Is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard Right for Me?

Feb 22, 2019

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While some travel rewards cards are flashy — they come packed with all sorts of offers, points systems and more — others are more like workhorses: They're simple and get the job done.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is one such card: Easy to use and effective.

Not sure if that sounds like the card you need in your wallet? We’re here to help.

This card is right for you if…

You’re ready to book travel

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® comes with a hefty welcome offer, perhaps enough to pay off a recent airfare or hotel purchase: Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® recently underwent some changes. One of the big ones? The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $89.

If you're planning on traveling within the next 12 months, this card might be right up your alley. You can earn that massive welcome offer and not have to worry about the annual fee.

You want flexible earning power

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is a great card for people who want flexibility when it comes to earning points. Cardholders earn 2 miles for every $1 spent — a value of 1 cent per mile — on every category you can think of. Points never expire and there's no limit to how many you can earn.

» Learn more: 7 things to know about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

Need a new dishwasher? Booking a clown for your kid's birthday party? Use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® (and make sure the clown isn't scary). While many rewards cards limit cardholders to specific categories, like travel, this card's points system gives cardholders the freedom to spend wherever they want.

But the more you use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, the better. This card comes with a 10,000-mile minimum redemption for travel statement credits. If you're using the redemption on other categories, the minimum is 5,000 miles, and 2,500 miles if used toward the card’s annual fee.

You like to shop around

This card gives you options. You can book your trips on any site you want, and because the card defines "travel purchases" rather loosely, there are plenty of choices for redeeming miles. A few categories that are included in travel: Airfare, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, third-party travel sites, trains, buses and taxis.

You prefer simple redemption options

When it comes to cashing in points, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is basically a two option card: You can either redeem miles for a statement credit or cash back.

A mile is worth 1 cent when redeemed for travel, but only 0.5 cent when used for cash back. When you consider that after redeeming for travel purchases, you get 5% of those miles back into your account, it makes more sense to redeem for a statement credit. There's not much flash here, but that simplicity can be attractive.

You appreciate security

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® adds an extra layer of security with its chip-and-PIN function. This comes in handy when traveling overseas, as many retailers require a PIN to complete a purchase, rather than a signature. The card also comes with no foreign transaction fees.

You pack light

One of the few downsides of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is that you don't get a free checked bag. If you're someone who prefers to not check bags and typically travel lightly, however, there are no worries here. If you can't get past the lack of a free checked bag perk, you might be better off signing up for an airline-branded credit card.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Barclaycard Arrival Plus v. Capital One Venture: Travel credit card showdown NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards How to choose a travel credit card

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