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The Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard just launched this morning. It’s a fast-earning card and transfer to airline frequent flyer miles. That puts Barclays into the transferable miles game alongside American Express, Chase, and Citibank which is huge.
This is a $150 annual fee card. (Update 7/6/18: annual fee is now $0 the first year) There is no signup bonus. Here are the terms and conditions for the card. But what’s unique about the Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard is the earning.
- 2 miles per dollar on all spend
- In addition every year you earn additional miles for hitting spending thresholds. Spend exactly $25,000 on the card in a year and you’ll earn 75,000 miles or 3 miles per dollar.
- $15,000 spend earns 15,000 bonus miles
- $25,000 (i.e. an additional $10,000 spend) spend earns an additional 10,000 bonus miles
- $15,000 spend earns 15,000 bonus miles
Who are the transfer partners for the Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard? Air France KLM, Aeromexico, Etihad, Qantas, China Eastern, Malaysia, JAL, EVA Air additional transfer partners are expected to follow
|Program Name||Conversion Ratio
(Premier Points : Points)
|Air France and KLM Flying Blue||1.4 : 1|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1.4 : 1|
|China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles||1.4 : 1|
|Etihad Guest||1.4 : 1|
|EVA Air Infinity MileageLands||1.4 : 1|
|JAL Mileage Bank||1.7 : 1|
|Jet Airways JetPrivilege||1.4 : 1|
|Malaysia Airlines Enrich||1.4 : 1|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1.4 : 1|
In my view Air France, Etihad, and JAL are the most useful partners here. Crucially additional transfer partners are expected to follow. They’re not done they just don’t have everything in the pipeline available at launch.
Japan Airlines is unique, it’s a partner that Chase doesn’t have, American Express doesn’t have, and Citibank doesn’t have. And they have one of the best award charts out there although they do add fuel surcharges to many awards. For instance in their distance-based chart 155,000 miles is enough for three-cabin first class New York – Dubai – Bangkok roundtrip on Emirates. Alaska Airlines would charge 360,000 miles and Membership Rewards transfer partner Emirates Skywards would charge 285,000 miles plus fuel surcharges.
Global Entry Credit
The Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard comes with a $100 Global Entry application credit every five years. This is not a TSA PreCheck credit, and offering it every 5 years is unfortunate because while Global Entry lasts five years you’ll want to renew before it expires. It adds to the long list of cards with Global Entry credits, you probably already have one.
Airport Lounge Access
Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard also comes with a Lounge Key card which is essentially Priority Pass Select, however without any free visits. Here’s a comparison of other cards offering Priority Pass.
Other Benefits of the Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard
The Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard has no foreign transaction fees. It’s true chip and pin, not just chip and signature, which is useful at kiosks in Europe. You get Shoprunner membership which provides 2-day shipping and free return shipping with many stores.
Here’s the full benefits guide (.pdf) which details things like rental car collision damage waiver; extended warranty; price protection; and trip delay and cancellation coverage.
Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard is not a card you get for the signup bonus (there isn’t one). It’s not a card you get for the benefits (it has some but they aren’t better than competitor offerings).
It’s a strong earning card and offers transfers to miles and has some unique partners. Unfortunately they don’t transfer miles one-to-one. Still, it’s a good ratio considering the inflated earn.
- At 2 Barclays miles earned per dollar, and a 1.4 : 1 conversion ratio, you’re earning 1.4 miles per dollar in most of these programs.
- At 3 barclays miles earned per dollar, if you spend exactly $15,000 or $25,000 in a year, you’re earning 2.1 miles per dollar.
- With JAL’s less favorable conversion rate you’re earning 1.17 or 1.76 miles per dollar.
And of course you can redeem at a penny apiece towards travel. Bear in mind that you don’t get a 5% rebate on redemptions for travel the way you did with the ‘Arrival+’ card.
I think this is a great card to get and spend $25,000 on and then view it as a 3% rebate on that spend or as transferable currency.
It’s comparable in a sense to the The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express which earns 2 American Express Membership Rewards points on your first $50,000 in purchases per year (though that’s a no annual fee card).
Ultimately it’s great to have another player in the transferable miles space. More competition will be good for consumers. And I understand that the pool of transfer partners will grow, something I expect to happen soon.