- Centurion Member
- Posts: 4059
- Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
- Location: United States
My Arrival came today.
As soon as I had the envelope in my hands, I was excited and ready to go out and test the Chip+PIN functionality...to prepare myself for foreign unmanned kiosks by first testing it out in an everyday transaction...
...But I quickly saw that as pretty as it is, it doesn't even have a chip. I wasn't expecting that. Even my weeks-old EDP came with a chip by default, and it's not even meant for travel. I thought chips were pretty standard nowadays on new cards. Silly Barclaycard for overlooking a thing like that.
So I called to request a chipped card, thinking it would only take a minute like it did with Amex and Chase. After they transferred me around a bit, I got a CSR who told me that only the AF versions of the cards ($89 [2% rewards, 40k points] and $49 [2% rewards, 20k points]) came with chips. He said that apart from Barclaycard, only American Express was putting chips in their cards - and only in some of them, at that. He proceeded to tell me about how wonderful the rewards programs were for both the regular and AF versions, but at least had the sense to stop trying to sell me on the rewards when I mentioned that Amex and Chase gave me chipped cards without annual fees.
The regular Arrival is definitely a strange card – they advertise how it has no FTFs, but the CSR told me the regular Arrival was really just meant for domestic travel. They reserve chips for people who pay them annual fees. I’m fine with them for reserving the best rewards for AF-payers, but denying customers security features is just hard to comprehend. Seriously, why do that? Spending $3 for a chip can't be more expensive than having to hire more CSRs and fraud specialists. I guess I just saw the best of Barclaycard there was with Sallie Mae, and apart from that card it's really a mediocre issuer.
The CSR couldn't do anything for me without my PC-ing to something that required paying an annual fee (whether he meant now or in the future, I'm not sure). The card is totally useless for the main reason I got it. I really struck out on that one.
I don't know what to do. The CSR said I could get an Arrival+, but I’m not sure if it would have to be a new account or if I could get the AF waived the first year. I’m leaning towards getting a credit union card (for no AF and only a trivial account creation fee) but it would be yet another new account. I could also try to PC to something with no AF, Chip+PIN, and no or totally useless rewards. Thoughts? I should probably act quickly.
The order for the computer I wanted seems to have gone through, so I've already hit the bonus spending requirement (20k points for $1k spend). I bought it online before I called Barclaycard about the chip.
Maybe I can PC and still get the terms of a fresh application for Arrival+. By the time the AFs exceed the signup bonus, I suspect I will have better options.
Very useful: SchwabPlat, CSP, IHG, Costco (was AA Plat), Freedom, SPG
Somewhat useful: Discover, ED (was EDP), BCE, Hyatt, Arrival
May close or PC: Prestige, BrooksBros
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech