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Barnes and Noble Credit Card Review

Written by Mike Pearson
Updated June 11, 2023

The Barnes & Noble Credit Card offers book lovers and avid readers an opportunity to earn rewards for their purchases at one of the largest retail booksellers in the United States. Issued by Barclays Bank, this credit card comes with no annual fee and provides cardholders with various perks and benefits tailored to enhance their Barnes & Noble shopping experience.

Notably, the card offers a rewards program that allows cardholders to earn points on their purchases, which can be redeemed for gift cards, travel, and more. The earnings on Barnes & Noble purchases are attractive, and for those who spend a significant amount on books or other products from the retailer, this card could be a valuable addition to their wallets.

In this review, we will delve deep into the features, benefits, and fees associated with the Barnes & Noble Credit Card to ascertain its value for potential cardholders. We will analyze how the card fares against other rewards cards in the market and shed light on its pros and cons to determine if it is worth considering.

Barnes and Noble Credit Card Overview

The Barnes and Noble Credit Card, officially known as the Barnes & Noble Mastercard®, is a rewards card designed for book lovers and frequent shoppers at Barnes & Noble. This card offers generous benefits and rewards for purchases at Barnes & Noble, while also providing moderate rewards for spending at restaurants and on other everyday purchases

Card Benefits

With the Barnes & Noble Mastercard®, cardholders can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Welcome offer: Earn a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card after your first purchase or balance transfer.
  • 5% back on Barnes & Noble purchases: Get 5% back on all in-store and online Barnes & Noble purchases.
  • 2x points on restaurant spending: Earn 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants (excluding Barnes & Noble Cafe purchases).
  • 1x points on other purchases: Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases (excluding Barnes & Noble purchases).
  • Free yearly B&N membership: Receive a complimentary Barnes & Noble membership (valued at $25) if you spend $7,500 annually on eligible purchases with the card.
  • Reward redemption: Get a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card every time you accumulate 2,500 points.

Fees and Rates

The Barnes & Noble Mastercard® has a competitive fee and rate structure:

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: Variable, based on your creditworthiness.

Rewards Program

Earning Points

The Barnes & Noble Mastercard offers a rewards program that allows cardholders to earn points on various types of purchases. With this card, you will be able to earn points in the following way:

  • 2 points per dollar spent at restaurants (excluding Barnes & Noble Cafe purchases)
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other non-Barnes & Noble purchases

In addition to points earned through spending, new cardholders will receive a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card after making their first purchase or balance transfer.

Redemption Options

Once you’ve accumulated points through the rewards program, you have a few options for redeeming them:

  • For Books: Points can be redeemed for books at Barnes & Noble stores or online on their website
  • Barnes & Noble Gift Cards: Points can be exchanged for gift cards, making it easy to give the gift of reading or treat yourself to new books or other products available at B&N
  • Cash back: Cardholders may also choose to redeem their points for cash back, providing additional flexibility in how the rewards are used

Keep in mind that there might be some limitations and restrictions on redemption options, so always refer to the terms and conditions of the rewards program for detailed information.

Introductory Offers

Introductory APR

The Barnes & Noble Mastercard does not feature an introductory APR for purchases or balance transfers. Cardholders must be aware that the regular APR will be applied from the moment they start using the card for both purchases and balance transfers.

Welcome Offer

The welcome offer for the Barnes & Noble Mastercard includes a Bonus 25 Retailer Points that you will receive after your first purchase. This can be a great way for new cardholders to start accumulating rewards towards future purchases at Barnes & Noble stores or online.

To make the most of the introductory offers, it’s essential for prospective cardholders to understand the card’s regular rewards structure and fees. This can help ensure you not only benefit from the welcome offer but also maximize ongoing rewards by leveraging the card strategically for your spending habits.

Credit Card Eligibility

Credit Score Requirements

The Barnes & Noble Credit Card typically requires a good to excellent credit score for approval. FICO scores in this range generally fall between 670 and 850. While it is possible to qualify with a lower credit score, applicants with lower scores may have a much higher likelihood of being denied.

If you have a bad credit or a limited credit history, it might be more difficult to obtain approval for this card. Improving your credit score by making timely payments and reducing your credit utilization can increase your chances of eligibility in the future.

