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Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® sits near the top of the pack for offering a high sign-up bonus and impressive rewards yield of 2 miles per $1 spent. Best of all, this actually rewards you for using your rewards in the most lucrative way, giving you a 5% bonus every time you redeem your miles for travel.
In the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® review below, I’ll explain the features and benefits that make this card a favorite among travelers, and help you decide if this is the next card you should put in your wallet.
Great for: Travel card sign-up bonus
This card offers one of the largest sign-up bonuses you'll find among competing travel cards with a modest annual fee, plus it offers unlimited miles at a high rate.
Credit Rating Requirement:
$89 (waived first year)
Balance Transfers: 0%, 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
18.24% - 25.24%, variable
This credit card is a good fit for: Travelers who want to collect lots of miles that are simple to use. Consumers with credit card debt could also save money through this card's balance transfer offer.
$700 new cardholder bonus: It won’t take long for you to start reaping rewards. This card offers 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening and paying its annual fee. The miles convert to travel at a rate of $0.01 each, valuing the bonus at $700 in travel.
2 miles per $1: As far as rewards go, Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard®’s plan is both simple and rewarding. The card dishes out unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent, and each mile is redeemable for $0.01 of travel value. A high rewards rate on all kinds of spend makes this card ideal if you don’t want to juggle several cards just to get every single mile possible on every single purchase.
Bonus for redeeming: Credit card companies may prefer that you don’t use your miles, but this card actually gives you a 5% bonus for redeeming them for travel. For example, if you redeem 10,000 miles, 500 miles would be credited back to your account. I think of this card as essentially offering 2.1 miles per $1 of spend because of the 5% redemption bonus when miles are redeemed for travel.
Statement credit redemptions: You don’t have to worry about booking flights with a certain airline, or getting blacked out on certain travel dates. Because Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® uses statement credit redemptions, you can use the card to book travel how you want to and then redeem your miles to erase the purchase from your statement up to 120 days after the purchase.
No foreign transaction fees: You can confidently use Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® overseas, since it waives foreign transaction fees that are common with other cards. Compared to the typical foreign transaction fee of 3%, this card could save you as much as $60 on $2,000 of international spend.
Airbnb redemptions: You and I might consider Airbnb a travel purchase (what else would it be?!), but some cards do not. If you prefer the cozy appeal of Airbnb to corporate hotel chains, this travel card should make your short list of cards to consider more carefully. Miles can be redeemed against Airbnb charges at a rate of $0.01 per mile, subject to the $100 minimum redemption.
In all, I think the biggest advantage with this card is that it uses statement credit redemptions, which allows you to be pickier when deciding how to redeem your miles. Because it isn’t locked into any particular redemption portal, you can shop around for bargains, getting more value per mile than you could with an airline or hotel-specific card.
For example, if you’re a member of AAA or AARP, you may receive a 10% discount for staying with a particular hotel chain. A statement credit card allows you to benefit from that discount, whereas airline or hotel-specific cards do not.
Minimum redemption threshold: Redeeming miles you earn with Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® may be a challenge if you don’t travel much. Travel statement credit redemptions start at 10,000 miles for $100 of travel value, thus requiring $5,000 of spending to accumulate enough miles for redemption. More importantly, the minimum means you can’t redeem miles for small travel expenses, like taxi fares, Uber rides, parking fees, or incidental airline expenses, all of which are rarely expensive enough to meet the $100 minimum. For this reason, I think of Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® as a card for expensive travel (hotels, airfare, and rental cars), not all travel purchases.
Cash redemption penalty: As a rule of thumb, travel cards aren’t a good choice if you want cash back, and Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® is no exception. You can redeem your miles for cash statement credits starting at 5,000 miles for a $25 credit. Cash redemptions value each point at $0.005 each, half the $0.01 value of each mile when you redeem for travel. Also, the 5% redemption bonus does not apply if you redeem miles for cash. Though it is great for travel, this card is a bad pick for cash back.
0% intro APRs: This card offers a 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. I would prefer a 0% intro APR for balance transfers and purchases made over a full 12 month period.
Truthfully, my proposed improvements ask a lot of this card, since I’ve never seen all of these features on one card. But I think the point is clear: Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® is a great travel rewards card, but it might not be the best choice if you want a 0% intro APR or cash back instead of travel, for example.
Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.
Like many high-end travel cards, Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® is best for applicants who have a FICO® Score of 750 or better. Households with above-average incomes are also more likely to get approved. The sign-up bonus requires $5,000 of spending within 90 days, which is a good indication of the kind of spending this card is designed for.
Premium travel cards aren’t for everyone. While there is a lot to like about Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard®, it’s my view that it’s a good fit only if all of the following statements apply to you.
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