Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Review: A No-Hassles Travel Credit Card for Busy Travelers
- 2x miles per $1
- New cardholder bonus worth $500
- Free FICO® score
- 0% intro APR for balance transfers
- No foreign transaction fee
- 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, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
Busy travelers seeking a high travel rewards rate may find that Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is just what they’re searching for. Add in the fact that the card carries a lucrative new cardholder bonus worth $500 in travel-related statement credits, and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® credit card is a shoo-in, best-in-class credit card with no fuss that we think deserves a spot on our list of both the best travel credit cards and best credit cards of 2017.
Travel hackers who know how to stretch their miles may have other travel cards in their wallets, but we prioritize convenience and flexibility for the majority of cardholders instead, especially when one misstep can result in paying thousands of dollars in interest just to earn hundreds of dollars in travel rewards.
What we like about Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
- $500 new cardholder bonus – Qualifying new cardholders earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending at least $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
- 2x miles per $1 – Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® pays 2x miles per $1. Miles are generally worth $0.01 apiece, which equates to a 2% yield when redeemed for statement credits against travel purchases within the past 120 days. This is among the highest flat travel miles rates for all purchases among the credit cards we cover.
- Statement credit redemptions – Redeeming for statement credits rather than being tied to a card issuer’s travel booking portal or a specific airline adds convenience for those searching for cheap travel.
- No foreign transaction fee – Pesky foreign transaction fees can quickly add up when whipping out credit cards for purchases abroad. Besides, we’re all a bit looser with our wallets while on vacation. Fortunately, Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® has nixed the typical 3% foreign transaction fee many card issuers charge. That’s a savings of $60 on $2,000 worth of international spending!
- 5% miles redemption bonus – This card offers rewards on top of rewards by giving you a 5% bonus when you redeem your miles. For example, redeeming the 50,000-mile sign-up bonus will add 2,500 miles to a cardholder’s miles treasure chest to use for a subsequent redemption.
- 0% intro APR for balance transfers – Travel cards are typically packed with perks that incentivize spending (e.g., rewards, new cardholder bonuses), which leaves indebted cardholders who want to pay down their debt balances out in the cold. Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® addresses both needs. Notably, balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening receive a 0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles with standard transfer fees of 3% (min. $5).
What could be improved for Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
- Annual fee - The price paid for convenient redemption options and a high rewards yield is an annual fee of $89 (waived the first year).
- 0% intro APR for new purchases – The card doesn’t offer a grace period for new purchases but does provide a reprieve from interest charges for balance transfers. We’d prefer that Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® offers both.
How to best use Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
- Travel rewards cardholders will generally be better off paying balances by the due date each month to avoid interest charges. It’s a losing strategy to rack up debt for the sake of earning rewards at single-digit rates only to watch as they get eaten up by far higher double-digit interest charges,
- Spend at least $3,000 on new purchases in the first 90 days to qualify for the new cardholder bonus.
- Avoid redeeming miles for cash since miles are converted at far worse rates than for travel. See our list of the best cash-back credit cards if you prefer cash back to travel redemptions.
- Transfer high-interest credit card debt to chip away at debt balances faster. We Fools always encourage smart use of debt, and transferring balances to a 0% intro APR card can help avoid costly interest charges. In fact, paying down a $5,000 balance over 12 months will cost a whopping $462 in interest charges at an 18% APR.
- Leverage free access to your FICO® score. Barclaycard provides you with free access to your FICO® score, and we think this perk is a huge value! In fact, myFICO charges upwards of $350 per year to receive, track, and monitor your comprehensive credit history.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers one of the largest sign-up bonuses we know of for a card with an annual fee below $100. Qualifying new cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points after spending at least $4,000 on new purchases in the first three months. All points redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® are worth 25% more than redeeming for cash back, leaving qualifying cardholders with a bonus worth $625 for travel or $500 cash back. What’s more, travel and restaurant purchases earn 2x points per $1, all other purchases earn 1 point per $1, and points can be transferred to a long list of Chase’s participating transfer partners, all with a low annual fee of $95 (waived the first year). Read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred® review to learn why many consider it a must-have and why we picked it as one of the best travel credit card sign-up bonuses.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Review
"Consistent Earning and 5% Rebate Rewards"
With steady accumulation of points, a rewards rebate every time you redeem, and luxury travel benefits, this card will be a traveler’s dream.
- 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, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
- Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
- All Purchases
1-877-408-8866 (Available 24/7)
- 0% intro APR for 12 months on transfers within first 45 days
- 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
You’re new to the points world, and you want a great card that makes it easy to understand and earn points while you untangle all the other “hacks.” Perhaps you want to travel the world for cheap while writing your blog and gaining new experiences.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is the perfect starter card, and is among the most popular rewards credit cards.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is a great starter card for those looking to begin earning travel credit card points!
Beginning with a sign up bonus after your standard purchase amount within the required months (see above), you’ll be well on your way with travel credit ready to be redeemed.
The rewards rate on this card is a solid 2 points per $1 spent, with no limits and no restricted categories.
Other cards cap out the rewards at a certain dollar amount per category, or restrict the categories in which you can earn the higher rewards rate. But here, you get a nice 2x deal everywhere!
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is a travel rewards card, meaning you’ll earn the points as account credit you can apply towards travel related purchases.
Once you have enough, simply go into your account and apply the credit to your statement.
This card also gives you a 5% rebate for all redeemed points, making the value of the rewards rate equal out to 2.1 points per dollar.
Unlike some other cards, it allows you to earn miles while making your travel purchase and then apply those earned miles right back to your statement, while additionally earning a 5% rebate.
