Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review

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Our rating

3 stars3/5

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See breakdown of this card’s rating

As airlines continue to lose rewards altitude on their frequent flier programs, a trend has developed over the past few years toward generic travel reward cards that are untethered to specific airlines. These programs can be quite lucrative and provide a level of redemption flexibility not afforded with cards co-branded with major air carriers. However, the downside is that any “miles” earned with these cards can’t be combined with branded airline frequent flier miles. Some popular examples are the Capital One Venture and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

A few years ago, Barclaycard US decided to join this travel rewards party with the Barclaycard Arrival cards. There are two versions of the card in the wild, but only one is still open for new applicants.

  • Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® ($0 annual fee) — this card is no longer available for applications, but current cardholders are still grandfathered in.
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® ($89 annual fee)

Both versions function as generic travel-rewards cards. You earn generic “miles” that you cash in at a fixed value to cancel out travel purchases. You can redeem for cash-back statement credits, too, but the value of the points gets cut in half. So it’s best to redeem against travel purchases.

There is one important issue to be aware of with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus — you must redeem at least 10,000 miles ($100 worth of rewards) every time. That’s a relatively high redemption threshold compared to other cards. That can leave you waiting a long time between redemptions — and means you can’t redeem for small travel expenses.

So how do they compare?

Obviously the reward design team took a page from the Sapphire and Sapphire Preferred playbook. Compare them side by side, as well as their best current bonus offers to see how similarly they stack up:

 Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® - Earn 1x on All Purchases
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardBarclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Annual FeeNoneIntroductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $89
Restaurants2 points/dollar2 points/dollar2 points/dollar
Travel2 points per dollar2 points per dollar2 points per dollar
All Other Purchases1 point per dollar1 point per dollar2 points per dollar
Bonus OfferUnavailable50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in first 3 months from account openingEarn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

At first glance, the $89 Arrival Plus and Sapphire Preferred appear to be almost the same… until you get to that line about all other purchases.

If the bulk of your spending probably falls under “all other purchases” this could be an advantage for the Arrival Plus.

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

1st difference: The value per point

When it comes to the regular Arrival card, each point has a value of exactly 1 cent per mile when redeemed for travel (the redemption value for cash is cut in half). So thinking of these “miles” as cash back might be a simpler way to think of them.

Keep in mind, however, you get a 5 percent redemption bonus, so your points are really worth 1.05 cents each (for a return of 2.1 cents on every dollar spent).

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

  • Barclays gives 5 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 Chase Preferred Business Ink card — also $95 a year) 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 (British Airways, Southwest and United, for example).

With the Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer to its partners 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.

But guess what? The $89 Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard could still beat Chase.

Why? Even though Chase allows you to convert points to frequent flier programs on a 1-for-1 basis, you won’t always get a return of 2.1 cents per dollar spent. That’s the value you ALWAYS get with spending on Arrival, since you earn an unlimited 2 miles on everything PLUS you get 5 percent of them back to use again (which nets you a 2.1 percent rebate on your spending).

2nd difference: World Elite MasterCard vs. Visa Signature

World Elite MasterCardThese two tiers of benefits have some similarities. They each offer:

  • Concierge service
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Secondary collision coverage on eligible car rentals
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel assistance services

Consult the respective issuer for the rules and restrictions surrounding each benefit, though. The average traveler probably won’t find too many differences between World Elite MasterCard and Visa Signature benefits.

What’s the verdict?
The Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard may not be the game-changer it was, when it first entered the market, especially because there’s now a no-annual-fee cash-back card that offers up to a 2 percent return on spending (just hair shy of the 2.1 percent return on the Arrival Plus). So make sure your spending still justifies the $89 annual fee.

Trying to decide between the Arrival Plus and the similarly-priced Chase Sapphire Preferred?

If you want the ability to maximize rewards (and have the patience for it), the Sapphire Preferred is probably your card. The ability to transfer into frequent flier programs is powerful and flexible. If you don’t want loyalty points for your frequent flier or hotel program, I would go for the Arrival. True, you max out at 1.05 cents per point, but you don’t have to worry about maximizing.

