Barclays Arrival® Plus Review

Top perks

$700 new cardholder bonus: It won’t take long for you to start reaping rewards. This card offers 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening and paying its annual fee. The miles convert to travel at a rate of $0.01 each, valuing the bonus at $700 in travel.

2 miles per $1: As far as rewards go, Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard®’s plan is both simple and rewarding. The card dishes out unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent, and each mile is redeemable for $0.01 of travel value. A high rewards rate on all kinds of spend makes this card ideal if you don’t want to juggle several cards just to get every single mile possible on every single purchase.

Bonus for redeeming: Credit card companies may prefer that you don’t use your miles, but this card actually gives you a 5% bonus for redeeming them for travel. For example, if you redeem 10,000 miles, 500 miles would be credited back to your account. I think of this card as essentially offering 2.1 miles per $1 of spend because of the 5% redemption bonus when miles are redeemed for travel.

Statement credit redemptions: You don’t have to worry about booking flights with a certain airline, or getting blacked out on certain travel dates. Because Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® uses statement credit redemptions, you can use the card to book travel how you want to and then redeem your miles to erase the purchase from your statement up to 120 days after the purchase.

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No foreign transaction fees: You can confidently use Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite MasterCard® overseas, since it waives foreign transaction fees that are common with other cards. Compared to the typical foreign transaction fee of 3%, this card could save you as much as $60 on $2,000 of international spend.

Airbnb redemptions: You and I might consider Airbnb a travel purchase (what else would it be?!), but some cards do not. If you prefer the cozy appeal of Airbnb to corporate hotel chains, this travel card should make your short list of cards to consider more carefully. Miles can be redeemed against Airbnb charges at a rate of $0.01 per mile, subject to the $100 minimum redemption.

In all, I think the biggest advantage with this card is that it uses statement credit redemptions, which allows you to be pickier when deciding how to redeem your miles. Because it isn’t locked into any particular redemption portal, you can shop around for bargains, getting more value per mile than you could with an airline or hotel-specific card.

For example, if you’re a member of AAA or AARP, you may receive a 10% discount for staying with a particular hotel chain. A statement credit card allows you to benefit from that discount, whereas airline or hotel-specific cards do not.

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