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You’ll get 2X miles per dollar for every purchase you make. You won’t be limited to bonus categories like travel, dining, or gas, like most cards. This is the equivalent of 2.1% cash back as long as you redeem for travel expenses, after getting a 5% redemption bonus.
There’s a sizable signup bonus of 70,000 miles you can earn, for spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. Those miles are worth $700, giving you a 14% return on your spending.
You won’t need to pay a fee when you use the card in other countries. And it also has Chip-and-PIN EMV technology, making it useful for all kinds of purchases when traveling abroad.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus has an annual fee of $89, but it’s waived for the first year. If you spend $5,000 with the card per year, you’ll be able to offset that annual fee and make some profit on top of that. At least $100 of that must be for travel expenses.
Read on to learn if this travel rewards card is the right choice to help you save some money on the road and in the air.
We give this card 5 out of 5 Stars because it’s one of the best all-around travel credit cards, offering the same reward for every purchase you make
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is not bad for travel, but there might be a card that fits your lifestyle better. Check out some alternatives to this card below.
This card offers 2X miles per dollar for every purchase. You can get a maximum of 1 cent per mile when redeemed for travel statement credits, along with a 5% bonus when you redeem. That comes to the equivalent of 2.1% cash back for every purchase you make, as long as you redeem your miles for the maximum value possible.
|Signup Bonus Offer|
|Redemption Bonus Offer|
This card provides 2 miles for every dollar you spend, but these are more like points than miles. They don’t have anything to do with miles traveled, how far they will take you, or frequent flyer miles. Just think of them as points.
So, if you spend the minimum amount to get the sign-up bonus ($5,000) you’ll earn 10,000 miles for those purchases directly. Plus the 70,000 bonus miles. Those 80,000 miles can be cashed in to pay for $800 worth of travel purchases. You’ll also get 5% of those miles back to use for your next redemption, which comes to 4,000 extra miles.
This card has changed a bit, and it used to offer slightly better terms, like a 10% bonus on redeemed miles. The redemption bonus only used to apply to travel expenses, however, and it’s been expanded to now include the other categories. So that’s a positive change to help offset the other differences.
This card has an annual fee of $89, waived the first year. So you’ll want to earn enough miles to offset that fee and then make some profit on top of that. How much would you need to spend every year to earn enough miles to cover it?
For this example we’ll assume that you’ll redeem your miles in the form of travel statement credits. This will give you the highest monetary value per mile: 1 cent per mile.
At that rate you need to spend $4,450, earning 2 miles per dollar. This will provide a total of 8,900 miles. Those miles are the equivalent of a travel statement credit for a value of $89.
However, travel statement redemptions start at 10,000 miles. So you’ll need to earn at least that many before you can access those funds. You’ll need to spend a total of $5,000 to earn those 10,000 miles. You can then redeem them for a $100 travel statement credit. That will pay for the annual fee with $11 extra. And you’ll get 500 miles to use on your next redemption thanks to the 5% bonus.
Miles can be redeemed in several ways, and they will have different values with different methods. The options are:
Travel statement credits are definitely the best way to redeem because you’ll earn 1 cent per mile with this method. This comes out to the equivalent of 2% cash back on all of your purchases when you redeem in this way — 2.1% cash back after the 5% bonus. There are some limitations to be aware of, however.
You can only use this credit to pay for qualifying travel purchases from the last 120 days. Travel credit redemptions start at 10,000 miles, which will provide $100 toward an eligible travel purchase.
Purchases made in any of the following categories are eligible for this credit:
|Car Rental Agencies||Travel Agencies||Discount Travel Sites||Trains||Cruise Lines|
You’ll earn the most value for your miles with this method. So we recommend that you always redeem your miles for travel statement credits.
Cash back statement credits start at 5,000 miles for $25. This means you’ll only be earning .5 cents per mile with this method. That’s only half as much as for travel statement credits.
These credits will simply reduce your account balance, you don’t need to use them to pay for specific purchases. So in this respect they are more flexible than the travel statement credits above. But since you’ll get so much more when you redeem for travel credits, we advise that you avoid redeeming for cash back statement credits.
