Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® review

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® review

Published: August 22, 2019
Published: August 22, 2019
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
2.6 rating
2.6 rating
2.6 / 5
Introductory Offer: 2.5
Net Value: 1.4
Features: 4.0
Customer Experience 4.1

In a Nutshell:

One of the most generous travel cards around, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is a great choice for earning free travel; but it’s too expensive to carry a balance on. This offer is no longer available on our site. 

0% Introductory Period
12 billing cycles (on balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening) (see rates and fees)

Transfer Fee
$5 or 3% (whichever is higher) (see rates and fees)

Introductory Purchase APR
None

Regular APR
18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% (variable) (see rates and fees)

Annual Fee
$89, $0 first year (see rates and fees)

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: EMV chip, no foreign transaction fees, free upgrades and discounts on business class tickets with partner airlines, discounts on luxury travel

Rewards Rating:
4.1 rating
4.1 rating
4.1 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.8
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 4.1

In a Nutshell:

With the highest general rewards rate on the market, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard offers a winning combination of value, flexibility and valuable travel perks. This offer is no longer available on our site. 

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 on general purchases
  • 5% bonus miles when you redeem for travel statement credits

Sign-up Bonus
70,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in first 90 days

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$89, $0 first year (see rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$475

APR
18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% (variable) (see rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No expiration dates
  • No limits on miles
  • Redeem any travel purchase (starting at 10,000 miles) within 120 days for a statement credit

Cons

  • No ability to transfer miles

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: EMV chip, no foreign transaction fees, free upgrades and discounts on business class tickets with partner airlines, discounts on luxury travel

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is easily one of the most flexible travel credit cards on the market today. It’s so flexible, in fact, that you can use your rewards for pretty much any travel expense you can imagine. And once you start earning miles with this card, you can cash them in for travel expenses at a rate of one cent per point.

Keep reading to learn about its rewards program, its cardholder benefits and why you should sign up.

Sign-up bonus

The Arrival Plus card comes out of the gate with an especially lucrative offer for new customers. Once you sign up, you’ll earn 70,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on your card within 90 days of account opening. This is much better than the 60,000 miles we’ve seen this card offer new customers in the past.

The bonus alone is worth $735 in travel after you factor in the 5 percent travel redemption bonus you receive. You’ll need to spend at least $1,667 every 30 days for the first 90 days you have the card, however, so make sure you can reach this threshold with regular spending and bills before you sign up.

Earning points

As we mentioned already, this card gives you a flat rate of rewards – specifically 2 miles for every dollar you spend. This earning rate is easy to keep track of since there are no rotating bonus categories, and your rewards rate will never change.

What are points worth?

Generally speaking, miles earned with this card can be redeemed for 1 cent each. However, they are actually worth more than that if you redeem your miles for travel. This is due to the 5 percent redemption bonus you get when you redeem miles for travel expenses. With that bonus factored in, you wind up earning 2.10 miles for each dollar you spend.

Check out the table below to see how some other travel credit cards perform. You may notice that some cards offer a higher rate of return overall, and this is usually because cards offer a better rewards “bonus” when you redeem points for travel. Higher rewards rates are also based on the fact some cards let you transfer points to airline and hotel partners that can give more bang for your buck.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus card comrparison

Redeeming points

Redeeming miles earned with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card for travel is a piece of cake. All you have to do is use your credit card for a qualified travel purchase then redeem your rewards to erase that purchase from your bill. Keep in mind, however, that the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card only allows travel redemptions in increments of $100 or more. As a result, you’ll need to have at least 10,000 miles in your account to redeem for travel.

Also keep in mind that you have other options when it comes to cashing in your points, including gift cards, cash back  and merchandise. These options are a lot less lucrative than redeeming for travel, as you’ll see in the chart below.

Redemption option Point value Value of 70,000-mile bonus
Travel statement credits 1.05 cents $735
Cash back 0.5 cent $350
Gift cards 0.5 cent $350
Merchandise 0.5 cent $350

 Other benefits

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus card offers a slew of important benefits that can help you save money or get more value out of this card’s annual fee. Perks to be aware of include:

  • No foreign transaction fees  You won’t have to pay a fee to use your credit card for purchases outside the United States.
  • Introductory 0 percent APR –  Receive a 0 percent APR for 12 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, followed by a variable APR of 18.24 percent, 22.24 percent or 25.24 percent.
  • Mastercard World Elite Concierge – Get 24/7 help with travel planning, dinner reservations and more.
  • Cellphone insurance – Receive cellphone insurance when your phone is lost or damaged. This coverage is good for up to $800 per claim minus a $50 deductible. The annual cap is $1,000.
  • Lyft credits  Get a $10 credit when you take five rides in a calendar month. The credit is applied to your next ride and you can only use one credit per month.
  • Postmates discount – Get $5 off every Postmates order of $25 or more when you pay with your credit card.
  • Boxed discount – Get 5 percent cash rewards on Boxed purchases, which you can use for future Boxed orders.
  • Fandango rewards – Receive double Fandango VIP+ points for movie tickets when you use your credit card to pay.
  • Identity theft protection  Enjoy special protection against fraud, including social security number tracking, personal information monitoring, dark web tracking and identity theft resolution services.

