2014 Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review

Posted by CreditCardGuru

As airlines continue to clamp down on their frequent flier programs, the biggest trend over the past few years has been general travel reward cards that aren’t affiliated with a specific airline. The most popular examples are the Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Barclaycard ArrivalIn 2012, Barclays decided to join this party with their Arrival World MasterCard. But how does it really compare?

To clear up the confusion…

You’ve probably only seen the fee-based version advertised, but it actually comes in two versions:

  • Arrival World MasterCard with no annual fee
  • Arrival World MasterCard with $89 annual fee

The names are the same so it can be confusing (there’s not the usual “Preferred” or “Premier” descriptor added to the $89 version).

Obviously the creators took a cue from the Sapphire and Sapphire Preferred. Compare them side by side, as well as their best bonus offers as of April 2014:

Chase Sapphire® Card
Barclaycard Arrival (regular)
Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard
Annual FeeNoneNoneIntroductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $89
Restaurants2 points/dollar2 points/dollar2 points/dollar2 points/dollar
Travel2 points per dollar on air/hotel booked through Ultimate Rewards2 points per dollar2 points per dollar2 points per dollar
All Other Purchases1 point per dollar1 point per dollar1 point per dollar2 points per dollar
Bonus Offer10,000 bonus points after you spend $500 in first 3 months from account opening20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in first 3 months40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in first 3 months from account opening 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in first 3 months (This is a limited-time offer)

At first glance, the no-fee Arrival versus the Sapphire and $89 version versus Sapphire Preferred appear to be almost the same… until you get to that line about all other purchases.

Because the bulk of your spending probably falls under “all other purchases” this is a huge advantage for Arrival.

Here’s a closer look at how the cards differ:

1st difference: The value per point

There’s not much of a difference between the miles on the no-annual-fee Arrival and the basic Sapphire. These are not true frequent flier miles.

Both offer a value of exactly 1 cent per mile when redeemed for travel and statement credits. So thinking of these “miles” as cash back might be a simpler way to think of them.

However there’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between the point value on the $89 Arrival and the $95 Sapphire Preferred.

  • Barclays gives 10 percent of your miles back when you redeem for travel. Chase gives 20 percent off on travel you book through Ultimate Rewards (their travel booking website).
  • Only the Chase Ultimate Rewards found on the Sapphire Preferred (and the Ink Bold and Ink Plus business cards) also offer the option of converting points to participating frequent flier and hotel loyalty programs on a 1-for-1 basis.

While it’s true some travel loyalty programs are less than rewarding (like Spirit Airlines) the ones that are transfer partners with Chase are some of the better ones:

Chase transfer partners

With the Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer to any of the above programs at 1-to-1 ratio. That means you might be able to get more value per point when you do this, if you transfer them to the right place and redeem them strategically.

On the other hand, with Southwest, 7,000 Rapid Rewards points gets you a $100 credit for “Wanna Get Away” fares. That means if you transferred 50,000 points over from your credit card, in theory you could use them for more than $700 in airfare.

But guess what? The $89 Barclaycard Arrival is still more likely to beat Chase.

Why? Because even though Chase allows you to convert points to frequent flier programs on a 1- for-1 basis, it’s highly unlikely that your airline frequent flier miles will be worth 2.2 cents each. But that’s the value you ALWAYS get with spending on Arrival, since you earn an unlimited 2 miles on everything PLUS you get 10 percent of them back to use again (which nets you a whopping total of 2.2 percent rebate on your spending). Simply put, this is a great offer from Barclaycard.

2nd difference: World MasterCard vs. Visa Signature

World MasterCardBoth of these are almost the same. They each offer:

  • Concierge service
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Roadside assistance (only arranging, not paying for it)
  • Secondary collision coverage on eligible car rentals
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Price protection
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel assistance services

You should consult the respective issuer for the rules and restrictions surrounding each benefit, but based on my personal experience, the Visa Signature benefits seem to have fewer exclusions than the comparable World MasterCard versions.

Let me give you an example, or should I say horror story.

Last Christmas I broke my foot just a couple days before I was about to head home. A broken bone was something you would except to be a qualifying circumstance under the trip cancellation/interruption coverage. Or so I thought.

Interestingly enough, I had purchased my departing and return flights separately for this trip. One flight was paid for with a Visa Signature card, the other with a World MasterCard.

