Barclaycard Forward Credit Card review August 2020

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Formerly known as the Initial Card, the Forward Credit Card can help you build a positive credit history, provided you use it correctly.

If you have little or no credit history, the Barclaycard Forward Credit Card could make a smart first foray into the world of credit cards. It also offers access to Barclaycard Entertainment discounts on days and nights out.

You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 33.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 33.9% APR (variable).


Representative APR


Account fee

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period


Annual/monthly fees£0
Min credit limit£50
Max credit limitSubject to status: £1,200
Credit limit noteSubject to status
Purchases0% for 3 months reverting to 33.9%
Purchases interest-free period (days)56
Balance transfers33.9%
Additional cards available4

Expert review

Chris Lilly

Review by

Chris Lilly is a publisher at He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.

Expert review

As a “credit builder”, Barclaycard’s Forward credit card comes with no annual fee to worry about, plus opening credit limits (which are tailored to the applicant) are relatively small and the standard rate is relatively high. However, if you clear your balance in full each month, you won’t pay interest on purchases – you’ll benefit from up to 56 days of 0% interest each billing cycle (this doesn’t apply to cash advances).

To help ensure you pay on time (and therefore protect and improve your credit score), you can set up a direct debit for whichever day of the month suits you, to make your monthly repayment. You can choose to clear your balance in full, pay a set amount or pay the minimum amount required. You can also set custom text alerts to keep up-to-date with your balance and monitor when any payments are due.

While benefits are usually few and far between with “credit builder” cards, this card comes with an introductory 3-month 0% interest offer on purchases, which is handy if you have a major outlay coming up and need to spread the cost. Just be aware of the fairly punishing standard interest rate that will kick in and apply to any outstanding balance once the introductory period expires.

Access to Barclaycard Entertainment comes as standard, which means savings on tickets across more than 3,000 gigs, comedy nights and family days out each year.

Barclaycard credit cards are offered on the Visa network so they’re accepted at over 30 million locations worldwide.

Pros and cons

  • Introductory 0% interest rate for 3 months, and long interest-free repayment period
  • There's no annual/monthly account fee
  • Exclusive discounts and pre-sale tickets for selected live events
  • Online banking, mobile app and text alerts to help you manage your card
  • Credit builder cards target “risky” customers, so the interest rate is high and credit limit is low, as expected
  • 2.99% fee on overseas transactions

How does this card compare with other credit builders?

The Forward card

Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Annual/monthly fees Min credit limit Max credit limit Minimum income Rep. APR Incentive Link
Barclaycard Forward Credit Card Visa
Subject to status: £1,200
Buy tickets for up to 3500 selected live events through Barclaycard entertainment and get 5% off tickets per year and exclusive pre-sale tickets on selected festivals with 10% off ticket prices.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 33.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 33.9% APR (variable).
More Info

Compare up to 4 providers

Other credit builder credit cards

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Annual/monthly fees Min credit limit Max credit limit Minimum income Rep. APR Incentive Link
Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card 24.7pc Visa
Subject to status: £1,000
Not specified
Stay in control of your account with online servicing, a mobile app, SMS and email alerts.
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 24.7% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.7% APR (variable).
More Info
Tandem Bank Journey Credit Card Mastercard
Subject to status: £1,500
No fees for making purchases or withdrawing cash abroad – currencies are converted at the standard Mastercard exchange rate.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
More Info
TSB Classic Credit Card Mastercard
Not specified
Not specified
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 26.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 26.9% APR (variable).
More Info
Tesco Bank Foundation Clubcard Credit Card Mastercard
Subject to status
Collect 1 Tesco Clubcard point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco in each purchase transaction.  Must have available credit to collect Clubcard points. Clubcard points are turned into Clubcard vouchers every 3 months or sooner using Faster Vouchers. Clubcard vouchers can be used in Tesco or with Clubcard Reward Partners to get even more value on dining out, hotel stays and travel.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.542% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.5% APR (variable).
More Info
Vanquis Bank Chrome Card 29.3pc Visa
Subject to status: £1,000
Not specified
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 29.3% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.3% APR (variable).
More Info
Vanquis Bank Aquis Visa
Subject to status: £1,000
Not specified
You could get a credit limit increase after your 5th statement and further increases every 5 months, up to £4,000.
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 29.84% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
More Info

Compare up to 4 providers

Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

Repayment options

When it comes to repayments, you can make manual repayments online or over the phone (0800 731 0200), or alternatively set up a direct debit. A direct debit is a great idea because it protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and either damaging your credit score, getting hit with a penalty fee or losing any promotional rates as a result. You can arrange a direct debit for repayments when you apply for the credit card. The table below shows the options available.

Choose from the following direct debit options for your monthly repayments:

Minimum amount Fixed amount Fixed percentage Full amount

How to apply for the Barclaycard Forward Credit Card

If you’ve compared cards and want to apply, completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes. Before you apply, it’s a smart idea to quickly use the “eligibility checker”, which can give you a good idea of your chances of approval before you apply. Crucially, because it uses a “soft” credit search, this tool won’t affect your credit score.

If your application is successful, your shiny new Barclaycard could be with you in five working days.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to receive the card?
If your application is approved, Barclaycard states your card can be with you in as little as five working days. If in doubt, you can check up on the status of your application.
Can the interest rate change over time?
Yes – outside of any promotional periods, your rate is variable, so if the Bank of England base rate goes up, Barclaycard’s rates might go up too. However, if you use your card correctly for 12 months, Barclaycard states your rate could be reduced.
Does this card come with access to Barclaycard Entertainment?
Yes. Hello pre-sale tickets!
What will my credit limit be?
Credit limits are tailored to the individual. That means Barclaycard will assess your situation and, if you get approved, offer you a particular credit limit. After a period of responsible card use, your limit can usually be reviewed.

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Our experts evaluate credit builder credit cards comparing and contrasting them to similar credit cards on the market. The most important scoring criteria have to do with how these cards help you improve your credit score, from giving you access to your credit record to providing handy budgeting tools. We also look at fees, rates and costs.

Head to our credit card methodology page to learn more on how we do this.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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  1. Default Gravatar
    February 19, 2020

    What is the most cash you can withdraw with this card

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      February 19, 2020

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your question. It’s generally not recommended that you use your credit card to withdraw cash, but you can withdraw cash up to your agreed credit limit, with a maximum limit of £1,200. For example, if you credit limit is £500, you could potentially withdraw up to £500.

      However, you’ll pay a 2.99% cash advance fee on any money you withdraw and will also be immediately charged interest. This means it could be quite expensive to withdraw cash using your credit card.

      I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have any other questions.



  2. Default Gravatar
    May 9, 2019

    When making a purchase, how do I use my Barclay Forward credit card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      May 10, 2019

      Hi Robert,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Just like any other credit card, you can use the Barclay Forward Card by swiping the card and choosing credit as the type of transaction. When you make a purchase online, you will be asked to provide the card number. Usually, most online shops accepting credit cards as one of their payment methods will guide you how and what to enter online.


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