Approval odds

If you’re a consumer with “good credit,” or a FICO score between 670 to 739, you are more likely to qualify for this credit card than those who have lower scores. You may be in the best position to qualify if you have a score over 740, however, since scores in that range are deemed very good or excellent.

If your credit score isn’t quite that high, you may want to wait a while before you apply. Spend a few months improving your credit score, and you may be in a better position to get approved for this card.

If you’re looking for easy ways to boost your FICO score, start by making sure all your bills are paid early or on time, paying down your debts to lower your credit utilization and refraining from opening or closing too many accounts.

Customer experience

Barclays rates high in customer service with its customers, coming in third place in the recent J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction survey. Barclays features 24/7 customer service and a popular mobile app. The mobile app makes it easy to monitor your bills and spending, check your account balance and notice fraudulent purchases right away.

Also note that Barclays Americas has a “C” rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is actually pretty good since getting an “F” rating from the BBB seems to be common among banks and credit card issuers.

How does the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card compare to other travel credit cards?

With the same 2x points on every purchase, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card is a great card for earning simple, straightforward rewards, but there are more rewarding options if you’re willing to do a little extra work monitoring bonus categories:

Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Wells Fargo Propel
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Capital One Venture
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Rewards rate

  • 3 point per dollar on travel and dining
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
Rewards rate

  • 3 points per dollar on dining, travel and transit, gas station purchases and select streaming services
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
Rewards rate

  • 10 miles per dollar on hotels through hotels.com/venture
  • 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases
Sign-up bonus

50,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months

Sign-up bonus

30,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months

Sign-up bonus

50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months

Annual fee

$450

Annual fee

$0 (See rates and fees)

Annual fee

$95, $0 first year

Other things to know

  • 50% bonus on points redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 1:1 point transfer to Chase’s airline partners
  • $300 travel credit that applies to most travel purchases
  • Priority Pass lounge access
Other things to know

  • Up to $600 in cellphone insurance per year
Other things to know

  • Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck every 4 years
  • Transfer points to Capital One’s airline partners, mostly at a 2:1.5 ratio

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is another flexible travel credit card that lets you redeem points in more than one way. Not only can you cash in your points for gift cards, statement credits and merchandise, but you get 50 percent more travel when you redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Also, you have the option to transfer your points 1:1 to popular airline and hotel partners like United MileagePlus, Southwest, Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy.

Once you sign up, you’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. You also get 3 points per $1 spent on dining and travel and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases. There’s a $450 annual fee, but you get Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, a Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit, a $300 annual travel credit and other perks.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express card

This card comes with no annual fee, yet it gives you 3 points per dollar on dining, travel and transit, gas station purchases and select streaming services and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. You also earn 30,000 points worth $300 after you spend $3,000 on your card within three months of account opening.

You can cash in your points for travel, cash back, merchandise, gift cards and more.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture card is another card that gives a flat 2 miles for each dollar you spend, except you get the added benefit of earning 10 miles per dollar spent on hotels booked and paid for through hotels.com/venture. You also get 50,000 miles after you sign up and spend $3,000 on your card within three months of account opening.

When it comes time to redeem your points, you can opt for travel statement credits, cash back, gift cards and more. This card also gives you the option of transferring your points to a handful of popular airline partners.

Who should apply for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card?

  • Anyone who wants to earn a flat rate of rewards on all their spending.
  • Consumers who want to earn a big sign-up bonus when they sign up for a travel credit card.
  • People who prefer to redeem points for travel over other options.
  • Anyone who doesn’t want to deal with complicated hotel or airline loyalty program rules.

How to use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card

  • Sign up and spend $5,000 on your card within 90 days to earn 70,000 bonus points.
  • Use your card for all your regular purchases to earn 2x miles for each dollar you spend.
  • Make sure to rack up at least 10,000 miles before you attempt to redeem points for travel.
  • Use your card for at least five Lyft rides each month to qualify for statement credits.
  • Pay your cellphone bill with this card in order to qualify for the free cellphone coverage benefit.

Is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card worth it?

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus card is absolutely worth it if you spend money on travel each year. Not only does this card give you a big sign-up bonus, but you can redeem your miles for any purchase that codes as travel. You also earn 2 miles for each dollar you spend, which is more than you’ll get with a standard cash back credit card.

Before you sign up, however, it’s always worth checking out other travel credit cards to see how they stack up. You may find a different rewards card will leave you better off, or you may decide to pair the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card with a second card that offers different benefits.

Our reviews and best card recommendations are based on an objective rating process and are not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

Responses to comments in the discussion section below are not provided, reviewed, approved, endorsed or commissioned by our financial partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.