MSE News

Barclays to axe Blue Rewards monthly cashback – should you ditch it now?

Barclays is overhauling its 'Blue Rewards' loyalty scheme for 100,000s of customers by scrapping monthly cash payments and adding Apple TV+ instead. The changes mean most should diarise to ditch the scheme from 4 September 2024. Here's what you need to know.

Many will have joined Blue Rewards in order to get the exclusive 'Rainy Day Saver' easy-access account that comes with it. That account pays 5.12% interest on up to £5,000. When it launched in 2022, it smashed the next-best rate of 2.5% and was popular with MoneySavers – yet these days you can easily get 5% or more on easy-access savings.

Barclays is now shaking up its Blue Rewards proposition – here's what's changing:

Barclays Blue Rewards changes explained

NOT changing
• £5 a month fee
• Minimum pay-in of £800 or more a month

Perks being REMOVED

Ending on 3 September 2024:

• The current £5 a month cash reward for paying out two Direct Debits – this effectively covered the fee, so without it the fee will be an actual cost
• All other cash rewards for holding a Barclays mortgage, loan or life insurance policy
 

Perks being ADDED

Available now:

• Apple TV+ subscription – normally £8.99 a month, but can often be had for free
• Major League Soccer (USA and Canada pro football) streaming – normally about £12 to £15 a month


Available from 4 September 2024:

• 1% debit card cashback on spending of up to £500 a month (so max £5 a month back) – but only until 30 November 2024. You can earn more elsewhere: Chase pays up to £15 a month with no account fee on an ongoing basis
 

Perks staying the SAME

• Rainy Day Saver paying 5.12% AER variable on up to £5,000 – but you can already beat this with the top easy-access cash ISA at 5.2%, or get close with the top standard easy-access savings at 5.1%

 

• Up to 15% debit card cashback at certain retailers. This isn't unique – HalifaxLloydsMonzoSantander and Virgin Money all run similar schemes
 

Should everyone ditch Blue Rewards?

Most should from 4 September 2024. As shown above, the 5.12% savings and temporary 1% debit card cashback can be beaten elsewhere – so are unlikely to be worth paying £60 a year for. 

However, if you really like Apple TV+ and can't get it cheaper, or you'd normally pay full price for Major League Soccer streaming, the revamped Blue Rewards is still a good deal, as you'll effectively be getting both at a major discount (with the other perks as a bonus).

What does Barclays say?

Barclays says it's making the changes in order to "reflect what its customers value". In 2022, the bank reduced the monthly cash payments paid to its Blue Rewards members, while in 2021 it forced users to register for online or app banking to remain members.

It adds that from March 2025, if you've activated at least one of the "core" Blue Rewards features – determined as the Rainy Day Saver, Saver, cashback, Apple TV+ – and you're not earning at least £60 in value over the year, your Blue Rewards membership will be automatically removed and you'll stop paying the fee.

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!