Redemptions for gift cards start at 5,000 miles for $25. So you’ll only be earning .5 cents per mile, just like for cash back statement credits. Some particular gift card deals may offer an even lesser value.
Again, we recommend that you avoid this method and always plan to redeem your miles as travel statement credits.
You can redeem your miles to pay for the purchase of particular items. But the value you get per mile will vary and is usually very low with this method.
Stick with the travel credit redemption method. You can be sure that you’ll always get 1 cent per mile, which is the maximum possible with this card.
This card is available at the highly-rewarding World Elite Mastercard level, but the level of service you get will depend on your creditworthiness. You may be offered a lower level of service, like World Mastercard. Check the Guide to Benefits that arrives with your card to learn which benefits you have access to.
Take part in the Barclaycard Travel Community to enhance your travel experiences. You’ll earn more miles by posting your original travel stories, or getting “kudos” from other registered members.
There are a variety of ways to earn points in this way. You can:
This can be a fun way to earn some extra miles. But you’ll have to decide if it’s worth it to post your vacation stories for $1.50 in travel credits each.
You’ll have access to a wide variety of convenient and money-saving services through the World Elite Luxury Travel benefit. These include:
The Mastercard Luxury Hotels & Resorts portfolio is quite large and gives cardholders access to exclusive deals on travel. And you’ll frequently find high-end hotel rooms marked down. You can use Mastercard’s travel service to search for practically any form of travel you might want:
|flights||hotel rooms||cruises||rental car agencies||chauffeured cars||vacation packages||private jets|
There are also a variety of special offers that come and go throughout the year which can be very valuable. Some examples include:
Search through Mastercard’s World Elite Luxury Travel Benefits yourself. Or use Mastercard’s travel booking service to plan your next trip.
Call 24/7 for all sorts of non-emergency assistance. Includes pre-trip planning, getting reservations at premier restaurants, finding hard-to-find items, and much more. This personal assistant is always available by calling the number on the back of the card.
Easily keep track of one version of your FICO credit score online, and get alerts if it changes. We’re pretty sure that Barclaycard will use the FICO Score 8 from your TransUnion credit report. If you can confirm this, let us know in the comments.
Many issuers today will offer free access to one of your FICO credit scores. But if you don’t have another way to check your TransUnion score this card is a good option for that.
This card has Chip EMV technology for added security when making purchases. That’s unlike many cards issued in the U.S., which only have Chip-and-Signature. The PIN function of this card makes it usable at terminals around the world that only accept PINs and not signatures.
Most countries around the world now use this EMV technology. Many attended checkout terminals will use Chip-and-Signature. But self-service terminals, like those at gas pumps and ticket kiosks, often take extra security measures. They will sometimes require a Chip-and-PIN card.
You will be prompted to set a 4-digit PIN when you activate your card, either online or by phone. You should choose something you will easily remember.
Take note that after you set your PIN you will need to activate it. Use your card at a Chip-and-Signature terminal with a cashier. Then sign for your purchase to activate it. This will enable the PIN function, and it will not work until you activate it in this way. If you ever change your PIN later on, you will need to activate it again like this.
If you forget your PIN you can reset it online, or you can call the number on your card and request to have it mailed to you.
Your PIN can also be used to take out cash advances at ATMs. But we do not recommend this because you’ll immediately start accruing interest at the very high cash advance APR. If you absolutely have to take out a cash advance, try to pay it back as soon as possible.
Remember to always let Barclaycard know before traveling abroad. Otherwise they could put a hold on your card for unusual and suspicious use. Read more about EMV technology to learn why this Chip-and-PIN function might be important for you.
The Arrival Plus World Elite comes with a nice variety of travel benefits and protections. They’re available to help out in case anything goes wrong while traveling. These include:
There are also benefits to protect the purchases you make with this card. Included are:
This card includes a few other minor benefits not mentioned here. So if you want to learn more you can read through a full description of the benefits of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.
|Annual Fee||Intro APR for Balance Transfers||Regular Purchase APR||Regular Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|$89, $0 first year||0% for 12 months||18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% Variable||18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% Variable||27.49% Variable|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|3%, $5 minimum||5%, $10 minimum||None|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||Up to $37||Up to $37|
This card provides an introductory 0% APR offer for 12 months, but only for balance transfers. Any purchases you make will begin accruing interest in the following billing period. However, we recommend that you completely avoid interest by paying off your balance in full every month.
