Review of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Dec 14, 2015 | Updated Sep 16, 2016

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The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is a popular travel rewards credit card, featuring some of the best rewards available today.

You’ll get 2 miles per dollar for every purchase you make, rather than just on travel, dining, or some other category like most cards. There’s also a sizable signup bonus you can earn, and you won’t need to pay a fee when you use the card in other countries.

This card has an annual fee of $89, but it’s waived for the first year. If you’d prefer a card with no annual fee, which has similar benefits but is less rewarding, check out our review of the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®.

Read on to learn if this card is the right one to help you save some money on the road and in the air.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Apply Now

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $89 - Waived first year
  • Interest Rate: 16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Redeem for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Redemption values vary
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers.

The Rewards

This card provides:

  • 2 miles per dollar on every purchase you make
  • A 50,000 mile sign-up bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
  • 5% of your miles back every time you redeem them
  • Miles that won’t expire as long as your account is open, active, and in good standing

Miles can be redeemed in several ways, and they will have different values when redeemed in different ways. You can redeem your miles for a travel statement credit to pay for travel purchases that you made in the last 120 days, and there are other options like cash back statement credits, gift cards, and specific merchandise deals. Redemptions for travel require a minimum of 10,000 miles, and redemptions for cash back and gift cards require a minimum of 5,000.

You’ll earn 1 cent per mile when redeeming for travel expenses, but only .5 cents per mile when redeeming for cash back statement credits or gift cards. Miles will vary in value when redeeming for merchandise. To get the best value you’ll want to redeem your miles exclusively for travel statement credits.

So, if you spend the minimum amount to get the sign-up bonus ($3,000) you’ll earn 6,000 miles for those purchases, plus the 60,000 bonus miles. Those 56,000 miles can be cashed in to pay for $560 worth of travel purchases.

This card has changed a bit recently, it used to offer slightly better terms. A 10% bonus on redeemed miles, and lower thresholds for travel and cash back redemptions: 5,000 miles and 2,500 miles, respectively. 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.

The Benefits

This card is available at the highly-rewarding World Elite MasterCard level, but the level of service you receive will depend on your creditworthiness. You may be offered a lower level of service, like World MasterCard. Check the benefits information that arrives with your card to learn what you can do.

In addition to the benefits listed below, you’ll also receive a variety of MasterCard World Elite Luxury Travel benefits. Many of these benefits are quite luxurious indeed, and you’ll need to check your card terms for details on the specific ones available to you, but you can get an idea of what you might get by clicking here.

Perks

  • World Elite MasterCard® Concierge Service

    Call 24/7 for all sorts of non-emergency assistance, like pre-trip planning, getting reservations are premier restaurants, finding hard-to-find items, and much more.

  • Complimentary FICO® Score

    Your account must be in good standing and active (having activity in the last 150 days) to view your FICO score.

Security Benefits

  • Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-Pin Technology

    This card is equipped with EMV technology for enhanced security when making purchases. You can find out more about EMV technology here »

  • Fraud Protection

    You won’t be held responsible for unauthorized account activity.

Travel Benefits

  • MasterCard Global Service®

    24/7 help around the world with emergencies, including emergency card replacement or cash advances and ATM locations.

  • Travel Assistance Services

    Provides help when traveling at least 50 miles from home, like information about the documentation requirements of your destination, medical referrals, and legal referrals.

  • Travel Accident Insurance

    You and your family are covered up to $250,000 in the case of an accident or death when you use your card to purchase common carrier tickets.

  • Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance

    If a trip is disrupted for an eligible reason, you can be reimbursed for certain non-refundable costs. Eligible reasons include severe weather and sickness.

  • Baggage Delay Insurance

    Reimbursement for essential items you need to buy if your bags are delayed. Provides up to $100 per day for 3 days.

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

    Provides coverage against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined.

Shopping Benefits

  • Purchase Security

    If an item you buy is damaged or stolen, you can be reimbursed up to $1,000 per claim.

  • Price Protection

    If you find an item you bought being advertised at a retail store for a lesser price within 120 days, you can be reimbursed up to $250 per item (up to $1,000 per year).

  • Return Protection

    If a retailer won’t take back an item you’d like to return, this benefit provides up to $500 per item (must be within 90 days of purchase).

  • Extended Protection

    Doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty on items by up to 1 year, only for warranties of 3 years or less.

The Costs & Fees

Annual Fee Intro APR for Balance Transfers Regular Purchase APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
$89 - Waived first year 0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening) 16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24% Variable See Terms See Terms
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
See Terms See Terms See Terms
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
See Terms See Terms Up to $37

The Bottom Line

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is a card for people who spend plenty of money and travel regularly, enough to make the annual fee and benefits worthwhile. Double miles for all purchases is quite rewarding compared to many cards, and there are many extra benefits for cardholders who travel frequently.

If you use this card you’ll want to be sure to redeem your miles for travel purchases, rather than anything else. That’s the only way you’ll earn 1 cent per mile; otherwise you’ll get less bang for your buck. Be sure to pay close attention to your benefits, especially the World Elite MasterCard luxury travel benefits. These include all sorts of complimentary services and amenities that will make your trips much more enjoyable, whether you’re on the road, in the air, or on the sea.

