Barclaycard scraps Freedom Rewards: what are the alternatives?

Updated on 21 June 2024 | 0 Comments

Barclaycard has axed its Freedom Rewards scheme - so what should you do now?

Barclaycard has closed its Freedom Rewards Scheme – and if you haven’t already redeemed your points then you’re out of luck.

The long-running programme enabled customers to earn points on purchases that could be redeemed for vouchers with retailers and entertainment partners.

But the company scrapped it in late May and has replaced it with the Barclaycard Rewards card, which gives 0.25% cashback instead.

Scheme closure

Emails were sent out on February 12, 2024, announcing the intention to close the scheme in June and explaining how the process would unfold.

It declared: “We need to let you know that Freedom Rewards is closing i‌n ‌June 2024, so we’ll be moving your account to Barclaycard Rewards and will send you a new card.”

The message said holders had until May 20, 2024, to redeem points for vouchers – and warned that any unused after this date would be lost.


A reminder was then sent out by Barclaycard on March 26, 2024. It's also understood that the deadline for points to be redeemed was extended until the end of May.

However, some Barclaycard customers complained that they were unaware of the changes and argued reminders should have been sent out closer to the deadline.

One told Lovemoney: “I overlooked the emails sent earlier this year because I get so many balance transfer offers from Barclaycard.

"However, I still think they could have reminded us again nearer the time in case we hadn’t heard.” 

The new scheme

According to a Barclaycard spokesperson, the decision to axe Freedom Rewards came after a review to ensure credit card products were meeting “the evolving needs” of customers.

They said: “Following a recent review, we have decided to close the Barclaycard Freedom Rewards card, so we are contacting existing cardholders to let them know about the change and offering to move them over to the Barclaycard Rewards card, which gives 0.25% cashback on everyday spending, and has zero transaction fees when using it abroad.”

What should customers do next?

Rachel Springall, press officer at financial comparison site Moneyfacts, advised Barclaycard customers to consider whether the new rewards programme is still of value.

“There are alternative credit cards that pay higher cashback rates than 0.25%, but users will need to make sure they are eligible for the reward and that they maximise their spending to acquire as much cashback as possible,” she said.

Springall also pointed out that senders must pay back their credit card balance each month, or any earnings could be eroded by incurred interest.

“It is also worth being vigilant with cards that have a cap on the amount of cashback that can be earned,” she added.

Are there alternatives to Barclaycard?

If you want to get rewarded for your monthly spend, you do have a lot of options.

First, there are a host of current accounts that pay decent rates of cashback. Be aware that some of them will charge you a monthly fee so you need to do the sums to make sure it's worth your while.

For example, the Santander Edge Up current account offers 1% back on specific household bills (up to £15 per month) as well as 1% at supermarkets and on travel costs (again capped at £15 per month).

However, there is a £5 monthly fee so the most you can earn in cashback is actually £25 per month. 

You can see our roundup of the top cashback current accounts here.

If you're happy to use a credit card and are sure you can clear the debt in full each month (to avoid extortionate interest charges), then consider a cashback credit card. 

Amex has the most generous option, paying 5% cashback with its fee-free Platinum Everyday card.

Sadly that eye-catching rate is only available for the first three months, falling to 0.5%-1% thereafter depending on how much you spend each year.

Take a look at our roundup of the top cashback credit cards to see which one best matches your spending habits. 


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