Contrast this to an airline or hotel card which deposits earned miles into the appropriate loyalty program account: when redeeming, you are taking points out but none are going back in.
Here, your redemptions are worth $0.01 per mile when redeeming for travel. This is a very standard evaluation that isn’t the worst you will find, but it also isn’t the best.
A world traveler likes flexibility, and you’ll get that with this card.
First, it has no foreign transaction fees and includes chip technology. So no matter where you are, your card will likely be accepted and continue to bring home points.
If you’re in Hong Kong and you want to travel to Thailand on a budget, you can look around for the best deals and book them all through your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®.
Then, redeem the miles back as statement credit, collect your rebate points, and keep going.
You won’t have to deal directly with specific airlines or hotels, but if you’re going to book through a third party it may be worth a call to confirm this will count as reimbursable.
Travel Reimbursement for Hotels, Airlines, and More…With a Caveat
Your redemption options don’t stop at airfare or hotels, either. There is a long list of items you can use your rewards for, including timeshares, cruises, discount travel sites, and most public transportation options.
Be warned though: you have to redeem for a minimum of $100 and can only apply against a purchase once, so we recommend applying your credit toward larger purchases. As always, planning is the key.
If you just aren’t traveling or using the card anymore, you do have the option to redeem for other statement credit or gift cards, but doing so cuts the value of the points in half (5000 points for $25), so we don’t recommend doing this.
Other Benefits of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
If you need a balance transfer, you can transfer to this card and enjoy 12 months of interest free balance after the fee.
You won’t earn any points for this, so it’s not highly recommended unless you know you’ll be able to pay it off after the 12 months. Other low interest credit cards also offer 0% APR on purchases, but no such luck with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®.
Next, let’s talk about the Luxury Travel Benefits. These are actually MasterCard benefits made available to certain card members.
They offer basic benefits, “World” benefits, and finally this card’s “World Elite” benefits. It basically includes all the other travel benefits in addition to some extras.
- Free business class upgrades on participating airlines with purchase of a full-price economy ticket
- Hotel room upgrades with SPG and other hotel partners
- Airline discounts up to 30%
- A complimentary companion ticket with a full-fare business class purchase
- Cruise discounts up to $500
- And many more!
Still Collect Your Loyalty Points From Your Travel Partners
It’s worth explicitly noting that you can still be a member of all the different loyalty programs and try to focus your travel on specific partners to further maximize your travel benefits.
You’ll continually be paying for everything with this card and earning card miles, but points earned through the loyalty programs still accrue into those accounts to be used later as well.
This can be an even more powerful strategy if you want to move past the beginner stage!
The Discover it Miles Card is very similar. It also earns travel rewards that are accrued on the card just like cash-back.
But which one is better? For your first year, the Discover it Miles card is better since it earns the equivalent of 3x points which can be applied to your travel purchases.
After this first year, though, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is much more valuable, because it earns at an equivalent rate of 2.1x at all times.
That earning rate is better than other cash-back cards like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card or the Citi Double Cash Card. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card only earns 1.5% cash-back, while the Citi Double Cash Card earns 2%.
However, this Barclaycard comes with an $89 annual fee, so there is a minimum amount you would have to spend in order to make up for this difference in cost.
Bottom Line: The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® has the best earning rate from similar travel rewards and cash-back cards, but it has an $89 annual fee. This value must be accounted for when determining its worth.
Weirdly enough, these MasterCard benefits don’t seem to be well advertised by the banks who are offering the cards.
Thought they can be more valuable than the points on some cards, they take some time to sort out and get through the fine print.
Depending on what type of traveler you are and how often you’ll use the benefits, you may end up finding tremendous value (especially when getting complimentary tickets or upgrades!).
Remember this card still allows you to be a loyalty member with any travel partner and simultaneously accrue points in their own programs.
However, this card does have some plusses and minuses. It can be a bit of a “clunky” card to utilize, and has some restrictions that make it more difficult than many other cards overall.
Bottom Line: There is tremendous value in the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® if used to it’s fullest extent, which may be difficult and require a higher spend. Regardless, it’s a great card for beginners who only want one card to start.
- Traveling is your main goal and you’re going to do it often (including internationally)
- You like simple rewards and earning options and don’t want to manage a bunch of cards
- You love to shop around for deals and have no specific airline, hotel or other travel company loyalty
- You want to take advantage of the vast array of Luxury Travel Benefits available to card holders
- You’re not much of a traveler
- You intend to redeem for many smaller purchases rather than a few bigger ones ($100 minimum redemption option)
- You want to use this card for business (Barclaycard restricts earning for business expenses)
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is great for an everyday card if you don’t want to use multiple cards. Your value increases by the amount you use it!
If you use this with other cards, then it is great for using in all categories that don’t earn a bonus, since it earns an equivalent of 2.1x points everywhere.
You can use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® everywhere and earn 2x points per dollar. With the 5% rebate, the rewards are worth the equivalent of 2.1x!
How To Use Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard: The Upgraded Way™
Earning miles is fairly straightforward for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®: buy everything on the card. Anything you could possibly pay for, try to purchase with your card.
You’ll get 2x points for everything plus the 5% redemption bonus back, equating to 2.1x.
Below are examples of things you could put on your card:
- Utilities and bills
- Restaurants, drinks, and entertainment
- Doctors visits
- Business expenses (if you don’t have a higher earning card)
- Memberships (gym, etc.)
When earning points, plan ahead to make sure you get to a minimum 10,000 points: this is the absolute minimum value ($100) you can redeem at once. You can always redeem anything above this amount, however.