Guess which one refused to pay up on the claim?

My Citi (which has since been canceled) was a World MasterCard and, at $125 per year, certainly not a cheap one. Yet they denied my claim on the basis that I didn’t pay for both flights with the card. That’s nonsense because I was making only a claim for one flight with them — the one I paid for entirely with their card which was a completely separate transaction.

Meanwhile my Chase Visa Signature didn’t have an issue with this.

In all honesty, my predicament was an anomaly. Let’s face it, we rarely use benefits like that anyway. I think the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with its 2.2 percent return on spending is more valuable than the possibly better T&C’s on Visa Signature benefits.

3rd difference: The customer service

Now in defense of Barclays, I don’t have the Arrival card myself, so I can’t personally review the quality of their customer service.

But based on advertising, I do have a question about it…

They’re obviously trying to replicate the Sapphire cards, but if that’s the case, why is the talk of getting instant customer service reps not mentioned in Barclay’s advertising?

Chase heavily promotes that you can reach a live rep without ever pressing a button. But there’s no such talk of that, or even anything about customer service, on the Arrival World MasterCard application.

But from the customer feedback I’ve heard thus far, Arrival comes with excellent customer service, even though they don’t play it up in their ads.

4th difference: The aesthetics

Chase Sapphire Preferred photoBecause blue is my favorite color, I’m a big fan of how the Sapphire looks. But that’s just a personal preference.

However I heard from many who prefer the carbon black design of the Arrival World MasterCard because they feel it looks more prestigious.

Whichever you prefer, one thing is for sure… don’t choose your card based on looks. Even though I like blue, I would much rather earn 2.2 percent with Barclays!

What’s the verdict for April?

photo of Arrival World MasterCard

Unless you specifically want loyalty points for your frequent flier or hotel program, I would go for the Arrival.

In fact the only reason I don’t have it myself is because I’ve already applied for several credit card bonuses within the past two months. When I apply for my next card this month, I’m definitely going for Arrival.

Right now is an excellent time to apply for it because of the limited-time 40,000-point bonus they’re running on the annual-fee card after spending $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days after account opening (a much lower spending requirement than Sapphire Preferred’s bonus). The no-annual-fee card, meanwhile, has a 20,000-mile bonus if you spend $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days after account opening. However I’m not sure how long Barclays limited-time offer will last so I would advise against procrastinating.

Written or last updated March 27, 2014

66 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. John April 16, 2014 at 2:39PM

    Regarding customer service for Arrival vs. Sapphire Preferred: Chase is much, much better in my experience (never thought I’d say that about anything Chase-related). I call Chase and get a person immediately who can either help me or find someone who can, and I never have to repeat myself regarding account info, reason for calling, etc. (OK, so maybe I’m lucky.) With Barclay, I have to key in account information, then hit 0 to avoid the silly menu, then sometimes wait, although never very long, for an agent. While everyone I’ve dealt with has been friendly, I’ve had to repeat myself several times during the same phone call.
    Plus, somehow my new Arrival card had fraudulent charges from a foreign country within a month after my activating it, and two phone calls and three different departments were needed to get the charges removed. The security department agent who ultimately helped me was friendly, but still I had to repeat myself three times. Then, although I explained twice that a temporary authorization was also fraudulent, they still posted that to my new card number, and I had to call again to fix it and again repeat myself twice. I understand any card can get hit with fraud, but as I never authorized charges from any foreign country, the entire episode doesn’t speak well for Barclay.
    Chase issued me a new card after the Target mess without my asking, even though my lone Target purchase was one day outside of the publicized dates of the security breach, and also gave me a three-week period in which to stop using the old one. Of course I monitored the account daily but had no problems.
    My vote goes to Chase Sapphire Preferred.

  2. Kelsey April 14, 2014 at 8:44PM

    They charge a minimum $10 fee every time you use an ATM and they never mention this anywhere.

  3. Josh April 2, 2014 at 1:14PM

    I don’t see how this card is better than Chase Sapphire Preferred. I think it is more convenient in that you can redeem for a portion of travel and you always get the flat 2.22% cashback but 2x arrival points at restaurants and travel are not the same as 2x sapphire preferred points at the same places. When transferred out to UR partners, I’m always getting at a minimum 2c per point on CSP. Personally, CSP points are worth twice as much as arrival points. If you charge normal purchases arrival would be 2.22% cashback and CSP would be at least 2.14% cashback when redeemed for travel. But for dining and travel, arrival is still 2.22%, while CSP is at a minimum 4.28% for me at least. The annual fees are pretty much a wash.

