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Barclays Arrival Premier Credit Card Review

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This article was last updated Jun 13, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®* was replaced with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® in early April 2018. There are a number of differences — some good, some bad — between the two cards.

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is trying to get into the more premium travel-branded credit card space with competitors like Citi ThankYou® Premier Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, all while balancing a simple way to earn miles and offering more perks.

Who this card is best for

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is good for those who want a simple credit card that gives them the chance to earn miles for all purchases at a single rate — Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase — which means you don’t have to worry about signing up for quarterly categories. It’s also good for those who want an easy way to redeem their miles by cashback statement credits, or statement credits for gift cards, merchandise and travel.

Where this card stands out in its category

You can earn up to 25,000 loyalty bonus miles a year — 15,000 miles after spending $15,000 and another 10,000 miles after spending another $10,000. This is on top of the 50,000 miles you earn after spending $25,000 a year on the card. 

Redeem your miles for statement credits starting at 10,000 miles per $100 for travel and 5,000 miles for $25 for cash back, gift cards and merchandise. Travel purchases eligible for redemptions are airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines and ferries.

Unlike the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® allows you to transfer your miles to participating airlines, including Japan Airlines, Air France/KLM/Flying Blue, Qantas, Malaysia Airlines, Aeromexico, China Eastern, EVA Air, Etihad and Jet Privilege. 

Cardmembers have access to more than 800 airport lounges around the world thanks to Mastercard® Airport Experiences provided by Lounge Key. You also get a $100 credit to cover your enrollment fee in the Global Entry program. Neither of these benefits was available with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®.

There’s no limit to the amount of miles you can earn for every $1 spent. And your miles don’t expire as long as the program continues and your account is open, active and in good standing.

Where this card falls short in its category

Unlike the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® doesn’t waive the first year of its annual fee. The $150 annual fee is a jump from the $89 - waived first year annual fee charged by the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®. You also don’t get a sign-up bonus with the new card.

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® requires you to spend at least $25,000 each year in order to get your 25,000 loyalty miles. This translates into $750 in travel, but you need to subtract the card’s $150 annual fee from that total.

Other travel-branded cards offer more bonus points — which translate into airline tickets or hotel status — than this card while requiring a lower spend to get bonus points than the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®. The miles you earn with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® cover all categories, but there are other travel-branded cards that offer more points in popular categories like travel, dining, groceries and gas.

The 1.4:1 ratio to transfer your miles to airline partners isn’t nearly as good as the simple 1:1 ratio offered by other cards.

While access to the Mastercard® Airport Experiences provided by Lounge Key lounges is nice, you have to pay a $27 fee for you and each person you bring in. Cards like Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, the The Platinum Card® from American Express and the The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card* offer free lounge access.

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® doesn’t offer the travel and purchase protections offered by other credit cards in the travel category. And you can’t transfer your miles to hotel loyalty programs.

Additional card benefits

  • Free online access to your FICO® score

How the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® was different

  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • 5% of your miles back every time you redeemed your miles.
  • No credit for the Global Entry application fee.
  • No access to Mastercard® Airport Experiences provided by Lounge Key.
  • No transfer of miles to airline loyalty programs.

Compare it with the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card starts out with 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening for new cardmembers. Once you spend the required amount, you can redeem the bonus, worth $625, for airfare on any airline, with no blackout dates, when you book through the ThankYou® Travel Center. It can also be used for $500 in gift cards redeemed from the ThankYou® Rewards collection.

Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases is appealing to those who spend in the travel, dining and entertainment categories. They are better than the 1.5 rewards points for every $1 on all purchases offered by the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card gives you a 25% points bonus when you book travel through the CitiThankYou® Travel Center. You can get the bonus for airfare, hotel rooms, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages and destination excursions. There are no blackout dates, no minimum stay requirements, no seating limits and no Saturday night stay required.

Like the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card allows you to transfer your points to participating airline loyalty programs including JetBlue’s TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. Neither card allows you to transfer points to hotel loyalty programs.

But the amount you need to spend on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card to get the sign-up bonus points may not be worth it. And you need Excellent credit to get it. Other cards can give you more airlines to choose from for points transfers and the benefit of transferring points to hotel loyalty programs.

Like the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card doesn’t offer perks like auto rental and flight insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip assistance like other credit cards in the travel space. But it does offer access to the following:

  • Citi® Concierge: Get access to specially trained experts 24/7 to help you with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and everyday needs like help with buying gifts or making restaurant reservations.
  • Citi® Private Pass®: Book music, sports, dining and theater events, along with special events, at this cardmember portal.

Citi® Price Rewind: Register purchases you make with your card and Citi searches for a lower price at hundreds of online merchants. If the same item is found at a lower price within 60 days of your initial purchase date, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price found by Citi® Price Rewind.

 Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
Annual Fee$150$95, waived for first 12 months*
Regular Purchase APR17.49%, 21.49% or 24.49% Variable15.99% - 24.99%* (Variable)
RewardsEarn unlimited 2X miles on every purchaseEarn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
Sign-Up BonusN/A50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee0%0%

Bottom line

While the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is definitely an upgrade from the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, one must question if the few enhanced benefits is worth the card’s $150 unwaived annual fee.

The card doesn’t have a sign-up bonus, unlike other travel-branded credit cards. You need to spend between $10,000 and $15,000 on the card in a year in order to get up to 25,000 loyalty bonus miles, with no other opportunities to earn more.

The card’s rewards are OK, but there are other ones out there that offer more points in the top card spending categories. The ability to transfer miles to airline loyalty programs is a welcome change, but the 1.4:1 ratio isn’t as good as the 1:1 offered by other cards.

It’s nice to have access to Mastercard® Airport Experiences by LoungeKey, but you still have to pay a $27 fee for you and your guests to get in, and despite its 800+ lounge network, you can’t get into airport lounges operated by U.S. airlines. But you do have access to independent and select foreign airline lounges in U.S. airports.

The free FICO® score is nice, but that’s a common benefit these days, and the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® doesn’t offer perks like trip insurance, purchase protections and concierge access like other cards. So check the bonuses, all the ways to earn points and the perks offered with other cards before committing to this one.

*The information related to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card. Note that the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is no longer available.


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