Barclays reward scheme doubled with new users earning £120 a year – but is it worth switching to?

BARCLAYS has doubled the rewards for new users of its Blue Rewards bonus scheme so you can now earn £120 in 12 months.

The bonus scheme is an add-on to Barclays' current accounts, which usually offers up to £7 a month in cashback, but thanks to the deal you can now get £14 a month.

That means you can earn £168 a year up from £84 a year, but £48 is shaved off the total amount as the account comes with a monthly £4 fee.

So after the fee you're now earning £120 over a year up from £36.

To qualify, new customers need to switch their current account to the bank between July 1 and November 30, while existing Barclays customers can add the bonus scheme to their current accounts via its app.

Sadly, existing users of the Blue Rewards scheme with Barclays current accounts won't be eligible for the extra rewards.

You'll get the cashback as long as you pay the monthly fee, pay in at least £800 each month and have two direct debits going out of your account each month.

Just keep in mind you'll only get the boosted rewards for a year from the day you opened the account.

But you could also get even more if you have a mortgage or insurance with the bank.

For example, if you have a mortgage with the bank, you'll earn an extra £10 a month in the first year.

Taking out home insurance nets you £6 more a month, while a personal loan will give you an additional £2 a month.

Blue Rewards also pays you an extra 1 per cent cashback at various retailers, such as Boots, B&Q and Next, but this is also doubled for a year for regular customers.

Premier customers – those earning at least £75,000 a year – can also earn get triple the usual cashback amounts.

Is it worth switching?

If you already pay at least £800 into a Barclays current account and have two direct debits, it's worth opting for the Blue Rewards scheme as you'll be given extra cash.

Yet if you're only considering switching because of the cashback and you're not planning to take out any other products with Barclays, carefully calculate whether it's the best deal for you.

Barclays is not the only bank to offer sweeteners to win over new customers.

First Direct's First Account offers a £100 cash bonus to new customers.

It comes with a £250 free overdraft and requires you to pay in at least £1,000 a month to avoid the monthly £10 fee.

Meanwhile, HSBC's Advance Account offers an upfront switching bonus of £175 paid within 30 days.

This account requires you to deposit at least £1,750 each month and maintain two direct debits.

M&S shoppers may also want to consider opening a current account at the retailer's bank as it offers up to £180 in M&S gift cards when you switch and stay.

How to switch bank account

NOT sure how it works? Here's all you need to know and what you should check before:

  • Under the Current Account Switching Service, swapping banks should take seven working days. That includes all your payments, direct debits and standing orders being moved too. Just open your new account and then ask your new provider to close your old account using the switch service.
  • Make sure you are eligible. Most accounts have certain requirements, such as paying in a minimum amount of cash each month.
  • Watch your overdraft. Check your new bank will offer you the same limit — and does not have higher costs for using it.

Rachel Springall of comparison site Moneyfacts told The Sun: "The perks of the Barclays Blue Rewards scheme are well worth considering – but customers will need to switch.

"The amount of cash customers can pocket does depend on whether they take out insurance, a mortgage or loan though – and it may be more cost effective to shop around for these products.

"It’s worth keeping in mind that the reward scheme isn’t free, so customers need to work out the sums upfront to see whether it’s a good deal for them.

"The most competitive current account for someone does depend on how they will use it day-to-day, so it’s important not to be blinded by a free cash perk – it’s also wise for customers to shop around for any mortgage, loan or insurance product for the best deal."

Barclays hiked the fee of its Blue Rewards scheme by a third from £3 to £4 this month.

In September, Barclays admitted it incorrectly told tens of thousands of customers they were not entitled to compensation for mis-sold payment protection insurance.

Meanwhile, as of December, customers of the banking giant can turn off spending at shops to help with mental health and gambling problems.

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