Another way you could rack up more points is to get additional cards if you have a child or spouse who spends separately. You essentially just expand your ability to earn points but get no additional benefits.
*Note: Depending on your living situation, you may be able to pay rent on a credit card without incurring extra fees. If this is the case, absolutely use your credit card to pay for your rent!
If you do have a fee, then it may or may not be worth it. Typical fees range 2-3%. Let’s look at the math:
Say you pay $1200 per month in rent. If you take a 3% fee for using a credit card, but get to accrue all those points, then you would pay $1236 for rent and get 2.1x points for it.
This is assuming the fee isn’t somehow charged separately and just rolls into your rent (fees don’t earn points, and there are many other restrictions as well).
That’s worth 31,147 points (at 2.1x) total! For that amount, you can redeem a $311 travel credit.
But wait! How much did you pay in fees?
Well, at this rate, $36 for 12 months is equal to $432. So you’re actually losing value by using your credit card.
At a lower fee, you could potentially break even, and it turns out that sweet spot is 2.14% for this rent amount. But will you make enough for it to be worth the hassle?
With $2000 rent and 2% fee, you would come out ahead $34. Any higher of a fee, and it’s not worth it, but if you increase rent you will make a bit more. Anyone who is able to get less than a 2% fee will likely see benefit, but make sure to do your own math for your situation.
Final Note: This only applies if the fee gets charged as rent and whole thing gets counted as a retail purchase. We have not tested this, and the scenario is all in theory!
You can travel anywhere with the rewards you earn on the card. There’s no thought required; just swipe your card to earn miles!
To redeem points on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® you simply go into your account, navigate to Manage Rewards, and choose to redeem points for travel purchases.
We suggest planning to do this immediately after you make your travel purchase, but it must be within 120 days (so plan accordingly!).
Also, since you can only redeem for a minimum of $100, you’ll likely get one or two good redemptions per year out of your points earned.
We’d suggest saving up to pay for one larger purchase all at once, just so you don’t have to worry about the minimum spend every time.
Know that you’ll only get your 5% points back when you redeem, so you’ll have to keep on earning and redeeming to make this card worth it.
You can use your card to redeem for gift cards and other merchandise through the Barclaycard portal, but doing so cuts the value of your points in half ($0.005), so we don’t recommend it!
There are no direct partnerships with this card like you would see with other cards. However, the beauty of this arrangement is in the flexibility of choosing whatever travel partner you want.
Again, you can still be a member of any loyalty programs you want. This card doesn’t add to those loyalty accounts, but that shouldn’t stop you from accruing any extra rewards there as well – it’s all free!
Instead, this card offers users the Luxury Travel network from MasterCard, which includes a multitude of partners.
The only trouble is finding out who the partners really are, so you’ll likely just have to call their customer service and talk about the benefits with them.
With regards to travel, only certain categories count as travel for the redemptions. Here is the list of approved travel categories to make redemptions against ($100 min):
Airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries
Your annual fee also counts as redeemable, but we do NOT recommend doing this.
Because this amount is less than $100 and the minimum mile redemption is 10,000, you would have to spend that many points and waste the value of some of your points!
Is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® really worth the $89 fee and the rewards rate it claims? Well, let’s put it to the test with some card math. Advertising can trick us, but math always tells the truth.
Here is the card at a glance again for reference as we go through the math:
If we wanted, we could stop there and just point out that the card pays for itself for a few years from the sign-up bonus alone.
But obviously, we want to get more out of the card than just a break-even (and also determine if another card is worth more), so let’s move on.
Calculating it out, the actual equivalent earning rate is 2.1 due to the rebate. This is obtained by taking the 2 pts/$1 and dividing it by the 5% rebate, or 2/0.95 = 2.1.
To confirm this, consider you just spent $10k on purchases, which will give you 20k points. When you redeem those 20k points, your dollar value is $200.
At a 5% rebate, 20k points gives you 1k points back. So your total spending was $10k and you earned a total of 21k points from it. At $10k spending, each point is worth 21k/10k = 2.1 pts/$1.
*This type of calculation can be used to determine the value of points for most cards and redemption options
Using the equivalent rate makes finding the value of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® much easier.
We’ll use the typical spending scenarios from our three model families and then compare the card to some of the other earners out there to give you a variety of scenarios where you can see the card in action.
*Numbers in parenthesis represent the equivalent dollar value of redemptions
Clearly, the first year this card is more than worth it.
Costing the families nothing, the Kennedys have earned $476+ in travel reimbursement, and the Hartnells get $947 in value! This is enough for a round trip international flight in economy or multiple domestic trips.
If you look at it from a yearly standpoint, these levels of spending still more than make up for the cost of the annual fee at $89. Also remember, though, that you only get that extra 5% if you continue to earn and redeem.
What this scenario tells us is that using the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® at these spending levels will be more than worth it.
If you spend less on the card than the Kennedys do,though, you’ll begin to narrow the gap. Specifically, spending $4450 per year on the card covers the annual fee (4450*2x pt = 8900 pts = $89).
Or, taking into account the 5% rebate, you could get $8900 worth of value in points from $4228 (95%*4450) in spending if you redeemed that for a travel credit…but there’s a caveat.
Remember you can only redeem starting at $100 in credit. To get your first $100 credit, you would actually have to spend $5k (putting aside the sign-up bonus for the moment).
Even though we’ve been using the 5% rebate as if you just earn the points right out, in reality you don’t get those points until you redeem others. So once you get to $5k in spending, you’ll redeem your first $100 and get 500 points back ($5).