  4. Darla March 31, 2014 at 11:34AM

    For the Barclay arrival card do you loose your point if they are not used in a certain amount of time?

  5. Hari Kanth March 25, 2014 at 10:15PM

    I Don’t suggest Barclay Arrival card if you are planning to buy air tickets within a week or so. They delay approval and card shipping process as long as possible. I was surprised with the amount of delay they do while all other competitors are rushing cards to customers. I strongly believe there is a theory behind it. General tendency of customers looking for miles cards is when they are planning to buy high dollar tickets. So if they delay the process 3-4 weeks, customer will buy high dollar tickets in the mean while as fight tickets price changes every minute and hence they will not meet $3000 purchases in first three months and Company saves 40,000 bonus points

    • Brian March 26, 2014 at 12:09PM

      Interesting theory. My card took about 2 weeks to arrive and I was surprised by that delay. However, when they look at your credit history during the application, they know exactly if you are type who will put a large charge on the card just to get the freebies vs someone who spends a lot all the time. I am not the first type, but my card took a long time. Probably just a backlog at the issuing department.

    • laurie April 1, 2014 at 8:05AM

      I was planning a trip and wanted my barclaycard within a few days, online they added a fee for overnighting the card. I called and within minutes they waived the fee and I had my card the following monday. (i called on a friday) So far I am very happy with the card, have not redeemed points yet though.

    • Richard April 9, 2014 at 11:50AM

      Ordered mine and got it in 2 days , not sure why it took you so long bro

  6. Mike March 20, 2014 at 5:59PM

    As I understand it, you just use this card to make the purchase and the apply the points as statement credit. Do you also earn the regular 2X points on the travel expense that you later use your points to cancel out? That would mean you get 12% back total and the effective rate would be 2.24%, is that right?

    • Brian March 25, 2014 at 4:05PM

      Mike, I think your math is not correct, but the return IS more than 2%. Thsi is what happens:
      Say in March you buy an airline ticket for $100. You earn 200 miles on your statement. Later, in May, you cash in 10,000 points to get paid back for the ticket. You spent $5000 to earn those 10,000 points. So your payback for spending the $5000 is $100 (2% back). But in June, you will see an extra 1,000 points in your account (your 10% bonus for cashing in the 10,000 points). That bonus is an additional 0.2% bonus. Then when you eventually cash in that 1000 point bonus, you will get another 100 point bonus (0.002% of the original reward), etc. So the bottom line is that the travel reward is 2.2222222%

  7. Robin March 18, 2014 at 6:17PM

    Why does everyone say the Barclay Arrival card is so great? I had it when it was connected to Virgin America and now I have the new Arrival card. Right now I have 10,000 Barclay “miles.” They are worth $100 in credits for travel purchases. Right now I still also have 10,000 Elevate miles with Virgin America. For these miles I can fly from LAX to PHL this May one-way. A one-way ticket from LAX to PHL right now costs a lot more than $100. Am I missing something? How is Barclay a better deal than a regular mileage credit card?

    • Brian March 25, 2014 at 3:57PM

      Robin, while you are correct with your specific example, I’m not sure you are looking at what it took to get those 10,000 miles. Because the Barclaycard Arrival (the the one that charges a yearly fee) gives you 2 miles for every dollar spent, it means that you got those 10,000 miles on the Barclaycard for spending $5,000. Chances are, the Elevate miles were earned at 1 point per dollar, which would mean those 10,000 miles required spending $10,000.

  8. carla March 13, 2014 at 10:21AM

    Hi– I have a question about redeeming for a travel credit.

    Let’s say I have already spent the amount to get the 40,000 bonus points. Is it true that I can redeem my Barclay miles while still earning Delta Miles?

    For example — when I redeem my Delta miles, I don’t get any mileage credit for that trip. Let’s say, I book a $400 round trip flight with Delta to LA, which would put 6000 miles into my Delta Skymiles account. Can I then use the travel credit towards that $400 on my account and still keep all the $6000 I just got from Delta?

