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Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard review

Published: November 17, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
2.2 rating
2.2 rating
2.2 / 5
Introductory Offer: 2.0
Net Value: 2.2
Features: 4.0

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 – especially since its 0 percent balance transfer offer only lasts for 12 months.

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0% Introductory Period
12 billing cycles

Transfer Fee

$5 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR
None

Regular APR
16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% (variable)

Annual Fee
$89, $0 first year

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:
4.5 rating
4.5 rating
4.5 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.4
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.4
Rewards Flexibility: 4.7
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

With the highest general rewards rate on the market, the Barclaycard World Elite Mastercard offers a winning combination of value, flexibility and valuable travel perks.

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Rewards Rate

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

Sign-up Bonus
40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in first 90 days

Annual Fee
$89, $0 first year

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$455

APR
16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

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

Cons

  • No ability to transfer points
  • No option to redeem for merchandise

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

Travel Rating:
4.3 rating
4.3 rating
4.3 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.1
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.7
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

One of the best travel cards on the market, the BarclayCard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard pairs a super generous sign-up bonus that’s worth up to $400 in free travel with a double rewards rate on every purchase.

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Rewards Rate

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

Sign-up Bonus
40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in first 90 days

Annual Fee
$89, $0 first year

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$455

APR
16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

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

Cons

  • No ability to transfer points
  • No option to redeem for merchandise

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

Upon first glance at the Barclaycard World Elite Mastercard, the yearly fee may send you shuffling through your mail for a less expensive, no-fee card offer. That could be a mistake. If you are the type of cardholder who charges a decent amount each month, pays off the balance in full and wants to cash in on some big travel rewards, this card offers one of the most valuable rewards programs around.

Big rewards from the start

You get 40,000 bonus miles just for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. That’s not quite as impressive as the 50,000-point bonuses offered by some of the Arrival Plus card’s biggest competitors (e.g., the Chase Sapphire Reserve card), but it’s pretty generous — worth up to $400 in statement credits.

The card also offers one of the highest general rewards rates, with two miles for every dollar of spending across the board. What puts the Barclaycard at the top of the rewards category is the redemption bonus: every time you redeem a travel purchase for a statement credit, you receive 5 percent miles back to use toward your next redemption. If you redeem all of the miles on your Barclaycard for travel statement credits, you increase your total rewards earnings by 5 percent. That essentially boosts the redemption rate to 2.1 miles per dollar.

Flexible redemption options

In addition to the highest redemption rate on the market, the Barclaycard offers one of the most flexible redemption programs around. You are not required to purchase travel at a designated site to redeem your travel rewards. You can make travel purchases directly from the vendor, as well as from a large selection of discount travel sites, and you have a full 120 days to redeem the purchase for a statement credit. The travel category extends to a large variety of purchases beyond travel and hotel, including campgrounds and tourist attractions.

Bountiful travel features

The card is teeming with travel perks, including a new EMV chip and PIN feature, no fees on foreign transactions and Mastercard World Elite travel features such as travel upgrades and posh luxury travel discounts. Essentially, Barclaycard has compiled an ideal set of card features for the frequent traveler. This is a potential downside for cardholders who aren’t keen on travel rewards – if you don’t spend enough to justify the fee, or if you’re in it for the cash or alternate types of rewards, there are better offers out there. On the plus side, the card is designed to appeal to a wide set of travelers – both discount travelers who want to score some free miles for themselves and luxury travelers who enjoy extra upgrades and premium benefits.

Why get the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard?

  • You want a straightforward rewards program with few restrictions.
  • You charge a sufficient amount to outweigh the $89 yearly membership fee.
  • You’re a frequent traveler – particularly an international traveler – who will benefit from the substantial travel perks.
  • You prefer a wide variety of travel options and aren’t loyal to a specific brand.

How to use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard:

  • Stick to redeeming for travel rewards, which offer the highest rewards rate.
  • You can squeeze extra value out of your rewards by looking for special deals and discounts on budget travel sites.

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