Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® Review

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is a premium travel rewards credit card with an $89 annual fee (waived in the first year) and a straightforward rewards program that earns 2x miles on a wide range of purchases. These miles can be redeemed against virtually any prior travel purchase: airfare, car rentals, hotels, cruises, vacation packages, and incidental fees, to name a few. A nice redemption bonus and fairly generous 0% APR balance transfer promotion further sweeten the deal for cardholders.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus isn’t appropriate for everyone. If you only travel occasionally or prefer to remain loyal to a single travel brand, this card’s $89 annual fee (waived in the first year) and broad-based rewards program might not serve you well. Plus, if you’re a light spender, the $100 minimum redemption threshold may deter you.

Still, Barclaycard Arrival Plus is among the most versatile travel rewards credit cards out there. Here’s what you need to know about its features, advantages, and disadvantages.

For a limited time only, when you spend at least $5,000 within 90 days of opening your account, you earn 70,000 bonus miles. That’s worth up to $700 when redeemed for statement credits against prior travel purchases.

Every $1 spent on eligible card purchases earns 2 miles, with no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn. There are no mileage categories or tiers. Miles don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.

The best redemption option is for statement credits against virtually any travel purchases: airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, taxi and rideshare fares, public transportation fares, incidental charges, discount travel site bookings, cruises, and vacation packages. Qualifying purchases must have been made within 120 days of the redemption date. Miles are always worth $0.01 apiece when redeemed for travel statement credits.

You must have at least 10,000 miles to redeem for statement credit redemptions against travel, and qualifying purchases must be $100 or greater. This is a higher minimum redemption threshold than competing cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. This could be problematic for light spenders who take longer to accrue the requisite number of miles. Above the $100 threshold, Barclaycard allows redemptions in $25 increments for up to $2,000 in total redemption value (200,000 miles).

Non-travel redemptions are available too, including statement credits, gift cards, and general merchandise, among other options. However, these methods invariably devalue miles, often by 50% or more. Unless you haven’t made sufficient qualifying travel purchases in the recent past and don’t expect to do so for the foreseeable future, there’s no reason to fall back on these choices.

Every travel credit redemption qualifies for a 5% bonus. For instance, when you redeem 20,000 miles, you’ll receive a bonus of 1,000 miles. Bonus miles are deposited into your loyalty account and are available for use with your next redemption.

Subject to certain limitations and restrictions, you’ll earn bonus miles for qualifying stories posted to the Barclays Travel Community. If you want to share stories of your latest adventure and earn tangible rewards in the process, this is your ticket. Each 100-plus-word story with at least 1 unique photo earns 150 bonus miles – a $1.50 value when redeemed for travel. You can’t post more than 5 stories per location or more than 100 stories per month.

Balance transfers made within the first 45 days of account opening accrue no interest (0% APR) for 12 months from your account opening date. Once the introductory period ends, variable regular APR applies.

Following the end of the introductory period, the balance transfer APR rises to 17.99%, 21.99%, or 24.99% variable, depending on your personal creditworthiness or prevailing interest rates. The purchase APR is 17.99%, 21.99%, or 24.99% variable from the day you open your account. The cash advance APR is 27.24%.

After the first year, the annual fee for this card is $89. There are no foreign transaction fees. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3%. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%.

The World Elite Mastercard Concierge is your complimentary personal assistant for complex travel bookings, hard-to-snag reservations, and travel advice.

This card requires excellent credit.

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® isn’t the simplest travel rewards card out there. The 5% redemption bonus is a curveball that complicates return on spending calculations, and the $100 minimum redemption threshold is problematic for light spenders.

But it’s a far cry from the branded airline and hotel rewards credit cards, whose complicated rewards program terms and conditions require an advanced degree to parse. If you like your travel rewards credit cards straightforward, consider Arrival Plus.

Do you use Barclaycard Arrival Plus or do you prefer another general-purpose travel credit card?

Updated: November 19, 2018

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is ideal for frequent travelers who can out-earn the $89 annual fee (levied after the first year) and don’t mind the high minimum for travel redemptions. The 12-month 0% APR balance transfer promotion is somewhat unusual in the travel rewards category, and quite welcome for new cardholders dealing with high-interest credit card debt elsewhere. An above-average sign-up bonus further sweetens the pot.

With few fringe benefits and limited return on spending, this card isn’t appropriate for savvy travelers seeking luxe perks or stratospheric redemption values.

Key benefits include the excellent sign-up bonus, solid baseline rewards rate, expansive definition of travel, 5% bonus on travel redemptions, 12-month 0% APR promotion for balance transfers, no blackout dates, and no foreign transaction fees.

Major drawbacks include the annual fee (after the first year), poor values on non-travel redemptions, few value-added benefits, hard cap on miles’ redemption values (even for travel), and a high threshold ($100) for travel redemptions.

Overall, Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is a solid general-purpose travel rewards credit card for frequent travelers who can stomach the annual fee and don’t mind limited value-added perks.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Categories: Barclaycard, Credit and Debt, Credit Cards, Reviews

Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® Review

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