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Barclaycard Arrival Plus: The Travel Rewards Credit Card That Keeps on Giving

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Editor's Rating: 4.3 / 5

When it comes to getting rewards from your travel credit card, you can never have too much of a good thing. That’s why the Nerds are excited to tell you all about one of our favorites: the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. If you’re interested in a travel credit card with a high rewards rate, stellar sign-up bonus and unusually flexible redemption options, this card fits the bill. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Apply Now on Barclaycard's secure website

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • 0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Has annual fee

Bonus Offer

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

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $89

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

APR

  • APR: 16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24%* Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Card Details

  • 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

At a glance: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Annual fee $0 for the first year, then $89
Foreign transaction fee None
Rewards program Earn 2X miles on all purchases
Signup bonus 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
Verdict: If you’re a world traveler who craves flexible booking and generous terms, this is the card for you.
Good for:
  • Someone who travels frequently, especially internationally
  • Someone looking for a high rewards rate
  • Someone who likes the flexibility of being able to book with any airline, hotel or cruise line
Bad for:
  • Someone who wants to transfer miles to other loyalty programs
  • Someone who wants a high rewards rate but doesn’t travel often
  • Someone who spends less than about $4,200 on credit cards each year

In this article:

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® : The basics
Where the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® shines
Looking for extra perks? They’ve Arrived
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®  or the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®: Which is right for you?
Where the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® falls short
The bottom line: Is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® the travel card for you?

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®: The basics

Picking one travel credit card over another usually means making certain compromises, but the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is pretty close to the full package. Check out what it offers:

  • Sign-up bonus: 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 2 miles on every dollar you spend. Each mile is worth 1 cent when redeemed for travel credit and 0.5 cent when redeemed for cash back. When you redeem your miles, you’ll also get a 5% miles bonus toward your next redemption.
  • Redeem your miles for nearly any travel purchase, including airfare, hotels, cruises and more. Just go online within 120 days of booking with your card to pay yourself back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Chip technology with PIN capability.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $89.

Any frequent traveler can easily see the value in the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, but a closer look at the card shows that there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Where the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® shines

Certain features make the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® really special; here’s a deep dive into the perks that make it sing:

High rewards rate – One of the best things about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is that it has the same sky-high rewards rate as its forerunner. You’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar spent with the card, and each mile is worth 1 cent. But when you redeem your miles, you’ll get 5% of your miles back toward your next redemption. The rewards rate is much higher than the industry standard of 1%.

Big sign-up bonus – Again, the Nerds are excited that the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is retaining the original card’s massive sign-up bonus: 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. This is one of the best sign-up bonuses out there today — be sure to meet the spending requirement to take advantage of it.

Flexibility – Co-branded travel credit cards force you to book with one airline or hotel chain in order to redeem your rewards; at best, you might be able to transfer your points to a few partners.

But with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, you’re able to use your miles for almost any travel purchase, and you can book however you want: Reserve your travel directly with an airline or hotel, or a travel agent or discount travel site. As long as you book with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, you can reimburse yourself for your travel expenses with your miles. This flexibility is especially great for budget travelers who like to look at all their flight and hotel options to find the best deal.

Generous terms – Worrying about blackout dates, miles caps and rewards expiration dates is a thing of the past with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. You can start redeeming for travel with 10,000 miles, or 5,000 miles for cash back. Plus, there’s no cap on the miles you can earn, and miles don’t expire as long as the account is open, active and in good standing. Also, you can redeem miles toward all or just a portion of your travel purchases.

Easy to use overseas – The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® carries no foreign transaction fee, which could save you big bucks if you frequently travel abroad. The card also comes chip-enabled with PIN capability. This means that you can use the card anywhere in the world.

Looking for extra perks? They’ve Arrived

You might be thinking that the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® offers everything you’re looking for in a travel credit card. But the card really outdoes itself by offering some valuable extras to its users:

  • Access to the Barclaycard Travel Community which rewards members with miles when they share their personal travel stories
  • Miles that never expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing

It’s worth noting that Barclaycard is also offering a World Elite version of the card. Customers who qualify for this card will get:

  • Complimentary concierge service
  • Other travel services, including access to premium offers and travel advisors
  • Access to Priceless Experiences, such as Priceless Golf
  • Access to an identity-theft helpline
  • Built-in travel and purchase protections, including purchase security, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver and more

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® or the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®: Which is right for you?

If the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® appeals to you, but you’re not interested in paying an annual fee, there is a no-fee version of the card, the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®. It carries most of the same features as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® (5% points bonus on travel redemption, flexible booking, no mileage cap, etc.) but the sign-up bonus and earning structure are different:

  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all travel and dining purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases

Sign-up bonus aside, you’ll break even on the annual fee after spending about $4,200 on this card. If you don’t plan on spending that much, you might was to consider the no-fee version of the card.

Where the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® falls short

There’s a lot to love about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, but no card is perfect for everyone. There are other options to consider if you fall into one of the categories below:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now on Chase's secure website

Pros

  • A large bonus
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Cool factor - metal card
  • Earn more points on travel and dining at restaurants
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Cons

  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, after that $95 per year

Bonus Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Intro APR Promotions

N/A

APR

  • APR: 16.24% - 23.24% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards


You belong to an airline loyalty program
: If you’re good at eking extra value out of every mile and point through airline loyalty programs, you’re probably better off going with a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

With it, you’ll earn two points per dollar spent on dining and travel and one point per dollar spent on everything else. The Nerds value a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card point at 1.25 cents apiece if you book your travel through Chase Ultimate rewards. Otherwise, your points will be worth $.01 each.

You can also transfer your points to several major frequent travel programs at a 1:1 ratio. If you’re skilled at stretching rewards, you could squeeze as much as 5 cents out of each point, potentially driving the card’s rewards rate much higher than that of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does come with a sizable sign-up bonus: You’ll Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. It also charges an $0 for the first year, then $95.

Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now on Citibank's secure website

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • No annual fee
  • 0% if you qualify for 18 mos on transfers

Bonus Offer

Earn cash back twice on every purchase

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% balance transfers for 18 months*

APR

  • Min APR: 13.24%, Variable
  • Max APR: 23.24%, Variable
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Card Details

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24% - 23.24% based on your creditworthiness
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*


You like a high-rewards card, but aren’t a big traveler
: You might have been attracted to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® because of its high rewards rate. But if you’re not a big traveler, this card probably isn’t for you. Although you can redeem miles earned with Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® for cash back, you’ll be getting a rewards rate of only 1%.

A better option is the Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. With it, you’ll earn 1% cash back on every dollar you spend, then an additional 1% cash back when you pay your purchases off. Plus, there’s no limit to the cash back you can earn, and the card’s annual fee is $0. If you’re a homebody, it’s definitely a card to consider.

The bottom line: Is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® the travel card for you?

If traveling is your passion and you want a card that will help you get to your next destination sooner, look no further than the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. The card’s flexibility, rewards rate and EMV capabilities make it the ultimate choice for globetrotters.