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Barclay Kicks Off NFL Credit Card Partnership

By , CardRatings contributor
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Barclaycard hopes you become as big a fan of your credit card issuer as you are of your favorite football team. The Wilmington-based subsidiary of British banking giant Barclays just launched a thoroughly American loyalty program in partnership with the NFL. The new NFL Extra Points credit cards bear the colors and logos of each account holder's favorite NFL team. Barclaycard has teamed up with the league to let fans know about the new cards through stadium promotions, telecast advertising and direct mail to season ticket holders.

Every time you make a purchase, you'll earn points you can redeem for special team experiences, such as behind the scenes tours, fantasy camp-style events and bonus game-day activities. Every team offers its own spin on the rewards available, and cardholders can also redeem points for licensed merchandise and authentic memorabilia. NFL Extra Points cards even get an instant 20% discount on purchases made at NFLShop.com. The partners have ramped up excitement about the new cards through special giveaways and an immersive online experience on team-branded Websites.

The Barclaycard program replaces the NFL Extra Points program previously offered by Bank of America. Under agreements with individual NFL franchises, B of A can still issue debit cards bearing the logos of football teams. Shortly after the NFL announced its new partnership with Barclaycard, Bank of America gave its customers a few weeks to redeem their accrued rewards points.

Changes to loyalty programs can also confuse credit card customers. After the switch, football fans must sign up for all new accounts with Barclaycard if they want to keep carrying credit cards bearing the logos of their favorite teams. Cardholders of former NFL Extra Points accounts won't automatically get new cards issued under the Barclays partnership. Instead, most account holders will receive replacement Bank of America credit cards bearing their existing account numbers.

If you're in that situation, remember to weigh the financial impact of a balance transfer from your old account to a new NFL Extra Points account before making the switch. As with all loyalty credit card programs, make sure you're going to get plenty of value from exclusive rewards before committing to annual fees or finance charges.

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