Bank offers cashback current account for those bad at maths

Business banking news review: week ending 16 April 2015

If you’re notoriously bad at maths there’s a new current account that’s just for you: Barclays’ new Blue Rewards account, which takes as much as it gives.

There’s nothing like the tantalising lure of ‘free money’ to motivate individuals to sign up to new, harebrained schemes. Barclays is capitalising on this particular trick of psychology with their new account, offering customers the chance to ‘earn’ as much as £15 every month, provided you jump through the right hoops – minus the account’s £3 monthly fee, of course.

First of all, why bother with the monthly fee at all? Why not reduce the maximum you can earn by £3 and just leave it at that? Apparently nobody on the Barclays board of directors raised such a question, because there you have it. Meanwhile, you’ll never see that 15 quid – sorry, 12 quid – every month unless you meet some pretty exacting rules, like spending even more cash.

At any rate, anyone taking out the account gets a guaranteed £7 a month before the service fee. In order to increase your payout you need to maximise your ‘earnings’ through Barclays, you need to take out additional products with the bank. Holding a mortgage through Barclays means receiving an extra £5 every month on top of that. To max out your earnings you need to make purchases at shops like Boots and Gap in order to earn one per cent back fro, your purchases.

The scheme incentivises spending with select retailers and rewards customers who take out additional products. For instance, a customer who also has a mortgage with Barclays will receive a £5 monthly kick-back. And purchases with Gap and Boots provide one per cent cashback. Oh, and don’t forget – you can’t qualify for the account in the first place unless you set up two direct debits and deposit at least £800 every month into the account. That’s all, no big deal.

If this seems like the biggest rip-off on the planet, you’re likely not alone. Still, Barclays thinks this is a brilliant new way to get more numpties to take out accounts with the high street lender. I swear, this is like a case of the blind leading the stupid if you ask me.

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