I originally wrote my review of Goldfish in July 2009 and this is my update.
For several years Goldfish had been my primary credit card replacing one I had with Beneficial Bank only a year or so after I had moved to Plymouth because they offered a better interest rate and offered a rewards programme that vaguely interested me and I have had the odd £10 gift voucher from them over the years for High Street stores and a year or two ago had received several vouchers for tickets at Vue cinemas.
Current Interest Rates are 19.9% (Annual Purchase Rate) and 26.8% (Cash Interest Rate). Comparing these to my original review only the Annual Purchase Rate has increased - by 2%, which bearing in mind the current financial situation of this country surprises me. Additionally for at least a year Goldfish (or Barclaycard as they are now) send me what seems like a monthly letter to tempt me to transfer my balance from other cards for upfront fee of 2.9% of the value of the transfer at 0% for a minimum of 6 months - the period changes from letter to letter.
My original credit limit was set by Goldfish and I have no idea how they came to work mine out at £9,000 particularly as at one point that was almost my full gross salary! I have never changed this and I very rarely use my Goldfish card and in fact August 2012 was the first time in 2 years that it was even taken out of my wallet so that I could keep track of my spend during our holiday to Disney World in Florida.
Barclaycard have for nearly a year tried to persuade me to amend my account to paperless billing - which is unusual seeing I wasn't actually using it! However, after contacting them by phone to check whether the card needed updating to allow use in the United States I went online to check my account and was prevented from accessing it until I had amended my account to paperless. Now I hate it when companies force you to do things like this so a day or two later I logged back in and changed it back, and in fact if they had disabled the option I would probably have closed my account.
On returning home and reviewing my reward points I was shocked to find that Goldfish had increased significantly the number of points needed to claim a reward and in fact the Vue tickets required double the previous number of reward points that I had needed.
I have to admit that the Barclaycard website is quite useful and gives you the ability to check your balance and view recent transactions and the login process is reasonably easy to use. I also find the ability to view statements helpful, but I still prefer (and always will) having a paper version that I can refer back to, especially as online statements are time limited.
Some of the rewards offered by Goldfish (which will be replaced in the next few months as Goldfish is finally fully integrated to Barclaycard) are:
High Street - Argos, Boots, Halfords, M & S, Next, Mothercare and WH Smiths gift vouchers for £10 or £15
Home and Electrical - Currys / PC World, Debenhams, Homebase and John Lewis
Travel and Leisure - Cineworld (2 adult tickets), Barclaycard Travel Insurance, Odeon (2 adult tickets), Vue (2 adult tickets), Showcase (2 adult tickets), HMV and Waterstones. HMV and Waterstones are available in £10 or £15 vouchers
Current redemption is 3,500 for £10 vouchers or adult tickets, 5,250 points for £15 vouchers
In comparison, my original review was 1,750 for a £10 voucher and 1,250 for the tickets!
Well, it was really gutting when I came back from America to find I hadn't even gained enough points for a £10 voucher!
It also enforces my decision to use Tesco's Platinum card as my main credit card and although it has a much lower credit limited does give me much better rates of return in terms of rewards.
If you are looking for a card offering rewards I certainly cannot recommend the Goldfish card (or Barclaycard). There are far better ones on the market including Tesco and Virgin.
Goldfish has changed hands a number of times over the years. I applied for mine when it first came out, the attraction was the ability to build up points for vouchers.
The points system has changed since it was first introduced, you used to be able to exchange 1500 points for a £10 voucher, and I believe even 1250 points at various stores. Now however you have to get 1750 points to exchange for £10. If you compare to some of the cashback credit cards about you make a loss on the Goldfish card as £1750 spent gets you £10 whereas £1750 spent on a 1% cashback would earn you £17.50.
With regard to what vouchers you get the stores they currently have include:
Currys, JJB, John Lewis, M&S, Debenhams, PC world, Next, Mothercare, Boots, Argos, Halfords, HMV, Homebase, WHSmiths, Cineworld, VUE, Showcase, Piza express.
Every month they have occasional offers such as exchange £50 of Botts vouchers and get £5 free. Again these offeres are not as good as they used to be.
The card itself has a reasonable annual rate for purchases which was 15.9% in April, so whilst not the lowest its certainly not the highest.
Payment options are phone, post internet and in the bank, and I havent encountered any issues with service. I must point out though that I havent tested the customer service yet and not since Barclaycard took over. Ive exchanged vouchers and even had travel insurance from them and never had any issues.
In my opinion if your looking for a credit card that earns you vouchers from your spending then this is ok, if you want to make the most of your spending look at some of the cashback cards as you will get a better return and you wont be tied to spending your earnings at a particular store.