The chip on the Arrival Plus is PIN-capable, too. Most U.S.-issued EMV cards require a signature for verification, meaning they won’t work in some unmanned payment terminals overseas. But the Barclaycard Arrival Plus allows you to set a PIN, just in case. That benefit is rare among EMV cards issued by U.S. banks – and makes it fully EU-compliant.

Why we gave it 3 out of 5 stars

This card’s rating is based on our standards for Generic Travel Rewards cards, as it earns generic “miles” that can be redeemed at a fixed value.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus earned stars for its high return on spending and the simplicity of its rewards program. It lost some for its high redemption threshold and lack of perks that alleviate the cost of the annual fee.

Full starRewards-earning rate: This card meets our standards for annual-fee cards by offering at least 2X miles on regular spending OR at least 3X miles in at least one bonus category. The Arrival Plus offers 2 miles per dollar spent.
Full starBonus-earning opportunities: The Arrival+ card offers an advertised sign-up bonus, redemption bonuses and a bonus-shopping portal.
half starRewards simplicity/flexibility: Points are easy to use, but we docked half a star for the high ($100) redemption threshold.
half starUnique perks: This card offers free FICO score access, but no other notable extra perks.
Empty starFair annual fee: This card has no perks with monetary value that cancels out the annual fee. Spending (and thus earning rewards) is the only way to “earn it back.”

Written or last updated December 2016

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
Michael Monaghan

You have to make travel purchases over $100.00 for each individual purchase to be eligible to use the points.
I was traveling cross country and had numerous $50.00 hotel charges. I couldn’t use points for any of them because they weren’t over $100.00 individually.
What a freeekin joke.
They are a pain in the ass rewards card.

My latest post on the one forum that will be duplicated to many others. The Barclay Card series of 3 “Luxe Cards” is a an absolute joke! I carry an Amex Business PT with no pre set spending limit as well as a Ritz Rewards card with a line of credit in excess of $40k I also carry an Amex PT Delta Sky miles card with a $25k credit line. My income is more than adequate. I have ZERO debt and each card is paid in full each month. I have an Experian score of 790 as well. I applied for the Barclays “Gold Card” to give it a try although hesitant of the $995.00 annual fee which to me is ridiculous. I was turned down….They are going to lose quite a bit of new clients who can actually afford the obnoxious annual fees and not to mention those who carry balances. This is a blessing in disguise as I would not want to do business with a card company as such at this point.

I asked very nicely but Arrival+ Annual Fee was not waived so I closed the account. Citi DoubleCash MC also give 2% cashback. You’ll have to spend $44,500 annually on the Arrival+ card to match the cash back from Citi DoubleCash. Also in order to get cashback from Arrival+ you have to have travel expenses.

I have had no problems with Barclays customer service and have two cards with Barclay since 2014. Never had a charge declined. Not sure where all of the haters are coming from. Have been very satisfied with both cards. Enjoy the benefits. Don’t have a Chase card so in all fairness I can’t compare the two.

I have the Barclays arrival card and it is my go to card! I have had no problems with this card. The rewards offered were delivered. Barclays flagged a fraudulent purchase canceled the card and I had anew one delivered immediately. If I had to choose this the one card of many I would keep!

Worst credit card on the market do not use them, I purchased an item they wouldn’t even do anything about it, spoke to the manager from Nevada his name was was ken, he told me he was a manager, and Gia from Nevada, when you buy an item from a store and he doesn’t want to do anything about, it the credit card company should step in. You should use only American Express, they are the best

I would only get this card if you like having it shut down every single week. My card gets shut down constantly and I don’t have fraud alerts against it. Every time it gets shut down, I call customer service and speak to supervisors and they say that they system is automated, there is nothing they can do, then they tell me the hold was placed by a physical person (in contradiction to what they said earlier), they are sorry, they know that they are shutting it down every week, but I should just be patient and keep calling them. This past week, they shut my card down even when I called to tell them I was travelling out of the country and the exact restaurants I was going to be eating in. Their response was even if they put travel notes in the system, it will still shut them down. They then said a physical agent shut it down even though I told them the exact places I was going to be. Basically, they have no ability to manage their fraud system and said they have no way to get feedback to their fraud team. This is a complete systemic failure. I also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and I never have security holds placed on that card.

