angle-up angle-down

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® Review

Published: June 13, 2018

Partner Offer

Apply Now
Published: June 13, 2018

Partner Offer

Apply Now
Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.7 rating
3.7 rating
3.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.0
Rewards Flexibility: 4.8
Features: 4.0

In a Nutshell:

The Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard lacks a sign-up bonus and — compared to similar rewards cards — the spending threshold to unlock its full annual bonus is steep; however, if you use it as your go-to card, the rewards could really add up over time.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
2 miles per dollar on every purchase

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Bonus

  • 15,000 miles each year you spend $15,000
  • 10,000 miles each year you spend additional $10,000

Annual Fee
$150 (See terms)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$318

APR
17.49%, 21.49% or 24.49% (variable) (See terms)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • Miles don’t expire
  • No limits on how many miles you can earn
  • Redeem any travel purchase within 120 days for a statement credit
  • Variety of redemption options, including cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise
  • Transfer miles to a variety of airline partners

Cons

  • List of airline partners is small and points transfer at a poor ratio (mostly 1.4:1)
  • Can’t combine miles from other Barclays cards
  • Cash back redemptions are worth only half a cent per point
  • 10,000-mile minimum for travel redemptions

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck every 5 years, $27 airport lounge passes, concierge services, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation insurance, car rental insurance, EMV chip and PIN, ShopRunner, extended warranty, purchase protection, price protection, return protection, free FICO scores, $0 fraud liability, earn bonus miles on Barlcaycard Travel Community

Travel Rating:
3.6 rating
3.6 rating
3.6 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.7
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.8
Features: 4.0

In a Nutshell:

In lieu of an oversized sign-up bonus, the Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard awards you generously each year for your loyalty.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
2 miles per dollar on every purchase

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Bonus

  • 15,000 miles each year you spend $15,000
  • 10,000 miles each year you spend additional $10,000

Annual Fee
$150 (See terms)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$318

APR
17.49%, 21.49% or 24.49% (variable) (See terms)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • Miles don’t expire
  • No limits on how many miles you can earn
  • Redeem any travel purchase within 120 days for a statement credit
  • Variety of redemption options, including cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise
  • Transfer miles to a variety of airline partners

Cons

  • List of airline partners is small and points transfer at a poor ratio (mostly 1.4:1)
  • Can’t combine miles from other Barclays cards
  • Cash back redemptions are worth only half a cent per point
  • 10,000-mile minimum for travel redemptions

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck every 5 years, $27 airport lounge passes, concierge services, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation insurance, car rental insurance, EMV chip and PIN, ShopRunner, extended warranty, purchase protection, price protection, return protection, free FICO scores, $0 fraud liability, earn bonus miles on Barlcaycard Travel Community

As card issuers eagerly compete to lure in new cardholders, loyal customers seem to get the short shrift these days. Credit cards frequently dangle generous sign-up bonuses in front of customers with excellent credit scores, hoping to draw in this most valuable customer segment. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of an incentive for cardholders to stick around in the long term rather than pursuing the next card with a giant sign-up bonus.

Barclays is turning the tide with its latest card release. The new Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard awards 25,000 bonus miles every year to customers who meet a $25,000 spending threshold. Cardholders who prefer a long-term relationship with their credit cards may finally have a card that appreciates them.

Rewards for loyal cardholders

The Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard doesn’t offer any sign-up bonus at all. Instead, it offers up to 25,000 miles at the end of each year – 15,000 miles when you spend $15,000 on the card, and an additional 10,000 miles once you spend an additional $10,000. In the short term, it doesn’t compare to the 50,000-point bonuses that similar cards offer to new customers, but, by the third year, the Arrival Premier card can surpass the value of its competitors. 

2X miles per dollar on every purchase

In addition to a generous relationship bonus, the card offers a very high rate of two miles per dollar on every purchase. If you factor in the 25,000-mile bonus, essentially you earn 3 miles for every dollar that you spend on your first $25,000 in purchases each year, as long you meet the threshold. For a simple, flat-rate travel card, this is an outstanding rewards rate, amounting to $750 in travel each year.

High annual fee

Unfortunately, the Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard features an exceptionally high annual fee – much higher than similar cards in its class. The card charges $150 each year for card membership, and it’s not waived in the first year.