They dont charge any annual fee, charge £12 for late payment or returned payment, and the cash annual rate is 26.8%. All figures taken from a statement in April 09.
I intitially got this Goldfish credit card many years ago to collect the points for exchanging for gift vouchers etc.
I always paid the balance off in full each month and slowly each month my credit amount rose from £1000 to £7000 which is what it is now. While i was a student i felt uncomfortable having that amount of credit and was also worried in case my card was stolen. I had no need for that huge amount of credit. I called them three times about 3 years ago and asked for the credit limit to be capped at £2000. Each time they said it was done yet a few months later after keep paying the balance in full each month the limit rose again , and i would get notifcation saying congratulations we have raised your limit or words to that effect.
In the end i couldn't be bothered phoning anymore so have stucik with the £7k limit though i would never go anywhere near that at all. My other credit card only as £1k limit so on the odd occasion where i have paid for myself and a friend or partner to go on holiday etc then the extra credit limit has been useful, although £2000 limit would have done.
I still use the credit card quite a lot to gain the Goldfish points which when you have collected enough you can exchange for gift vouchers. However what i have noticed is that periodically the rate of points that you need to exchange for a voucher goes up. In April 2008 i last got a voucher and it cost 1500 points for a £10 pizza express voucher. The year before it only cost 1000 points for other £10 vouchers. I have just collected 1250 points so thought i would see what i could get - only to find out they have upped the limit right up to 1750 for any £10 voucher i.e marks and spencer, john lewis , boots etc.
Though this card is still good as it gives you some kind of reward for using it, i can't help feeling that there must be better ones out there. My other card is a Tesco finest credit card and i think the rewards for collecting points on that give you a lot better value.
Like other contributors I have also had my credit limit slashed recently for no logical reason. In my case from over £10,000 per month to £800. Goldfish would not give me any explanation or reason for this & only said I could write a letter of complaint if I wished!DO NOT SIGN UP FOR A GOLDFISH CARD. It used to be a good company but not any more. Their customer service is the worst I've ever encountered.
After having had a Goldfish Card for over 10 years & for which the balance was paid in full each month by Direct Debit, I recently received a letter cutting my credit limit from £9000 to just £600. I spoke to Experian who confirmed that I have an excellent credit rating & saw no reason for their action. 'Barclay-Fish' refused to explain themselves over the phone, so I cancelled the card immediately & made a formal written request under the Data Protection Act for an explanation. Avoid Goldfish like the plague, it used to be a great card with good incentives but now it is rubbish!
We have had a Morgan Stanley platinum card for years - used to get 1% cash back and we always used to pay our aaccount off every month, so basically they were always paying us for having their card! Then the cash back went down to .5% which was understandable. When Morgan Stanley became Goldfish, they suddenly sent us two new cards - even though the expiry date on our current ones was "09". I continued to use my old card, but my husband cut up his old one and planned to use his new one. Here is the trick - they never sent a pin number, he has called them 6 times, and every time they tell him it's "on the way" - 5 months later it still hasn't arrived - they even promised recorded delivery last time! This was a blatant way of stopping the cash back, because they clearly never intended to let my husband have a new pin. He is the one that put most of the purchases on the card, with train tickets and petrol - they obviously looked at how much it was costing them and decided to put a stop to it. We are now with Capital One - brilliant!
Goldfish, which is now effectively Barclays, is an absolutely appalling company. They consistently treat their customers like dirt. Despite my good credit rating, always making every payment on time and never exceeding my limit, etc, etc, I received a terse letter this morning informing me that my credit limit was reduced from £6,500 down to £500. This is absolutely outrageous! If they treat their good customers with such contempt, how on earth do they treat anyone having difficulties?Friends and relatives of mine have experienced similar treatment from Barclays and Goldfish, so it's not an isolated incident. Do yourselves a favour and avoid these companies like the plague. If we all take our business away from them they will go under - good riddance to them! One star is too many - do you have minus figures?
GoldFish is run by retards i spend over an hour on the phone today talking to someone who was trying to sort out what my statements total should have been. Couldn't even do basic maths i left him clicking away for almost 3 mintues to perform a simple subtraction that my 7 year old daughter could perform.
After several conversations today and over the last month with a problem on my account due to fraudulent use they are crap and give different answers to the same standard operating procedures. So if you want a company that doesn't care about identity theft join Goldfish as their staff don't care about you.
Sad to have to say but my experience has been similar to the last reviewer - started very well when they first came out, with good rewards and service. Now both have been seriously eroded and are pretty poor.