I agree with Jeremy. This is a “travel” points card that you can’t use when you travel. The damn fraud alert system is HORRIBLE. I put travel notices in before I travel and I still got declined purchases. They tried to say a wrong zipcode was entered at Starbucks. I asked the lady when is the last time Starbucks asked for a zipcode. She then went on to say it could have been something else. This is like the 5th time. I”M OUT. This is by far the worst card ever.

I’ve had my card replaced at least three times in six months–total pain to redo my autopay accounts. It seems like any charge over $100 also gets rejected–even if it is a local charge. I really like the Barclays Arrival card, and we charge a lot on it every month. But I’m tired of all the hassles with fraud management. We are closing our account.

Couldn’t agree more! My card has also beeb shut down by Barclays for no reason. Can’t wait to use up the points (preferably before I incur the first yearly charge!) and get another Chase Sapphire or simply use my AMx…Their customer service is beyond compare!

How does the Alaska Air Visa (Bank of America) travel card compare?

How does the Alaska Airlines Visa BoA card complare for rewards?

I must agree with many of the Barclay arrival card users’ comments about customer service. It’s deplorable. 9-13 minute hold times – and despite my travel notification to Barclay -many of my European purchase attempts with this card were rejected. Getting someone on the phone was hard enough but three days in a row I had to call – the hold times for all customer service lines was outrageous. They have an international collect line – good luck reaching someone for that matter any of the numbers. When I finally reached someone on the concierge line – you guessed it – they put me on hold to find a live person who could help me. I ended up using my American Express where I could with no problem
and husbands French bank issued credit card.

Sooo happy I did my due diligence before accepting an invitation to Barclay’s Arrival MC. The tale of customer disservice is epic on the level of Gilgamesh. The dysfunctional situation at Barclay’s customer service seems irreversible. Of the over 400 reviews of Barclays card and their customer disservice department at one review site, Consumer Affairs, over 140 of them are of the “worst of the worst” category. The remainder only offer claims to the benefits of points offered. All are derogatory of the Barclays customer interface on all levels. As with all business endeavors, Caveat emptor.

On paper this card is excellent. However it is nothing but anger and frustration to own it. I have had this card for a little over 6 months and have had to call them no less than 20 times to tell them that my card is not stolen please allow the charges. it is extremely frustrating and very embarrassing depending on the company that you’re in. On top of that my roommate who has the same card is living in Thailand for 6 months. As you can imagine he wanted a credit card that is designed for world travel. Well he lost his card the first week he was over there. He said that Barclay was not only completely unhelpful they refused to send him a new card. He had to send it to my house, his old address, then I had to drive to FedEx and spend $100 to ship it to his apartment in Thailand. Really great customer service for what is supposedly a
world travel card.

The worst customer service ever. Let the charges go $16 USD over the limit by adding the $16 interest on the day card was paid, waved the interest, so the balance went back under the limit, and then, the same day reported to credit burrows card being over the limit!
Now my credit history damaged over $16 charge by the card itself.
My next step – close the account – report to Better Business Bureau, consumer affairs complaints, saturating social media with this story to make consumers aware of this unacceptable way Barclays conducting the business. BEWARE!
I have contacted everyone I could already, I didn’t want it to come to this. I am disputing the credit report and dedicating my company’s IT department to make the world aware of the way your company conducts the business through saturating the social media with this information and filing multiple complaints.

You probably shouldn’t ever bring your card to the limit.

You're a DumbAss

Should I be sympathizing with you because you don’t know how to control your spending and went over your limit? I don’t see how Barclays is at fault in any of this.

I’ve been using this card for last 11 months, and I love it for the following reasons
– 2 points on everything (This is my primary card, and I’ve racked up 130,000 + the initial bonus of 40000 points)
– FICO score (Nice to see this on a regular basis)
– Chip & Pin for international travel
– Easy to redeem ($1800 in credits so far)

Even though it has $89 annual fee, it pays for itself in my case. I’m certainly not keen on paying them annual fee, but plan to use it next year as well.

Does the Barclaycard Arrival have foreign transaction fees?

Either for the annual fee version or the no annual fee version, there is no foreign transaction fee.

