Advantages IF USED CORRECTLY, LOTS OF ADVANTAGES - CASH, INSURANCE
Disadvantages IF NOT PAID BACK EVERY MONTH, EXPENSIVE
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|Quality of Customer Service|
|Security and Privacy|
|Ease of Application|
BARCLAYCARD CASHBACK MASTERCARDHISTORY
42 years ago, in 1966, the same year that England won the Football World Cup, the first credit card was introduced in Europe. Since then, it seems that everybody has credit cards in their wallets, handbags, pockets etc. It is now almost seen as odd if somebody does not carry a credit card, and actual cash in the form of notes and coins is being used less and less, and cheques are also being used less, with the usage of credit cards increasing.Barclaycard was the first credit card to offer withdrawals from ATMs, and the first to provide customers with the option of online banking.
Barclaycard say that there are over 8 million cardholders who hold a Barclaycard and is used in over 26 million locations worldwide.Barclaycard is part of Barclays Bank, which has been around for more than 300 years, and operates in over 50 countries around the world.
CASHBACK BONUSEvery time you use the Barclaycard Cashback MasterCard, you earn, as the name suggests, cashback. By making a purchase with the card, you get 1% cashback for the first £200 you spend per month. If you spend more than that, you get paid 0.5% on the rest of your purchases. This cashback is seen as a credit on your monthly statement.
So, if you spend £200, you get £2 back, if you spend £500 you get £3.50, if you spend £1000 you get £6.00.This may not sound a lot, but if you spend monthly £500, over a year, you could get back £42.00. Simply for using a card. It may not make you rich, but why use a card that gives you nothing back - you might as well get some money back - as the saying goes, if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.
CONTACTLES PAYMENTS WITH MASTERCARD PAYPASSThis, to me at least, is a fairly new development. For purchases of £10 or less (I imagine that they will not do if for larger amounts in case of potential fraud), you can use this card at outlets that display the PayPass symbol. Places that accept this form of payment tend to be coffee shops and fast food restaurants such as Coffee Republic, and basically you touch your card to the shops scanner and your bill is paid. I must admit, that I have no personal experience of this type of payment, as I am fairly old fashioned, and prefer to sign for things or input a PIN number, but no doubt as more and more people use this new way of paying, I will start using it. Barclaycard does say however, that for security reasons, they will still randomly ask people to enter their PIN number to ensure adequate fraud protection procedures are carried out.
SECURE SHOPPING WITH THIS CARDInternet shopping is increasing at an alarming rate, with cheaper prices being found in a lot of cases when compared to the High Street, but on occasions, things do go wrong. If payment was made with this card, you get free Purchases Delivery Protection. If the item you bought goes missing or arrives damaged, and the internet retailer won't look into the mater, then the card covers purchases made online or over the phone, as well as high street shopping if the goods are delivered to your door.
ONLINE OFFERSThe card comes with a range of deals from some well-know retailers, such as Thomas Cook and Avis, where you can get discounts on short and long haul breaks, car rentals and event tickets. These offers are updated on a regular basis, so rather than quoting the current offers which will be out of date, simply visit www.barclaycard.co.uk/deals.
INTEREST FREE CREDITIf you settle your balance on your card in full very month, you get a period of interest-free credit on the things you buy. The current maximum period is 56 days (if you purchase something on the first day of the period - obviously if you buy something towards the end of the period in question, you get less days to pay of the balance).
DEBIT INTERESTThe sting in the tail, like all credit cards, is that if you do not pay off your monthly balance, you will get charged interest - the current interest rate is 16.9% APR for purchases, and for cash withdrawals, the rate is a staggering 27.9% APR. My advice here is that, like all credit cards, if you use them properly they are your best friend. If used incorrectly, they can turn into a monster. Try to pay back you monthly balance in full to avoid the high interest rates, and avoid only paying back the minimum payment. If you do the latter, you will find that you will be paying the debt back for years to come, and the final amount you pay could be two or three times the amount you actually spent originally.
CASH MACHINE ACCESSYou can withdraw cast at cash machines both in this country and abroad, giving you access to pounds, euros, dollars or any other currency you need. Cash withdrawals however are limited to a daily cash ATM withdrawal limit and individual account cash limits, and are also subject to a handling fee 2.5%. In addition, if making a payment or withdrawal abroad, you will get a foreign usage fee of 2.75%.
CREDIT LIMITSAs with all bank lending, credit limits are based on individual circumstances. Just because you get a certain limit, it does not mean you can go on a mad spending spree, because at some stage you do need to pay it back. As already mentioned, my advice is to only spend what you can afford to pay back within a month, or else you will get charged some hefty interest rates.
