Sallie Mae Mastercard® From Barclaycard Review
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- 1 Overview
- 2 Application Information
- 3 Rewards Program
- 4 Our Verdict
- 5 Card Alternatives
- 6 F.A.Q’s & Tips
- APR: 13.99%, 20.99% or 22.99% depending on your credit worthiness
- Introductory APR: 0% for the first twelve billing cycles
- Cash advance APR: 25.24%
- Penalty APRs: 27.24%
- Applies if you make a late payment
- Can apply indefinitely
- Grace period: 23 days
- Minimum interest charge: $2
Note all APRs may vary based on the prime market rate.
- Annual fee: s$0
- Balance transfer fee: $10 or 4% whichever is greater for the first twelve billing cycles, then $10 or 3% whichever is greater
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 5% whichever is greater
- Foreign transaction fee: 3% of all transactions in U.S dollars
- Late payment fee: $35
- Over the credit line: $0
- Returned payment: $35
- Earns 5% on gas, grocery & bookstore purchases
- World Mastercard benefits (although you may only be approved for the platinum version of this card which will only come with the basic Mastercard benefits)
- No annual fee
- 5% is limited to $750 per month for bookstores, $250 for gas & $250 for grocery stores
- Only earns 1% on all other purchases
- Small sign up bonus of 2,500 points ($25 cash back) after first purchase, as long as it’s within 90 days of account opening
What Credit Score Is Required
|Credit Boards||Credit Karma|
|Lowest approved score||654||No information|
|Average approved score||690||No information|
Common Reasons For Denial:
- Too many recent inquiries
- Too many recent accounts
- Derogatory items on credit report (e.g late or delinquent payment)
- Bankruptcy on file
- Not enough credit history
The SallieMae rewards MasterCard was created with students in mind, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get approved. Barclay doesn’t like to see too many new inquiries on your credit report when approving applicants, they also like to see you putting credit card spend on your existing Barclay cards before approving you for additional cards. You can read our tips on getting approved for the Arrival card here, this information is applicable for all Barclay cards.
We’d recommend having a score of 670 or above before applying for this card, we’d also recommend having at least one year of credit history. If you have any bankruptcy or other derogatory items on file with TransUnion you’ll also struggle to be approved for this card.
It’s also a good idea to check to see if you have any pre-approved offers with Barclay before applying for this credit card. You can check other pre-approval offers with different card issuers here.
What Credit Bureau Does Barclaycard Pull For The Sallie Mae Card?
Barclaycard almost exclusively pulls the TransUnion credit bureau, which is extremely helpful as it is one of the least used bureaus.
What Credit Limit Will I Receive?
|Minimum Credit Limit||Highest Reported Credit Limit||Average Credit Limit|
This card earns rewards points which can be redeemed through Upromise.
This card earns at the following rates:
- 5x points on gas purchases for the first $250 in purchases each month
- 5x points on grocery store purchases for the first $250 in purchases each month
- 5x points on bookstore purchases for the first $750 in purchases each month. Amazon codes as a bookstore and as such you can get 5x points on Amazon purchases (as long as the item is sold by Amazon, for more on this read the F.A.Q section below)
Sign Up Bonus
Current Sign Up Bonus
- 2,500 points ($25) after the first purchase
Previous Sign Up Bonuses
- October 6th, 2011: $100 cash bonus after you spend $500 within the first 90 days of account opening. The cap also to be higher with $500 on groceries/gas & $1,000 on bookstores.
Redeeming Your Rewards
The points on this card are extremely easy to redeem. There are three main ways to redeem:
- Statement credit for your credit card
- Deposit into a Upromise account or
- Use it to pay back your Sallie Mae student loans
Regardless of how you use these points, they are always worth 1¢ per point. This means this card is effectively a 5% cash back card. There is a minimum redemption of 2,500 points ($25)
This is one of my favorite cards and something that I regularly recommend to friends & family not hunting for sign up bonuses. Most people should easily be able to max out the grocery & gas store $250 limit per month. This results in an annual spend of $6,000 and at 5% back that’s 30,000 points or $300 cash back. Add in another 5% discount on all your amazon purchases and you have a very useful cash back credit card.
I don’t recommend this card to friends & family looking for a massive sign up promotion, or those looking to do manufactured spending due to the spend limits on this card and it’s not suitable for those who spend a lot on gas due to their work (e.g truckers). It’s also not suitable for those with large grocery bills (e.g large families), but in those cases I’d recommend shopping at a discount store such as Costco or Sam’s club and in that case this card doesn’t earn 5% back unfortunately.
A lot of people think that the points that this card earns have to be used to pay back Sallie Mae student loans, which is a real shame because of it’s earning potential. It’s effectively a 5% cash back card on gas, grocery stores & bookstores (Amazon). This is a card that almost everybody should have in their arsenal.
We Recommend This Card For:
- People that have regular but limited gas station expenses
- People that spend $250 or less at grocery stores per month
- People that spend a lot on bookstores OR Amazon.com
We Don’t Recommend This Card For:
- People that spend well above $250 per month on gas or supermarkets
- People that spend well above $750 per month on bookstores or amazon purchases
- People looking for a high sign up bonus
- People looking for a card that earns high on every day spend
- Fort Knox Credit Union 5% cash back on gas purchases card. This card has no limit on the amount that can be earned on gas purchases and earns at the same rate as the Sallie Mae card, it also carries no annual fee. View other gas card alternatives here.
- Blue Cash Preferred 6% on grocery store purchases. This card earns 6% cash back on all grocery store purchases and has a limit of $6,000 in purchases per year, it has an annual fee of $75. This would be a better option for those who spend a lot at a traditional grocery store every year, Amazon gift cards can also be purchased from grocery stores to get 6% on those.
- Old Blue Cash 5% on grocery store purchases. This card earns 5% cash back on all grocery store purchases after $6,500 has been spent overall in any year. This is better for those wishing to engage in manufactured spending or that have grocery store expenses that well exceed $6,000, no annual fee.
- If you’re looking for a high sign up bonus I’d recommend reading through our full list of the best cash sign up bonuses on offer.
F.A.Q’s & Tips
Question: I don’t understand the earning limits on this card? Can I earn 5% on the first $250 on gas and then another 5% on the first $250 spent on groceries? Or is it combined?
Answer: It’s separate. You can earn 5% on gas for the first $250 and then you can earn another 5% on the first $250 in grocery purchases. This is on top of the $750 limit for book store purchases
Question: What counts as a bookstore purchase?
Answer: This is dependent on what the merchant category code (MCC) is. Different stores have different MCC’s to tell the card processor what type of store they are. Most regular bookshops should code correctly as a bookstore, you can lookup the Visa MCC codes online before shopping but this is not possible for Mastercard.
One great thing about this card is Amazon.com purchases will generally code as a bookstore. This is true for products sold directly by Amazon, items that are fulfilled by Amazon won’t necessarily code correctly and as such you won’t earn 5% back on these purchases.
Question: What counts as a gas/grocery store purchase
Answer: Again this all depends on the merchant category code. Usually discount supermarkets (e.g Sam’s club, Costco & Walmart) do not code as a grocery store. This is the same with gas pumped at Sam’s club.
Question: What’s the reconsideration number for Barclay’s?
Answer: This regularly changes, we kept this page updated with all reconsideration numbers. It’s also worth reading our tips for reconsideration phone calls before calling.
Question: How can I check to see if I was approved or denied?
Answer: Click here for our walk through
Question: Is there any forum discussion on this card?