Take note that there is no foreign transaction fee here, which is a great feature to have on a travel credit card. This means you can bring it with you on trips outside the country without having to worry about an extra cost. That’s usually 3% extra on most cards. The lack of a foreign transaction fee is especially useful in combination with this card’s Chip-and-PIN feature, which lets this card be used at more terminals outside the U.S.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is a travel rewards card for people who spend plenty of money and travel regularly. You’ll have to be sure to travel enough to make the annual fee and benefits worthwhile.
2 miles for every purchase is quite rewarding compared to most cards. And there are many extra benefits for cardholders who travel frequently. That comes to 2.1% cash back for every purchase you make, no matter what category, after the 5% redemption bonus. That’s a pretty high value relative to many other reward credit cards.
Remember that you’ll need to spend at least $5,000 with the card each year. That will let you offset the annual fee.
Be sure to always redeem your miles for travel statement credits, rather than anything else. That’s the only way you’ll earn 1 cent per mile, which will give you the most bang for your buck. Pay close attention to your benefits, especially the World Elite Mastercard Luxury Travel benefits. These include all sorts of complimentary services and amenities. They can make your trips much more enjoyable, whether you’re on the road, in the air, or on the sea.
If you’re planning a vacation, a good strategy is to get this card to pay for your upcoming travel expenses. The spending you do on the vacation will help you get close to or reach the 40,000-mile sign-up bonus. And you won’t need to worry about an extra fee on purchases if you’re outside the U.S. You can then use those miles to get a nice discount on your vacation.
Want to apply for this card or learn more? Just click the name or Apply button below.
You’ll be taken to apply through Barclaycard, who will usually pull your TransUnion credit report. Take note that this card requires excellent credit. So you’ll need to have a relatively good credit history and financial situation.
The Sapphire Preferred provides:
So the rewards program is not as valuable and versatile as the Arrival Plus. That card offers 2 miles per dollar for every purchase no matter what it is, with a 5% bonus every time you redeem. But the Sapphire Preferred makes your points 25% more valuable when you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
This helps to offset the fact that the Sapphire Preferred only offers 2 points per dollar on some purchases. And it means that you effectively earn 2.5% cash back when you earn points at the 2X rate and redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This beats out the effective 2.1% cash back rate you get with the Arrival Plus.
The Sapphire Preferred allows you to transfer your points to a variety of frequent traveler programs. That includes both airlines and hotels. But the Arrival Plus does not. These transfers can in some cases let you get much more value for your points. But you should explore these options before assuming they will work for you.
The extra benefits between the two cards are pretty similar. They both offer a basic set of travel and shopping protections, along with special offers and discounts on travel. The Sapphire Preferred has the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, a way to find travel services and deals. The Arrival Plus provides access to Mastercard World Elite Luxury Travel benefits, which are similar.
The Sapphire Preferred has no introductory 0% APR offers. But you will get a 0% APR for 12 months for balance transfers with the Arrival Plus. So if you want to transfer a balance to pay off at no interest, the Arrival Plus would be the right move as far as these two cards go.
The Sapphire Preferred card is a good choice to bring with you outside the country because it has no foreign transaction fees. It also has a higher potential effective cash back rate of 2.5%. However, the Sapphire Preferred only comes with Chip-and-Signature EMV technology, and not Chip-and-PIN. This will limit its usefulness in other countries, where some unattended terminals only accept PIN-enabled cards. The Arrival Plus has the advantage in this arena.
These are both good travel credit cards. And it’s impossible to say that one is objectively better than the other for everybody. For a more thorough comparison of these cards, read The Chase Sapphire Preferred vs The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Card.
In total, it offers:
These cards provide the same reward for every purchase. This makes them both very versatile in how you can use them. They both have an effective cash back rate of about 2%, as long as you redeem for travel statement credits. However, the Venture Rewards card offers 10X miles per dollar at Hotels.com/venture, but that only lasts until January 31st, 2020.