    • Brian March 25, 2014 at 4:11PM

      To clarify what you are saying: You have a frequent flyer account with an airline. When you fly on that airline, they give you perks in the form of points. Save up enough points and they give you a free flight, or bump your class, etc. That airline doesn’t care what method you used to pay for those tickets. You could have paid cash at the counter. Doesn’t matter to them. Now you use the Arrival card to buy the ticket online. You earn miles on that ticket against your Barclaycard account, and you also earn awards from the airline. Again – the airline doesn’t care how you paid for the ticket – just that you are using their airline over another. If your ticket was fully paid for by cashing in Arrival miles, you’d still earn awards from your airline.

  9. Steph March 5, 2014 at 5:41PM

    I am going on a Euro trip. The question I have is not about the points, but about the availability. Can you use barclay in most city restaurants, bars, and grocery stores or is the Chip and Pin restricted to ATMs and Cash points when traveling over seas?

  10. Matt March 4, 2014 at 8:42PM

    So my biggest question is based on this scenario: I plan to travel, mainly cross-country for family. I won’t be spending on travel, but rather redeeming for travel (that’s really my biggest question, because i wont be spending on travel, is one card preferred over the other?) I’ll rack up points based on usage as I will be using the card for all purchases, including a monthly rent and mortgage payment. So would Arrival be preferred in this situation because i would really just be redeeming points/miles for travel rather than spending on travel? Thanks in advance!

    • Brian March 25, 2014 at 4:16PM

      Matt, It doesn’t matter how you rack up the points. But when you redeem them, it needs to be against a travel expense on that card to get the full 2.2% back. In other words, if you use the Arrival card for everything but travel, then it’s a bit pointless. How would you cash in on all that spending? But as long as you have a travel expense in the past 60 days, you can cash in points toward that expense. Note that you don’t really “redeem for travel”. You cash in the points to get credit back against past travel purchased on that card. Finally, I question your idea of using a credit card to pay for mortgage. There are many forums that talk about ways to do what, and the end result always points to – you cannot, without incurring costs greater than your potential reward. You might want to rethink that one. Believe me, I’d love to pay my mortgage with a card…

  11. Diana March 4, 2014 at 1:48PM

    I just dumped my and my husband’s Delta SKYMILES Cards Platinum and Gold respectively mostly based on their new SKYMILES policy. Instead we now have the Barclay Arrival World Master Cards Coming. Let me just say that priority boarding is not a huge plus for us. If we fly business we get on first anyway. Secondly, getting two points for each dollar spent is HUGE. This is really HUGE. AX is mostly affiliated with Delta and their partners. I like American and United’s partners better. So for this family it is WIN WIN.

  12. ScottW March 4, 2014 at 11:08AM

    If I get a 2nd card for my wife, is there an additional annual fee?

  13. Jeff L March 3, 2014 at 10:15PM

    I have both cards and know both card benefits quite well. (I work for chase and know the ultimate rewards program quite extensively).
    both cards are great and both have great benefits. the main difference obviously is the point value. barclays is great for the double points on anything, what is also great is that they update every few days rather than once a month like CSP.
    both have reward portals, but chase’s seems to be broader and usually pay better per merchant (my main ones seem to be home depot, lowes, best buy, target, walmart)

    i think the main value is when you transfer points to the partners. example: i flew to denver from san diego two weeks ago. just so i knew how much i was saving i checked the cash price. it was 415$ with taxes and fees. that would be 41,500 points on my barclay. i transferred my points, the cost using southwest rapid reward miles (which your CSP points can transfer to) was roughly 19k points and 10$ cash.
    barclay spending=20750$=41,500k points
    CSP= 19000k roughly spending=19000 points ( not counting dividend and this is using on all non bonus spending. 2k spent on food/travel in my example lowers cost to rough 17k)

    the barclay is basically a 2.2 cashback card that needs to be redeemed for travel, if anything this card needs to compared to the venture rather than CSP. the thing is travel is worth more when you spend on the sapphire. so kinda lose lose. I will use my barclay points and probably cancel the card.

    you get better value when you earn actual MILES with actual frequent flyer mile programs. cards like the barclay arrival, capital one venture and other cards like that earns points that need to redeemed like cash back with the credit card company themselves. (yet they call them miles to restrict their usage to travel)
    cards like CSP, ink, amex gold and platinum are nice because they allow transfer to multiple travel partners.

