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Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard – the reward card answer to student loans?

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Not many consumers know a lot about the Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard. While on one hand they might not be marketing the card a lot, it’s a pity since the credit card offers can save consumers tons of money. The card is a MasterCard issued by the SLM Corporation, now widely known as Sallie Mae, which is basically a federal student loan provider operating out of Newark in Delaware. The company now also issues private student loans as well. Sallie Mae shacked up with Barclays bank in 2012 and rolled out the Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard under the brand name of Upromise credit cards.

The good aspects of the Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard

Sallie Mae credit cards are known to be good for those students who have availed student loans. So, if one has student loans, the Sallie Mae MasterCard is the correct card for them. Not only does the card allow cardholders to earn and access generous rewards and cash back, but it also allows them to use those very rewards to pay down their qualified Sallie Mae student loans.The Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard has an extensive reward points earning program. The card allows cardholders to earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases of and spending done on groceries and gas per month, up to a generous upper limit amount of the first $250 in each category per month.Thereafter, they earn cash back of 1% for that billing cycle. This is especially useful for families who spent most of their incomes on essential supplies and those who use their vehicles extensively. The card also allows cardholders to earn 5% cash back on eligible bookstore purchases up to a generous upper limit amount of the first $750 spent each month, after which they card earn the regular rate of 1% cash back. This reward is absolute haven for avid bookreaders. On all other purchases made with the card, the card allows cardholders to earn cash back of 1%. The Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard also allows cardholders to earn bonus points up to 2,500, which can be redeemed for a $25 cash back statement credit; that is when cardholders use their cards within the first 3 months of them having opened their credit card accounts with the bank.There is no limit on the number of reward points that can be potentially earned by the cardholders, allowing them to accumulate as many points possible and redeem them in any way they desire. The Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard allows cardholders to redeem their earned points in the form of a statement credit, as cash back into their Upromise accounts or as cash in order to pay off their Sallie Mae student loans. The rewards do not have an expiry date either, and the cardholders can redeem them at any given point in time.

For a card whose chiefand unique selling point is the opportunity for students to pay off their student loans, slapping an annual fee onto the card would have been an absolute killjoy and quite hard to stomach. But luckily the Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard has no annual fee.

The card also offers an introductory APR of 0% to the cardholders for the initial 15 billing cycles (or the first 15 months) of card membership. Thereafter, a regular and competitive PAR rate of 13.99% – 22.99% will be applicable. However, cardholders may lose thechance of the 0% introductory APR if they are late on a payment. The Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard offers a host of other convenience options to the cardholders. The card has a very trendy and up-to-date mobile app, wherein users can make payments on their student loan and other purchases, can see the details of their most recent transactions, and even access their account summaries. The card has the other standard charges such as a foreign transactions fee of 3% in USD, a cash advance fee of 5% or $10, whichever is higher, a balance transfer fee of 4% or $10, whichever is higher, a returned payments penalty of up to $35 and a $35 late payment fee.

The card works best for those people who have outstanding student loans. “Student loans” are probably two of the scariest words in the English language. While there are many credit cards that are geared towards students loans, the Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard is specifically designed for students being able to “pay off” their Sallie Mae student loans. Cardholders can learn more details here https://www.salliemae.com/credit-cards/sallie-mae-card/.

The not-so-good aspects of the card

Although the Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard has some excellent rewards, it has its drawbacks too. Although the cardrewards those who make continuous grocery, gas and book purchases every month, the potential costs of maintaining the card are much less attractive than the possible earnings in reward points and redemptions.Unless and until one is a student or a newly working professional with student loans who is still making considerable purchases on grocery and gas, one is better off signing up for another card with lower fees and a lower APR rate.

Also the fees that the Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard has are built into a good number of its contemporaries, but since the MasterCard is specifically designed for students with loans that they need to pay off, the fees seem ratherimmense. Also, while the students might very well need the cash advances and transfer balances, the fees would probably discourage even the most financially prudent students from actually using them.Also, while the APR rates might be common amongst most of the other cards, it would probably be unwise for cardholders to hold a balance with these rates.But again, with the target customers trying to pay off student loans, there is a high possibility of them to accumulate a month-to-month balance. This again could probably deter potential cardholders. Also, if the Barclays Bank Sallie Mae MasterCard is used towards paying off a Sallie Mae student loan, the reward cannot be used on the payments due but can only be used to reduce the total amount owed.

Overall, the conditions and terms of the card should be carefully considered by cardholders before they apply for them.

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