Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Review: $400 Bonus Value + 2.2% Cash Back Towards Any Travel

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The Barclaycard Arrival Plus(TM) World Elite MasterCard® is a new premium travel rewards card with a nice sign-up bonus and also works out to 2.2% cash back towards travel. This results in card that may be the best option for people who like to travel but aren’t loyal to any specific airline program.

Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 miles = $400 off your next trip

There is a limited-time sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles after you make $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!

Rewards Structure: 2.22% Cash Back Towards Any Travel
With this card, you earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases; no special categories. These miles (easier to think of them as points, really) are then redeemable towards travel booked from any merchant or retailer classified as Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways and Car Rental Agencies. That means you have the flexibility to redeem towards any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates.

On top of that, the card gives you a 10% miles rebate when you redeem for any travel. So in that 40,000 redemption example above, you would actually get you 4,000 back for a net cost of 36,000 miles. Getting $400 of value out of 36,000 miles at 2X miles/$ spent works out to 2.22% cash back towards any travel. That is very high in terms of easy conversion to cash value.

Card Summary

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days – that’s enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit.
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 14.99% or 18.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases – Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Chip card for increased confidence and convenience to pay abroad as easily as you do at home
  • Redeem your miles for travel statement credits – redemptions start at 2,500 miles for $25 toward travel purchases made in the last 120 days
  • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

There is a $89 annual fee that is waived for the first year. Balance that with the $400+ opening bonus + 2.22% cash back the first year, and the ongoing 2.22% cash back past the first year. There is also a Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® with no annual fee that is similar but has a lower 20,000 bonus miles but only 2X miles on travel and dining purchases as opposed to all purchases (the rest get 1x miles). I will likely try to downgrade the card to the no annual fee version after a year if I don’t think the 2X miles is working out for me. Barclays does offer instant approval; if you don’t get it call their credit analyst line at 1-866-408-4064.

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Any idea what the max number of cards Barclays will let you have? My wife and I both have two.

    They never really had any cards worth having other than the US Air card until recently, so I’ve never had to worry about it before now.

    Thanks!

  2. @Michael – Based on reported user experiences, you can have up to 5 cards issued by Barclaycard per individual.

  3. whoa you are using your full name now and also put your picture in the emails. this is a new era of MMB. I guess once you make it into a textbook you are a public figure. now try to get onto some tv appearances that would be cool!

  4. Anyone know if you can get one with a “chip” for foreign purchases? I have the British Airways Chase Visa (thanks to MMB) pretty much solely for the no foreign transaction fee and chip for purchases abroad.

  5. Very interested in this since we have a balance due next month for our upcoming cruise. In your experience, how quickly do the 40k bonus points get credited once you make the $1k in required purchases?

  6. Could I buy a $400 dollar southwest giftcard right off the bat and apply the 40000 points to that or does it have to be an actual flight?

  7. @mvp – I doubt that will happen, I’d like to get some more exposure but I’m horrible at self-promotion.

    @Ed – I don’t know the answer to that, it doesn’t appear that this card has it by default. But you’d think with Barclays being a UK bank and the first-ever issuer of a credit card there, they’d be on top of that sort of thing.

    @Jason – I’m not sure about the exact date, I couldn’t find anything specific in the fine print. In general, you have to wait until the statement cycle in which you reach the $1,000 spending hurdle closes, and then the points post after that.

    @Justin – That’s certainly a good idea, it just states that the merchant has to categorize it under one of the listed travel categories, and people have done the Southwest gift card method on other cards and gotten it to count as travel.

  8. Brandon says:

    Thanks for the link. I’m still a bit confused as to whether any $1000 purchase travel or not gets the $400 credit? Please advise.
    Thanks!

  9. @Brandon – For the $1,000 within 90 days spending hurdle, purchases of any kind will count. Less than $350 per month should be doable with just normal monthly spending like gas, food, and groceries, but you could also could prepay utility bills, auto/home insurance bills, property tax bills, etc if they take credit cards.

  10. Brandon says:

    Vanilla reload’ll do swell then. Thanks!

  11. How would you compare this card to the British Airways Visa card? I try to put all of my overall purchases (not falling under a special category) onto one card, and right now I use the BA Visa card to rack up Avios with that airline. Would you recommend the Barclays card over that one? Thanks!