Last month I was charged a lot of interest and a late payment charge, despite paying in via my own bank (NatWest) in plenty of time. Goldfish's reaction was to insist the payment simply arrived late - not their fault, so up to me to prove differently. I have the receipted pay in slip and my bank statement confirms payment on the 4th of the month - Goldfish say it arrived on the 19th.
As Goldfish were not prepared to look into it NatWest have traced the payment (this has taken three weeks) and inform me that a significant batch of work was "lost" at Goldfish and finally rectified on the 19th. Goldfish say - prove it! But when invited to speak to the person at NatWest they hide behind the Data Protection Act and insist I must prove it is Goldfish's fault with written evidence. What a contrast in approaches!
I am busy finding a new credit card, hurried on as well by the greatly reduced benefits and the development of an abysmal call centre service on rip off 0870 numbers - yes, Goldfish makes money out of you whilst you fume in an endless queue before you get fobbed off by the staff - simply unacceptable. Two stars is far too generous.
I have had a Goldfish card for 6 years now. When it was first launched it was fantastic, I used to pay the balance off in full and earn loads of points which was equivalent to about 1% cash back. I never had to pay a penny out of my own pocket for my Gas supply. Their customer service was top notch, you never had to wait long before talking to some-one when you rang them up, if you had to wait at all. Their web site was easy to use with a good range of services. What went wrong? At the same time they became an independant bank everything seemed to go pear shaped. Try to ring their customer service line now and you are almost certain to have to wait at least 45 minutes before some-one answers. They have slashed the value of their points scheme so that the return is only about 0.6% on your spending. As for their web site, it's now very basic, and they never reply to E-mails. It appears that Goldfish have tried to cut costs everywhere to try and maximise their profit, and it shows! So, after 6 years I have recently moved to use a different credit card, where I get a better return and excellent customer service (through the phone and their web site). [See my review on the Capital One Circle Card] 2 years ago I would have given Goldfish 5 stars, now, they should be happy if they get 2!
I have owned the HFC goldfish card for over four years and i find it invaluable. Not only does it help with my monthly budget but at the end of the year i get something back, some gift vouchers. At christmas it can take the strain out of spending as you can give the vouchers out to your friends and family without having to resort to extra expense. On a normal spending i receive about £250 worth of various vouchers, thats another perk, you are not tied to certain retail outlets. Goldfish give you quite a varied selection, i.e. Boots, M & S, Halfords, Dixons etc. I have also found HFC are very alert on credit card fraud. Something i have been the victim of very recentley. My card has been duplicated and some "kind" person has basically hammered it over the last three weeks. HFC phoned me on Monday and told me there were many transactions that look as if they dont relate to my normal monthly spending. They have since cancelled my card and i am waiting for a new one to arrive soon. I will not be liable for the huge amount used on my card which is also reassuring. However one major downfall is that if you are late making payments, even just a day over the date requested, you will get penalised heavily. Around an extra £18 is placed onto your account plus the interest. So be careful, dont be late making that payment. Otherwise than that i cannot fault it, a good card with great security.
I've had my Goldfish credit card now for several years, and have found it to offer the second-best return. It gives you the equivalent of 1% back on what you spend, although admittedly not in cash. As an aside, the GM Visa card is still the best value credit card for rebates, giving you up to 6% of your spend back off a Vauxhall. If you want to know more about this, please see my earlier opinion. Anyway, back to the Goldfish card. Here are the important facts.... · it's available as either a Visa or a Mastercard. · it's FREE · you get 1% back in rebate points which you can redeem for Boots gift vouchers, money off your British Gas Bill, and a wide variety of other useful items. · you pay no interest if you repay in full 25 days after your statement date, otherwise the interest rate is currently 1.24% per month (15.9% APR) · cash advances are subject to a cash handling fee of 1.5% (minimum £2.50) · you can pay by post, at a bank, online or by direct debit To find out more, call their customer services on 08705 111 444 or visit the website www.goldfish.com. The website is really easy to use, and once you've registered you can view your account on line, make payments, redeem you points, etc.. The card is widely accepted, and it is nice to know that I will be getting something back for using a card that doesn't cost anything. Oh, and the card is very pretty. When I was shopping in Canada last year, several of the shop assistants commented on how cute the goldfish design was!
