Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard vs. Chase Freedom Visa – Credit Card Boxing Series – Match # 2

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Let’s face it. Sometimes, reading about personal finance can make for some pretty dry reading. Annual fee this, interest rate that, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Are you still awake?

So, in an attempt to spice things up a little bit, I decided to start a series on MPFJ called, Credit Card Boxing. In each match, two credit cards (of the same general category of credit card) will be compared side by side in an attempt to determine which reigns supreme over the other. When applicable, the winner from the previous match will advance to compete in the next round.

In this, the 2nd match of the series, we’re comparing two general purpose credit cards.

In the left corner, we have weighing in at a hefty 5.23 g (weighed in the scale in my lab), my favorite credit card that I use for almost all of my purchases, the Chase Freedom Visa Card. If you missed the first MPFJ credit card boxing match last Saturday, this card beat out the new Discover it Card (although it was a close match).  

In the right corner, we have weighing in at a respectable 5.07 g, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard. I haven’t personally tried out this card yet, so I was curious to learn a little more about it.

Shown below is a screenshot from (the first place I go for looking up information on credit cards) listing all of the pertinent details for the Chase Freedom Visa Card.

  • Chase Freedom Visa Pluses
    • There is no annual fee.
    • A very nice $100 bonus for signing up.
    • 5% cash back in rotating categories every quarter. From personal experience, I can tell you that these categories are actually quite useful. They are not highly specific like with some cards. For example, right now, they are doing 5% cash back for gas stations. I think pretty much anyone can relate to the benefits of getting cash back for gas purchases. They have also done grocery stores in the past, although discount stores like WalMart, Sam’s, and Costco do not qualify for this.
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Chase Freedom Visa Minuses
    • Requires excellent credit history, which can be a deal breaker for some folks. 
    • 3% transaction fee for all transactions completed in a foreign currency. This can add up quickly if you plan on using this credit card whilst traveling! 

And, shown below is a table listing out all of the pertinent details for the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard. You can also click here to view the card’s Terms and Conditions as well. 

  • Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Pluses
    • No annual fee – always a nice thing!
    • Get a 5000 point / $50 statement credit after your first purchase upon getting the card. 
      • A nice perk, but not quite as good as the $100 you get upon opening a Chase Freedom Card mentioned above. 
    • As stated below, this card uses the sometimes-hard-to-understand points system of rewards. In my opinion, if all cards could just stick to stating their perks in percentages, it sure would reduce a lot of headaches!
      • You earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases.
      • On all other purchases, you earn 1 point per $1 spent.
    • What do these cash back rewards mean in plain English? Good question, because I am not sure without doing a little mental math! 
    • Luckily, they tell us in the table below that in this card’s rewards scoring, 5000 points = $50 USD. 
      • What this means is that you get 2% cash back for gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1% cash back for all other purchases.
  • Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Minuses
    • 3% transaction fee for all transactions completed in a foreign currency (same as Chase Freedom Card above).
      • Requires excellent credit history, which can be a deal breaker for some folks. 


    Although I honestly wouldn’t be ashamed of having either of these cards, I would have to say that for my money, the winner here is the Chase Freedom Visa Card.  

    What made me lean towards this one was because by offering 5% cash back in rotating categories throughout the year, the Chase Freedom Visa Card offers higher potential cash savings from my purchases vs. the 1% or 2% cash back program offered by Barclaycard Rewards. This is especially true if you couple the use of the Chase Freedom Visa Card with a gas-specific rewards card like the Chase BP Visa.

    How about you all? Do you think the Chase Freedom Visa or Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard sounds like a better deal?

    Do you personally carry either of these cards?

    Share your experiences by commenting below!

    Click Here to Compare Credit Cards

    About the Author Jacob A Irwin

    Hi folks! My name is Jacob. I am the owner and operator of My Personal Finance Journey. I started this blog in January of 2010 and have enjoyed the journey ever since. Since finishing up graduate school in Virginia in 2014, I have been working in biopharmaceutical development in Colorado. You can read more about me and this site here​. Please contact me if you have any questions!

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    Leave a Comment:

    Rob @FinancialSprout says March 4, 2013

    I' rather have 5% back on something that I use very often, rather than 1% back on everything. This would work wonders, especially with the rising gas prices! Very close match, but if you have a very fuel efficient car, but alot of mouths to feed, then the barclaycard might be your choice. Depends on your situation, as to what fits you best.
    My recent post Tips For Time Management

      MyPerFinJourney says March 4, 2013

      Thanks so much for your comment Rob! Do you have a favorite cash back credit card that you are currently using?!

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