I’ve had a U.S.Airways dividend miles Signature Visa card for many years, issued from Bank of America. I’ve had many offers to change cards to the U.S. Airways MasterCard,offering bonus miles if I switch. I declined these offers because I liked my Visa-Signature card and never had any problems with it. I have over 110,000 miles racked up so far. Then in January, I received a U.S. Airways Dividend Miles World Elite MasterCard out of the blue and my Visa card was automatically cancelled the end of January. I pay my balance each month and my credit score is excellent. I had no choice in this matter, was not offered any bonus miles and have already paid my annual fee for my B of A visa. I’m planning a trip to China next year and am concerned that I’ll have problems booking my trip with miles on this new mastercard. Can the banks automatically do this? So far, Barclay customer service isn’t much help.

I recently applied for this card and was told by a woman on the phone that I was approved and that they would mail me my card. When I finally got a letter from them, it was a letter saying that I had been denied for the card. My credit score is great, but since I have only a part time job right now, I guess they didn’t think I could handle my bills. I wouldn’t have been upset if they didn’t tell me that I was approved and then changed their minds.

I’ve had the Arrival card all year and everything was fine until suddenly 2 weeks ago they started flagging and declining purchases every other day as potential fraud. I have to call in each time to speak to an agent to get the card unlocked. This makes using the card major pain. They are even flagging purchases from Amazon! Spoke to someone a few days ago asking why this was happening and they said they make a note on the account. This morning I woke up to an email from Amazon saying that payment was declined for yesterday’s purchases. I never received a call or an email from Barclays letting me know to call them. I called in and the rep couldn’t care less. I told her that if I called them again this week it would be to close the account. Super frustrating.

Can anyone address the issue (on any or all of the cards) of rental car coverage. I have tried calling several times and at Barclay, at least, it seems to be top secret. What I want to know is how many rental days are allowed? Am Ex allows up to 42 days, while my US Airways Dividend miles covers only 14.

CSP is making a series of changes to the rewards program – no more earning points when making purchases through the ur site. using points in the ur site will now have cost based redemption, like you used to be able to get a $400 trip for 30,000 points. but now they will charge 40,000 points. i think the only advantage is that you can transfer 1 to 1 to partners and you have added flexibility with redemption options.

I have Chase Sapphire Preferred and Barclay Arrival – considering cancelling Chase. I had Delta (Amex) too. Booking a flight with mileage is getting harder and harder if not impossible. You have to book away in advance and also in low season in order to use. If you are able and willing then it maybe worth to you.
I wanted flexibility and freedom to choose – I found Delta was consistently high priced and getting almost impossible to fly free using the mileage. With Chase, I have to use their portal website to book a flight.
With Barclay, I have the freedom – easier just get credit. To cover all the bases, I also have Southwest and United card – with those 3 cards most of the destinations are covered and bags are free.

Instead of using the Delta card, try calling American Express and asking for a product change to a different AMEX card (AMEX Blue, AMEX Blue Cash, etc.) I’ve had success in the past switching from the Delta card to this line of product and they’re really pretty good about it. This allows you the flexibility to use your Chase or Barclay card for Delta and other airlines while still earning rewards on other portions of your spending.

I have the Barclay Arrival card and generally like it a lot. For my purposes (mostly domestic/coach travel) it is clearly superior to the CSP. However, Barclay’s customer service is pretty terrible. Biggest problem – the customer reps have very little training and no authority to do anything. They cannot answer the most basic questions, such as “Do bed and breakfasts count as travel expenses?” and they cannot solve problems without a lengthy escalation process. The rollout of the upgrade to Arrival+ World Elite was botched in every way imaginable. Every customer rep had a different answer to the question, “Will existing customers be upgraded?” (I’m still waiting for my upgrade, with no way to find out when/if it will happen). However, the card itself is very powerful. 2% back on all purchases. Sweet.

I got approved for a card recently and called them to see if they will ship it express and waive the $29.99. I was denied. I even mentioned that I read online they did it for a few customers and that didn’t help either. Wasn’t too impressed that they wouldn’t offer me the same benefit they offered their other clients. Can’t wait to cancel it once the 1 year free membership is up.

Has anyone gotten the airline luxury (business class) upgrade ?? How does it work ?

