Barclaycard Arrival Re-Brands and Adds Benefits

The Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® is now a year old and is revamping itself and adding incremental benefits.

It’s hard to believe the card has been out only a year. Barclaycard clearly pushed out a top notch product, offering one of the highest effective rebates on spending in the market and adding several value-added features. They’re spending more on this card than most any rewards card, and with a year’s worth of learning they have some improvements.

The card already offers:

One Year Anniversary Rebrand and Improvements

When the card first came out I called it the new king of cash back credit cards (even though it is really a travel rebate card).

Now it is being re-launched with a new name and new additional benefits. Henceforth it will be called the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®.

It has an EMV chip for easier foreign spending (the card also has no foreign currency transaction fees) and it is moving from being a World MasterCard to a World Elite MasterCard.

As I explained in Make Sure You Have a MasterCard in Your Wallet, World ‘Elite’ cards come with additional travel benefits.

Who is this card best for?

You want to use the points to cover expenses that airline miles and hotel points don’t — taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges on award tickets; non-chain hotels or flights on non-alliance airlines; tour operators; cruises; cars; airline fees.

You fly coach, not premium cabins. You can buy airline tickets and not worry about award space. You’ll earn miles (and credit towards elite status from flying). Miles are best for premium cabin international award travel, but a proprietary points program can be best for coach — and certainly for domestic coach where the flexibility is great and you won’t do better than a couple of cents per point in value most of the time anyway.

I Fit Into Those Categories — I’d Love Rebates That Help With Those Expenses — But Is This The Best Card?

Generally an effective 2.2% rebate is the best you’ll do, far better than the standard 1% cash back cards for sure especially if you travel.

There are some cards with bonuses that make those cards better for specific categories of purchases, but for general spending a 2.2% rebate is really strong.

The signup bonus is also great at 40,000 points, worth $400 towards travel, plus a 10% rebate when you redeem on travel so an extra $40 on top, and an extra $4 on top of that, and…

The first year there’s a $0 annual fee. After that, though, the question is whether the incremental benefits of this card are enough to justify that fee?

If you use the ancillary benefits of the card — like no foreign transaction fees, free TripIt Pro, etc. then it easily can be.

But if you don’t value those things then you need ot be a big spender on the card for it to make sense on a continuing basis versus a straight 2% cash back into a Fidelity investment account that you can get with the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express.

Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®

(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Is there currently a way for existing Barclaycard Arrival holders to request this new, fancy-looking card in place of their old ones?

  2. Huge fan of the card and I’m really glad to see Chip + PIN (instead of signature) becoming a reality. Can I request a new card yet?

  3. This is not the best travel rebate card out there IMO. I get a minimum of 3.2% with my card if I use points on AA/US or 2.66% on all other airlines.

    That excludes the dining bonuses, promotional bonuses or the annual relationship bonuses [that ranges from 5-50%]. So, my rebate is definitely higher than 3.2%.

  4. @Gene @Gary – Yep! While the card comes with a hefty annual fee of $450 the wide range of benefits easily outweigh the annual fee.

    Off of the top of my head:

    -High Travel Rebate [Flight bonuses essentially means you earn 2 points per $1 then you get 60% bonus when using the points to book on AA/US or 33% bonus when using them to book on other airlines]
    -$200 airline reimbursement [anything; just has to be under $100]
    -15% discount on base fare
    -One domestic/international companion ticket
    -AA Lounge Access + Airport Angel Lounge program
    -Solid Trip Delay Reimbursement program [6 hour delay as opposed to 12-18+ hours or overnight requirements like with most cards]
    -4th hotel night free if book through MasterCard World Elite Luxury Hotel Program [includes some W and Hyatt properties]
    -Complimentary Sixt Platinum, National Executive or AvisFirst status
    -$100 Global Entry reimbursement

    It is $50 to add an Authorized User and that person gets all of the benefits except the $200 airline reimbursement [yes, AU gets their own companion ticket].

  5. Forgot to add, the relationship bonus is based on annual spend and your relationship with Citi. If you have CitiGold or Citi Private Bank, the bonus is considerably more.

    If it is just the card then it is 5% if you spend less than $50K on the card, 10% between $50K-99K and 20% if you spend over $100K.

    We also get 2 points on all dining expenses [or in other words 3 points per $1 with the flight bonus].

  6. So for those that have the Arrival card, would we get this new card… or is this a totally different card. And if its a different card, can we apply and get the card if we currently have the arrival card?

  7. What is the effective difference between the annual fee vs non fee arrival card? More importantly, will the no fee card have EMV chip and pin and no forex fee? (Or do you have to have the fee versions to have those features?)

  8. I just called Barclays to ask about turning my Arrival card into a World Elite card in order to get the chip and pin capability. They said we have to wait “until after May 28” to apply for that. Really looking forward to being able to buy tickets from kiosks, and pay in small shops, etc. on my next Euro trip.

  9. And don’t forget that CitiGold members get a discount on the Prestige card, both for the card and for authorized users. My experience in the past year is that authorized users can get lounge access without the primary user being there. Prestige is a sweet deal IMHO.

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