From Barclaycard’s standpoint, this ensures that you continue to use their card to earn rewards. For you, it just means you must remember to make sure you can meet your annual spend.
If you can, it makes your sign-up bonus and points earned that much more valuable, rather than the sign-up bonus merely going toward statement credit (this would cut the value of the points in half!).
If you want to try to use the card in conjunction with another card that carries different benefits, you may be able to devise a plan to make up for the value of this card in spending, and then pay for everything else with your second card.
For instance, perhaps you take advantage of the cruise offer savings, which could be up to $500.
That is well worth the $89 per year in fees, plus you can pay for your trip with the Barclaycard and get your points equivalent for the annual fee.
Then, you can use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or another travel card to pay for other related expenses.
An even more lucrative offer is to pay for a full fare business class flight and get a complimentary partner ticket (or use the upgrade option). Get creative!
A quick comparison of the card vs other credit cards:
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® makes it easier to earn across the board, giving the flat 2x plus the 5% rebate for an overall 2.1x.
You even earn additional points that can be used for any redemption when you book the travel. Then, you get the loyalty program points as well.
Additionally, if you learn how to use the Luxury Travel benefits, you can potentially get lots of additional value out of this card.
This may not be your best option, though, if you’re looking for a straight loyalty points card.
If used correctly, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gives you up to 2.5x when you use the 20% off booking (2/0.8 = 2.5), and you can earn specific loyalty points as well.
The Citi Double Cash Card simply gives the 2x overall, and there is no other way to maximize those points.
As discussed in the review above, you will need to consider the annual fee over simply the earnings rate.
The Citi Double Cash Card has no annual fee and a 2% cash-back rate, versus the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® $89 annual fee.
That means you’d have to create an $89+ difference in value with the extra 0.1x earnings rate in order to make up the value of the Citi Double Cash Card.
However, in order to make up this value, you would have to spend over $89,000 on the card in a given year. That is a lot of money, and if you are spending that much we could recommend other cards.
Note that the Citi Double Cash Card only earns 1% when you make the purchase, and then 1% once you pay it off.
Alternatively, you could utilize some of the Luxury Travel benefits to justify the fee, which would likely net you the $89 back quickly.
Can’t decide which card to get? The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® has an $89 annual fee and earns 2x miles. There are other cards that have similar earnings rates that may work better for you.
Overall, you have to decide whether or not you’ll be able to maximize your points with the Barclaycard, or if another card is a better option.
Take a look at your spending and what you’re planning on doing, and let that guide you to your answer!
Bottom Line: Get 2.1x equivalent points, valuable Luxury Travel benefits, no foreign transaction fees, and many other fringe benefits that can enhance the value of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®.
The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know
One thing to note off the bat is specifically for business owners: Barclays’ policy says you will not earn miles if you are making purchases for a business.
It’s also important to note that the sign-up bonus may only be available to new cardmembers with Barclaycard, and there are other restrictions (as with most cards), so be sure to check the full Terms and Conditions.
We always recommend checking the new cardmember clause and the exclusion of certain states/territories clause.
Remember that you have only 120 days to redeem your rewards for travel credit. Also, you can only redeem for one item, so you can’t aggregate multiple expenses into a bigger reward.
This mean you’ll likely be using your points to pay off one big expense, like a plane ticket or a hotel visit.
If you are prepaying for something you know you want to use rewards on, be sure you already have the points to pay for it, because you won’t be able to pay it off after 120 days.
Of course, there may always be another travel purchase in the future, but it’s worth it to do a little planning.
For balance transfers, you have 45 days from the time your account opens to post them to your account and take advantage of the 0% introductory APR for 12 months.
Note that your balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% (whichever is greater) will still apply. This is certainly a better deal than paying 15%+ interest, but still comes at a price. Finally, know that you won’t accrue points for the balance transferred.
Your miles, like most cards, don’t expire as long as your account is still open and in good standing. Unlike many cards, though, Barclaycard actually considers your card closed if you haven’t used it in six months.
It’s inadvisable to just have a card sitting around if you’re not going to use it and it carries an annual fee, but in this case they’ll actively close you up!
If you do want to close the account, make sure to use the miles before that. Note that while we discuss the value being 2.1x, the actual case is that you get 5% back each time you redeem.
So if you redeemed for 10,000, you’d get 500 miles back in your account to put towards your next purchase. If you redeem 30,000, that’s worth 1,500.
If you eventually want to close off your account, you’re going to have unused miles simply because you get the rebate each time you redeem.
To minimize this loss, try to make your last redemption right at 10,000 points so you’ll have the least possible amount of miles left in the account.
When you earn miles, any amount less than a dollar is actually rounded. If it is $0.50 or greater, it is rounded up, and $0.49 or less is rounded down.
So a purchase of $43.50 will count as $44 and earn you 88 points. A purchase of $43.49 will count as $43 and earn you 86 points. Consider this when leaving tips at restaurants!
Also, Barclaycard has a very strict policy on earning and redeeming miles. For example, if you ever forget to pay your bill by the due date, you may not earn miles for any purchases from that month.
You also might not be able to redeem miles. So be sure to put on that bill on autopay!
Below is a list of additional benefits you’ll get as an owner of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. These are pulled from their benefits explanation document.
Express delivery – If you’re really excited for your card to come, you can actually request it to be next-day delivered; be sure to check this option when you are signing up. A signature will be required, so you’d have to be at home to receive it.
Complimentary FICO credit score – Always know your credit score by tracking it through your account. You get a free FICO score that will give you access to your score over time.
