Barclaycard Arrival Plus review: Earn miles worth 2.1% of spending

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus review: Earn miles worth 2.1% of spending
Image Credit: Barclays

IMPORTANT NOTE: Barclays is no longer accepting applications for The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. Please see our picks the the best travel rewards cards available now.

Review Summary: The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is the rewards credit card for people who want to earn free travel without having to mess with complicated frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. And right now, it’s attracting a lot of attention for its sign-up bonus, which is worth $735 in free travel once you account for the 5% rebate on miles redeemed.

Pros

Cons

  • Huge sign-up bonus
  • 2.1% return on all spending
  • Premium travel and shopping benefits
  • Waived first year annual fee
  • $89 annual fee after the first year

How the Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card works 

This card offers you two miles for each dollar spent on all purchases, but these aren’t airline miles. Instead, miles can be redeemed for statement credits toward nearly any travel expense, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises and tour packages. One mile equals one cent, and Barclays will give you 5% of your miles back every time you redeem them. This means that you’re earning a 2.1% return on all of your purchases. Miles don’t expire, provided the account is open, active and in good standing.

When you sign up, you earn 70,000 bonus miles after making $5,000 in purchases within 90 days. That’s worth $735 in travel statement credits once you account for the 5% rebate on miles redeemed (70,000 bonus miles worth $700 x 1.05 rebate = $735). And as a World Elite Mastercard, it also offers plenty of premium travel and shopping benefits. There’s an $89 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus review: Table of contents

How to earn rewards 

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus has a really simple rewards program. You earn two miles per dollar spent with no special bonuses for certain types of purchases. You then earn 5% of your redeemed rewards back.

So let’s say that you spend $1,800 per month on this card. You would earn 3,600 miles each month, totaling 43,200 miles in your first year. If you add the 70,000 miles you earned from your sign-up bonus, that would be a total of 113,200 miles.

How to redeem rewards 

When it comes time to redeem your rewards, that’s really easy to do. Miles are worth one cent each in statement credits toward travel expenses. So your 113,200 miles are worth $1,132 of statement credits. You can redeem these credits for travel purchases, and you’ll get a refund of 5,560 miles, worth an additional $55.60 in travel statement credits. That adds up to a grand total of over $1,187 in rewards your first year.

You simply purchase travel from any company, including travel agencies, and then redeem your miles for statement credits, starting at 10,000 miles for a $100 credit. You can redeem your miles for any purchase made within the last 120 days. You can even redeem your miles to pay for the $89 annual fee, starting at just 2,500 miles for a $25 credit.

Cash back is also an option with this card, but not a good one, as you only receive half a cent per mile redeemed.

Additional cardholder benefits 

  • Extended Warranty: Adds up to 24 months to your manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Purchase Assurance: Covers your purchases for 90 days for theft and accidental damage.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee: Refunds your product purchases (up to $500) within 90 days of purchase, should the original retailer not accept a return.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance: Reimburses you for replacing items in your checked baggage if your baggage is delayed in transit on a common carrier.
  • Concierge and Travel Assistance: Receive 24/7 personal concierge assistance to enhance travel, dining and entertainment experiences, provide household needs and access to unique benefits.
  • Trip Delay Insurance:  If you’re delayed more than six hours while traveling, you will be reimbursed for your travel expenses as a result of the delay.
  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance: Covers you and your family for the cost for nonrefundable trip expenses if certain unforeseen events cause you to cancel or interrupt your trip.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Pays for covered damages to a rental vehicle when using an eligible Mastercard to pay for the rental.
  • International Chip and PIN: Compatible with self-service chip terminals around the world.

Alternatives to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus 

  • Citi® Double Cash: This card offers up to 2% cash back on all purchases, with no annual fee. On the other hand, it has no sign-up bonus, lacks premium travel benefits and has a 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • Capital One® Venture®: This card also offers double miles on all purchases, which can be redeemed for travel statement credits or transferred to airline miles. New applicants earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on new purchases within three months. There’s a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

RELATED: 8 of the best rewards credit cards right now 

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Final thought

There are plenty of rewards credit card users who just don’t want to worry about redeeming airline miles or hotel points. These are the people who can use a simple card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. By offering a sign-up bonus worth $735 and miles worth 2.1% of your spending, it’s one of the top travel rewards cards.

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