.575%. It also has the better set of benefits. But the CashForward has the better signup bonus and 0% intro APR offer, which are also important features.

Neither card is objectively better all-around, so it could be a tough pick trying to decide between these two. Would you rather get a nice signup bonus and 15 months at 0% interest on purchases with the CashForward, or would you rather earn a bit more cash back on every purchase and have access to better benefits with the Double Cash? The answer will have to depend on your personal preferences and shopping habits.

For more on the similarities and differences between these two cards, read our comparison of the Barclaycard CashForward and Citi Double Cash Credit Cards.

Not the cards for you? If you’d like to see some other highly rewarding cards, check out the Best Rewards Credit Cards.

How do you like your Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®? Leave your own review of the card, we’d love to hear from you!

Was this helpful?
  • Pamela Scott

    Stay away from this company. Misleading and only wants your money. Within my few months experience with Barclay, I say I am disappointed and I regretted that I chose to sign up on this card. It was disappointing that your company could not take care of your clients well. Too much inconsistency on your offers, the 0% APR on purchases is not true. Look at your statements carefully. The company is not accommodating. There is no sincerity for having us in business but clearly you are only after charging us more fees. Is your company worth recommending? Your company just lost my business, my family and friends business and more people would hear and know this online and in person.

    • Bad Hombre

      By “not accommodating” I assume you mean that they won’t allow you to pay late on your bills. Well, it’s not their fault that, as an adult, choose to live above your means.

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