Best Barclays Credit Cards for June 2021

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Barclays offers a unique portfolio of cards compared to other credit card companies in the U.S. The issuer has moved away from general card options in recent years and now offers only co-branded cards with partners, which include brands like American Airlines, Wyndham, Uber, and AARP. 

No matter what issuer they come from, co-branded cards are most beneficial for people who already spend a lot of money with a specific business and prefer it over competitors. Before opening a co-branded Barclays credit card, consider whether earning rewards with a specific brand makes sense for your spending over a general card with more flexible rewards.

With that in mind, here are a few of the cards we like best from Barclays:

Before You Start

Before opening any new credit card, make sure you pay down any existing debt, have a plan to pay down your new card balance in full each month, and practice other healthy credit habits. Racking up high interest debt can quickly wipe out any rewards or benefits you’ll earn with a new credit card.

Best Barclays Credit Cards

JetBlue Plus Card
Good for Frequent Flyers
JetBlue Plus Card
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Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card
Good for Hotel Stays
Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card
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Upromise® Mastercard®
Good for College Savings
Upromise® Mastercard®
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The New AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays
Good for Necessary Expenses
The New AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays
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JetBlue Plus Card
Good for Frequent Flyers

JetBlue Plus Card

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Rewards rate:

6X points on JetBlue purchases. 2X points at restaurants and grocery stores. 1X points on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: 40,000 points
  • Annual fee: $99
  • Regular APR: 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Recommended credit score: 740-850 (Excellent)

Overview

The JetBlue Plus Card offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases and pay the $99 annual fee within 90 days of account opening. From there, you’ll earn 6x points on eligible JetBlue purchases, 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1x points on other purchases.

This card also comes with 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 15.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99%. The same variable APR applies for purchases.

Why we chose this card

The JetBlue Plus Card is a great choice for frequent flyers not only for the points you’ll earn on spending, but because of additional perks you’ll get when you fly JetBlue. These include a free first checked bag, 50% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases, a $100 statement credit when you purchase a JetBlue vacation package of $100 or more, 5,000 points on your account anniversary and no foreign transaction fees. And this card also helps JetBlue frequent flyers reach elite status — you’ll secure top tier JetBlue Mosaic status when you make at least $50,000 in purchases within a year.

Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card
Good for Hotel Stays

Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card

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Rewards rate:

Earn 5 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases made at Hotels By Wyndham as well as on qualifying gas purchases. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on eligible dining and grocery purchases (excluding Target® and Walmart®). Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: 30,000 points
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 15.74%, 19.99% or 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Overview

With the Wyndham Rewards® EarnerSM Card, you can earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening. This is in addition to the regular earning rate of 5x points on Wyndham purchases and eligible gas purchases, 2x points on eligible dining and grocery store purchases and 1x points on other purchases.

This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months. You’ll be assigned an ongoing variable APR for purchases and balance transfers of 15.74%, 19.99%, or 24.99%.

Why we chose this card

If you enjoy staying at Wyndham properties, the Wyndham Rewards® EarnerSM Card’s generous bonus offer can help you secure four free nights on your next trip. And as you accrue points over time, you’ll enjoy added benefits for future stays with the hotel brand. Cardholders get automatic Wyndham Rewards Gold level status, a better redemption rate on some rewards stays, no foreign transaction fees and 7,500 bonus points each account anniversary (when you use your card for at least $15,000 in purchases within a year).

Upromise® Mastercard®
Good for College Savings

Upromise® Mastercard®

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Rewards rate:

Earn 1.25% bonus cash back rewards on your purchases if your Upromise Program account is not linked to a College Savings Plan. Earn 1.529% Cash Back Rewards on your purchases when your Upromise Program account is linked to an eligible College Savings Plan.

  • Intro bonus: $150
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on your creditworthiness.
  • Recommended credit score: 740-850 (Excellent)

Overview

Barclays’ Upromise® Mastercard® offers a unique rewards structure for parents saving for future education expenses. To start, you’ll get $150 in bonus cash when you spend $500 on purchases within 90 days of account opening. From there, earn 1.529% cash back on every purchase when your account is linked to an eligible college 529 savings plan, or 1.25% back without a linked college savings plan. You can find eligible savings plans on the Upromise website.

There’s no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months, after which a variable APR of 14.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% will apply. The same variable APR applies to all purchases.

Why we chose this card

Not only does this card give parents a boost when it comes to saving for college, but it’s also a solid choice for general cash back rewards with no annual fee. You’ll earn up to 1.529% back on all purchases just for linking your card account to an eligible 529 savings account.

Plus, you can save even more using the Upromise Round Up feature. Opt in by setting a monthly limit between $1 and $500, and then every purchase you make throughout the month will round up to the nearest dollar. At the end of the month, your total round up amount will post as a purchase to your account and earn cash back rewards before the total amount is also converted to cash back rewards.

The New AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays
Good for Necessary Expenses

The New AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays

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Rewards rate:

Earn Unlimited 3% Cash Back on Gas and Drug Store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart). Earn Unlimited 2% Cash Back on Medical expenses. Earn Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases

  • Intro bonus: $100
  • Regular APR: 16.74%, 20.74% or 25.74% variable, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Overview

With the no annual fee AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays, you’ll earn a $100 cash bonus after spending $500 within 90 days of account opening. The card also offers 3% back on gas station and drugstore purchases, 2% back on eligible medical expenses, and 1% back on other purchases. There’s a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months. The APR for purchases (and balance transfers after the intro period) is a variable 16.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74%.