This is cheaper than paying $5-15 for credit tracking services, although you will only get the one score rather than all three.
MasterCard World Elite Concierge – Someone is available 24/7 to help you with your travel or everyday needs.
You will be given your own profile so that whenever someone helps you they’ll have access to your preferences and be able to assist you more thoroughly.
Barclaycard gives the example of using the service to find a local expert to provide on-site assistance when you’re having something delivered and can’t be there. They also suggest you can get into unique dining and entertainment venues through them.
There is no mention of price anywhere here, so may as well call and see what you can get through the service (1-888-963-7036)!
Luxury Travel – This program ensures you have access to some great travel options when you’re ready. Give them a call 24/7 and you get a free travel agent to help you plan and book your vacation packages.
The World Elite Hotels and Resorts Portfolio includes Starwood, Hyatt, and many more. The World Elite Air Program includes Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, and more.
Actually, the air program has some pretty valuable benefits. First, it can give you a complimentary upgrade to business class if you book a full fare economy class ticket.
Second, if you book a full-value business class ticket, you can get a free ticket or up to 50% off on a ticket, depending on the airline.
For the business traveler, that means you could bring your spouse with you on your trip! Finally, the program has savings across the board on international travel.
If you’re a private jet charterer (who isn’t??), then you can get some good deals as well. Some of these include $500 off, 5% off, and complimentary meals.
Barclaycard also partners with cruise operators such as Royal Caribbean, Avalon, and Regent. This can get you a potential savings of up to $500 per cabin if you like to take cruises.
Finally, they are partnered with tour companies, rental car agencies, and chauffeurs to bring you additional savings on your travel in style.
You can get complimentary status with any rental car agency so you can enjoy better cars while on the road, although anecdotally this doesn’t always work.
Price protection coverage – You can get refunded for finding a better price on an item within 120 days of a purchase at up to $250 per item and $1,000 per year. Simply send in your receipt and the newly-found price to receive the difference.
It needs to include all the details of the offer in order to be eligible, and unfortunately they don’t accept internet advertisements. Also, there is a list of exceptions like cars, boats, and more.
Purchase security – For up to 90 days after the purchase of an item, you may be able to get replacement, repair, or reimbursement. The maximum here is $1,000 per item and $50,000 per year.
This covers against things like fires, vandalism, weather, spacecraft (we’ve all had that happen!), and theft. Again, there are exceptions.
Return protection – Similarly, for up to 90 days you can get reimbursement for items that can’t be returned to the vendor. The maximums are $1,000 per year and $500 per item.
Extended protection – Their extended warranty program doubles your warranty (up to one year maximum). The original warranty must be three years or less.
MasterCard Global Service – This is a 24/7 service for lost and stolen cards, emergency card replacement, and cash advances. Various numbers are listed in the benefits document and differ per country.
Auto rental collision damage waiver – Deny the rental agency’s protection and get the value of the car covered in case of damage.
Travel assistance services – Similar to a AAA service, they will help you out in a pickle on your travels. Call 1-800-MC-ASSIST and you will have free use of the service, although you may incur charges for things like towing or whatever third party help you need.
Travel accident insurance – You are covered for up to $250,000 for travel accidents, baggage delays, and trip cancellation. The baggage portion of your Barclaycard travel insurance gives out $100 per day for up to three days of missing bags.
However, this payment is limited to essential items needed during the emergency. Trip cancellation covers you for up to $1,500 of cancelled or interrupted trips.
Girl Using Her Card: carol.anne/Shutterstock
Couple Traveling Together: gpointstudio/Shutterstock
Girl Comparing Options: Hugo Felix/Shutterstock
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
57 Best Ways To Redeem Amex Membership Rewards Points 
49 Best Ways To Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for Max Value 
The Global Entry Program: From Application To Airport [In-Depth]
Chase Ultimate Rewards: Maximize Your Earnings & Redemptions 
16 Best Ways To Redeem United MileagePlus Miles for Max Value 
8 Best Ways To Earn Lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points 
Is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® worth it?
You’ll earn 2x points for all purchases, meaning you don’t have to worry about what category you’re spending in.
The card is free the first year, then costs $89/yr. So if you are spending enough to make up for this, then the card could be considered “worth it.”
One of the great benefits of this card is that for every redemption you make, you’ll get 5% of the miles spent back. This essentially means the card earns 2.1x points as long as you keep redeeming.
Additionally, you can make your travel purchases with the card to earn more points and then use those earned points to pay it off.
Other benefits include a free FICO score, access to the World Elite Concierge and Luxury Travel, as well as an array of travel and other insurances.
If these things are valuable to you, then the card is most definitely worth it.
What is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® travel insurance?
Barclays travel insurance covers a few different items. First, you get rental car collision insurance. Decline the agency policy and you will be covered for the value of the car if you use your card to make the purchase.
Next, you have Travel Assistance Services. This is a concierge-type service that helps you out during travel issues. While the main service is free, any third party service must be paid for.
Finally, you also get travel accident insurance. If paying on the card, you’ll get up to $250,000 in case of accidents, baggage delays, and trip cancellation.
If your baggage is delayed, you can get $100 per day for up to three days while waiting for it, but this only covers essential items. Trip cancellation covers up to $1,500 of cancelled or interrupted trips.
What is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® login?
The sign in can be found here at the typical Barclays banking login page.
What are the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® benefits?
You have to redeem a minimum of $100 at a time, and this can only be applied against a purchase one time.
Next, you get a complimentary FICO score, World Elite Concierge, Luxury Travel benefits, price protection, purchase security, return protection, and extended warranty protection.