BEWARE of BARCLAY – they do HARD inquiry each time you apply for credit card causing a major drop in your credit score and won’t do nothing if you ask them to remove those from your credit score

DUH Ruth.. What planet are you from. All credit cards do a hard pull from your credit report when you apply, UNLESS you already have an existing account with them and even then they usually do.

Yeah – whenever you apply for ANY credit card – you will get a hard inquiry!

I read in the fine print that purchases must have a merchant code. Regarding the 2x points on “all other purchases”, are there restrictions (besides liquid transactions is money orders, foreign currency transfers)?

I obtained a Barclaycard Arrival+ card based solely on the advertised perk that the card is a chip and signature card “with chip and pin capability” (explained as pin capability for unattended kiosks). I have just returned from Europe and attempted on two occasions to use the Arrival+ in a self-serve kiosk in a grocery store. Even though this should have been a situation in which the pin-only capability would have activated, the card still demanded a signature – an embarrassing situation when one is responsible for holding up a line while searching for a store manager who can unlock the machine and override the signature requirement. I called Barclaycard and was told that it is up to individual merchants as to whether the “pin only” capability at self-serve kiosks is allowed. This explanation does not make sense because one cannot know in advance of trying the card in a self-serve kiosk whether the particular situation allows the pin (and, if it doesn’t, precipitating a very embarrassing situation for the cardholder). I am writing to alert you and your readers that use of the pin-only capability for the Arrival+ card is far from straightforward and borders on worse than useless if the explanation I received from Barclay is correct.

In one of their FAQs it says that the very first purchase abroad has to be through a signature on a staffed machine. That activates the pin and from then on you can use it in unmanned kiosks.

My dad had the Barclaycard Arrival and I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred. While we were traveling in Europe, his card triggered a fraud alert even though he told them he was traveling in advance. Dealing with the Barclay customer service was such a PITA to get the card activated again. Had no issues with the CSP card except since the CSP is chip and signature and not chip and pin, it didn’t work in the automated fare machines in the train station.

Had my card since end of June. Applied online beginning of May. They needed proof of address which I had to mail in (no fax guys?). This delayed the processing for over a month! Didn’t get it in the mail until June 28ish. However, once I logged into my account, my account start date shows June 12. Terrible service.

Also, I had a fraud alert stop on my card this week (I made a legit purchase, just needed to clarify with them). Took me 30 min on hold before I was able to reach an agent. This I found a little ridiculous. The call was made on Saturday, July 12 at 6:00pm PST. Barclay, if you are reading this, hire more agents.

Question on redemption. Is there an advantage to saving up “miles” and redeeming them for larger travel purchases or can I just redeem them as they are earned for small travel expenses?

READ THE FINE PRINT. For 12 years we had the USAirways Frequent Flyer Card. It earned one mile for every dollar spent. Though over the years mileage requirements went up the card still had a travel value. Recently I changed over to the Barclay Arrival World card. It was touted as one of the best deals around with 40,000 “miles” for enrolling if we did $3000 in purchases in the first two months. Barclaycard advertising also touted there would be no travel black out dates. Sounded pretty slick since we travel a good bit. Check it out: yes we did get the 40,000 “miles”. Most all our purchases over about $ 20.00 are put on the card (we never carry a balance). In no time we had almost 70,000 miles on the card. Planning a trip to South America I called Barclay card and asked about redeeming my Barclay miles for air travel. Long story short Barclay Card does not give miles, they pay cash against your air purchase. Only problem is that with the USAirways card I could, by todays mileage, trade 80,000 USAirway miles for a roundtrip ticket to Buenos Aries flying business class. With my Barclay card that same 80,000 will only knock $800 of the price of my ticket. A HUGE difference when you consider that the round trip business to Buenos Aries is worth over $2800.00. All Barclay does is when you purchase your ticket on their card they reduce what you owe them at the rate of $.10 on the dollar up to the number of points you have. No black out dates!! Heck no! You are buying the ticket with your money. No black out dates with cash! Ever!- regardless of what card you use to pay the airline with. What happened to truth in advertising. Lying to sell product; what a novel approach to doing business. Say what?

