Barnes & Noble Mastercard® review

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Barclays Image
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles
Regular APR:
13.99% or 24.99% variable, based on your creditworthiness.
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

Bankrate Rating

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our balance transfer category page.

Best for loyal Barnes & Noble customers

  • Rewards rate: 5 percent back on Barnes & Noble purchases, 2x points per dollar spent at restaurants and 1x points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: $25 Barnes & Noble gift card after your first purchase
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers made within 45 days of opening your account for 15 months (then 13.99 percent or 24.99 percent)
  • Regular APR: 13.99 percent or 24.99 percent variable

The Barnes & Noble Mastercard is a credit card by Barclays that rewards loyal Barnes & Noble customers. If you frequently shop with Barnes & Noble, you’ll benefit from a percentage back on each purchase. Additionally, enjoy benefits like rewards on all purchases to help you earn Barnes & Noble gift cards. Read on to find out if this card is the right fit for you.

Barnes & Noble Mastercard current welcome offer

After you get your Barnes & Noble Mastercard and make your first purchase, you will receive a $25 gift card for Barnes & Noble. It will automatically be sent to your mailing address.

Rewards

With the Barnes & Noble Mastercard, you can earn money back and reward points. What you earn depends on where you shop.

Earning rewards

When you make purchases from Barnes & Noble, you will get 5 percent of the purchase amount credited back to your account in the same billing cycle.

As for the points, you will earn two points per dollar when you make purchases at restaurants. All other purchases earn one point per dollar.

Redeeming rewards and cash back

The 5 percent back on Barnes & Noble purchases will be automatically credited to your account. As for points, once you earn 2,500 points, Barnes & Noble will send you a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card within two weeks.

How much are points worth?

It takes 2,500 points to make $25 in rewards, so that means points are worth 1 cent apiece (25 / 2,500 = 0.01).

Barnes & Noble Mastercard: Benefits

Along with the rewards, you can also earn a Barnes & Noble membership by reaching a specific spending threshold.

Barnes & Noble membership

A Barnes & Noble membership is currently $25 per year. If you have spent $7,500 on eligible purchases by your account anniversary each year, you will get the next 12 months of membership free. The membership benefits include 20 percent off your first purchase after enrollment, free shipping, 10 percent off in-store, 40 percent off hardcover bestsellers in-store, birthday offers, early access and more.

Fraud liability protection

You won’t have to pay for any unauthorized charges as long as you report them.

FICO credit score access

Get free access to your FICO Score. This helps you keep tabs on your credit score so you can work on improving it.

Rates and fees

The Barnes & Noble Mastercard comes with no annual fee and an APR of 13.99 percent or 24.99 percent on purchases. The rate you get depends on your credit. If you make a balance transfer within the first 45 days of opening your account, you can take advantage of the 0 percent intro APR offer for 15 months (then the regular APR of 13.99 percent or 24.99 percent will apply). Additionally, you’ll pay a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3 percent of the transfer amount, whichever is more.

Cash advances come with a higher variable APR of 25.24 percent and a fee of $10 or 5 percent of the cash advance amount, whichever is more. Foreign transactions will cost you 3 percent of each transaction amount in U.S. dollars. And if you make a payment late or have a payment returned, you can face a fee up to $37 per instance.

How the Barnes & Noble Mastercard compares to other rewards cards for booklovers

What other cards should you consider if you are an avid book reader? The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a worthy contender. It has no annual fee ($119 Amazon Prime subscription required) while offering 5 percent cash back on all purchases made at Whole Foods and Amazon.com for Prime members (3 percent back for non-Prime members), 2 percent back at gas stations, restaurants and drugstores and 1 percent back on the rest of your purchases. You’ll also get a $100 Amazon gift card upon approval and a variable APR between 14.24 percent and 22.24 percent, depending on your creditworthiness.

If you want cash back on all purchases and want to use your rewards wherever you want, consider the Discover it® Cash Back card. It has no annual fee and offers 5 percent cash back after activation on rotating categories every quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1 percent). It also offers 1 percent back on all other purchases and a 0 percent intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months (then 11.99 percent to 22.99 percent).

Best cards to pair with the Barnes & Noble Mastercard

If you opt for the Barnes & Noble Mastercard, we recommend you pair it with another card that will offer you more flexible rewards. For example, cards with cash back rewards programs like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® enable you to cash out your earnings and spend them wherever you want. Or, if you want to earn travel perks, consider a travel credit card like the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Barnes & Noble Mastercard worth it?

The Barnes & Noble Mastercard is a great rewards card for frequent shoppers with Barnes & Noble, whether online or in-store. You can earn 5 percent back on all your Barnes & Noble purchases plus extra points on other purchases which can help you earn Barnes & Noble gift cards. The downside is that the rewards only go toward earning Barnes & Noble gift cards. if you’d rather earn more flexible rewards, you’ll want to consider other options.

Pros

  • High reward rate on Barnes & Noble purchases
  • Free membership benefit offer
  • Introductory offer on balance transfers

Cons

  • No intro APR offer on purchases
  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Rewards only earn you Barnes & Noble gift cards