Finally, you get car rental and travel insurance including travel accidents, baggage delays, and trip cancellation.
What is the difference in the Barclaycard Arrival World Elite MasterCard (expired) vs Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®?
The Barclaycard Arrival World Elite MasterCard (expired) has no annual fee and only earns 2x points on travel and dining purchases, with 1x everywhere else.
You’ll also get World Elite benefits such as the concierge and Luxury Travel program with the Barclaycard.
Note that the Barclaycard Arrival World Elite MasterCard (expired) is no longer available for new applications.
Does the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® have rental car insurance?
What is the difference in the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?
Both cards earn 2x points in travel and dining, but the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® also earns 2x points everywhere else.
Each card has an annual fee, but the Barclaycard fee is $6 cheaper than the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
You’ll see a bigger difference in how the rewards are earned.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® rewards are like cash-back that accumulates in your Barclaycard account and can only be used to give you statement credit toward travel purchases (in $100 minimum redemptions).
When you redeem, you get 5% of those dollars back.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns points that go into Chase Ultimate Rewards and can be used on a variety of things, from travel to shopping to transferring into partnered loyalty accounts.
In most cases, Chase points are redeemable for a higher value than Barclaycard miles.
Chase’s portal also offers 20% off on flights and travel when using points, whereas the Barclaycard Arrival Plus only offers the 5% rebate. Both cards offer a variety of insurances.
What is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® interest rate? Is there a 0% APR?
Does the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® have foreign transaction fees?
Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – No Annual Fee Review
Posted on November 1st
It’s been awhile since my original review of the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – No Annual Fee, so it’s high time I updated it. There are two versions of this travel rewards card: The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – No Annual Fee and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard (which has an $89 annual fee).
For those interested in a higher level of rewards, you can read my review of the annual-fee version of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard right here. Just so you know, the $89 annual fee is waived for the first year and there’s a 40,000-mile sign-up bonus.
Okay, let’s get going with the review. I’ll start with the sign-up bonus.
Sign-up bonus: You earn 20,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account. This is worth $200, which you can redeem for a travel statement credit. Ka-ching!
With the no-annual-fee version of the Barclaycard Arrival card, you get two miles for every dollar spent on travel and dining. Plus, you get one mile for every dollar spent on everything else. You can redeem your miles for travel statement credits. Travel statement credit redemptions start at 2,500 miles for $25 toward travel purchases made within the last 120 days. The value for each mile is $.01 (a penny).
What’s a travel credit? From the card’s website: “A travel redemption is defined as: airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, and ferries as defined by the merchant category code.”
Now, you can also redeem for cash back on your statement, but the conversion isn’t in your favor. For 2,500 miles, you only get a $12.50 statement credit. Or you can get $25 gift cards for 5,000 miles. With these options, the value of one mile is half a penny. Go for travel credits, people!
Note: According to the fine print on the website, to qualify for the rewards program and maintain good standing, “Your Credit Card Account cannot have been inactive for 6 billing cycles in a row (representing approximately 6 months). “Inactive” means you have no balance, no payments and no transactions.”
A couple of other nice rewards and perks:
Get 10 percent miles back: You get 10 percent of your miles back when you redeem for travel credits. For example, if you redeem 30,000 miles, you get 3,000 bonus miles back to use toward your next travel redemption. Pretty sweet!
World MasterCard: This designation comes with excellent benefits and services, such as concierge services (plus an airport-specific concierge, which is awesome), personal assistance with dinner reservations, event tickets, and price protection (for 120 days after a purchase, you’ll get a refund for the difference if you didn’t get the best price for an item you bought), and emergency assistance services. You can get more details about the benefits right here.
One thing that stood out for me when I started reviewing the Barclaycard Arrival credit card is that the foreign transaction fees are waived on both versions. Often, I’ll see these fees waived on the annual-fee versions of cards, but not on the basic version. So that’s pretty cool.
APR: You get a variable rate of 14.99 percent or 18.99 percent, based on your creditworthiness.
Balance transfers: You get a zero percent intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles. But you must complete your transfer within 45 days of opening your account.The balance transfer fee is 3 percent.
APR for cash advances: You get a variable rate of 25.24 percent. The transaction fee is 5 percent, which is on the high side.
Foreign transaction fees: None. I love it!
If you have excellent credit and you want to earn miles with a flexible rewards program, the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – No Annual Fee is an excellent choice, especially if you travel overseas since there are no foreign transaction fees. Seriously, this is one of the best travel cards out there that doesn’t come with an annual fee.
The only downside is that the best redemption options are limited to travel. But hopefully you picked this card because you travel a lot so that won’t be an issue for you.
With this card, you also get complimentary FICO scores, which is a nice benefit. To look at your FICO score, you must have an account that’s shown activity within the past 150 days.
If you’ve read my reviews before, you know I always like to remind folks that you shouldn’t carry a balance with a rewards credit card. The interest rate for the Barclaycard Arrival card isn’t unusually high for a travel rewards card, but if you carry a balance, you can’t really take advantage of this card. So pay the balance off every month by the due date and avoid interest expense.
Note: Credit card agreements change frequently. So my review is based on the information that was in effect today. Be sure you read all the disclosure statements carefully.
I am the very unhappy holder of a Barclay Arrival MasterCard. The benefits for signing up were attractive. The two points per dollar and the bonus for using the points for travel (even though the bonus was reduced by fifty percent shortly after I started using the card) were a plus as well. In addition, because most of my travel is abroad, the lack of international transaction fees was compelling. All good.