  12. @Aaron – It all depends, what is your target redemption using Avios miles and will that work out to over 1.8 cents per Avios? As a regular spend card, you get 1.25 BA miles per $1 with that card and the annual fee is similar. I’ve had the BA card in the past. Many frequent fliers love their business class international redemptions, but many others simply want to help lower the cost of getting their family flown around domestically. My previous review:

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/british-airways-credit-card-new-100000-mile-bonus-redemption-tips.html

    Also if you spend $30k on the card there is a companion ticket feature.

  13. Kristin says:

    How does this work if you’re buying airline tickets more than 90 days before your trip? Does it matter if you haven’t taken the trip yet? I would guess not but want to be sure. Thanks!

  14. Hi thanks for the info … applied got the 10 day thing … called the phone number you gave (it was extremely handy) … got it approved immediately!… Thanks

  15. Hey guys,I need a suggestion.I already have Discover it card and Chase Sapphire card.I have spent the mandatory 3k within 3 months on it to get all the benefits.I know I can spend more and get some points.I have to pay fees for one of my courses which is due in May-13.The fees is $2700.I was planning to put in on a new card and reap some benefits in the form of cash back etc.Wondering which card should be best.Also, let me know if I am missing out on any other strategy.Thanks.

  16. @jacob … one of the ink cards might work out with 50K bonus!

  17. I personally like their 2% Priceline Rewards Visa. The best card for air tickets – 5% Penfed Amex.

  18. Kaziopeia says:

    Thanks a lot for the review. I have a few questions
    -Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard vs Chase Sapphire vs Capital Venture
    I am looking for a card which gives me 2 points on $1 spent. Barclaycard and Capital Venture give 2 points on everything; Chase Sapphire only on certain categories.
    What are your thoughts on the SPG Amex compared to the above cards?
    I am not sure which card would work out the best.
    Thanks

  19. What about if we do not want to use the 40K points in travel? Is there an option to use the 40K points for gift cards or cash?

    -JR

  20. The redemption ratio for cash and gift cards is only 50% of the value of Travel. So 40,000 miles would equal $200 cash, and every 5,000 miles would get you a $25 gift card.

    If at all possible, travel is by far the best deal. I just redeemed some points to cover an extra baggage fee. A Travel purchase is defined as: Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways and Car Rental Agencies.

  21. Nice feature, as a point of interest, it’s only 6 points different from my CreditKarma score (also from Transunion). The odd thing is that it lists my debt to credit ratio as one of my negative factors, but I only have around 3% utilization, due to a balance transfer that I have out. Guess it doesn’t matter too much since the score is 790, but just seems like an odd thing for a negative factor.

  22. The FICO thing is offered on other cards as well. I saw your post and tried it on Barclaycard Rewards and it worked. Searching found a press release which lists other cards as well:

    http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/04/5879290/barclaycard-to-offer-cardmembers.html

    Thanks for the pointer.

  23. I assume this would work for fuel surcharges as well? I previously used the Chase British Airways card deal to get 100,000 avios points, but there are still hefty fuel surcharges on international flights. If I can combine the two…

  24. @Mike – Perhaps it is the debt to credit ratio on that one card? I believe the scores don’t like a high utilization ratio on any single card as well as high overall utilization.

    @Steven – You are right:

    “Barclaycard will initially offer FICO® Score access to its Barclaycard Ring, Barclaycard Arrival, Barclaycard Rewards, Juniper, Frontier and Carnival cardmembers on an opt-in basis. The company plans to expand the program to additional card portfolios in early 2014.”

    @Kelson – I would assume so, as if you charged the fuel fees on this Barclays Arrival card the merchant should show up to be British Airways (I don’t see who else it could be). Enjoy your BA flight, I still have fond memories of my business class lie-flat seat and attentive service.

  25. I used to lenjoy your posts but lately I feel that all of the stuff is just plagiarized from the popular deals site. The last 10 posts or so (except for US savings bonds and 529) seems to be just a summary of the forum posts. If you would like I can post a link of when the forum posts appeared and when your posts appeared (HINT: None of your posts appeared before the forum posts and were always to be found after a day or so). So please don’t show up on TV as someone suggested.

  26. @saaru – Actually I pretty much get the same press releases and embargoed information everyone else does, but I’m just tired and lazy and don’t post about it the second I get it. I’m also on the west coast so I’ll never be first about anything. For example I got notice of this FICO score directly from a person with a @barclaycardus.com email address. I just wanted to wait until I had a change to log onto the website and then try it out for myself. If you don’t find value, why not just stop reading?