If you don’t already own this card and are 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 50,000-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.

Unfortunately, as you can see in the comments below, the issuer of this card, Barclaycard, has been the subject of many complaints. Many people have reported that their customer service is quite difficult to deal with in general, and that this card does not always function properly outside the U.S. at Chip terminals, leaving consumers unable to pay. Others have said that Barclaycard frequently closes or freezes their card for suspicious activity, while others have had problems signing up for features and services that took weeks to resolve, if they ever were.

If you need to call Barclaycard, ask for a supervisor immediately.

Want to apply for this card or learn more? Just click the name below.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Apply Now

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $89 - Waived first year
  • Interest Rate: 16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Redeem for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Redemption values vary
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers.

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, to leave your own review for other visitors, we’d love to hear from you!

Was this helpful?
  • Tyler Taylor

    needed this info. the way they sent me an email telling me of the upgrade had me thinking i was upgraded to a card that already existed, not true i see. the internet has alot of flaws but, this is one of the many things i do love about it(information source)!

  • Glad you found the review helpful Tyler!

    • Doug

      Let me tell you what happened to my family with a Barclay’s Chip and Pin card. It worked as advertised when I needed a PIN in Europe last summer to buy train tickets and fuel at unattended machines (remember, often train stations are not attended until 9:00 am, even though the trains start at 5:55 am). At other merchants, it defaulted to Chip and signature. HOWEVER
      After several automatic payments for health insurance without a hitch, Barclays decided I could not be in Europe and have automatic payments for my health insurance at the same time in the US, so froze the card. Since their “collect” number on the back of the card didn’t work, even if you can find some way to make a collect call in Europe, I had to wait a few days until I could find internet to call the 800 number using my Google account. I assured Barclay’s that I could charge things in Europe and the United States at the same time. They unfroze the card. I specifically asked if they were going to pay my health insurance back in the States, and they assured me I would. Fast forward a week until the next internet access when I found out that my health insurance had been cancelled . . . and I’m in Europe. Talk about fixing that problem!
      And what they did to my sister. Her card worked great the first time using the PIN and all in Europe and then never worked again, stranding her with no money. Remember, the collect call number doesn’t work. She called their 800 number using my google account and Barclay’s told her they fixed the problem, but that wasn’t true. She never was able to use the card.
      Another problem, when I got home, I received a message that the card had been compromised and I would be getting a new card. I immediately called to see what creditors in Europe Barclays had stiffed in my name. Fortunately, none, but it took a month to get the new card. If you are overseas, that could be troublesome.
      They want me to pay $89 a year for this service, so I cancelled the card today. Hate to lose the miles, but hate losing my health insurance even more.

      • Brendan Harkness

        I’m sorry to hear about all that, Doug, that truly is a credit card horror story. I’ve read similar accounts of people having trouble in foreign countries with Barclaycard, and it seems like their customer service does not always perform as expected.
        I think calling ahead of time and informing the issuer about what you’ll be doing might be the only way to mitigate risks like that, though it can be a hassle and there’s no guarantee that it will work. This is all especially painful for a card with an annual fee.

        I think customer service is one of the most important aspects of a credit card, as they play such a big role in our financial lives. Barclaycard was recently rated below the industry average for customer satisfaction, by the way.

        I’m sure you’ve looked into alternatives, but just so you know, Amex and Discover recently tied for highest customer satisfaction – https://www.creditcardinsider.com/news/american-express-discover-tie-customer-satisfaction/

        Good luck to you, and if you have any credit questions you know where to find us!

        -Brendan Harkness

  • Jane Doe

    Card is no full chip and pin. Chip and signature takes priority. Have not been able to use at unattended terminals.

    • Brendan Harkness

      Thanks for letting us know, Jane. According to Barclaycard, their cards are supposed to work primarily with Chip & PIN terminals, and be available for Chip & Signature at terminals that feature it. I’ve read about other people having trouble using their U.S.-based Chip cards in foreign countries and not being able to use some terminals.
      Maybe you could try contacting the company and asking if they can change the preferences of your card so you can use your PIN at unattended terminals?

    • Brendan Harkness

      Thanks for letting us know, Jane. According to Barclaycard, their cards are supposed to work primarily with Chip & PIN terminals, and be available for Chip & Signature at terminals that feature it. I’ve read about other people having trouble using their U.S.-based Chip cards in foreign countries and not being able to use some terminals.
      Maybe you could try contacting the company and asking if they can change the preferences of your card so you can use your PIN at unattended terminals?

      • Kevin

        My understanding was you need to use it at a chip & pin forst, then you can use at chip & sig later.

        • Brendan Harkness

          Thanks for your comment Kevin. Their customer support told me that the card was enabled for both, but would default to Chip & Pin. Some merchants seem to be using systems that this card is incompatible with. If you’re having trouble or need to know how this card will work for a trip, I would suggest asking their customer service about the specific country or region you’ll be traveling in. You might be able to get some assurance about that region, or a statement by them on what they will do if your card doesn’t work.