OK that’s frustrating, to be sure. However the card’s terms are pretty clear. It says right on the front page of the website that you “redeem for statements against travel.” In fact, it’s the same system a lot of travel cards use — like Capital One’s travel credit cards. I recently got this card, and its terms were crystal clear in the advertizing that was mailed to me — you book travel and get reimbursed at 1 cent per “mile.” I agree that people need to be careful with these kinds of “travel” cards and make sure they’re right for them, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that their advertizing is deceptive or dishonest. I admit, maybe they should call them “points” or “travel credits,” instead of miles, because many people might assume that miles are like airline miles. But its advertizing is pretty clear, I thought.

Joe Common Sense

Really, come on. Read the facts for the Barclaycard – there’s no deception, you just didn’t understand how it worked! Seriously, a posting like you made makes you sound a bit ignorant for not paying attention.

That is so true. That is why Chase Saphire preferred is the best card ever. I transferred 60000 points into my United mileage plus and was able to get a round trip to Argentina, which was worth over $1600. So the redemption ratio is a lot higher. I have the Arrival plus also but nothing beats the flexibility of Chase Saphire preferred. Another example is I travel to Bay area quite often and 17000 southwest points gives me a round trip ticket which is around $280 plus. 1 to 1 transfer from Chase and all set.

Really you didn’t bother to read the terms?! Amazing!!!!!

im sorry for you but you should READ THE CARDHOLDER AGREEMENT. It is quite clear. I have the card and it works as advertised.

thank you for this post. this is exactly what i’ve been trying to figure out. they keep talking about giving a 10pct bonus when used as statement credit. I kept thinking, what is a statement credit? how about if I want to redeem miles directly? apparently, that’s not how they work. shame on them.

I am planning a trip to Hawaii and Asia in 6 months. If i apply for the Barclay card, will they block the ticket purchase? I am estimating the cost of this trip to be around 15k. I pay my balance in full every month and I have excellent credit.

I just received my Card in the mail (World Arrival+) and it came a day late. They called me to make sure I receieved my card on time. It came a day late and they waived the 29.99 fee for expidited shipping. Great start to customer service for me. You don’t find that anywhere else!

Just FYI, even my dad with bad credit history got $2,500 World Elite card from Barclay. I have one myself and as well as Chase Sapphire. Barclay point system seems straight forward, buy anything travel anywhere and then simply redeem on website in 2 seconds. I got my points right away after I spent $1k (now its $3k limit). Not sure which card I want to cancel and which to keep…..Chase vs Barclay….Visa Signature vs MasterCard Elite….also keep in mind that many Elite benefits are BS. Hotel and Flight upgrades are useless for an average person. My economy flight is $1200, but in order to qualify for business class upgrade you need to pay “full fare” price of $3600, only then MasterCard Elite will upgrade you to Business Class for “free”

Barclay has been okay for me but I’m disappointed they will not upgrade me to the World Elite Mater Card. I just got the card a few months ago and like how quickly the points post compared to Amex. I have already used over $600 in travel statement credits. I will be totally happy if they upgrade me to World Elite soon. The CS Rep told me they would re-evaluate in six months. I’m almost wishing I waited to apply for the card as they did not have the World Elite option a few months ago.

The card is great. I have gotten over 600 in credits for travel. I have good customer service and have never had a real problem. I am waiting for my World Elite mastercard in the mail ! The only thing that keeps me from using this card over my travelocity rewards american express card is the point system. I am grandfathered into their 5x per dollar on travelocity purchases. At 20,000 points I get a $400.00 ticket on travelocity over the 40,000 points on my barclays arrival.

Worst customer service for Barclay Arrival Mastercard with annual fee. The card is promoted as a major one for travel purpose and it declines purchase of airline ticket. Calling the customer service – the agent mentions that’s what they will continue to do unless they figure out my spending patterns. i am not sure how they can figure out a person’s spending patterns if the card’s going to decline every transaction. The other credit card companies contact the customer when they think there’s a suspicious charge made. The agent said they will not contact me if the charge is a minor one; an airline ticket purchase can never be a minor one for them to decline and not even inform the consumer if indeed the charge was fraudulent. Asked the agent for what transaction purchase I should inform them and he was clueless to tell me a specific number for my account. Hate to do this but will definitely be canceling the card after mile redemption if i can even reach that milestone based upon their card decline.

