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Big changes have arrived for two major travel credit cards.
First, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is once again accepting applications, and it’s offering an increased sign-up bonus: Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
The card had stopped taking new applications earlier this year with the rollout of the new Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®.
Second, speaking of the newer product, the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® card now has an annual fee of $150 (waived first year). Previously, the fee was not waived in the first year.
“We are excited to bring the entire suite of cards back to market,” says Rachana Bhatt, managing director of the U.S.-branded card business at Barclays.
Changes to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® will retain its rewards structure. You’ll still earn an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase you make, and points are worth a penny each when redeemed for travel. Every time you redeem, you’ll still receive 5% of your miles back to use toward your next redemption. That redemption bonus effectively boosts your rewards rate to 2.1%.
Here’s what will be different.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® now charges an annual fee of $89 (waived first year). Previously, that fee was waived for the first year, but no longer.
Before it was temporarily shelved, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® offered 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
Now, the card’s sign-up bonus is 30,000 miles richer, but with a higher minimum spending requirement. And you’ll have to pay the annual fee before you can snag the bonus.
How the Arrival cards differ
Although the two cards bear similar names, there are some big differences between them besides ownership costs.
|Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®||Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®|
|Annual fee||$89 (waived first year)||$150 (waived first year)|
|Rewards||2 miles per $1 spent, plus 5% redemption bonus||2 miles per $1 spent, plus potential for annual loyalty bonus|
|Sign-up bonus||Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days||None|
|Foreign transaction fee||None||None|
|Global Entry/airport lounge perks||None||Global Entry application reimbursement; LoungeKey airport lounge access for a fee|
|Annual loyalty bonus||None||Spend $15,000 on purchases, get 15,000 miles.
Spend an additional $10,000 on purchases, get an additional 10,000 miles.
Which one is right for you?
If you think you’ll spend less than $25,000 each year on the card, it might make more sense to choose the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, which has a lower annual fee and a large, upfront sign-up bonus.
If, however, you’re looking for a long-term travel credit card that can reward you for your loyalty regularly, the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® could work for you. Just be aware that the card’s annual loyalty bonus is tiered:
- Spend $15,000 on purchases a year, get 15,000 loyalty bonus miles.
- Spend an additional $10,000 on purchases (for a total of $25,000), get an additional 10,000 miles.
If you meet that $25,000 mark, you’d earn a total of 75,000 miles — 50,000 from your spending (at 2 miles per dollar on every purchase), plus another 25,000 in loyalty bonus miles. On the flip side, if you spend less than $15,000 per year, you get no loyalty bonus at all.
In theory, someone could apply for and be accepted for both cards, but Bhatt says she doesn’t anticipate that will be a popular option.
“Our expectation is that consumers are going to self-select based on their needs. We don’t expect that people would want to have both,” she says.