You’ll get a 12-month 0% introductory interest rate for balance transfers with the Arrival Plus. But the Venture Rewards card offers no introductory rates, either for balance transfers or purchases.
Both cards have basically the same redemption offer. They provide the best value (1 cent per mile) when you redeem your miles for travel statement credits. So in this case they are exactly the same, allowing you to earn 2 miles per dollar on any and all purchases. But the Arrival Plus will give back 5% of every redemption you make, while the Venture card has no such deal.
When it comes to the extra benefits, these cards are also similar. The Venture Rewards card offers the Visa Signature program. That comes with various travel benefits and discounts. And the Arrival Plus has Mastercard Luxury Travel benefits. You’ll find many of the same perks with both cards.
The Venture Rewards and Arrival Plus have no foreign transaction fees, so you can use them outside the country without being charged extra. However, only the Arrival Plus comes with both Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-PIN EMV technology. This makes it more useful when traveling abroad, where some kiosks and terminals require a PIN-enabled card.
For the most part these cards are more alike than different, with the same reward and redemption structure. If all you care about is the miles, the Venture card might be right for you because it has the lower annual fee. But if you can make good use of the extra perks and benefits, or need a Chip-and-PIN card, the Arrival Plus will be better for you. You’ll need to examine your spending habits to see which card fits in better.
Read more about the similarities and differences between these cards in The Capital One Venture Rewards Card vs The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite.
Cardholders will get:
So it only provides 1.5 miles per dollar, but it makes up for it by having no annual fee at all. This means any rewards you earn are pure profit, as long as you avoid interest and late fees.
You’ll get a 14-month 0% introductory APR for both purchases and balance transfers. Compare this to the Arrival Plus, which offers a 12-month 0% APR for balance transfers only.
You can redeem your miles with the Discover it to pay for travel expenses, just like the Arrival Plus, where you’ll get 1 cent per dollar. This means you’ll be earning at an effective cash back rate of 1.5%, as long as you redeem your miles for travel statement credits. The Arrival Plus will give back 5% of your miles every time you redeem, but the Discover card has no offer like that.
However, you can also redeem your Discover miles for statement credits for the full value of 1 cent per mile. This is a great feature because it means you don’t have to wait until you have travel expenses to redeem your miles. The Discover card is very flexible when it comes to redemptions, compared to other travel credit cards.
Both of these cards offer a nice signup bonus, but you could argue that the Discover it Miles has the better one.
With the it Miles card, Discover will double the total amount of miles you earn after your first year. That means you will effectively have earned 3 miles per dollar all year. That’s the equivalent of 3% cash back on every purchase you make, which is a great deal.
So if you racked up 40,000 miles after that first year, suddenly you’ll find yourself with another 40,000 miles to make use of. This is a very valuable benefit because it will scale up to match your spending for the entire year.
The Arrival Plus has a good, but more traditional, signup bonus: 70,000 miles for spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. This will provide the bonus more quickly than the Discover card. But the Discover card has the potential to provide a much larger bonus if you spend a lot over the course of the year. So if you plan to spend a whole lot in your first year, the Discover it Miles would end up being very rewarding.
For the extra perks and benefits, you’ll get more value from the Arrival Plus (this is expected because the Discover card has no annual fee to pay). The Discover card has some nice features like no penalty APR and no fee for your first late payment. But the Arrival Plus has benefits that can consistently make your trips cheaper and more comfortable. Especially the discounts and offers you’ll find in the Mastercard Luxury Travel benefit.
Overall, if you aren’t sure if you’ll travel much throughout the year, the Discover it Miles would be the wiser pick. You won’t have to worry about paying the annual fee when you’re not using the card. But if you plan to travel quite a bit and spend thousands of dollars per year on it, you’ll earn more with the Arrival Plus. And you’ll also be able to take advantage of all the extra benefits to make your trips more enjoyable.
How do you like your Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®? Does it save you money and make your trips more pleasant? Leave your own review for other visitors, we’d love to hear from you!
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