    • RGK

      I followed Barclay’s webpage instructions to first use Arrival+ as chip+signature and following this it could be used as chip+pin at unattended kiosks. When I recently attempted to use the card at self-checkout kiosks in the UK, it required a signature and there was no option to choose pin only. I called Barclay and was told that it was up to each individual merchant as to whether pin-only can be used at the unattended kiosks. This makes no sense to me because one will not know in advance whether a particular self-service, unattended kiosk will accept pin or not. It is an embarrassing process when it demands signature as then it requires finding someone who can open the machine with a key and override the signature requirement. This seems to make the chip “with pin capability” useless and false advertising from Barclay. It’s time for a true chip-and-pin card!

      • Brendan Harkness

        Thanks for your comment, RGK. It doesn’t make much sense to me either – Issuers in the U.S. seem reluctant to jump fully into the Chip technology. I know a lot of other people have been reporting this problem, especially with Barclays, and it’s been difficult to get information on this from the company. There seems to be a real disconnect between American issuers and merchants in other countries.

  • rocks911

    So I have an account that opened with Barclay and although my card does not look exactly like the one presented here I do think its the same. I highlighted the exact name from my Barclay account page and searched to end up here. While my card doesnt have the Arrival Plus logo it does have the Arrival logo (no Plus) but to be sure my account lists the card as the Arrival Plus. Thats issue #1, do I even have this card to ask questions about?

    Secondly, the Barclay website states that the card is good for travel including “…redemptions start at 2,500 miles for $25 toward travel purchases within the last 120 days…”

    The last 120 days? I dont remember any qualification like that when I signed up for the card. 2,500 miles for $25…what does that even mean?

    I have no idea how to use this for travel.

    This is part of the process as detailed on their website: First, book your travel anywhere with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus card and earn 2X miles on your purchase. Second, please select the Manage your rewards option within the website and choose the Travel Statement Credits redemption option. Third, choose any travel purchase within the last 120 days and redeem your miles for a travel statement credit toward all or a portion of your travel purchases.

    So I guess I have to book and pay for a trip with this card before I get any credit/discount?

    Am I making more of this than it merits? I’ve never used a travel credit card so am obviously new at this, but jeesh it seems there are a lot of rules, a lot of rules that might allow a company to wiggle out of its responsibilities…But maybe I’m making it more difficult than it needs to be, maybe?

    • Brendan Harkness

      Thanks for your comment, Rocks. Credit card terms are definitely confusing with a lot of rules that don’t always seem to make sense, you’re doing the right thing making sure you get all the facts straight.

      Issue #1 – Figuring out which card you have.
      I can tell you three different ways to distinguish the Arrival Plus card from the regular Arrival card so you can make sure you fully understand your situation.
      The Arrival Plus card has an $89 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. The regular Arrival card has no annual fee.
      The Arrival Plus card gives you 2 miles for every dollar you spend, but the regular Arrival card only gives you 2 miles for travel and dining purchases, and 1 mile for other purchases.
      The Arrival Plus card has interest rates that start right off the bat, while the Arrival card has an introductory interest rate of 0% for 12 months.

      Issue #2/3 – Earning and redeeming miles.
      Say you spend $200 with the Arrival Plus card – you’ll get 400 miles. Once you earn 2,500 miles, you’ll be able to trade those miles in for a $25 statement credit towards travel purchases.
      You’re right – you need to book and pay for travel with this card first. Then, you’ll be able to use your travel statement credit to reduce those travel charges by $25. Only travel-related purchases can be reduced in this way. You’ll only be able to reduce the charges on purchases you made in the last 120 days – purchases farther back than that aren’t eligible.

      Hopefully that clears some things up for you. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

      • rocks911

        Thank you so much for the reply, brief yet informative.

  • Petar Mandich

    So, when I applied for the card in July 2014, it said 0% intro APR for 15 months. Now, my first bill is due, and Barlcays is saying that was never offered. I’m livid. Anyone else have this happen before?

    • Brendan Harkness

      Peter, do you think you might be confusing this card for a different one? Could you have gotten turned around somewhere in the apply process?

      The lesser version of this card, the Arrival, has a 12-month 0% intro APR, for example.

  • aaron1of1

    On paper this card is excellent. However it is nothing but anger and frustration to own it. I have had this card for a little over 6 months and have had to call them no less than 20 times to tell them that my card is not stolen please allow the charges. it is extremely frustrating and very embarrassing depending on the company that you’re in. On top of that my roommate who has the same card is living in Thailand for 6 months. As you can imagine he wanted a credit card that is designed for world travel. Well he lost his card the first week he was over there. He said that Barclay was not only completely unhelpful they refused to send him a new card. He had to send it to my house, his old address, then I had to drive to FedEx and spend $100 to ship it to his apartment in Thailand. Really great customer service for what is supposedly a world travel card.

    • Brendan Harkness

      Thanks for letting us know Aaron. Unfortunately, as you can see from the other comments, this card may have great terms but the customer service is definitely lacking, with a lot of problems cropping up especially for people outside the U.S. I’ve had trouble getting information from them myself.
      I’ve updated the review to include a note about your comments and others.

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