    • Brian March 25, 2014 at 4:31PM

      No doubt about it – for people that can travel any time and who are really aware of the redemption deals on various airlines, CSP is the better card. I travel with a family of 4 and only in the summer, so my choice of deals is usually between bad and awful. Those redemption deals you see just don’t appear often for summer travel to tropical locations. And when they do, good luck getting 4 seats for the same deal. For some people, the Arrival is better suited.

  14. eva March 2, 2014 at 11:05AM

    I have both cards, the annual fee versions.. The main difference is in the value of the points. Sapphire 1pt = 1 dollar. Arrival 1 pt = 50 cents unless u redeem it for travel. So beware.

    • Brian March 25, 2014 at 4:33PM

      I am surprised at the number of people who signed onto the Arrival card expecting to get 2% cash back. I don’t see a single site that recommends this card for anything other than travel rewards. Even Barclaycard doesn’t advertise it as a “cash back” card. Not very fair of you to ding the card because you thought it was something it never claimed to be…

  15. Tess February 21, 2014 at 5:24PM

    I got both of these last year and am coming up on my annual fee. I’m planning on cancelling the Barclay’s Arrival and keeping the CSP. Got DH to apply for the Barclay’s Arrival, so will have one more year of use out of his card, but we’ll cancel his CSP and make him an AU on mine. A new benefit of the Barclay’s cards is a free FICO score check whenever you want. And Tripit Pro is a “benefit” as well.

    Reasons for my choice to cancel the Arrival – you have to have at least 2500 pts to redeem, some expenses I would consider travel expenses are not counted that way by them, and I can get much more value out of my UR points. So if I have to pay an AF then I’d rather keep the CSP.

    I think the Capital One Quicksilver with no AF and 1.5% CB, no FX fee, is a really good alternative to the Arrival. Depends on your spending and where you spend it.

  16. Jakob February 18, 2014 at 12:49AM

    i see everyone here gawking at how good the barclays card is where as i am just sitting over here running numbers…

    i searched for a flight to london and back round trip in august and the best I could find was around 1559 so with taxes and for the sake of easy numbers we will call it 1600, to redeem that award with the Barclaycard it would need 160,000 points, -40,000 sign up bonus thats 120,000 points ooo but its okay cuz you earn 2.2% on each dollar you spend so 120,000/2.2 = 54,545 dollars you would need to spend to get the amount of points necessary

    where as with chase i looked at award flights for the exact same dates and would be able to make the flight on united for 90,000 points… -40,000 for sign up bonus i would need 50,000 points based that everydollar on chase you get 1.07% minimum back 50,000/1.07 = 46,728$ not including any dining, travel, or the chase freedom combo 5% earning categories…

    Also looked up flights to LAX and back on travelocity and kayak and found the average price around 250 dollars = 25,000 points 25,000/2.2 = 11,363 dollars to spend to get amount of points… booking with British Airways Avios i got the same flight for 9000 Avios + 5$ 9000 avios = 9000 Chase points.. 9000/1.07 (again 1.07 the bare minimum chase points are worth = 8,411 dollars spent.. over 3000 less then when using the Barclaycard it really is no competition… Chase SP all the way…

    • Jon March 1, 2014 at 12:10PM

      What would you say the average rewards rate for the CSP is? 1.5? A more accurate comparison would not include the 40,000 bonus points and use a more reflective rewards rate for CSP (not 1.07). My guess is CSP still wins.

  17. Ranger February 16, 2014 at 8:36AM

    “Because even though Chase allows you to convert points to frequent flier programs on a 1- for-1 basis, it’s highly unlikely that your airline frequent flier miles will be worth 2.2 cents each. But that’s the value you ALWAYS get with spending on Arrival.”

    This is true, but ft travel and dining expenses where you can also get 2 points on CSP, the conversion to airline points comes out ahead of Barclays.

  18. Phil February 10, 2014 at 10:50PM

    Do the miles ever expire? I would like to get the 40k introductory points plus gain a decent amount more for a future (more expensive) trip, but not sure if we will take that trip in a year or two or three.

    • Susan February 12, 2014 at 6:28AM

      They never expire.