  27. I would just ignore saaru. I don’t read the deal sites so the first I’m hearing about these deals is from your blog. I’ve been reading this blog for years and I enjoy it.

  28. Unfortunately, the Priceline Visa issued by Barclay does not have the free FICO score feature.

    Under Tools and education, there are only has three articles on credit education…

  29. playcentric says:

    Hi Jonathan – I read your site every day, sometimes several times a day. Following your suggestions has saved/gained me, my family, and my friends thousands of $ each year.

    You are great and I consider your website a must read for those who want to learn, save, earn, and improve their financial situation and knowledge.

    My family and friends thank you.

  30. @Josh – Thanks for the kind words. I like to think that I also serve as a sort of curator of deals. The deals sites are definitely useful and if you want the fastest info you have to dig through the noise there and spend a good chunk of time doing so. I focus on deals that are easy, have wide appeal, and I try to avoid the ones that make you drive around and waste extra gas.

    @Peter – Yes only the Barclaycard Ring, Barclaycard Arrival, Barclaycard Rewards, Juniper, Frontier and Carnival cards have the FICO at this time.

    @playcentric – Thanks for the kind words as well. I appreciate my long-term readers and try to create useful content every day. Notice the word is try :)

  31. Jonathan Bright says:

    My wife already has this card in her name, and I am an authorized user. Do you think I would be able to apply in my name and get the offer? Thanks.

  32. @Jonathan Bright – Credit cards are issued to individuals, and I’ve never heard of any company denying a card because they were an AU on another account. So as long as your credit is good enough, you should be able to get the card. Hope that helps!

  33. CanuckExpat says:

    How do you use the Barclay card to redeem for cash? I only see the option of a statement credit for previous (past 90 days) Travel Purchases

  34. @CanuckExpat – You can redeem for cash but you’ll only get 50% of the value as if you redeemed for statement credit towards travel. 2.22% cash back is only towards any travel purchase (plane ticket, car rental, etc)

  35. CanuckExpat says:

    So essentially this card can be thought of as 1% cash-back on every purchase, 2.22% if redeemed for travel?

  36. @CanuckExpat – Yes. As a pure cash back card not really special. But as long as you have any sort of travel expenditure on the same scale as your rewards then you can get full 2% value. Say you spend $10k a year, that’s $200. A checked bag can be $50, or a $400 plane ticket every other year, and so on. If you never have any travel expenses, then I’d skip this card.

  37. I am curious about redeeming the miles/points for travel. Do you just get a statement credit against a purchase you make with the card? Or do you have to purchase through a single website or pre-approved list of companies affiliated with this card? Also, does anyone know specifically if hotels.com purchases count as something for which the points can be redeemed?

    • Yes you get a statement credit directly offsetting a purchase you make on the card. The purchase just has to be categorized under the ones listed in my review (hotels, airlines, cruises, car rentals, travel agencies, etc), similar to what happens with 5% bonuses on cards like Chase Freedom or Citi Dividend. I would definitely expect Hotels.com to count – if not under hotels (most likely) then under the travel agencies category.

  38. I had this card a year ago and signed up with the promotion, but due to an unexpected return was unable to meet the minimum for the promotion. About 9 months ago, I switched to the no-fee Barclay card. Would I be eligible to apply for this card again and receive the promotion, provided this time I met the minimum spending amount?

  39. I had this card and closed it couple months ago, wonder if I can apply again and get points once more time?

  40. Wonder if anyone has any thoughts on what I should do here… My wife and I both have Citi ThankYou cards – I currently have nearly 250K points, she has probably 60K or so. I also got the Barclays USAir card last year to get the bonus miles, and because I’ve been traveling on USAir quite a bit lately, which gets you 2x miles per $ spent on USAir. That’s the only thing I use the USAir card for. It has an $89 fee which was waived the first year.

    So, should I apply for the Arrival card for myself and/or my wife, and switch spending from the Citi cards to Arrival? Still use my USAir card for USAir travel or switch that over to Arrival also?

    How would I value the Arrival points/miles vs, USAir miles earned with the Barclays USAir card?

    So many questions!

    • Well, in my opinion the Citi ThankYou cards aren’t as good as they used to be, I’d much rather spend money on this Barclaycard Arrival than those.

      As for US Air, you’ll have to decide how much that US Air 2x benefit is and how much a US Air mile is worth to you. How many miles do you earn in a year on what amount of purchases + convert that to a dollar value based on your redemption choice (first class? economy ticket?), and how does that compare to 2.2% flat cash back towards travel?

