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For most people, a slew of protection benefits that comes with a credit card is an afterthought. For a frequent traveler, however, it’s much more than that. The trip cancellation or interruption insurance can give you the peace of mind when your travel plans hit a snag. The trip delay insurance makes a huge difference between waiting for your flight in a noisy terminal and relaxing in a hotel room. And then there is a car rental insurance plan that, unlike that of most credit cards, doesn’t exclude any countries in the world.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard has an $89 annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year, so you can decide if you want to keep the card or cancel it before your first year is up. That’s hardly unfair.
The Arrival Plus doesn’t have any bonus cash back categories. Instead, you earn a steady 2 miles per dollar on everything you charge to the card, and then just redeem your miles on travel purchases. 2x earnings on every purchase is already generous, but the card’s protection benefits is where it really shines.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® review
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus breezed onto our list of the best credit cards of 2017. And for years it’s been a top travel pick, competing with formidable rivals like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and BankAmericard Travel Rewards.
Why is the Arrival Plus such a good choice? Simple: It offers strong, consistent rewards and great travel protection benefits. While other cards offer accelerated rewards only in select categories, the Arrival Plus brings great earnings no matter what you buy. You’ll earn 2x miles on every purchase, with no earning caps, and you’ll get 5% miles back each time you redeem.
Rewards in the long run
For reward earnings, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus isn’t the sexiest card out there. It simply offers 2 miles per dollar you spend on anything.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other spending. Also, you’ll get a 25% point boost when you redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The Sapphire Preferred’s rewards structure sounds more valuable because of its point boost. But if you don’t eat out a lot or spend often on travel, you may earn fewer rewards with the Sapphire Preferred. That’s because you’ll mostly earn 1x points through your day-to-day spending. In the latter case, the Arrival Plus wins handily.
Another Arrival Plus contender, the Capital One Venture Rewards card, also offers 2x points on all spending, and waives the annual fee, which at $95 is slightly higher than the Arrival Plus. Their 50,000-point welcome bonus is higher than Arrival Plus’s 40,000, but it can’t match the travel perks of the Arrival Plus.
If that sounds enticing, picking up the Arrival Plus could be an easy decision. That’s thanks in part to its 40,000-mile signup bonus, which is worth a cool $400 in travel statement credit. The card’s $89 annual fee is waived for the first year too, and you can take advantage of a 0.00% balance transfer APR for 12 months. Balance transfers do come with fees, however.
- $0 INTRO ANNUAL FEE. Pay no annual fee for your first year. Afterward, the annual fee reverts to $89.
- SIGNUP MILEAGE BONUS. Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days.
- 2X MILES PER DOLLAR. Earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on all purchases. There’s no cap on the miles you can earn, and miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing.
- 5% MILES BACK. When you redeem, you earn a 5% bonus. For example, when you redeem the 40,000-mile welcome bonus that comes with the card, you’ll receive 5% of those miles back to use toward your next redemption.
- INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR. Each balance transfer posted to your account within the first 45 days will have a 0% APR for 12 months. After 12 months, the APR reverts to 17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% variable, depending on your credit.
Redeeming milesThe Barclaycard Arrival Plus is one of the most flexible travel cards you’ll find. To get the full cash back, you must redeem $100 (10,000 miles) or more. If your travel expense is less, you won’t get reimbursed. You can redeem miles for statement credit in categories such as:
- Cruise lines
- Purchase and travel agencies
- Discount travel sites
- Car rental agencies
- Lyft, Uber and other rideshares
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You’ll also enjoy travel protection benefits. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus has exceptional protection and insurance benefits that set it apart from most other credit cards.
- Mastercard World Elite travel perks. Enjoy a strong collection of high-end cardholder benefits that include exclusive perks at Mastercard’s portfolio of luxury hotels, deals on chauffeured car service and private jets, Mastercard airport concierge and more.
- No foreign transaction fees. Use your card for international purchases without extra fees.
- Purchase assurance. If an item you bought with the card is lost or stolen within 90 days, you have another 90 days to report the loss and another 180 days to submit the claim.
- Car rental protection. A lot of credit cards offer Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, but there are always exceptions and limitations. Arrival Plus doesn’t exclude any countries and protects your car rentals for up to 31 consecutive days. In addition, you have 60 days from the date of the incident to report the loss and 180 days to submit the claim.
- Trip cancellation or interruption. Not a typical benefit for a card with a sub-$100 annual fee. You, your family or traveling companions are covered for up to $5,000, and there is an extensive definition of covered events. Report within 60 days of cancellation or interruption, and submit your claim within 180 days.