  19. Megan February 2, 2014 at 12:12PM

    I am new to all this and have been researching this so much that I think my brain may explode. I am an extreme coupon gal but new to saving money traveling. Thanks for the help!
    I just wanted clarification:
    If I apply and get the Barclaycard Arrival and then book a vacation (airfare and hotel) on like cheapcaribbean.com or something. . . and its over $1000, I can earn the 40,000 “against” that. ? That is where I am confused….
    Do I buy my vacation and then have the 40000 points hanging out until I want to book my next vacation……or I can actually redeem it against my first purchase…. does that even make sense?! :) Thanks again for helping out this newbie! :)

    • Jeremiah February 9, 2014 at 12:23PM

      You can’t spend the miles until you have earned them. So you would need to make the $1000 in purchases (on travel or anything else), then you can redeem them on your next trip. So…
      Spend $1000 on groceries, gas, etc this month
      Earn 40,000 miles plus 2,000 miles for purchases
      Redeem $420 off your trip expense next month.
      Receive 4200 miles back in rebate to use some other time.

    • Susan February 12, 2014 at 6:32AM

      After you book over $1000, your reward will be 42,000 (2,000 for the 2 for 1 rewards + 40,000 bonus). When you want to redeem the rewards, you simply go online and choose to redeem for travel, and the purchases which are eligible will show up in a list and you pick which ones you want redeemed. It is redeemed against that purchase you have already made. Plus, then you get back 10% of the rewards you redeem towards travel. For example, if you redeem 40,000 points, you will get back 4,000 reward points as a bonus to use for next time. Hope that made sense.

  20. tom February 1, 2014 at 9:34AM

    i want to apply by phone for arrival card, but not able to get connected to “apply for credit ” only to enter ss# & zip code and be told they can’t find any information and to call back in a week. Anyone got a number to a real person or a way thru computer prompts?

  21. Clarence January 29, 2014 at 10:15PM

    It’s pretty hidden. It’s easy to overlook the redemption value of the points. The website quickly states it is for travel. But no where could I find the redemption value for cash/statement credit. It’s buried in the info they provide in the welcome package. Hence, if you travel a lot, it’s good. I, however, just had my first born and do foresee doing as much traveling.

  22. jill January 29, 2014 at 11:51AM

    i have been on the phone for one hour trying to sort out the 40 thousand bonus points on barclay world master card. i was told that since my card was converted from visa virgin that i was not eligible for points. there is no place that tells you this and now i think it was a big scam.

  23. Tom January 26, 2014 at 8:16AM

    I’m a little confused, can someone please explain how the points redemption works for the Barclay’s card? Say I have 50,000 points on the card, what does that get me with say US Air?


    • Dan February 1, 2014 at 12:55PM

      $500 statement credit towards any purchase for travel.

      Then you get 5,000 points back, so that’s another $50 towards travel.

      Just buy the plane ticket, or hotel, or whatever on the card, and then redeem for points on the barclaycard website.

  24. Saurabh January 23, 2014 at 8:00AM

    Thanks for the details. I wanted to pick between the barclay arrival and chase sapphire preferred. The barclays seems to come on the top and I just applied and got approved for it. Post approval, I called the customer care (luckily the waiting time was just 1 min) and requested for an express shipping. The lady was nice enough to waive the $29 for fedex next day shipping. Waiting for the card and seems like a good start.

    And yes you can use it to book travel through a direct airline or a travel website like orbitz. Once your expenses are posted to the account, you can use your points for redemption against the expense.

  25. Shana January 21, 2014 at 3:07PM

    A few questions about the Barclay Arrival: Can i transfer miles from my delta skymiles Amex card to this one? Can this card be used with any airline? Can I use it on Expedia, Oribitz etc? Just trying to figure out if I should cancel my Amex (hate be stuck to only Delta Airlines), but not sure if this is a good move.

  26. JosePer January 16, 2014 at 11:48PM

    I recently was approved for the Arrival Mastercard. I got the card and logged on to activate it only to find they put a fraud alert on my card. I called and worked it out, or so I thought. When I tried to use the card the charge was denied and they locked my account again! I am not happy with the customer service agent that was very rude with me. I think I would rather give another a try, does anyone know a card company that would appreciate a paying customer?

  27. michael January 9, 2014 at 6:48PM

    So the verdict is the CSP card if your primary concern is travel redemption, and the Barclays card if your point redemption falls into the other than travel category?