Credit Approval Process

The credit approval process for the Barnes & Noble Credit Card is quite straightforward. When you submit your application online, the issuer – Barclays Bank, in this case – will review your credit history, including your FICO score, and make a decision based on their creditworthiness criteria.

During the review process, Barclays Bank may consider factors such as:

  • Your existing FICO credit score
  • Your income
  • Your credit utilization
  • Payment history and past delinquencies

While a good FICO score and clean financial history are essential, other factors, such as a steady income, can also improve your chances of securing the card. Make sure your application is accurate and up-to-date before submitting it for review.

Keep in mind that applying for multiple credit cards in a short period can harm your credit score, so it is best to space out your applications and focus on building your credit in between.

Fees and Charges

In this section, we discuss the various fees and charges associated with the Barnes & Noble credit card.

Balance Transfer Fee

The balance transfer fee for this card is typically 4%. When transferring a balance from another credit card, this fee will be applied to the transferred amount.

Cash Advance Fee

When you use your Barnes & Noble credit card to obtain a cash advance, a fee will be applied. The cash advance APR for this card is 22.74%, variable. Additionally, there is a cash advance fee of either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fee

For foreign transactions, the card has a 3% fee. This fee is applied to purchases made outside the United States, so it’s essential to consider this cost for international travel or online purchases from foreign companies.

Penalty Fees

The penalty APR for the Barnes & Noble credit card can be up to 30.99%, variable. This higher rate may be applied in the event of late payments or other violations of the card agreement. The late payment fee for this card can be up to $40, while the returned payment fee is also up to $40. It’s essential to make timely payments and avoid any actions that could trigger these penalty fees.

Managing Your Barnes and Noble Credit Card

Online Account Management

Managing your Barnes and Noble credit card is easy and convenient through the online account management system provided by Barclays US. In your online account, you can:

  • Track account activity
  • Make payments
  • Transfer balances
  • Update payment options

To access your account, simply enter your username and password on the login page. Remember to keep your login information secure to protect your account from unauthorized access.

Customer Service

Barnes and Noble credit card holders can rely on dedicated customer service to assist with any questions or concerns regarding the card. The customer service team can help you with a variety of inquiries:

  1. Account assistance: Whether you need help accessing your account or updating your payment options, the customer support team is available to help.
  2. Card-specific issues: If you are experiencing problems with your Barnes and Noble Mastercard, such as unrecognized transactions or disputes, customer service can provide the necessary guidance to resolve these matters.
  3. Program benefits: For help understanding and maximizing your card’s benefits, like earning points and redeeming them for Barnes & Noble gift cards, don’t hesitate to reach out to the customer service team.

By offering a robust online account management system and a dedicated customer service team, managing your Barnes and Noble credit card is simple and seamless. Take advantage of these resources to make the most of your card’s benefits and enjoy a hassle-free experience.

Card Security and Protection

Fraud Protection

The Barnes & Noble credit card, issued by Barclays Bank Delaware and operated under the Mastercard International Incorporated network, offers robust fraud protection for its users. The card employs advanced security technologies and monitoring systems to help identify and prevent unauthorized transactions. Barclays Bank ensures that cardholders can shop with confidence, knowing that their financial information is secure.

Key features of fraud protection include:

  • Real-time monitoring: The bank continuously monitors transactions to detect any suspicious or fraudulent activities.
  • Zero Liability: If your card is ever lost, stolen, or fraudulently used, you will not be held responsible for unauthorized charges.
  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection™: This comprehensive service assists cardholders in detecting and resolving potential identity theft incidents.

Unauthorized Charges

In the event that unauthorized charges do appear on your account, the Barnes & Noble credit card provides protection through its Zero Liability policy. According to this policy, cardholders are not held accountable for unauthorized transactions made with their card, as long as they report the incident immediately.

To report unauthorized charges, cardholders should:

  1. Notify Barclays Bank immediately upon noticing the suspicious transactions by calling the Customer Service number on the back of the card.
  2. Cooperate with any investigation conducted by the bank to resolve the issue.
  3. Follow any additional security steps recommended by the bank to prevent future unauthorized charges.

By adhering to these guidelines, Barnes & Noble credit card users can stay protected against unauthorized charges while enjoying the many perks and benefits the card offers.