PARTNER NEEDS A CARDIf you want, you can have more than one card on the one account. Extra cards share the same account and credit limit but each holder will have a different PIN. Both cards will earn cashback, but the main cardholder will be responsible for payments due on the account. So, if you get a card for your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, and (God forbid), they leave, you will be left with any outstanding debt that they may have run up on the account.
GOING ON HOLIDAY OR WORKING ABROADThis seems to be happening a lot these days - you go abroad with your plastic, foreign currency, passports, suitcases, sun cream etc, and all looks great. You go to a local restaurant and enjoy the meal, and you decide to pay for the bill with your credit card - and horror of horrors, it is declined. Most banks these days monitor accounts for abnormal use, and if you start using it abroad, the bank may assume it has been lost or stolen - so my advice here is that if you are going to take the card abroad, you contact the bank first to let them know which countries you are going to visit.
With this card you qualify for:-EMERGENCY CASH
If you lose or have your card stolen, then Barclaycard will be able to provide you with emergency cash, usually within 24 hours.WORLDWIDE ASSISTANCE
Hopefully you will not need to use this service, but it is nice to know that it is available. If you need legal advice when travelling, Barclaycard can put you in touch with a local English speaking lawyer to give you advice. They can also arrange flights and other transport to help you get back quickly if required. If a foreign language barrier is making a problem more difficult, then you can use a phone bases interpretation service. They can even put you in touch with a local English speaking doctor. In addition, you can register your passport number with Barclaycard, and if it is lost or stolen, they can help you replace it, together with any missing travel tickets or traveller's cheques.FREE TRAVEL INSURANCE
This benefit, it perhaps the best know benefit. At the moment, as it appears the whole world is going through a Credit Squeeze, several airlines and holiday companies are going bust, causing chaos to those people that are currently on holiday or are about to go on holiday. If you book your holidays with a credit card, you can claim back the money from the credit card, if your normal holiday insurance does not cover it. In addition, if you use the Barclaycard Travel Service, and pay with your Barclaycard, you may be eligible to get free single - trip travel insurance for up to five people travelling together, including winter sports holidays - however, as with many insurance policies, this is not available to customers over 65 years of age or with pre-existing medical conditions.MAINTAINING YOUR ACCOUNT ONLINE
Everybody is doing it these days. Actually visiting a bank is becoming a rare event, and most people do their banking online. With this card, you can do lots from the comfort of your own home. You can check your balance, make a payment, apply to change your credit limit, and request a new Barclaycard. You will of course need to register and you will be asked a few simple security questions which will only take a few seconds to answer.PAYING BACK WHAT YOU OWE
You can make payments to pay back what you owe in a variety of ways. Once a month, if there is a balance on your card, they will send you a statement in the post which you can view online. You can make payments in any of the following ways:-By Direct Debit
If you look on the back of your statement, it will give you full details on the ways you can pay, together with additional information about the number of days you should allow for your payment to reach Barclaycard.FREE TEXT REMINDERS
This is a service which I think is important to have, and it doesn't cost you money, as it will potentially save you money - how often do you receive a statement and you think, or yes, I have quite a few days to pay that balance off, and as days progress, that statement gets buried beneath other pieces of paper, and before you know it, you have missed the repayment date and wallop, you get a big debit interest charge on your next statement. This service makes sure you do not forget a payment, as Barclaycard will send you a free text reminder five days before your payment is due.FRAUD
Everybody seems to be worried these days about fraud related to their credit cards, and quite rightly too. Never disclose your PIN number to anybody, not even your partner, and never leave your card unattended, or behind a bar or a counter. I had one credit card stolen a few years ago, and within 30 minutes, the little so and so, had spent £1200 in local retailers. I was lucky and got the money back from the credit card company, but there was a lot of hassle of having to report it, have a new card ordered, reporting it to the police etc.Barclaycard do keep an eye on your account for any unusual activity on your account, and if they spot anything unusual, you will get a phone call. It is quite pleasing, if you make an unusual purchase, you receive a phone call - you then know that the system is working. As already mentioned, if you are planning to go abroad, let Barclaycard know before you go, to save any embarrassing situations.
If you no longer have use for your statements, rather than just binning them, I recommend shredding them. Barclaycard recommend keeping them in a safe location for six months just in case you need to check up on any transactions.ONLINE FRAUD GUARANTEE.
Barclaycard use a system called Barclaycard Secure. If you purchase something over the internet, and you use your Barclaycard at a participating retailer, you will be shown a digital receipt for your purchase and you will be prompted to enter a password to authorise the transaction. Once again, this is a free service.
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