I needed to sperad out a web-based bank account and am thinking about purchasing a home soon. Just how much will this effect my credit rating?Thanks! It’s really a bank account through Schwab that provides quite a high number interest in your money, so I am unsure in the event that is important.

why is there so many haters for the arrival card?

because the card is great while you’re using it. once you have a problem thats more than trivial, they dont help you they antagonize you. My card was lost, i had a 60,000+ points on it, and i wanted to close the card, and i wouldnt accept a downgrade to the no-fee card. one rep fedexed me a new card so i could use it for upcoming travel and redeem my points, when i called, one day past the 60 days limit, the rep refused to refund my annual fee if they closed my card, i asked for their manager, and the manager told me that because i got issued a new card a few days ago, it “implied” that i had no intentions of closing my card, and as such they would close my card, but they would not refund me the annual fee… because “someone who intends to close a card does not order a new card days before closing it. When i explained my card was lost and i needed a new one so i could put the travel expenses on it, spend my points and close the card, she called me a liar… !!! on the phone… When i asked her if redeeming 45,000 points on travel expenses, and redeeming the rest for cash days after getting the new card wasnt indicative of my wanting to use up all my points and close my account, she practically told me no, and inferred i was dumb, and when i asked her which was more valuable, cash or travel redemptions and why if i intended to keep the card why i would redeem the leftover for cash and not spend it on travel if i didnt intend to close the card, she told me inbetween the lines, that some dumb people choose to redeem for (less valuable) cash, and i seemed to be one of them…
I was mad by then and asked her to prorate teh annual fee and close my card, she said they dont prorate. and she couldnt help me any further, and if there was anything else she could help me with!!! Stellar customer service, huh?
I hung up and called back, and my card was closed in 3 mins, with a promise to refund the prorated annual fee in a cheque!

FYI this was one of my best cards till the devaluations, and i’m just going through this crap trying to close the card.

Don’t expect to see your miles anytime soon. The offers all have as the first bullet * Get 40,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of the $89
annual fee.
I applied for the card in February received it 2-3 weeks later made my first purchase on 3/17 then paid the first statement including the fee on 3/31. Here come the miles, right? Nope.
It is April 30th and I just got off the phone with multiple customer service reps that told me the miles “should” be in my next statement and it “might” take a few weeks more to move them to the Airline. I ask multiple time if it “Would” be in my next statement. The same non-committal language was used. Someone finally said that week should be the magic date. So I will continue to wait….

I was offered more miles for my trouble. If I spend $1000 in the next 3 months and then wait 4-6 weeks for them to post.
Maybe a Winter (of 2016) vacation.

Sorry to hear your problems with getting your 40,000 bonus miles after your first purchase. I do not see that anywhere eon their advertising. I see that it states that you will get the 40,000 miles after spending $3000 in the 90 days of opening the account. It does seem that they only post the miles at the end of each statement cycle, as do most cards I have used ( with the exception of the Capital One Venture card which updates almost daily).

Barclays Customer service is horrible!!! Hold times are horrible, first of all. Secondly, I had a fraudulent charge on my account, and the representative told me that they were my responsibility until proven otherwise. I had escalate 3 levels before someone told me this was not the case, but I don’t have confidence in Barclays at all. They don’t hold a candle to JP Morgan/Chase customer service, which is why I’m canceling the Barclays Card ASAP.

They lock the card for every transactions they deem suspicious which is every time I use the card even at retailers I shop at on a regular basis. It is supposed to be a travel reward card and every time I leave my city and make transactions they block it. Customer service is horrible and even if I answer all the questions to verify that I am the account holder, they still refuse to unblock the card. At this point I prefer to have a non reward card that keep dealing with Barclay.

sorry – my other comment meant to be directed at you (john)…. not mike. =)

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.

Couldn’t agree more with John on this one. I have both of these cards and the customer service is not even comparable.

