Before I jump into the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard review, let me say a few words on why we chose to apply for this particular card.
My wife and I are relatively new to the travel reward credit card scene, which is rather unfortunate. But better late than never, right?
It’s unfortunate because although we like to travel, we hate the high price tag. It’s really difficult to travel cross country or out of the country in a frugal manner. Hence my excitement about this credit card and travel hacking in general.
If you don’t know, most of the major credit card providers now offer rewards if you’ll just sign up for their card and meet a minimum spending requirement. You can then use these rewards to directly
book flights or hotel rooms for travel.
This Barclaycard Arrival Plus is one such example. They’ll give you $400 in free travel (40,000 points bonus) if you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card ownership. They’ll also give you 2% in points for each dollar spent + a 10% redemption bonus.
This can be confusing, so about the real life scenario.
When you spend$3,000 on living expenses over three months, they’ll give you 40,000 bonus miles (worth $400), plus the 2% of $3000 spent (6,000 more points) for a total of 46,000 or $460 in free travel. Then when you redeem those initial 46,000 miles, you will get a 10% refund, meaning they will give you 4,600 point back for further use.
So all in all, after spending $3000 on the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard within the first 90 days of receiving it, you would get back 50,600 miles, or over $500 in free travel!
This among the highest reward available today, which is great. And you get to choose how you redeem the miles! You can spend it on airfare, rental cars, and anything else that is coded as a travel related expense. This isn’t the case with most travel credit cards.
Another note worth mentioning is that both you and a spouse can apply separately for different Arrival cards. So if you can spend $3,000 on each within the first 90 days, you can secure more than $1000 in free travel. We actually took advantage of this and I applied shortly after my wife.
Barclays is an enormous company. According to Wikipedia:
Barclays is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is a universal bank with operations in retail, wholesale and investment banking, as well as wealth management, mortgage lending and credit cards. It has operations in over 50 countries and territories and has around 48 million customers. As of 31 December 2011 Barclays had total assets of US$2.42 trillion, the seventh-largest of any bank worldwide.
This is a large and well established company who will continue to operate and issue credit cards.
Barclays actually issues several other credit cards as well, but I’d say the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard currently offers the most bang for the buck. I should also mention that this card currently comes in 2 varieties.
Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Without Annual Fee:
- No annual fee
- Double miles on travel and dining, plus 1 mile per cent spent on everything else
- 20,000 miles sign up bonus.
The no-fee version of the Arrival is a very good option if you don’t want to mess with later canceling the credit card. It will never have a fee and 2x points plus the 10% back on redemption is a good value.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard With $89 Annual Fee:
- $89 annual fee after the first year (Fee is waived first year)
- Twice the sign up rewards (40,000 points).
- Double points on all purchases
This is the card we both own. Although it has the annual fee, it is waived for the first year. And you’ll be earning all of your rewards and bonus points in the first year.
Once the first annual fee is due, you have several options.
- You can pay it each year
- You can call Barclays and ask for a retention offer or a fee waiver
- You can call and attempt to downgrade your account to the version without an annual fee.
- You can cancel your account outright after using the bonus miles.
How to Spend Points
Some travel reward cards have restrictions on travel. Barclays does a pretty good job in allowing you to book a variety of travel related services with the points. You can use the points for more than just a plane ticket or hotel. You can use Barclay Arrival points on any purchase coded as travel.
Here is a short list of approved travel bookings:
- Car Rentals
You can book through discount agencies or whoever you want, so long as it shows up on your credit card statement coded as a travel expense.
Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review Summary
All in all, this is one of the best travel credit cards on the market. There have been a few rumors floating around that the 40,000 mile bonus might be going away, so you might do a little research and decide whether or not to apply soon.
We’re pleased with the card and the huge bonus reward which will allow us to take a nice vacation for very cheap. If you have good credit and are looking for a great travel rewards card, we highly recommend this one.
I hope you enjoyed the Barclay Arrival World MasterCard review. If you want to apply you can compare the cards on the personal comparison page.
Have any readers used the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard? Please leave a comment if so!
On a side note, if you’re looking for the best cash back card on the market, check out my Discover It Review! Or if you’re looking for the best beginner investment services, check out my Betterment Review and Wealthfront Review.