Barclaycard Freedom rewards scheme buggers off
“Barclaycard Freedom is a reward programme like no other”- that's right, it was so bad, even Barclaycard have seen it’s crapness and have scrapped it with almost immediate effect. The Freedom cashback reward scheme, available to most of Barclaycard’s 12 million customers, is being dumped over the next two months while they ‘develop new offerings’.
Specifically, you will no longer be able to earn reward money after 21st June 2012 and you will have until 26th July 2012 to redeem any you’ve saved up. But don’t panic- if you can’t or don’t spend any balance of reward money by 26th July, Barclaycard will credit the amount back to your card in cash.
And this might actually be a better idea. Although Barclaycard sold the Freedom idea as being immeasurably better than other reward schemes, because you collected cash, rather than points or “fiddly vouchers”, you could only earn your 1% cashback (or 0.5% at Shell) when you used your card at participating retailers. Any reward money earned could then only be spent at certain retailers, and if you didn’t have enough reward money to pay in full, you had to use your Barclaycard for the remainder of the purchase. So getting your reward money in actual, um, money, seems to be far more useful and helpful to your pocket.
However, in case you do want to rush out and spend all your points, you can check your balance on line at mybarclaycard or you can contact Barclaycard directly and ask them. Although most unused balances at 26th July will be credited to your Barclaycard account by the end of September, do note that reports suggest that balances of £3 or less, or on card that haven’t been used in 6 months may not get automatically repaid. If this could be you, you may need to call them (0844 811 911) and demand your free cash. After all, £3 may not be a lot, but it’s better in your pocket than Barclaycard’s.
But what if you only have a credit card for the reward scheme? Besides needing to get out more, you might like to consider checking out Moneyfacts’ list of best buy cashback cards, where you can earn up to 5% cashback for three months or a permanent 3% on fuel (up to a £300 monthly maximum) with Santander.