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The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® has been discontinued.
These cards are far more alike than they are different, offering almost the same amount of cash back for every purchase you make. They also have pretty comparable costs and fees.
There are a few differences in the extra benefits, however, that might make you want one card over another. Keep reading to learn more and find out which one might be right for you!
- 1.5% cash back on every purchase
- $150 signup bonus for spending $500 in 3 months
Your cash back won’t expire, and you can redeem it at any time and for any amount.
- 1.5% cash back for every purchase
- 5% cash rewards redemption bonus every time you redeem your cash back
- $100 signup bonus for spending $500 in the first 90 days
Reward redemptions start at $50.
These cards are pretty similar: 1.5% cash back for every purchase, along with a good signup bonus (more with the Freedom Unlimited).
But you’ll also get that extra 5% bonus when you redeem with the CashForward, making that card a bit more rewarding. How much does that extra bonus come to?
If you were to spend $2,000 with the CashForward card, you’d earn $30 in cash back initially. Then, when you redeem and get that extra 5% bonus, you’ll get another $1.50, for a total of $31.50 cash back.
So the CashForward provides a bit more cash back for your spending. It’s not much, but it will add up over the years.
The Unlimited card does have a useful feature that the CashForward doesn’t, the ability to redeem your cash back at any time and for any amount. This isn’t a very important feature, but it’s nice to have.
Here are some of the more valuable benefits offered by each card.
New purchases are covered for 120 days against damage or theft.
Get reimbursed if you find a purchase you made being advertised at a lesser cost within 90 days.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Provides coverage against theft and collision for rented vehicles (must decline the rental company’s insurance).
Free FICO® Credit Score
Keep track of your credit score easily, and get alerts if it changes.
The Freedom Unlimited has the more extensive lineup of extra benefits, but that doesn’t necessarily make it better. Those benefits can definitely come in useful, but in most cases you won’t need them (though they might save you a nice chunk of cash if you do!).
The CashForward, on the other hand, doesn’t have the shopping and travel benefits, but it does offer the free FICO credit score. This is a great way to see how your credit is doing, whether you’re focused on building up your credit or just like to check in on your finances.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the benefits offered by each card:
|Chase Unlimited||CashForward World Mastercard|
The Costs & Fees
|Card||Annual Fee||Intro Purchase APR||Intro Balance Transfer APR||Regular Purchase APR||Regular Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|Freedom Unlimited||$0||0% for 15 months||0% for 15 months||16.99%–25.74% Variable||16.99%–25.74% Variable||26.99% Variable|
|CashForward||$0||0% for 15 months||0% for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)||15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable||15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable||26.24% Variable|
|Card||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|Freedom Unlimited||5%, $5 minimum||5%, $10 minimum||3%|
|CashForward||3%, Minimum $5||5%, Minimum $10||3%|
|Card||Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|Freedom Unlimited||See Terms||Up to $38||Up to $38|
|CashForward||See Terms||Up to $37||Up to $37|
When it comes to the interest rates and fees you’ll need to pay for these cards, they end up being pretty similar.
Neither card has an annual fee to worry about, and the interest rates are the same. You’ll wind up paying the same fee for foreign transactions with both cards, so neither of them are a great choice to bring outside the country.
The intro APR period for the Freedom Unlimited is 3 months longer than the CashForward’s, but this isn’t a very significant difference.
The Bottom Line
The Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard are both good cash back credit cards. They provide you with the same amount of cash back no matter where you shop, without needing to worry about which reward category you’re in.
The costs and fees for these cards are basically the same, so take a look at the rewards and benefits to figure out which card is right for you.
The CashForward wins in the reward category thanks to the extra 5% bonus on redemptions. But what about the other benefits? Would you rather have the shopping and travel protections just in case, provided by the Freedom Unlimited? Or would you rather be able to check in on your credit score any time with the CashForward?
The right card for you will depend on what you want to do with it. If you’re currently focused on building or rebuilding your credit, the CashForward provides you with an easy way to frequently check your FICO score. Or, if you’re concerned that you might need those shopping and travel protection benefits, the Freedom Unlimited might be a better choice.
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