Barclaycard has confirmed it will launch its reward scheme in March and has opened up the initiative to small and medium-sized businesses.
More than eight million Barclaycard holders will be automatically enrolled in the scheme which will see them earn rewards worth a minimum of 1% of their spend when using their card in participating retailers.
The scheme opens up the concept of a rewards programme to a great many small and medium retailers for the very first time. This week Barclaycard is writing to 30,000 merchants – who use its payment terminals – to explain the scheme and tell them that they must opt-out if they do not want to participate.
The scheme – named Barclaycard Freedom – calculates rewards in pounds and pence which cardholders can redeem against future purchases within participating retailers. Retailers will have to cover the cost of the 1% reward cardholders receive in their stores, in addition to any further offers they wish to make through the scheme, though Barclaycard says that there are no additional administration charges.
Each time a cardholder uses their Barclaycard at a participating retailer they will see their reward balance displayed on the chip & PIN pin entry device and can choose to redeem any amount up to the total. Once the transaction is complete their printed receipt will show how many rewards they have earned as well as their new reward balance.
Retailers and Barclaycard will both be able to promote future special offers – such as double reward weekends or £5 off when you spend £100 – on the receipt. Cardholders do not need to collect vouchers for these extra rewards as they system automatically recognises which special offers they are eligible for.
Barclaycard will support the launch of the scheme with a £12m TV, print and online advertising campaign. It promises retailers that there will be an average of 75,000 cardholders within a five mile radius of each of their stores, and an average of 200 participating retailers within a five mile radius of each cardholder.
Sarah Newman, managing director of Barclaycard Freedom said: “By offering the chance for small and medium retailers to join a scheme with major UK brands, Barclaycard Freedom is supporting the high street at a time of very difficult trading conditions.”