But then I began using the card. My card has been blocked so many times that I have lost count. One time, when I tried to make a purchase in Pittsfield, MA, the town next to where I live, I was told that it was blocked because I was out of area and hadn’t notified Barclay! Internationally, it has been a near total disaster. No amount of notification prior to travel has been sufficient. Quite often I have been blocked from using the card for transactions that I have previously made on a regular basis.
Most recently, I called Barclay preemptively before trying to purchase airline tickets on an Indonesian travel site I have used again and again. The person I spoke with assured me that there would be no problem. The transaction was immediately blocked. I talked to a variety of supervisors trying to make the card work. Each, in turn, assured me that any problem had been corrected. To no avail. Finally I was told that a security supervisor would call me back in 24 to 48 hours if I wanted them to! I didn’t.
There’s more: it’s infuriating to have your card blocked when you are making a legitimate purchase. It’s beyond infuriating to have the Barclay representative give inane, impossible reasons for the blocking, often in the sort of tone of voice that one might use with an especially stupid child: “Sir, the problem is that you don’t have sufficient credit to make that transaction” — credit $25,000, transaction $50.00. Another: “Sir you need to let us know when you travel outside of the country.” I then asked the person if she could not see my travel notification on her screen (or abacus, or whatever they use.) She allowed as how she could. And another: a representative told me yesterday that my card had not been blocked since April. I pointed out that I had five text messages that morning from their fraud department saying that it had been blocked. Her answer, again, condescendingly, was that it didn’t appear that way on her screen.
Another issue: Each time I have had to call Barclay from Asia to find out why my card is being blocked, I have to pay for the call. I have frequently had to wait up to forty-five minutes to speak to an agent. The collect call option only works for land lines. Virtually no one in Southeast Asia uses a land line.
Additionally enraging and perplexing is that my friends who I travel with who have Chase, or Capital One, or Bank of America cards never have their cards blocked.
So… I have applied for and been granted another card from a different company.
In summary, Barclay is absolutely awful. Stay away!
Thank you Bill. I just took Barclay off my future card application list. Good review. Sorry about your experiences.
Will barclay offer chip on no annual fee card?
Hi Jason – I just did some current research to see if this has changed. But it still doesn’t look like the no-annual-fee version comes with chip and PIN capability. If you travel overseas, you might want to consider the annual-fee version. The rewards are good enough to justify the fee. Well, if you travel a lot!
My daughter is finishing her PHD at Kings College in London for the next 3 years. We have a Chase Sapphire card, but have found that about 1/2 of merchants will not take it in London as there is no PIN. To have a pin and use it means that they will count it as a cash transaction and charge a 5% fee with no grace period. This is silly and I will not pay this. Does the Barclay arrival worldcard work differently, since almost all of the charges will be done in the UK.
Hi Richard – You have an impressive daughter! Almost all of the U.S. credit cards that have a chip are chip-and-signature. This doesn’t help if you’re in Europe and need a chip-and-PIN card. This Barclaycard Arrival card doesn’t have the chip-and-PIN feature, but the Arrival Plus World Elite card does. Another good thing about this card is that there are no foreign transaction fees.
The chip-and-PIN is a security feature so you shouldn’t be paying interest at the cash advance rate on purchases. However, if you use the card at an ATM to get cash, you’ll pay the cash advance APR and you’re correct that it starts right away.
Here’s my review, but I need to make a change to it to show that the chip-and-PIN is now available: http://www.beverlyharzog.com/barclaycard-arrival-world-mastercard-review-2/
By the way, in many places in Europe, if you insist on speaking with the manager, there’s a chance they can process your mag-strip card. This won’t work at a train kiosk, though, but it might at a major store.
You can be with our Simply Free Account®.
It's quick and simple!
Mortgages, loans, cards
Access options while you're on-the-go!
Looking for a credit card?
Let us help you choose.
Auto, home, travel, life
Book your travel insurance online.
Stock market returns without the risk!
On your retirement plan.
Finance, retirement, education
We have advice on that too!
Not sure which card to pick?
Whether you're looking for travel rewards, cash back or a low interest rate - we have the right card for you.
- you want VIP treatment.
- you want a card with medical coverage.
- you want price protection on the things you purchase.
- you love collecting points and love cash back even more.
2 points for every $1 spent
CHOICE REWARDS® Program.
Redeem (2 points for every dollar spent) for cash rewards, free travel or brand name merchandise. Plus, receive 5000 bonus sign-up points upon approval.
Key Features & Benefits
- Acceptance at over 32 million locations worldwide
- Instant cash access at more than 1 million ATM locations
- Emergency cards and cash with one phone call
Plus get these additional benefits:
- Concierge Service. Books all your travel needs. Make dinner reservations or reserve tickets for the hottest concerts, and much more.
- Price Protection. If you make an eligible purchase with your Mastercard and find the same product advertised in Canada at a lower price with 60 days after purchase, the difference will be refunded.
- Exclusive Mastercard offers and VIP experience worldwide.
- Online account access at cucardsonline.ca. You have access to view your account 24/7.
- Out-of-Province/Country Travel Health Plan
- Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty
- Travel Benefits
- Rental Vehicle Benefits
- Legal Assistance
- World-wide global acceptance and world's largest ATM network. You have the convenience of using your credit card world wide.
- 24-hour lost/stolen card assistance. You gain peace of mind that Mastercard will quickly replace your card and fund emergency cash.
View our details tab for more information on the extra benefits
All trade-marks are the property of their respective owners. For more information, please visit the CUETS Financial website.
Out-of-Province/Country Travel Medical Insurance Out-of-Province/Country Emergency Medical and Dental Coverage
- Coverage is for the first 15 days of each trip outside your province or territory of residence.
