Is the Barnes & Noble Mastercard worth it? | June 2018

Review: Barnes & Noble Mastercard® – June 2018

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  • Get this card if… you love shopping at Barnes & Noble.
  • Pick something else if…you want general rewards like cash back or travel miles.
  • Recommended good to excellent credit score of 680 to 850.
Product NameBarnes & Noble Mastercard®
Intro APR for Balance Transfer0% Intro APR for first fifteen billing cycles (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)15.49% or 26.49% variable
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )15.49% or 26.49% variable
Annual fee$0
Cash Advance Rate26.74% variable
Card TypeMastercard
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 23 days
Returned Payment Fee$37
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
3% of transaction value
Minimum Interest$0.50
Minimum Credit ScoreFair (660-699)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Annual fee$0
Returned Payment Fee$37
Late Payment Fee$37
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
Rewards ProgramBarclaycard Rewards
Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC)2
Points ExpiryNever

The basics

Barnes & Noble Mastercard issued by Barclaycard, rewards booklovers for what they do best: shopping for books. You’ll get 5% cash back on all purchases with Barnes & Noble, with your cash applied to your monthly statement.

Earn points for Barnes & Noble gift cards, with 2% for restaurants and 1% for everything else. It’s a very strong rewards rate tailor-made for book lovers and foodies.

What can I do with my points?

You can use your points for one thing: earning Barnes & Noble gift cards. Whenever you earn 2,500 points, the card automatically cashes in your points and sends you a $25 B&N gift card. Your points are worth 1%, standard in the credit card industry.

Is the card worth getting?

The card is an enticing pick with a $0 annual fee. Before you get it, however, consider how much you value B&N perks. You’ll enjoy the card if you regularly shop at B&N or want to save your points for a spending spree at the retailer. But if you prefer to buy used books or support local retailers, you likely won’t get the most out of this card.

You’ll get a $25 B&N gift card for signing up. You can find better bonuses with other cards like the no-annual-fee BankAmericard Cash Rewards (it offers a $150 bounty).

The card’s other selling point — a free 12-month B&N membership after you spend $7,500 in an account year. However, it’s nothing to go crazy over, as a B&N membership costs only $25 a year.

Bottom line: If you often find yourself buying from Barnes & Noble, the 5% cash back option is this card’s best selling point. Look into cash back cards like the solid BankAmericard Cash Rewards or the superb Citi Double Cash.

The perks

  • SIGNUP BONUS: $25 gift card. When you make your first purchase, you’ll earn a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card.
  • CASH BACK: 5% back on Barnes & Noble purchases. Whenever you use your card at Barnes & Noble — whether in store or online — you’ll receive 5% back. You’ll see this as a credit on your card statement.
  • POINTS: Earn points on all purchases, and more at restaurants. You’ll earn 1x points on everything you buy, excluding Barnes & Noble purchases.
    When you use your card at restaurants, you’ll earn 2x points (except at Barnes & Noble Cafés).

What can I do with my points?

If you like simple points redemption, you might like the Barnes & Noble Mastercard. After you earn 2,500 points, Barclaycard will cash in your points automatically and send you a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.

You’ll also like …

  • 12 months of Barnes & Noble membership. Each year you spend at least $7,500 on your card by your account anniversary, you’ll earn a 12-month Barnes & Noble membership.
  • Check your FICO score for free. Get complimentary access to your credit score and be alerted when your score changes.

What to watch out for

  • Potentially high APR. Depending on your credit, you could have a purchase and balance transfer APR as high as 15.49% or 26.49% variable.
  • Higher APR for cash advances. Cash advances come with a 26.74% variable APR.
  • Other fees. The card has balance transfer fees, cash advance fees and foreign transaction fees.
  • Penalty fees. Late and returned payments can hurt: You’ll pay up to $37.00.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Barnes & Noble Mastercard, you must be at least 18 years old and a US resident. Residents of Puerto Rico and US territories are not eligible.

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Residential status
  • Annual income and employment information
  • Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of approval for the Barnes & Noble Mastercard if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.

How to apply for the Barnes & Noble Mastercard

1. Go to the Barclaycard website and click Apply Now.

Barnes & Noble Mastercard step 1

2. Complete the application with details like your name, contact information, employment information and Social Security number. Then click Apply to submit your application.

Barnes & Noble Mastercard step 2

How long will it take to be approved?

Typically, you’ll receive an immediate decision on your application. In rare cases, you may need to wait a few days to a few weeks until Barclaycard manually approves your application.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Pay your bill online at the Barclaycard website, where you can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 23 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $37. Balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions also come with fees.
  • Customer service. If you have questions, contact Barclaycard customer service at 866-928-8598.

Bottom line

If you want rewards you can use widely — such as cash back or travel miles — look elsewhere. But if you love buying books, you might not find a better pick than the Barnes & Noble Mastercard.

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