One random day, Barclay cancelled my card and re-issued a new one with a different account number. When I called to find out why this happened, they could not provide any reason ( my card is minimally used and fraud was not an issue; balance was close to $0). The rep was confused and told me that I should have received mail notification of this action 7 days ago. They have my phone number, alternate number, text message sign up, and e-mail address – but they sent me a physical letter to tell me that they would send me another physical letter containing a new card. Put the delay , the idiocy of sending a letter to tell some one they’re going to receive a letter, and the overall confusion of the rep aside; explain to me how you cancel someone’s credit card (which has automatic payments) without sending them notification and plan to keep doing business with this person?

As for the aesthetics in the article, Chase Shappire Preferred Visa Signature Cards are made of a steel alloy with laser engraved letters/numbers. The card stands worlds apart (no pun intended) from the Barclay world plastic card.

hahaa you are very funny =) your comment sealed the deal for me. thank you.

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

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.

Here’s another point to note Josh. Barclay card advertises 2x points for purchases, but you cannot redeem statement credits, gift cards, or anything that isn’t travel-related for a 1 point to $0.01 ratio.

Statement credits are essentially doubled when using points and completely negate the “2x point” claim. Ultimate Rewards does not do this.

Hi Josh,
Help me understand how Chase Sapphire 2X point on travel and dining are better than Barclays Arrival ? If I spend $10,000 annually on purchases (bonus and non-bonus categories), I get more points using Barclays and less using Chase. At the end of an year, I will have more points using barclays card than I have using Chase. Chase is good for those who travel a lot and are signed up for loyalty programs with hotels and airlines but the fact is normal people often look for cheapest deals on airlines and hotels when travelling. Normally, I require approximately 170,000 points to get an international economy flight worth $1500 on United. In normal circumstances, 1 United point is worth 1 cent only. Suppose I transfer 20000 points from Sapphire to United (one of their preferred partners), I would still not be able to get an economy class ticket on an internal flight with the points earned. this is just rough calculations, I know when Sapphire points are redeemed, they are redeemed at 2.14%. My point is I accrue less points annually using Sapphire than I could using Barclays plus I dont have to stick to certain airlines (i.e Chase’s preferred partners). For those of us who travel frequently for work on leisure, there is no doubt that sapphire is the preferred card to use.

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

Arrival points never expire as long as you have a valid card. You do not “loose” any points…unless you actually redeem them!

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

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.

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.

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

We had a pleasant experience with getting the Barclay Arrival card. Mine was expedited and my wife’s didn’t need to be. We applied on a Sunday night at 10:00pm and I had mine card by Tuesday. My wife had hers by that following Monday (8 days). Customer service so far has been good. Each time reached a live customer service rep based in the US within about a minute of calling.

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?

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%

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?

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.

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?

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.

With some airline cards, you lose perks (but not miles) if you do not use their card to pay for your fare. That can add up to a lot! Two passengers with one bag each, two ways would be $140.00, minimum, if you check your baggage.

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?

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!

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…

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.

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

No, there is no additional fee because both cards are on the same account, even though they each have their own credit card number.

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.

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.

you forgot about the 10 points back. You actually only needed 37,350 points which equal spending of 18,675. Plus you also got points for the flight. It seems to me roughly the same. Now southwest happens to be a great trade partner for chase

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.

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…

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.

Are they charging the fee during the 12th monthly statement or the 13th monthly statement?

I started my arrival card in June 2013. However, I received an email from barclays customer support stating that they will charge the membership fee in March.

“In order to provide you the great rewards and benefits on your account, a fee will be billed in the amount of $89.00 each year on your March statement.”

It seems to me that they will charge the fee in March no matter when you start your card.

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…

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.

“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.

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.

They never expire.

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 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! 🙂

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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?


$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.

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.

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.

Barclay calls them “miles” but that is misleading. They reduce the cost of your air travel by your points. If you have a ticket that cost $800 you would need 80,000 points to get free travel. The short answer to your question is no you cant transfer air miles to Barclay World travel card.

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?

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.

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?


You have 90 days to use the points for a ticket

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?

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%

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?

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

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!!!!!!

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.

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.

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

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?

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

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.

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 with low credit limits and usage.

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. : ) )

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?

great analysis thanks

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.

I have the Sapphire Preferred, and it *does* offer Trip Cancellation Insurance. It’s on Chase’s website for the CSP:

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.

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

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.

This actually answered my own problem, thanks!

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

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