    I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around all these different cards, but think I have it narrowed down to these two. I will use this card primarily for work expenses (gas, hotel, food) at approximately $1700/month on average, paid in full each month.

    I travel to Germany and Belgium annually, flying through Frankfurt, and am searching for the most bang for my buck with travel redemption.

  28. Jenny January 7, 2014 at 9:12PM

    Do you have to have that bonus points in your account before you can buy air ticket?
    For example, I just got my card, I also need to buy a $500 air ticket now. I probably cannot have the bonus points show up in my account one month later. So, one month later, can I redeem those 40k points toward the $500 air ticket?


    • mike January 8, 2014 at 1:22PM

      You have 90 days to use the points for a ticket

  29. Garrett January 7, 2014 at 3:22PM

    Do you need to “buy” individual purchases with your points on the Barclays card, or can it be applied?

    I’m looking to buy a new computer for around $1500, but not use the card for anything else. With the 40,000 bonus points ($400), will this effectively make my purchase $1100?

    Or can I only use the $400 credit to “buy” purchases udner $400?

    Simply put, can it be applied as a partial credit to a large bill, or only line items?

    • mike January 8, 2014 at 1:24PM

      40K full points are equivilant to $400 for travel charges. But if you want to use the 40k miles for other than travel then its equal to $200 which is 0.5%

  30. ChristinaS January 6, 2014 at 9:32AM

    This is very helpful. I was about to sign up for Barclaycard Arrival until I read your note about the point to miles transfer NOT being 1:1 as in Chase Saphire.

    However, I have a very specific question, which of the “miles” cards offers the “quickest” best value option to get a mileage bonus upon signing up. For me that means, which card offers me the quickest way to get 30k in miles or more in the shortest time? I especially need to get miles within the next month on United or American airlines for an upcoming trip. Note, I already have a United/ Chase Visa card (so it seems unlikely they will let me get the Explorer card. To me it looks like Citi Platinum Select would be best because I only have to spend $1000 to get 30,000 on American airlines. What do you think?

  31. chris fedder December 30, 2013 at 12:53PM

    was very excited when I received this card….. until today. I am currently trying to redeem my airline miles for a trip I just reserved. ive been put on hold for almost an hour now! I have never had worse service than this…there is no excuse for this lack of service. seriously considering cancelling this card after I redeem my miles…if anyone ever answers the phone at the redemption office

    • chris fedder December 30, 2013 at 1:00PM

      I am still waiting on the phone for someone to answer at the redemption office….its been over an hour now….and I haven’t even gotten a live person on the line yet!!!!!! this is ridiculous!!!!!!

    • chris paynter January 2, 2014 at 3:39PM

      i’m not sure why you’re making this so difficult. you don’t need to call barclaycard. just pay for your trip, and once the charge hits your account, log into your barclaycard account online, select the charge and redeem as many points as you like.

  32. Dave December 27, 2013 at 10:12AM

    I think a lot gets over looked when thinking about cards. I have recently applied for and received both the barclay and the sapphire preferred. After much debate research i am going to stick with the sapphire preferred. You have to think about what you are going to use your card for and HOW your going to redeem your points as well as what the card program offers beyond just points. CSP gives you a 7% annual dividend on all points earned throughout the year regardless of whether the have been redeemed of not. While this is still not as many points as Barclay its a nice perk and brings them pretty close.
    Then i looked at the program itself. Both offer a nice purchase portal if you will where you can stock up on points sometimes many more than you would just normally get by going to the retail website it self, BUT CSP seems to have a broader network extending into concert pre sale tickets and special events hosted periodically throughout the year. Obviously thats a personal preference.
    Then I looked at redeeming miles. The programs CSP is partnered with can offer way better than 1 cent/mile when transferred to the frequent flyer programs. I went on southwests and uniteds websites and looked at point price vs $ price. In addition to that you get 20% off your flight when using ultimate rewards and 3x points as opposed to 2x the points and 10% points back with barclay. Say your flight is $200. With CSP the flight would cost $160 and get 3x points if using their website. Having read reviews and spoken with representatives, they arent trying to nickel and dime you on their website. In fact if you find a better deal on another travel website they will match it, or you can just buy it and get the standard 2x points that way. If you use Barclay thats 20000 points gone and then 2000 back which is about $20. It doesn’t seem like barclay is getting you that great a deal unless your concerned solely with earning points.
    If im missing something or have misinterpreted something please let me know.

