Reviews Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards review
Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards review

Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards review

Published: October 12, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Retail Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.7
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.5
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

Apple fanatics can finance high-cost purchases using the Barclaycard Visa, but a high APR for some cardholders means they should also be vigilant about paying balances in full before the promotional period runs out.

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 purchases made at Apple
  • 2:1 restaurants
  • 1:1 other purchases

Sign-up Offer

  • 6 months 0% deferred interest on purchases under $499 (within first 30 days)
  • 12 months 0% deferred interest on purchases $499-$998 (within first 30 days)
  • 18 months deferred interest on purchases $999+ (within first 30 days)

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Savings ($1,325 monthly spend)
$226

APR
14.99-27.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pros

  • For every 2,500 points you earn, receive a $25 Apple Store or iTunes gift card
  • Gift cards automatically issued at end of billing cycle (mailed to you in 7-14 days)
  • Change gift card selection, denomination and delivery method any time
  • Can combine gift cards with coupons and discounts
  • No limit to the points you can earn
  • Points don’t expire as long as your account in active and in good standing
  • Gift cards don’t expire

Cons

  • Have to wait to get your cash back in form of gift card
  • Gift cards only apply to Apple Store or iTunes purchases

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, roadside dispatch, $0 fraud liability, EMV chip technology, ongoing special financing deals, global assistance services

If you tend to spend a bigger portion of your paycheck than you’d like to admit on Apple merchandise, iTunes music or books, there’s much you’ll like about the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards. The credit card’s straightforward earnings scheme and uncomplicated redemption program are particularly attractive if you hate the idea of tracking rotating bonus categories or logging on to change your earning preferences every three months.

However, the Barclaycard Visa offers little in the way of special store perks, which limits the card’s appeal to the gift cards and special financing that it offers on Apple purchases. 

Strong rewards for Apple purchases
The Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards card bestows cardholders with a strong three points per dollar on Apple purchases, making it an especially enticing option for devoted admirers of the tech company.

One way it differs from other store-branded cards is the opportunity to also earn rewards on outside purchases – double points at restaurants and one point per dollar on everything else. Even though the rate on general purchases is unimpressive compared to non-store cards, it’s still better than many of its retail-card competitors.

Easy redemption
Another nice feature of the card is its automatic redemption program. There’s no choosing between cash back, statement credits, miles or other rewards – you’ll receive a $25 Apple Store or iTunes gift card for every 2,500 points you earn. Gift cards are mailed out seven to 14 days after the end of the billing cycle during which you crossed the spending threshold and never expire, so you don’t have to rush to spend your rewards before they disappear.

Cardholders who prefer more flexible redemption options may not appreciate such limited choices, but – short of receiving a discount at the time of purchase – this is as hands-off as fans of simplicity can get.

Decent APR for cardholders with excellent credit
As far as retail cards go, the Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards’ variable APR starts at a reasonable 14.99 percent, but that rate is reserved for cardholders with higher credit scores. If your credit history has a few blemishes or you’re in a rebuilding period, your APR could be as high as 27.99 percent – well above the average retail card’s 23.84 percent. In other words, the card is best suited for consumers who tend to pay their balance in full every month and avoid accruing excessive interest charges.

Visa benefits and features
Depending on their credit score, cardholders receive either a Visa Platinum or Visa Signature version of the Barclaycard with Apple Rewards. Visa Signature cards come with an array of special benefits, including roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance and concierge assistance, among others. The Visa Platinum has many of the same services, but lacks the Signature card’s exclusive offers and discounts on merchandise, culinary events, movies, concerts, hotels and more. Check out the full list of Visa Signature benefits here.

It’s also worth noting that the Barclaycard sports $0 fraud liability and EMV chip technology, making it one of the more secure retail cards out there – even without the often-standard purchase security and return protection of general-purpose rewards cards. 

No Apple-specific coupons or special perks
Unfortunately, Visa-related benefits are really the only extras you’ll get with the Barclaycard. Despite the fan fervor surrounding Apple products, the card offers nothing in the way of coupons or special access to new Apple releases, nor are there chances to attend special events at Apple retail locations.

Beware of deferred-interest financing
Speaking of the Barclaycard’s promotional financing, here are a few things to keep in mind: The promotional financing offer applies to purchases made in-store, online or through 1-800-MY-APPLE within the first 30 days of account opening. If you fail to pay off your entire purchase before the end of the promotional period – which varies depending on the total purchase amount – you’ll have to pay all interest charges on your average daily balance since the day you bought the item.

The good news is that while some retail cards force customers to choose between rewards and promotional financing (see: My Best Buy Visa card from Citi or Lowe’s Consumer credit card), you’re able to collect points even on financed purchases.

The bad news is that the Barclaycard only offers deferred-interest financing. You can find many non-retail cards with true 0 percent financing for periods as long 12 or 18 months after the account opening. With a true 0 percent financing offer, interest doesn’t accrue during the promotional period, so you won’t be hit with a large bill for interest if you fail to pay off the full amount before the introductory period expires. With the Barclaycard, on the other hand, the interest will come back to bite you if you don’t pay your promotional balance in full and on time.

Why get it:

  • You’re an Apple devotee who likes the idea of earning rewards on purchases you already make.
  • You dine out frequently and want to cash in on the card’s restaurant rewards.
  • You prefer gift cards over other types of rewards.
  • You want a hands-off, no-frills redemption program. 

How to use it:

  • If you’re planning a big Apple purchase in the near future, opt for deferred-interest financing over rewards in the first 30 days after opening your account.
  • For maximum rewards, use the card to pay for all restaurant purchases.
  • Set up autopay so you never miss a monthly payment – if you do, you could end up losing your promotional financing or rewards.
  • Leave the card at home when traveling overseas to avoid being hit with foreign transaction fees.

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