For a similar set of features, most of its competitors charge $95 per year, and many of them waive the fee for the first year. Before you get too dazzled by the rewards on the Arrival Premier card, you’ll need to subtract the fee out of your potential earnings.

Premium credit card perks

The Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard comes with a host of premium travel perks which – though slightly better than similar premium travel cards – aren’t quite enough to justify a higher annual fee. In addition to the usual purchase and travel protections (e.g., car rental, trip cancellation and baggage delay insurance), the card offers a $100 credit every five years for Global Entry or TSA Precheck and discounted lounge access through its Mastercard Airport Experiences program.

On the plus side, Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard is a great option for traveling abroad – it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, and it includes both an EMV chip and a PIN, which is sometimes required for making transactions in European countries.

Limited list of travel partners

The Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard joins the ranks of cards that allow you to transfer miles to outside travel partners. But don’t get too excited by this news – the card has a very modest list of partners, and the transfer ratio is poor (1.4:1 for most partners). Clearly, the Arrival Premier card is designed for cardholders who want simple redemption options rather than travel card enthusiasts who want to maximize the value of their points by transferring them to outside loyalty programs.

However, the feature is a nice-to-have if you happen to be a member of one of the following loyalty programs and need to top off the balance on your account:

Barclays travel partners

Program Name Transfer Ratio
Air France/KLM 1.4:1
Aeromexico Club Premier 1.4:1
China Eastern Airlines 1.4:1
Etihad Guest 1.4:1
EVA Air Infinity 1.4:1
JAL Mileage Bank 1.7:1
Jet Airways 1.4:1
Malaysia Airlines 1.4:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer 1.4:1

Best for big spenders and long-term cardholders

If you’re wondering at this point whether the Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard is the right option for you, we’ll spell it out for you: If you are a cardholder who values simplicity, wants to do all your spending on one card, spends a larger than average amount on credit cards and plans to keep the card over a long period, the Arrival Premier card could be your best option.

To show you what we mean, we offer a comparison to a similar flat-rate card — the Capital One Venture card, which features a 50,000-mile sign-up bonus along with two miles on every dollar that you spend, all for a $95 annual fee (waived the first year). As you can see from the calculations below, if you meet the $25,000 spending threshold, the Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard matches the miles on the Capital One Venture card by its second year (not accounting for the difference in annual fees):

Miles earned over two years ($25,000 annual spend)

Capital One Venture Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard
2 years x (2 miles x $25,000) + 50,000-mile sign-up bonus = 150,000 miles 2 years x (2 miles x $25,000 + 25,000 bonus miles) = 150,000 miles

However, $25,000 is a pretty lofty threshold to meet each year. By our estimates, the average cardholder spends closer to $15,900 on a single card each year. If you only manage to hit the $15,000 threshold on the Arrival Premier card, it takes much longer to outmatch the rewards on the Capital One Venture card. By year two, the Arrival Premier card still falls short:

Miles earned over two years ($15,900 annual spend)

Capital One Venture Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard
2 years x (2 miles x $15,900) + 50,000-mile sign-up bonus = 113,600 miles 2 years x (2 miles x $15,900 + 15,000 bonus miles) = 93,600 miles

At $15,000 annual spend, you would need to stick with the Arrival Premier card for at least four years to get a better value than the Capital One Venture card:

Miles earned over four years ($15,900 annual spend)

Capital One Venture Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard
4 years x (2 miles x $15,900) + 50,000-mile sign-up bonus = 177,200 miles 4 years x (2 miles x $15,900 + 15,000 bonus miles) = 187,200 miles

In other words, if you don’t spend at least $25,000 on your card each year and you’re not ensured of using the card for at least four years, the Capital One Venture card or a similar flat-rate card with a large sign-up bonus may be the better way to go.

Why get the Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard:

  • You want a simple rewards card that earns miles at a very high rate.
  • You’re looking for a card with very flexible redemption options.
  • You tend to stay loyal to one card over the long term rather than switching cards often.
  • You prefer to put all your spending on a single card.
  • You can spend $2,000 per month (around $25,000 per year) on a single card.
  • You want a card that you can use in foreign countries where PINs are required for some credit card transactions. 

How to use the Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard:

  • Stick to redeeming your miles for travel rewards, which are the most valuable redemption option.
  • Use this as your go-to card for every purchase, since it earns a very high rewards rate.
  • Spend at least $25,000 on the card each year to earn the full bonus.

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.

Partner Offer

Apply Now