The Chase Sapphire Preferred vs the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Versus

Mar 01, 2016 | Updated Oct 17, 2018

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This is a review and comparison of two of the most popular travel reward credit cards: the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.

These cards are both designed for people with good credit, and they offer some of the best rewards and benefits you’ll find on travel credit cards. They have similar annual fees, but they’re both waived for the first year.

Read on to learn if one of these cards is the right one to help pay for your next vacation.

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.

The Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred

You’ll earn:

  • 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants
  • 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, which is the equivalent of $625 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 25% redemption bonus when you redeem points for airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards

You can transfer your points at a 1:1 rate to a number of different frequent traveler programs:

Frequent Traveler Programs
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® United Mileage Plus® Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
British Airways Executive Club Hyatt Gold Passport® Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® IHG® Rewards Club Marriott Rewards®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus

This card provides:

  • 2 miles per dollar on every purchase you make
  • A 40,000 mile sign-up bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days (equivalent to a $400 statement credit for travel purchases)
  • 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

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.

The Verdict

As you can see, these cards offer similar rewards. But there are a few important differences to think about if you’re considering one of these cards.

The Barclaycard has the better point offer, with 2 points per dollar for every purchase you make compared to 2 points for travel and dining with the Sapphire Preferred. Their signup bonuses are pretty comparable.

Aside from that, the Sapphire Preferred seems to have the edge when it comes to the other terms. The 25% redemption bonus on travel beats out the 5% mile redemption bonus, as long as you can redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Or, you can transfer your Sapphire Preferred points to another frequent traveler program if you prefer the benefits you get there.

The Benefits

Here are some of the more valuable benefits offered by each card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Perks

  • Exclusive Sapphire℠ Events and Experiences

    Special travel and event opportunities for cardholders.

  • 24/7 Access to Customer Service Specialists

    No matter where you are in the world, call to speak directly to a real person.

  • No Blackout Dates or Restrictions

    As long as you can find a seat on the flight, you will be able to book it using Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus

Perks

  • Mastercard World Elite Concierge Services

    Like having your own personal assistant, call for non-emergency help in all sorts of situations.

  • Mastercard World Elite Luxury Travel Services

    Includes access to special vacation packages, travel planning, and hotel deals.

  • Barclaycard Travel Community

    A place to share travel stories and advice, as well as earn miles for certain community activities.

  • Free FICO® Credit Score

    Access your FICO score online at any time, for free.

The Verdict

When it comes to the benefits offered by these cards, the Barclaycard seems to take the cake.

The Sapphire Preferred offers the Exclusive Sapphire Events and Experiences, which could be quite valuable depending on how often you use them, but that’s about it.

The Barclaycard, on the other hand, offers a premier concierge service along with quite a few luxury travel benefits through World Elite Mastercard. There are many options to explore here, for several different kinds of vacations.

Each card offers some additional shopping and travel benefits and protections. You can check out the full set of benefits for the Chase Sapphire Preferred here or the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard here.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the benefits offered by each card:

Chase Freedom Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite

Perks

  • Exclusive Sapphire Events and Experiences
  • 24/7 Access to Customer Service Specialists
  • No Blackout Dates or Restrictions
  • Mastercard World Elite Concierge
  • Mastercard World Elite Luxury Travel Services
  • Barclaycard Travel Community
  • Free FICO® Credit Score

Account Management

  • Chase Blueprint
  • Year-end Summary of Transaction

Security

  •  $0 Liability Fraud Protection
  •  $0 Liability Fraud Protection

Shopping

  • Purchase Protection
  • Price Protection
  • Return Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Zero Liability Protection
  • Chip-and-Signature EMV Technology
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Zero Liability Protection
  • Chip-and-Signature EMV Technology

Travel

  • Chase Global LifelineSM
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement
  • Roadside Dispatch / Roadside Assistance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

The Costs & Fees

Card Annual Fee Intro Balance Transfer APR Regular Purchase APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
Chase Sapphire Preferred $95, $0 first year None 17.74%–24.74% Variable 17.74%–24.74% Variable 26.74% Variable
Barclaycard Arrival Plus $89, $0 first year 0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening) 17.99%, 21.99% or 24.99% Variable 17.99%, 21.99% or 24.99% Variable 25.49% *Variable
Card Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred 5%, $5 minimum 5%, $10 minimum None
Barclaycard Arrival Plus 3%, $5 minimum 5%, $10 minimum 0%
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred Up to $38 Up to $38
Barclaycard Arrival Plus Up to $37 Up to $37

The Verdict

These cards have almost the same costs and fees. You’ll get a lower interest rate with the Sapphire Preferred, but it’s not a very significant difference. And if you pay off your balance in full every month, you won’t have to worry about interest payments.

The biggest difference between these cards is that the Barclaycard has a 0% intro APR offer for balance transfers. So, if you want to transfer a balance the Sapphire Preferred won’t be the better option.

The Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard are both popular travel rewards cards, and you could use one of them to help pay for your next trip or vacation.

If you’re thinking about one of these cards, examine your spending habits and the kind of traveling you usually do. The annual fees and interest rates are pretty comparable, so take a look at the other features.

Do you want to use the card to buy all sorts of purchases, or will you stick to dining and travel expenses? Would you be able to take advantage of the 25% point bonus when redeeming points through Chase Ultimate Rewards very often?

Think about the other benefits that each card offers. Do you love the look of the Sapphire Exclusive Experiences? If not, you’ll probably get more out of the luxury travel benefits on the Barclaycard, as well as the personal concierge. The concierge, for example, can be used at any time you might need it, while the Sapphire Preferred Experiences take a bit more work to access.

If you own one of these credit cards, how do you like it? Leave your own review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, we’d love to hear from you!

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.
Or learn more about Travel Credit Cards and see our picks for the top cards!
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