Comparing to Other Credit Cards Store Card

The Barnes & Noble Credit Card and Store Card are both tailored for avid book readers and shoppers. However, the Store Card is an in-store credit card, offering exclusive discounts and financing options to Amazon customers. On the other hand, Barnes & Noble Credit Card is a standard credit card that rewards customers primarily on restaurant and book-related purchases. Key differences:

  • Rewards: Barnes & Noble Credit Card offers reward points for every purchase made, whereas the Store Card offers 5% back for Amazon Prime members.
  • APR: Barnes & Noble Credit Card has a variable APR ranging from 14.74% to 25.74%, while the Store Card has a 25.99% APR.
  • Annual Fees: Both cards have no annual fees.

Restaurant and Drugstore Reward Cards

Barnes & Noble Credit Card also competes with various restaurant and drugstore reward credit cards in the market. Comparing the card benefits:

  • Restaurant Purchases: Barnes & Noble Credit Card users earn 2 points for every dollar spent at restaurants. There are other restaurant-specific credit cards that may offer higher rewards and added perks for dining.
  • Drugstore Purchases: Although Barnes & Noble Credit Card doesn’t cater specifically to drugstore purchases, it does offer 1 point per dollar spent on everyday purchases. Meanwhile, drugstore reward cards have rewards and benefits tailored to pharmacy and health-related spending.

It is important for potential cardholders to consider their spending habits and preferences before choosing a credit card to maximize rewards and benefits. Compared to other credit cards, the Barnes & Noble Credit Card appeals primarily to book lovers and those who frequently dine out, while the Store Card may suit online shoppers, and restaurant and drugstore-specific reward cards cater to individuals with heavy spending in those categories.


The Barnes & Noble Credit Card offers several attractive features for avid readers and frequent customers of the retailer. With no annual fee and rewards on purchases, cardholders have the opportunity to accumulate points towards B&N gift cards.

In addition, the card provides value for those seeking to manage their finances with its 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. This feature allows cardholders a chance to consolidate their debt and potentially save on interest, making it useful in specific financial situations.

Moreover, the possibility of earning a free yearly B&N membership for big spenders further adds to the card’s appeal. This membership provides additional discounts and benefits for individuals who shop at Barnes & Noble frequently.

In summary, the Barnes & Noble Credit Card can be a beneficial option for book enthusiasts and regular patrons of the retailer. Featuring rewards on purchases, balance transfer incentives, and the prospect of a free membership, it serves as a versatile financial tool for devoted B&N customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Credit score requirement?

To qualify for the Barnes & Noble Credit Card, applicants typically need to have a good to excellent credit score, which ranges from 690 to 850. Keep in mind, however, that other factors such as income and credit history can also affect your approval odds.

Bank issuer?

The Barnes & Noble Credit Card is issued by Barclays Bank, a well-established financial institution. This partnership allows cardholders to access and manage their accounts through Barclays’ online banking platform.

Usable anywhere?

Yes, the Barnes & Noble Credit Card is a Mastercard, meaning it is widely accepted at millions of merchants worldwide. However, the unique rewards and benefits associated with this card are most beneficial when used at Barnes & Noble stores or for online purchases.

How does it work?

The Barnes & Noble Credit Card operates as a rewards credit card, offering points for every dollar spent on purchases. Cardholders can earn bonus points for purchases made at Barnes & Noble, as well as at other retailers and service providers. These points can then be redeemed for Barnes & Noble gift cards or statement credits.

Card benefits?

Some of the main benefits provided by the Barnes & Noble Credit Card include:

  • No annual fee
  • Earn points on everyday purchases, as well as bonus points on Barnes & Noble purchases
  • Points can be redeemed for Barnes & Noble gift cards or statement credits
  • Access to exclusive cardholder offers and events

It’s important to note that these benefits may not be as competitive as those offered by other rewards credit cards, so it’s vital to assess your spending habits and preferences before choosing this card.

Application status?

To check the status of your Barnes & Noble Credit Card application, you can contact Barclays Bank’s customer service or visit the bank’s website. Keep in mind that it may take several business days for your application to be reviewed and a decision made. While you wait for a response, it’s a good idea to avoid applying for additional credit cards or loans, as this can affect your credit score.

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Mike Pearson

Mike is a recognized credit expert and founder of Credit Takeoff. His credit advice has been featured in Investopedia,, Bankrate, Huffpost, The Simple Dollar, Reader's Digest, LendingTree, and Quickbooks. Read more.