Looking for a bank that offers you a little extra? Take a look at my Barclays Blue Rewards review to see how much it costs and what you can earn each month so you can decide whether it really is worth it.
The Barclays Blue Rewards is an account that will earn you extra money each month, with little effort. If your Barclays account is your main current account, there are very few reasons why you shouldn’t join.
You get nothing in this life for free. Well, that’s not strictly true. Look hard enough and you can find a few freebies.
One of these “freebies” is the Barclays Blue Rewards Scheme. Now, the eagle-eyed among you will notice that I’ve used speech marks around freebies. Technically, you have to pay a fee every month to get your freebie. Which kind of makes it sound like it isn’t free when really it is. Confused? Read on.
Why would they give me something for nothing?
You may not know, but switching bank accounts has become incredibly easy over the last couple of years. In 2018, a total of 929,070 bank switches were made by consumers as we searched for better service and deals. This is great news for customers as banks are forced into improving what they have to offer.
Because of this, many banks are offering you money to switch to them. After all, in the long run, they’ll make a lot of money back from you.
Some banks will offer you £100-£200 to switch, whilst others will offer you a monthly incentive to stay. The Barclays Blue Rewards Scheme is one of those designed to keep you as a loyal customer.
What are the benefits of Barclays Blue Rewards?
There are several benefits attached to the account.
- Loyalty Reward. Receive a £3.50 reward for each of your first two Direct Debit payments, up to £7 each month.
- Mortgage Loyalty Reward. £5 per month
- Loan Loyalty Reward. £1 per month
- Home Insurance Loyalty Reward. 3% cashback when you renew
- Life Insurance Loyalty Reward. Up to £5 per month (with critical illness)
- Access to Blue Rewards Saver Account
How does the Blue Rewards account work?
When you sign-up, you’ll then be charged a monthly fee of £4. But as long as you pay in £800 each month, you’ll receive £3.50 back for the first 2 direct debits (£7 in total) you have set to come out of your account. That’s a £3 monthly profit without any effort.
But the earnings don’t end there. You can also earn extra if you have a mortgage (£5), loan (£1), life insurance, or home insurance (3%) with Barclays.
If you’re a dedicated Barclays customer, you could earn as much as £20 per month from this account?
How are my Blue Rewards paid?
Your rewards are paid into a “Blue Rewards Wallet” on or around the 3rd day of every month. From this wallet, you can then just transfer the money straight into your Barclays current account.
Do I have to pay tax on Barclays Blue Rewards?
No, Barclays Blue Rewards are classified as cashback, which means you don’t have to declare it as income.
The Blue Rewards Saver Account
This is a savings account only available to Blue Rewards customers. Now let’s be honest, savings accounts have offered poor returns for many years now. Although the rates on offer aren’t ground-breaking, they beat many of it’s rivals.
Interest is calculated daily and the rate you receive depends on if you make any withdrawals each month.
With no withdrawals, you’ll receive 0.5% gross/AER. If you make a withdrawal, this drops to 0.01% gross/AER. Prices correct June 2020.
How do I sign up for Barclays Blue Rewards?
Simply log into your Barclays account and join. It will take you a couple of minutes at most.
If you aren’t currently a Barclay’s customer and your bank isn’t offering you any rewards, why not consider switching?
With the Current Account Switch Guarantee, you can change your bank quickly and easily. All your direct debits and standing orders are switched over by your bank effortlessly.
Barclays also offers a cashback scheme when you shop. Similar to the likes of TopCashback and Quidco, visit the Barclays site or app before you make a purchase. Click on the link they provide and you’ll receive money back from your shop.
Some cashback is available for in-store purchases. If this is the case, you may need to activate the offer before you buy.
During November and December, the likes of Currys and Argos were giving you a very generous 10%. Plus, as a Blue Rewards member, an extra 1% was given on top.
Barclays offers cashback with 100’s of retailers, so there’s plenty to choose from.
In just over 3 months, I have managed to earn just over £90 from my Barclays account.
And keep an eye out to see if there are any special offers. Barclays occasionally offer new customers who switch their current account to them, double rewards for the 1st year.
If you’re an existing customer, Barclays often offer double rewards in the first month you join Blue Rewards, so keep an eye out.
Other benefits to Barclays
Banking with Barclays also brings other benefits, not exclusive to Blue Rewards. For example, you can live accounts you may hold with other banks to Barclays through Open Banking. This means that you can check your balances on all your accounts without having to log in and out.
There is a section in the Barclays app which gives you a spending breakdown over the previous months. This also works for all the accounts you link to your Barclays’ account.
You can pay in a cheque using the app. All you need to do is take a photo of the front and rear and submit. The cheque usually clears in the same time it would as if you physically went to the bank to do it.
Barclays offer an insurance package for your tech. There are different packages, with the most expensive offering cover for 4 mobile phones and unlimited gadgets worth up to £1,500 each. You receive worldwide protection against loss, theft breakages and accidental damage for £14.50 per month.
So, is Barclays Blue Rewards worth joining?
This is a must for Barclays customers. As long as you remember to transfer in £800 and have 2 Direct Debits, you can earn a minimum of £3 easily. Plus, the cashback offers can be generous compared to many other similar schemes.
But don’t expect the scheme to be about forever. Barclays already increased the fee from £3 up to £4 and other reward schemes have already cut their benefits. Still, get it while it’s hot!
If you want to join or just find out more, take a look at the Blue Rewards scheme.
Are Blue Rewards taxable?
No, any Loyalty Reward received from December 2016, are not subject to UK income tax.
What if I earn less in rewards than the monthly fee?
Barclays promises to monitor your rewards and may cancel your membership if it’s costing you money. You will receive 2 months’ notice.
How do I remove Barclays Blue Rewards?
If you decide to cancel the membership yourself, you can do it through online banking or the app.
What if I have a joint loan or mortgage?
If this is the case and you’re both Blue Rewards members, then the reward will be split evenly between you.
When are Barclays Blue Rewards paid?
You will pay the fee and receive your funds on the the second working day of the month.
Does Barclays Blue Rewards include travel insurance?
No, the benefits to the scheme are purely financial. There are no packaged extras such as breakdown cover or insurance.