I have had the Goldfish card for about 3 years now (at least!) I must have been one of their first customers, and have been on the whole extremely happy with the card. There are a number of key areas that should be mentioned :- APPLICATION PROCEDURE :- Generally smooth and efficient. One problem with Goldfish is that they are very risk averse. If you have a poor credit history you will be rejected. Even if you have a good credit history you may also be rejected. I know this as they have a very good recommend a friend scheme, and I recommended many friends who got rejected despite having very good credit histories. This is surprising as the Gold Fish card is issued by HFC Bank, who normally lend to higher risk customers. The other problem at this stage is that even if you are accepted they will generally give you as lower credit limit than many other cards (e.g. MBNA gave me 10k, Goldfish only gave me 3k!). This was a pain when I moved hose and put a lot of items on my credit cards. I would have preferred to use Goldfish for the points, but quickly reached my limit. The card is also available in Visa or Mastercard and there are different card designs that you can choose ? Two fish facing, , Fish Bowl, Scales and a few others. All are very attractive, and you have to choose them on application. On application there is also a choice of statement dates, which I like!! RATES :- There are 2 key points here that must be stressed :- 1. The Goldfish has no annual fee!!!!! 2. The Goldfish has no annual fee!!!!! Now I know that strictly that is only one major point, but it is such an important point that I felt I should mention it twice for the benefit of the people still living in the 1970?s who pay a fee for a credit card!!! It has, what I would consider an acceptable APR of 18.9% with minimum monthly repayments of 3% or £5 whichever is the greater. The APR for cash withdrawal
s is slightly higher pluis a cash-handling fee for each withdrawal of 1.5% or £2.50 whichever is the greater. Like most credit cards there is a 56-day interest free period on purchases, although this does not apply to cash withdrawals or balance transfers. There is payment protection insurance that can be added to your card and this works out at 74 pence for every £100 of your balance each month. I do not like these insurance policies however as they are generally expensive and people rarely make a successful claim on them. On application you can trasfer a balance from an existing card and get an introductory rate of 4.9% for 6 months ? much better value!! LOYALTY PLAN :- I think it is the loyalty plan that makes the Goldfish so popular. It is run in conjunction with British Gas and a number of other partners. For every pound spent on the goldfish (excluding cash withdrawals and balance transfers!!!) you earn a point. These points are then redemmed for prizes ? well money off vouchers actually!! Points can be used in the following manner and places :- British Gas bills - one penny per point, max 7000 points per annum John Lewis ? my favourate - 1000 points for £10 voucher Boots - 1000 points for £10 voucher ASDA - 1500 points for £15 voucher TV Licenses - 0.8p per point Marks and Spencer ? another of my faves- 1250 points for £10 (not such good value compared to the others!!) Dixons - 1250 points for £10 AA Breakdown cover - 1250 points for £10 There is also a refer a friend loyalty scheme - if you refer someone successfully you and that person get 500 bonus points added to the card. As I mentioned earlier I have done a few of these. Now I like this scheme mainly because of the psychology ? when I get the vouchers I feel like I have got a genuine present of some value. Cynics could correctly argue that a better
scheme is a cash back scheme like Egg as cash is a more universally accepted currency than gift vouchers. True, but it is not as much fun!!! Another drawback is that points are awarded for each transaction in whole pounds. This means that if you have 2 transactions at £9.99 you will only get 2 lots of 9 points not 1 lot of 19 points. Subtle but significant, as it decreases the rate of return on point redemption slightly. If you make lots of small purchases this can be significant. Also the points are only valid for 5 years. Point redemption is really really easy. Phone up a special no. 24 hours a day ? I always get straight through ? choose your vouchers ? and they arrive usually a week later. Very very slick!!! CUSTOMER SERVICE :- Their phone service is very good good. There is an automated system which prompts you for your card number, and cardholders month and year of birth. Once successfully though this security you can automatically hear your balance, available credit and number of points accrued to date. You can also speak to an operator, who are always polite, helpful and responsive to problems. SECURITY :- I travel a lot, usually to dodgy countries. Goldfish ofetn phone me to query unusual transactions on my card. Whilst my card has never been used fraudulently, it gives me comfprt to receive such calls ? they are clearly very vigilant. Goldfish also includes a "Safe Shopping Promise" - if your card be used fraudulently for on-line purchases and transactions, they will reimburse this cost. Getting common these days, but important nevertheless!! WEBSITE :- The Goldfish website www. goldfishcard.com looks good, but being honest I have never bothered to register for the online service. I imagine it is slick though and will do it soon and update this profile. CONCLUSION :- Generally Goldfish run a slick operation with a good lo
yalty scheme. True cash back schemes are probably more valuable to many but the Goldfish scheme is certainly more fun. The APR is not a market leader (egg is much better) and they are very risk averse for new customers, but I am very happy with my card and shall be keeping it for a few more years to come.