Barclays Blue Rewards: bank changes £5 monthly loyalty reward - Rainy Day saver account and cashback explained

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The bank is revamping its rewards scheme and adding Apple TV+ and MLS Pass 📺⚽
  • Barclays is discontinuing its £5 monthly loyalty reward for having two or more direct debits
  • Starting 4 September, Blue Rewards customers will no longer receive the £5 monthly loyalty reward
  • Instead, members can access an Apple TV+ subscription and MLS season pass included within the existing £5 monthly fee
  • Barclays says the changes could increase fixed monthly benefits to £44, up from £35.50
  • Customers who are not receiving fair value will be moved to Barclays' standard, fee-free account

Barclays is discontinuing its £5 monthly loyalty reward for maintaining two or more direct debits as part of a revamp of its Blue Rewards scheme.

Blue Rewards customers paid £5 per month to access high-interest savings accounts and cashback benefits, but they received £5 back each month for having at least two direct debits.

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But the bank has informed customers via email that, starting 4 September, the £5 monthly loyalty reward and other product cash rewards will be eliminated.

What’s changing?

The email, titled “Barclays Blue Rewards is having a makeover”, states that Blue Rewards members can now access an Apple TV+ subscription and watch Major League Soccer matches with an MLS season pass subscription during the season, included within the existing £5 monthly fee.

Blue Rewards customers can also benefit from Barclays’ Rainy Day Saver account, offering interest of 5.12% AER (annual equivalent rate) on balances up to £5,000.

(Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)(Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

One Barclays current account customer described the removal of the loyalty reward as “disappointing”, adding: “This felt like a real benefit as a Barclays customer and it’s frustrating that it will now cost money.

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“It feels like a clever way of watering down the amount that I’m getting back from my savings. It’s made me think that I could switch to a different bank that won’t charge me to get those rates.”

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People can potentially become a Blue Rewards member if they pay at least £800 into a nominated account every month as well as the £5 fee.

Barclays said that, following the change, Blue Rewards customers can receive fixed benefits worth up to £44 per month – an increase from £35.50 previously – in addition to cashback and interest on savings.

The bank said it will undertake reviews to ensure Blue Rewards customers are getting fair value for their £5 monthly fee.

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In cases where customers are not receiving fair value, they will be alerted and Blue Rewards and its fee will be removed, leaving customers on Barclays’ standard, fee-free account, the bank said.

What does an expert think?

James Hyde, of Moneyfactscompare.co.uk, said: “The monthly cash reward payment to qualifying customers effectively paid for the cost of the Barclays Blue Rewards membership: with that guarantee of cash set to be removed, members may re-evaluate whether the deal is right for them.

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“The benefits of Apple TV and (an) MLS season pass may be tempting for some, while up to 15% cashback is available when the debit card is used at selected retailers.

“As is often the case with these membership products, the true financial implications of these changes will depend on how exhaustively individuals utilise the rewards available to them, and how much they invest in associated accounts each month.

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“These changes will come into effect on 4 September, so customers have time to consider their options following this update.”

Do you think the new benefits outweigh the loss of the £5 monthly loyalty reward? How do these updates impact your banking experience? Share your opinions and join the conversation in the comments section.

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