      • Thanks for the reply. We have had the Citi cards for years – we each have 2 actually. The one we use most now is the Forward, which gets us 5 points per $ at restaurants and a few other categories including Amazon. Plus I think we get 100 points or so for each on time payment. So those bonus points do add up for us.

        I like the idea of the Arrival card but hate the idea of an annual fee. I suppose I could downgrade to the no-fee version as you suggest after the first year.

  41. Jonathan,
    As always, very interesting. Can you please explain why this card (outside the one-time signing bonus) is so popular? (Based on write ups in other blogs and magazines) I can get 2% on practically everything I purchase with the no-annual-fee Fido Amex. Yes, you need a a Fido account, but that is free and you can use the cash to pay bills, etc. This card, from what I understand is 2.2% and requires an annual fee in Year 2. With the annual fee you need to spend almost $4,500 just to break even over the free Fido. Granted, 1 vacation could take care of this, but it is not nothing. Are people just that excited over the .2% (2.2-2.0) or am I missing something?

    • Well, I would say that (1) yes the bonus is the big carrot, there haven’t been as many big non-airline miles bonuses recently, (2) it is a new card from a new issuer, so at least for me it would be easy to add to my wallet without having to bump out any other card, (3) opening a brokerage account with a minimum opening amount ($1,500 if I recall?) is still a hurdle/hassle for many people, and (4) AmEx acceptance still isn’t as wide as Visa/Mastercard. There are few other 2% Visa or Mastercards out there. But I agree, I don’t know about that annual fee past the first year unless you’re waiting to spend those points.

      From a marketing perspective, Barclaycard is aggressively trying new stuff like adding FICO scores to gain attention as a new US card issuer. Fidelity doesn’t appear to market this card to people who don’t have Fido accounts already. It’s mostly a card just to keep their existing customers “in the family”. But the Fido AmEx is a good card. I have the grandfathered Fido 529 Mastercard version.

  42. Spending minimum for the bonus is now $3,000.

  43. I clicked on the above link and saw that the minimum spend to get the 40,000 points is now $3000 in the first 90 days. :(

  44. Alex @ CreditCardXPO says:

    The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is indeed a great card for frequent travelers. Thanks for the review.

  45. Updates about this card:

    1) I booked a hotel through Expedia, paid up front, and then canceled it… the system still allowed me to put the reward points towards the hotel charge even though there was also a refund transaction. So basically this can be a way to apply the rewards towards non-travel at the travel reward rates.

    2) I called to cancel the card because I didn’t want to pay the annual fee, they said they can waive it for another year. I’ll keep the card as long as they continue to waive the fee on it.

    • I guess they’re selective about how they waive the fee. I asked them to either waive the fee or convert me to the no annual fee version but they declined both options and only let me close the card. To be fair, I haven’t used the card much since I first got it and cleared the bonus. It’s a nice card for travel though. Oh well!

  46. Deltaflaze says:

    FYI – I’ve had this card for a year; just got the annual fee posted to my account. I had 30k points on my account (after using all the bonus points last year) and was able to use 8,900 points to pay off the annual fee. I didn’t know I was going to be able to use the points to pay off that fee and just wanted to share it with everyone. It was the difference of me keeping this card.

    • How does opening credit cards for rewards affect credit score. Is it better to get couple of cards at the same time and then close them after a year and start the process again.

      Any advice appreciated

    • How did you do that? I just paid myself back for travel but where does the annual fee show up so I can do the same thing. I owe that $89 fee in six months but would like to keep it by paying with points as you did.

      • Deltaflaze says:

        The fee showed up exactly where the travel showed up as a redeemable purchase after it was applied to my account. So go to that same section to “redeem points.”

  47. Has anyone had difficulty getting approved for this card and the Barclays US Airways card at the same time? I got an e-mail from American Airlines about the merger with US Airways today, and it indicated their frequent flyer programs would be merging in 2015. And that made me remember the US Airways card offer, so I quickly signed up for that one today and was instantly approved. But then I noticed this offer, and it seems even better, so I ALSO applied for this one, but it said my application was under review and would take 10 days. I see the phone number mentioned in this article about calling if you don’t get instantly approved, but they are closed for the day already. Has anyone had this issue? What do you say when you call? I have very good credit (770+ FICO) so that is not the issue. I know I will be booking an airline ticket within the next week, so I was actually planning to pay the extra $15 to get overnight delivery of this card, but now with not getting instantly approved that throws a wrench into the works.

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