Barclaycard has confirmed that it will launch its multi-retailer reward scheme in March.

More than 8 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.

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. At the same time it is in talks with larger retailers about signing up to the scheme and expects to announce some major names in the next few weeks.

Barclaycard Freedom receipt

Customers of stores that have signed up to the Barclaycard Freedom Rewards Scheme will be able to see the reward balance added to their account on their receipts.

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 £12 million 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.