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The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® breezed onto our list of the best credit cards of 2019. And for years it’s been a top travel pick, competing with formidable rivals like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card.
Why is the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® such a good choice? Simple: It offers strong, consistent rewards and versatility when you’re overseas. While other cards offer accelerated rewards only in select categories, the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® brings great earnings no matter what you buy. Miles are incredibly flexible, as you can redeem them for gift cards, merchandise and — most notably — travel statement credit.
The card comes with chip-and-PIN capability, which can be a lifesaver in places that have lots of PIN-only transactions, like at ATMs and unmanned machines, to buy train or metro tickets, pay fees for toll roads or fill up on gas. Where normal chip-and-signature cards might be stumped, the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® will sail right through.
Signup bonus: 70,000 bonus miles.
Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of card membership. These miles are worth $700 in travel statement credit.
This is a good signup bonus, and it’s comparable to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Citi Premier℠ Card.
Rewards: 2x miles on all purchases.
Earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on all purchases. There’s no cap on the miles you can earn, and they don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing.
These are great flat rewards, and a big reason this card is such a strong choice. Many cards don’t offer as many opportunities to earn accelerated rewards — if you don’t eat out much, for example, then a card offering 2x points on dining is less effective. The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® ensures solid earnings no matter what you spend on.
5% miles back each time you redeem.
When you redeem your miles, you’ll get 5% miles back. For example, when you redeem the 70,000-mile signup bonus, you’ll receive 3,000 miles back.
Intro APR: 0% for 12 billing cycles on eligible balance transfers.
Each balance transfer posted to your account within the first 45 days of card membership will have a 0% APR for 12 billing cycles following your account opening. After 12 billing cycles, the APR reverts to 18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable depending on your credit.
This is a good intro balance transfer offer for a travel credit card. You’ll find cards that offer market-leading intro APRs on balance transfers, but they typically won’t give travel rewards.
Redeeming milesThe Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is one of the most flexible travel cards you’ll find. You can redeem miles for rewards like gift cards, cash back and merchandise. You can also redeem them for statement credit in categories such as:
- Cruise lines
- Travel agencies
- Discount travel sites
- Car rental agencies
You’ll also like …
No foreign transaction fees.
You won’t incur fees when you use your card abroad or at foreign websites, making it an excellent card to take on vacation or business trips. Typically, providers charge a 3% fee each time you use your card for an international transaction.
Most US cards are chip-and-signature cards without a PIN. The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® features PIN as a backup option, which can be a lifesaver in Europe and parts of Asia. You can use this card at ATMs and unmanned machines — for example, to buy train or metro tickets, pay fees for toll roads or fill up on gas.
Master World Elite Concierge.
Enjoy Mastercard’s 24/7 concierge service, which the company describes as a “relentless personal assistant”. Use it to secure hard-to-find gifts, reservations at the most exclusive restaurants and more.
What to watch out for
$89 annual fee after the first year.
The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® has a $0 annual fee the first year, followed by an $89 annual fee thereafter.
It hurts to pay late.
Making late or returned payments could result in fees as high as $37.
Case study: Leah’s experience
However, it wasn’t easy to spend that much on the credit card in so little time. It also didn’t help that we’d been working hard to cut down on our credit card spending.
We were able to earn the bonus, but we had to carry a balance on the card for a couple of months, which cost us $152 in interest. However, the bonus paid for two-round trip tickets to New Orleans that came in just under $700. All in all, the card helped us save $548 on our trip.
After the signup bonus, it’s been hard to earn 10,000 miles to redeem the $100 travel credit. As a traveling family of four, I thought we’d be able to earn more miles after two years of having the card. So far, we’ve earned about $100 a year, barely offsetting the annual fee.
How does a balance transfer work with this card?
To make a balance transfer, you’ll need the account number of your existing balance. Also, be ready to provide personal information like your income, employment details and Social Security number. You can request the transfer while you’re applying for the card, or set one up after you’ve been approved.
For each balance transfer, you’ll pay a fee of $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater. That means a balance transfer of $1,000 would cost $30 in fees.
The total amount of your transfer plus the fee can’t exceed your credit limit. Balance requests that exceed the limit will either be partially transferred or declined. Barclays will also decline all balance transfers requested from other accounts from Barclay.
Balance transfers requested at the time of application will be submitted 10 days after the approved card has been mailed out. You can expect any balance transfers to take up to four weeks to complete.
What should I know before I apply?
To apply for the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®, you must be at least 18 years old and a US resident. Residents of Iowa and US territories aren’t eligible.
Information you’ll need
To complete the application, you’ll need to provide information that includes:
- Your name and residential address.
- Your Social Security number.
- Your email address, phone number and date of birth.
- Financial information like your annual income and income source.
What credit score do I need?
Barclays Bank is more selective than other lenders and requires a good to excellent credit score of 720 or higher. Most other cards will approve you with a score of 670 or higher.
To increase your chances of being approved for the card, keep your credit utilization low and avoid hard pulls on your credit immediately before applying.
What do customers say about the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®?
Customers generally like the signup bonus and rewards that come with the card, but many say they’ve had poor experiences with Barclays support.
Barclays Bank Delaware has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2001, and it earns an overall A+ rating. As of July 2018, however, 91% of its reviews from customers are negative, and it has more than 1,100 customer complaints. Barclays cardholders in general complain of unresponsive customer service reps and unexpected account adjustments.
Barclaycard earns a Trustpilot score of 1.9 out of 10. Some negative reviews cite unhelpful customer service, unexpected account closures and difficulty applying for cards. Positive reviews cite an easy-to-use website and good experiences getting fraudulent charges reversed. Overall, your mileage may vary with Barclays customer support.
How to apply for the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®
- Click apply now.
- Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.
- Review and submit your application.
How long will it take to get my Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®?
Because conditional credit card approval is automated on the website, you may get a decision on your application within a few minutes. If there are issues with your application, it may take a few business days to a few weeks to hear back.
After you’re approved, you’ll typically receive your card in the mail within seven to 10 business days.
I got the card. Now what?
Make timely payments.
Pay your card bill online at the Barclaycard website, where you can also enroll in autopay.
After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 23 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $37. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
If you have questions, call the number on the back of your card. Alternatively, you can call the general helpline at 866-928-8598.
With excellent flat rewards, the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is a great choice for most travelers. You won’t need to worry about various reward tiers, and you can easily redeem your miles for travel statement credit. The card is also one of your best options if you want chip-and-PIN capability.
Before you apply, consider checking out other travel rewards credit cards to find the one that best suits your needs. You may be able to find a better APR, or features that fit your travel habits better.
Frequently asked questions
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