- Trip delay. This is an even less typical benefit for a card that doesn’t cost $400-$500 a year. You are covered for up to $300 if your flight is delayed 6 hours or more, which could pay for a hotel, meals and transportation caused by the delay. Some credit cards only pay for delays of at least 12 hours, which are very rare.
- EMV chip-and-pin. Most U.S. cards are chip-and-signature cards that lack PIN capability. The Arrival Plus features PIN as a backup option, which is a life saver in Europe and parts of Asia. You can use this card in ATMs and unmanned machines – for example, to buy train or metro tickets, drive on toll roads, or fill up on gas.
- FICO score access. Check your FICO score for free and be notified if your score changes.
Is this the best travel card for me?
The Arrival Plus doesn’t sit in the upper echelons of the travel card market, home to powerhouses like the Amex Platinum Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve. That’s to be expected, since it doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars a year. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t facilitate luxury travel — it is, after all, a World Elite Mastercard.
We’ve already outlined some of the Arrival Plus’s protection benefits, which are more typical for cards with a $400-500 annual fee. Carrying a World Elite card offers considerable advantages. For starters, you’ll receive exclusive amenities at Mastercard Luxury Hotels & Resorts properties. You’ll also get great deals on air travel, cruises, vacation tours, car rentals and even chauffeured car service and private jets. And, of course, you’ll have access to Mastercard hotlines: Personal travel advisors and emergency assistance are just a call away.
That’s an impressive set of luxury benefits, especially for a card that costs $89 a year. If you’re not quite ready for expensive picks like the UBS Visa Infinite or Mastercard Black Card, strongly consider the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. You may find it’s the only travel card you’ll ever need. Or you might find that it’s worth testing out for a year to take advantage of the signup bonus and no annual fee.
What to watch out for
- It hurts to pay late. Making late or returned payments could result in fees as high as $37.
- Annual fee starting the second year. You’ll pay no annual fee the first year, but you’ll pay $89 starting the second year.
- Expiration on intro balance transfer APR. Your 0% intro APR lasts 12 months. Afterward, it reverts to an APR of 17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% variable, based on your creditworthiness.
Consider other cards if …
- You want cash back. Consider excellent cash back cards like the Citi Double Cash and the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express.
- You don’t want to pay an annual fee. Most great travel cards have annual fees. If you don’t want to pay an annual fee, try a card like the BankAmericard Travel Rewards.
Compare Barclaycard credit cards
The Arrival Plus isn’t the only card that rewards you for spending. Barclaycard credit cards are known for great rewards and perks.
What should I know before I apply?
To apply for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, you must be at least 18 years old. You must also be a resident of the United States. Residents of Iowa, Puerto Rico and US territories are not eligible.
Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.
Information you’ll need
- Full name and contact information (phone number, email address)
- Residential status
- Annual income and employment information
- Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name
- You are at least 18 years old.
- You are a US citizen or permanent resident.
- You have an excellent credit rating.
- You are not a resident of Iowa, Puerto Rico or the US territories.
What are my chances of getting the card?
You can get almost any card if you have at least a good credit score of 680 or higher. However, Barclays Bank is more selective than other lenders. When you apply for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, aim to have an excellent credit score of 720 or higher.
If you don’t qualify for the World Elite version of the card, you may be given the Platinum version instead. The Platinum has fewer features — for example, it doesn’t have concierge services or luxury hotel benefits.
To increase your chances of being approved for the Arrival Plus World Elite, keep your credit utilization low and avoid hard pulls on your credit immediately before applying.
How to apply for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.
1. Go to the Barclaycard website and click Apply Now.
2. Complete the application form with your name, address, annual income and Social Security number. Then review your application and submit it.
How long will it take to be approved?
You’ll likely receive a decision immediately after you apply. If there are issues with your application, however, you may have to wait up to a few weeks for a decision.
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.
- Avoid interest. 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.
- Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $37. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
- Take advantage of perks with requirements. Keep in mind signup bonuses, how to maximize reward points and intro balance transfer rates.
- Customer service. If you have questions, contact Barclaycard customer service at 888-232-0780.
You don’t have to pay $500 a year to get luxury travel perks. You may find exactly what you need with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, which offers strong — and consistent — rewards.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite vs. Platinum Card from American Express
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Frequently asked questions
If you have questions about Barclaycard credit cards, get in touch with us at anytime.