Newest Review: ... I need glasses) I am writing this review now since my BarclayCard internet access has become pretty much unusable for the last 4 days ... more
Would you Credit it?
Member Name: Smokindave
Advantages: Simple flat rate for Balance transfers and Spending
Disadvantages: Higher rate for cash withdrawals, not everyone will qualify for one
I have had a Barclaycard for several years now. It is one of those things that I never used to give a lot of thought to. I would occasionally use it to 'iron out the bumps' in a tricky financial month or use it to purchase something big with the added bonus that most credit cards offer of additional insurance. However along came the credit crunch and suddenly borrowing just got expensive. So what does this little piece of plastic now offer?
Well to start with the current Simplicity card you have a flat rate of 6.8% for all purchases and balance transfers without any handling fee. The amount of any balance transfer needs to be between £250 and £5,000 to qualify though. This does seem a pretty good deal if you compare it to an overdraft or loan from the majority of the market today. Of course there are 0% balance transfers and purchase deals out there with lots of cards, but there are two important factors to consider with these; firstly there is nearly always a fee for a balance transfer and secondly there will be a special offer time limit for the deal. So basically for these cards, to keep paying 0 % you need to constantly be on the ball with applying for new cards and transfer the balance in good time. For some this works fine, for me it is just too much hassle. It is also worth remembering that applying for credit can affect your credit limit and there is no guarantee you will be accepted for the card anyway unless you have a good current credit rating.
So back to the Barclaycard; one exception to the 6.8% rate is in cash withdrawals which are charged at 15.8%, which is worth bearing in mind because if you do use this facility then you will pay of the lower interest first. This means that you will pay the 15.8% on that (cash withdrawal) amount until all the lower interest balance is paid off. This is fairly standard with all credit cards, but is important to note.
Other benefit include; Identity Protection Service advice, Fraud Monitoring including Chip and PIN and monitoring your account for unusual spending, Purchase Delivery Protection, Worldwide Assistance - emergency help when travelling abroad, Travel Service deals worldwide, Online Account Services, Emergency Card Replacement and Cash Advance, Free Text Alert Service - opt in for text alerts five days before your payment is due and 24 hour Customer Service Assistance.
Customer Service is what most customer service is now a days and I am afraid to say is not the best around. From the few times I have had to call customer service I have been speaking to someone who's first language was not English. I do find this frustrating and it does add a lot of time onto the call. The telephone number is a 0844 number so the call is not free.
All said and done if you can avoid the dreaded Customer Service call, then I would recommend this card for anyone who wants an alternative to a loan or long term overdraft. For further information and a surprising straight forward web site log in to: www.barclaycard.co.uk/personal-home/index.html.
Summary: Simple credit with good APR rate for medium to long term borrowing
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