- Coverage is up to $2,000,000, per insured person and includes:
- hospital inpatient room and board charges, up to semi-private ward or the equivalent
- emergency medical treatment (including x-rays and lab) and prescription drugs prescribed because of an emergency condition (limited to a 30 day supply)
- up to $350 per profession for professional fees for emergency treatment by a licensed physiotherapist, chiropractor, chiropodist or podiatrist
- emergency dental treatment (including x-rays and lab); also covers up to $250 to relieve dental pain
- emergency medical transportation to an appropriate medical facility
- return to your province or territory of residence, if Allianz Global Assistance's consulting physician determines you are medically able to and recommends you return home
- friend or family hospital visits if insured person is travelling alone and hospitalized as an inpatient for more than 3 consecutive days
- up to $5,000 for repatriation of remains
- return of dependent children if insured person is hospitalized more than 24 hours or must return to Canada due to their emergency medical condition covered under this insurance
- up to $2,000 for return of vehicle
- Emergency Travel Assistance Services
- 24-hour assistance to:
- confirm emergency medical coverage and direct insured person to medical facility
- arrange and pay for emergency medical transportation services
- keep in contact with you and your treating physician
- provide travel document and ticket replacement assistance
- provide legal assistance
- provide emergency cash transfers
- provide emergency messaging assistance
- Coverage applies to:
- primary cardholder under the age of 75
- his/her spouse under the age of 75
- eligible dependent children
- who meet the following eligibility requirements:
- resident of Canada
- covered under a Government Health Insurance Plan for the full duration of the coverage period; and
- not employed outside of Canada on a full or part-time basis
Optional extension of coverage is available by calling 1-866-520-8827. The additional coverage may require the completion of a medical questionnaire.
Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty
- 90-day Purchase Protection
- Protection against loss, theft and damage for items purchased with your Mastercard card
- Items will be replaced or repaired, or you will be reimbursed the purchase price
- Items given as gifts are also covered
- Extended Warranty
- The manufacturer's warranty is automatically extended for up to two additional years for items purchased with your Mastercard card
- Items must have a valid warranty in Canada
- Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Charge at least 75% of your trip to your Mastercard card
- Applies if you, a family member, or a travelling companion falls ill, experiences serious injuries or passes on unexpectedly, requiring you to cancel your tickets at the last minute
- Coverage applies to cardholders and your spouse 69 years of age and under, and dependent children travelling with you
- Tickets will be refunded up to $3,000 per account per trip
- Accidental Death Insurance
- $1,000 will be paid to your beneficiary if you sustain accidental bodily injury causing death
- Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance
- Up to $500,000 coverage when you purchase your ticket with your Mastercard card
- Baggage Delay
- Up to $300 for expenses for emergency purchase of essential items when baggage is delayed or misdirected for more than 24 hours
- Unexpected Return Home Benefits
- In the event of a death in your immediate family, you are covered for up to $2,000 for return travel
- Emergency Assistance Services
- Emergency Cash Transfer
- Lost Document and Ticket Replacement
- Lost Luggage Assistance
- Pre-Trip Information
Rental Vehicle Benefits
When you rent a car with your Mastercard card, you're protected with:
- Collision Damage Waiver Benefit - equivalent to that offered by the car rental company, provided you decline the car rental company's optional Collision Damage Waiver
- Car Rental Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefits - up to $300,000 coverage per accident for you, your spouse and dependent children Personal Effects Benefits - if your rental car is damaged or stolen, any personal effects in the car are covered up to $1,000 per insured person, up to $2,000 per rental period
Legal Referrals and Payment Assistance - in those countries that the Mastercard Assistance Centre deems safe for travel, you will be assisted in locating a legal advisor, and in paying legal fees up to $5,000 (billable to your Mastercard account, and subject to credit availability)
Please refer to the Emergency Assistance Services section in the Certificate of Insurance for specific terms, conditions and limitations.
Insurance benefits are underwritten by American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida and/or American Bankers Life Assurance Company of Florida, Assurant SolutionsTM companies. Details of your coverage, including terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions, are in the Certificate of Insurance provided with your card.
AAdvantage Aviator World Elite MasterCard - 50,000 bonus miles after paid annual fee ($95)
when you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee2
on eligible American Airlines purchases
on all other purchases
10,000 miles maximum per calendar year
First checked bag free
for the primary cardmember and up to 4 companions on eligible bags when traveling on domestic itineraries operated by American Airlines
for the primary cardmember and up to 4 companions on your reservation when traveling on domestic itineraries operated by American Airlines
on food and beverages2
when you make purchases outside the U.S.
World Elite Travel Services
such as Personalized Concierge, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Cancellation and Interruption coverage, and more (certain terms, conditions and exclusions apply)
You're not responsible for unauthorized charges you report to us
Your covered purchase benefits include Extended Warranty, Price Protection, Purchase Security, and Return Protection (certain terms, conditions and exclusions apply)
The primary cardmember will earn forty thousand (40,000) AAdvantage® bonus miles after a first purchase is made on the Account within ninety (90) days of Account opening and the annual fee has been paid. This one-time AAdvantage® bonus mileage offer is valid for first-time cardmembers with new accounts only. Existing cardmembers, existing accounts, and previous cardmember with accounts closed in the past 24 months may not be eligible for this offer. This is a limited-time offer and may be canceled at any time without notice. Please allow 4-6 weeks for AAdvantage® bonus miles to be deposited into your AAdvantage® account after the qualifying transaction has posted and your annual fee has been paid.