I received my Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard and AMEX Blue Cash Preferred during my credit card churn a few weeks ago, met the required $3,000 spend to meet the 40,000 point bonus and had a chance to test out all of its perks. I’ve received a few comments and emails about the Barclaycard Arrival card, so I’d figure I would do a full review on this credit card since its a fairly new product. I applied for the $89 annual fee (1st year fee waived) version of the card because it receives 2X on all purchases and has a 40,000 point bonus. Therefore, this review will be on the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard – Annual fee version. I’ll explain the pros and cons of the card first and then my personal experience with the card.
Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard Review
What Can 40,000 Barclaycard Points Do For You?
Barclaycard points are fixed-value points, which are different than airlines miles and hotel points. Each fixed-value point is worth 1.1 cents towards almost all travel purchases because you can credit a travel purchase within 90 days with points and receive a 10% points rebate. Therefore, 40,000 Barclaycard is arguably $440 that can be applied to a variety of travel expenses.
What Type of Travel Expenses are Valid for Statement Credit?
- Travel purchase is defined as: Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways and Car Rental Agencies. Basically anything coded as travel should be valid for statement credit.
What Is So Special About the Card?
- Currently 40,000 point bonus after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months: A 40,000 point bonus is equivalent to $440 in travel credit because once you redeem 40,000 points for a $400 travel statement credit, you will receive 10% points rebate or 4,000 points. The standard offer for the annual fee version is 20,000 point bonus.
- All Purchases Earn 2X Points: Every purchase receives 2X points and a 10% points rebate when you redeem for travel. Therefore, each dollar spent on the card equates to 2.2 points. I would argue that Chase cards are still better cards to use for restaurants because I value Chase UR points at 1.5 cents each. I would also only charge travel expenses to the Barclay Arrival card when I want to use my Barclaycard points to cancel out a travel charge. Therefore, the strategy for this card is to use it on all non-category bonus spending such as home goods, clothing, medical expenses, etc.
- Points post instantly: As soon as your charges post on your card, your points will post right away. After I met the $3,000 minimum spend, I had 40,000+ points in my account!
- No Foreign Transaction fees: You won’t get hit by fees when traveling abroad.
- Not an American Express Card: It is much easier using a MasterCard at small businesses and traveling abroad than an American Express Card because MasterCard has lower merchant fees.
What Are Some of the Disadvantages of the Barclaycard Arrival card?
- Fixed-point system: It can be seen as an advantage for flexibility, but disadvantage over traditional airlines miles because it would be costly to redeem for business/first class.
- Low redemption for cash: If desired, each Barclaycard point can be exchanged for 0.5 cents. Obviously not recommended because travel redemptions are better value.
- Not ideal for aspirational hotels: Using 22,000 Hyatt points for the Hyatt Paris Vendome would be considerably better than using Barclaycard points.
- No Category Bonuses: Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Bold both have 2X on restaurants and travel. 2X Ultimate Rewards points is arguably better value than 2X Barclaycard points.
My Personal Experience with Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
It took about one week for the card to come to my house. The card itself feels like any other typical card, not like a metal Chase Sapphire preferred. I quickly activated the card, signed up for an online card at Barclaycardus.com, and met the $1,000 spending bonus in a week from some of my manufacturing spend techniques. To my surprise, my 40,000+ points posted instantly after the charge posted. This is awesome because I am impatient and always worried I won’t get my points!
I booked a hotel for a trip this summer on Booking.com to test out the redemption process. Here is a demonstration of the steps to redeem for travel:
It was quite easy using points to request a statement credit for my travel expense.
The credit hasn’t posted yet, but it says it will post in 1-2 weeks. Also the 10% points rebate takes 1-2 weeks to post as well. The 10% rebate now posts instantly.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is definitely a card worth considering if it meets your travel needs. It personally suits my travel needs because I often travel to places where I’m unable to use hotel points. For example, last year I went to beautiful Cinque Terre and booked a hotel through Priceline. I paid with a my Chase Ink Bold, but would have been great to get that hotel stay for free using Barclaycard Arrival. You can also use this card when taking advantage of cheap hotel rate promotions to earn elite credit status. I would definitely consider using this card to help minimize the cost of a Hyatt Diamond Challenge.
The key strategy for using this card is on non-category bonus expenses. Many gift card churning techniques involve non-category bonus spending. I will be shifting my non-category bonus expenses between the AMEX SPG card and Barclay Arrival World MasterCard. I will still be using my other cards to earn points and miles, but I can definitely use this card to complement my travels. Another great idea is to use the Barclaycard Arrival card on fuel surcharges and fly completely free!
I will be adding this card to my wallet for daily use. The 40,000 bonus points with annual fee waived is definitely a great deal. However, I’m not sure if I will downgrade by the end of the year or attempt for a retention bonus. If you run out of credit card options, this one might be worth considering.
Let me know if you have any questions, thanks for reading!
Disclosure: I may receive an affiliate commission for signing up for this credit card. I appreciate if you do or do not sign up using my link. Thanks for reading!