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Barclaycard Makes Changes to Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® and Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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Barclaycard Arrival Makes Changes

Barclaycard is making changes to its two most popular cards, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® and the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®. NerdWallet reached out to Maurice Ragland, vice president for Barclaycard U.S. Business, to get the details. Here’s what the new versions will look like.

What’s changing

The 10% bonus you get when redeeming for travel statement credit will become a 5% bonus for all spending categories. On both the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® and the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®, you can currently get a 10% miles bonus when you redeem your miles for a travel statement credit. In the future, you’ll get a 5% miles bonus when you redeem your miles. Here’s when the change will kick in:

  • If you got your card after July 1, 2015: You’ll get a 5% bonus on travel, but won’t get the 5% bonus on all other categories until November.
  • If you got your card before Sept. 30, 2014: You’ll continue getting the 10% bonus until November, then get the 5% bonus on all redemptions.
  • If you got your card between Oct. 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015: You’ll hold on to your 10% travel bonuses until August 2016.

The minimum redemption will increase for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. The Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® has a 2,500-mile travel credit redemption minimum, as before. But the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® will increase its travel statement credit redemption minimum from 2,500 miles to 10,000 in mid-July. For cash redemption on the card, the redemption limit will be raised from 2,500 miles to 5,000.

TripIt Pro subscriptions will be discontinued. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® currently comes with an ongoing subscription to TripIt Pro, an app that helps you manage travel itineraries.  The Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® comes with a one-year subscription to the same tool. The feature was rarely used by consumers, Ragland told NerdWallet, which was one of the reasons Barclaycard decided to cut it.

“Tourist attractions” will no longer be categorized as travel. Issuers define travel costs in different ways. Currently, Barclaycard considers purchases classified as “tourist attractions” as travel — generally including, say, museums and wineries (but not amusement parks). This won’t be the case beginning mid-July, but other travel purchases, such as airlines, hotels and cruises, will still count.

For new card members, APRs will be going up 100 basis points – 1 full percentage point. This change doesn’t have to affect you at all, though; pay your bill in full every month and, if you don’t take out cash advances, you still won’t pay a penny of interest.

What’s staying the same

The high rewards rate. With the new version of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases — as was the case with the previous version. Likewise, on the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®, you’ll still earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all travel and dining purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

The sign-up bonuses. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® will keep the same generous sign-up bonus. [Update as of September 2016: The bonus has changed: 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.]

The Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®’s sign-up bonus will also stay the same: 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.

The annual fees. The annual fee for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is still $0 for the first year, then $89. For the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®, the annual fee will remain $0.

Still among the best

Yes, things are changing for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® and the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®. But when you compare them to other top credit cards, these two travel-friendly products still offer some of the highest-value rewards on the market. And the new versions of these cards won’t do much to change that.

Claire Davidson is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: claire@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ideclaire7.


Photo via iStock.