Barclaycard to launch rival retail loyalty card

Barclaycard is launching a loyalty card scheme in March, which it claims will be the broadest retail rewards programme in the UK.

Barclaycard Freedom will be available to over eight million cardholders who will be able to earn rewards in more than 30,000 retail outlets including small and medium retailers for the first time.

Barclaycard claims the scheme brings a new level of simplicity to customer rewards. Rewards will be recorded in pounds and pence at the point of sale with no need to collect vouchers or carry an additional card.

The Barclaycard Freedom card uses electronic chip technology. Retailers who participate in the scheme will be able to offer rewards and relevant offers at their point of sale to cardholders.

Users will automatically earn rewards, called ‘reward money’, when they use their Barclaycard at a participating retailer – 1% on most transactions alongside regular special promotions and giveaways.

After a transaction takes place the cardholder will usually see their new reward money balance on the card machine. Next time they use their card in a participating retailer they will see the value of their reward money balance appear on the card machine before they enter their PIN to pay. They can then choose to redeem some or all of their reward money towards that transaction or to continue to save up for a future purchase at another retailer within the scheme.

Barclaycard said it has invited more than 30,000 retailers to be partners in the scheme. It claims there will be 200 retailers within five miles of a cardholder and 75,000 Barclaycard cardholders within five miles of a retailer’s store on average.

The company is supporting the launch with a marketing campaign comprising TV, online and print advertising to drive awareness about the programme.

Customers will also be able to learn more about Barclaycard Freedom and the location of participating retailers on the web site  HYPERLINK “”

Sarah Newman, managing director of Barclaycard Freedom, said: “The breadth of Barclaycard Freedom offers customers the chance to earn Reward Money when they do their weekly shop, go out for a meal or shop online. Barclaycard Freedom offers our cardholders something for nothing on top of the benefits they already receive. It incorporates all of the best elements of other reward schemes and with no need to collect and save vouchers – the rewards will be in pounds and pence.

“Offering special offers and additional giveaways, on top of the steady rate on all purchases, is a novel way of rewarding the loyalty of customers using the scheme. This is an exciting development for our customers, our retail partners and for Barclaycard itself.”