Almost 500,000 Barclaycard customers will see their Amex card stopped this summer and replaced with a new Visa card offering only half as much cashback. If you're one of them, you may be able to earn much more by switching to another cashback card.
Barclaycard has written to customers to say its partnership with American Express is coming to an end, and they will instead be moved onto a Visa card which pays a lower cashback rate of 0.5% rather than the current 1%.
The first tranche of customers were written to in May and will see their cards change in July. The second batch of customers are receiving their letters this week, and will get their new cards in August.
What is Barclaycard offering?
Barclaycard customers were given a 1% Amex card when they were swapped over from previous Barclaycard cashback cards a number of years ago – the card has never been open to general applications.
Cardholders will now be automatically given a new Visa card paying 0.5% cashback, with no cap on the total cashback you can earn. The interest rates you pay on purchases and cash withdrawals will stay the same, and you'll keep your existing credit limit.
Is it worth keeping the new Visa card?
While the 1% cashback paid by Barclaycard Amex was decent, the 0.5% offered by the new Visa card can be beaten.
Our current top-pick cashback cards pay up to 5% in the first three months and 1% after, depending on how you spend and where you use them. See our Cashback Credit Cards guide for the current best offers, but here are some of the top ones:
- The fee-free Amex Everyday gives 5% for three months (max £100), then up to 1% after, though you must spend £3,000/year to get ANY cashback (22.9% rep APR).
- If spending about £9,000+/year, Amex Platinum can win. It has a £25/year fee, but gives 5% for three months (max £125) and is up to a higher 1.25% after (28.2% rep APR).
It's worth noting some forumites have reported being offered incentives to stay with the new offer – so if you're willing to consider staying, it's worth asking.
Teena said: "I sent a secure message complaining. I got a phone call offering me £30. I said others had been offered £50 – perhaps I should have just said "more" at first – and after they went off to consult I was offered £50."
What does Barclaycard say?
A Barclaycard spokesperson said: "Our partnership with American Express is coming to an end, meaning we are unfortunately no longer able to continue offering the Barclaycard Cashback product.
"Consequently, we are replacing it with a new card that offers a competitive rate of cashback and continues to give something back to our customers when they pay using their Barclaycard."
They added: "As a result of regulatory developments in Europe, American Express is discontinuing its network licensing arrangements. As the Barclaycard Cashback card is issued as part of one of these, it is being withdrawn."