Why we chose this card

The AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays offers unique cash back categories geared toward everyday spending. This is especially true for people who spend a lot on medical expenses, which isn’t a common rewards category. Eligible expenses include a long list of medical professionals and service providers, ranging from hospitals, medical labs, dentists, and optometrists to hearing aids, ambulance services, eyeglasses, and nursing and personal care facilities. And although this is an AARP co-branded card, you do not have to be a senior citizen or even an AARP member to apply.

Best Barclays Credit Cards Summary

JetBlue Plus Card

Good for: Frequent Flyers

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases and pay the $99 annual fee within 90 days of account opening. After that, earn 6x points on eligible JetBlue purchases, 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1x points on other purchases. You also get benefits like your first checked bag free and 5,000 bonus points on your account anniversary.

Wyndham Rewards Earner Card

Good for: Hotel Stays

Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening, plus 5x points on Wyndham purchases and eligible gas purchases, 2x points on eligible dining and grocery store purchases and 1x points on other purchases. There’s no annual fee and you get automatic Gold elite status as a cardmember.

Upromise Mastercard

Good for: College Savings

Earn $150 in bonus cash when you spend $500 on purchases within 90 days of account opening. You can also earn 1.529% in cash back rewards if your account is linked to an eligible college 529 savings plan, or 1.25% without linking an eligible plan. There’s no annual fee. 

The NEW AARP Essential Rewards Mastercard from Barclays

Good for: Necessary Expenses

Earn a $100 cash bonus after spending $500 within 90 days of account opening, plus 3% back on gas station and drugstore purchases, 2% back on eligible medical expenses, and 1% back on other purchases. There’s no annual fee, and you don’t have to be an AARP member to apply.

Card NameWhat It’s Good ForRewards RateAPR
JetBlue Plus CardFrequent Flyers• 6x points on eligible JetBlue purchases

• 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores

• 1x points on other purchases
Variable APR of 15.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99%

0% APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles
Wyndham Rewards Earner CardHotel Stays• 5x points on Wyndham purchases and eligible gas purchases

• 2x points on eligible dining and grocery store purchases
 
• 1x points on other purchases
Variable APR of 15.74%, 19.99%, or 24.99%

0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months
Upromise MastercardCollege Savings• 1.529% cash back after linking an eligible college 529 savings plan

• 1.25% cash back if your account is not linked to a college savings plan
Variable APR of 14.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99%

0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months
The NEW AARP Essential Rewards Mastercard from BarclaysNecessary Expenses• 3% back on gas station and drugstore purchases

• 2% back on eligible medical expenses 

• 1% back on other purchases
Variable APR of 16.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74%

0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months

What is Barclays?

Barclays goes back all the way to 1690, when the bank was originally founded in London. While Barclays is still a major player in the United Kingdom, its U.S. division and online banking business is located in Wilmington, Delaware, today.

In addition to online savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit (CDs) products for consumers in the United States, Barclays also offers an array of credit cards. Today, Barclays’ credit card portfolio is exclusively made up of co-branded cards with travel and retail brands, like Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, JetBlue Airways, Carnival Cruise Line, American Airlines, and more. 

Is Barclays accepted everywhere?

Barclays credit cards are co-branded, but they’re not traditional retail cards that limit your purchasing power to a single merchant. All Barclays credit cards are issued by Visa or Mastercard, so you can use them to pay at any retailer that accepts Visa or Mastercard payments. Many Barclays credit cards also charge no foreign transaction fees, making it even easier to shop with merchants across the globe.

Barclays Card Benefits

The benefits you’ll get with your Barclays credit card depend a lot on which co-branded card option you sign up for. For example, some Barclays credit cards earn hotel loyalty points, while others earn cash back on certain qualifying purchases.

Common perks among many Barclays credit cards include no foreign transaction fees, $0 liability for fraudulent purchases and welcome bonuses. Each of our favorite Barclays picks offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. Some also give you frequent flyer benefits or automatic elite status. 

When considering card benefits, it’s important to keep in mind that a co-branded credit card really only makes sense if you already spend a significant amount of money with the brand, and the card’s rewards align with your spending plan. While these cards can be lucrative for certain types of cardholders, don’t forget to consider other issuers that may have more flexible benefits and rewards offerings that can add more value for you. Make sure to read over the details and card agreement of any card you’re considering to find the right fit. 

How to Get Approved for a Barclays Credit Card

If one of Barclays’ co-branded card offerings aligns with your spending, take time to determine whether you have a good chance of approval before you apply. Unlike some issuers, Barclays does not offer a prequalification process for applicants. That means it’s even more important to do your own research into your approval odds and make sure you have good credit before submitting an application and undergoing a hard credit check. 

Once you’re ready to apply, here are the steps to submit your Barclays application for approval: 

  • Step 1: Check your credit score. Check your credit score before applying so you know where you stand. You are more likely to be approved for a Barclays credit card if your FICO credit score is at least in the “good” range (670 or higher). If your credit score is lower than that, begin working to boost your credit before you apply.
  • Step 2: Gather your personal information. Once you find the Barclays credit card you want and believe you can get approved, prepare to submit the following information within your application: full name, address, email address, phone number, employment information, annual household income, and Social Security number.
  • Step 3: Apply for a credit card. You can apply online from the Barclays website. Depending on the details in your application, you may find out if you’re approved in a matter of minutes or need to wait for a decision in the mail.

Methodology

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Each of the credit cards within Barclays’ portfolio are co-branded card options with Barclays partners, which means the best Barclays credit card for you is even more dependent on your individual spending habits than it may be with other issuers. Given the limitations of co-branded cards, our picks for the best Barclays credit cards are those we believe are most useful for a wide range of consumers and offer the flexibility and simplicity we value in travel and cash back credit cards. Details we consider include annual fee, rewards structure, added perks and benefits, welcome offer, rewards redemption flexibility, ongoing APR, and more.

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