    • helonewman8 January 2, 2014 at 10:59AM

      The 20% discount is for reward travel, not day-to-day prices.

  33. lynn S December 26, 2013 at 12:08PM

    I just spent several hours trying to sort out this Barclay’s arrival mastercard that is replacing the virgin america visa. It took three different people to finally spell out that it takes 60,000 points to “buy” a $600 plane ticket. What? You think that is a good deal? And why is the “How you redeem points for a ticket” not described anywhere? Is this card a scam or was I given incorrect information by the supervisor?

    • mike January 8, 2014 at 1:28PM

      Well in reality since you getting 2X on every charge, 60K points is really 30K of purchases. So if you spend $30K on card, you earn 60k points and in return can use for $600 ticket. Thats really good

  34. Ted December 8, 2013 at 10:04AM

    First thank you very much for great article on Barclaycard arrival.

    I got an invitation letter for Barclaycard (I always wait invitations, and I only apply credit card with pre-approved letter) , and I’ve been member of Barclaycard Arrival card since June, 2013. Before that I didn’t know anything on Barclaycard.

    I think the Barclay Arrival card is the best for me, so far (I have Fidelity AMEX with 2% cash back, and Bluesky from AMEX, etc,). The currency exchange rate is very reasonable, and Barclay doesn’t put any additional fee in the purchase outside of the U.S. So, much better to use the Arrival card outside of the U.S. than to exchange at the airport.

    One latest great change is that Barclay Arrival card gives me free FICO score since November, 2013 (“Tools” => “Your FICO Score” in card web site). I’m not sure but I guess it’s updated monthly. I’m very happy with such additional service.

  35. Some Guy November 29, 2013 at 10:41AM

    FWIW, I just got denied (for the first time ever) when applying for the Barclaycard, but got approved for the Chase. ~760 credit score, own my home, $95k income. I do have one other card with Chase (no-frills, Hess-branded) and two with Barclaycard (via Apple.com) with low credit limits and usage.

  36. Mike November 22, 2013 at 2:11PM

    I prefer to just go with the card that will give me the highest value in rewards for my spending. (Although, the metallic heft of the Chase Sapphire Preferred is pretty cool. : ) )

  37. Ali November 7, 2013 at 9:40AM

    The Sapphire Preferred as an annual points dividend equal to 7% of the points earned in the prior year, which was not discussed on your blog. How will this alter the benefits?

  38. joe November 4, 2013 at 10:22AM

    great analysis thanks

  39. prabhunagar October 10, 2013 at 4:53PM

    Re: trip cancellation : Visa signature does not provide trip cancellation insurance. PLEASE correct me, if I am wrong. I think only world master card provide that. Thanks.

  40. Ryan October 10, 2013 at 2:04PM

    I recently got approved for an installment loan for my Benz E class with 4% rate from NJ bank. My credit score is 734 and have short history. average account 1.8 years old. have 9 inquiries. Yeah i know a lot, and recently got turned down by macy for their retail card .

    So i’ve been researching and really wanted Barclay arrival world card, black one, and was hesitate to apply although 734 is excellent according to experian out of fear im gonna get rejected again.

    so i followed my instinct and applied anyway and i got approved instantly for $5000 credit limit. I am happy and plan to use it a lot for everything. i guess am a credit card nerd since i already have sapphire preferred, amex and united mileage plus.

  41. Dave September 27, 2013 at 5:59AM

    Does the Barclaycard Arrival offer a chip and pin version? If so, it’s my next card.

  42. Randy Wilkinson September 8, 2013 at 10:54AM

    I currently have Southwest Visa for my wife, son, daughter, and myself. We all use these for basic charges, and of course use the points for flights as we build them up. Southwest is very simple to use, and they are very customer friendly. I am always looking for something better, so I would be interested in talking to someone regarding this card and perhaps what advantage it might have.

  43. joshua August 24, 2013 at 1:43PM

    This actually answered my own problem, thanks!

  44. Rick Solo July 24, 2013 at 7:01PM

    Just an FYI the Barclaycard Arrival with the $89 annual fee is the black one.

    • Rick Solo July 24, 2013 at 7:02PM

      Forgot one more thing it is 2% on ALL purchases.

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