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Capital One Venture vs Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard – which is the better 2x miles card?

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The information related to the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card. This offer has now expired.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® cards are two that are very popular for easy travel rewards. Neither card is overly complex, and both earn rewards that are most valuable when redeemed toward travel.
Let’s take a look at where the strengths and weaknesses of each card lie so you can determine which card is the best for you.
We’re going to go into a full explanation below, but the short answer is:

  • Get the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card if you plan to travel domestically most frequently and don’t think you’ll spend more than $30,000 per year on the card.
  • Get the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® if you travel internationally frequently, especially within Europe, or think that you will spend more than $30,000 per year on the card.

Here’s a rundown of the features of each card:

  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: This card earns 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. The miles earned are Capital One Venture Miles, not airline miles, and cannot be transferred to airlines. Miles can be redeemed as a statement credit toward travel purchases. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card does not have foreign transaction fees. This card has an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
  • Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®: This card Earn 2X miles on all purchases. The miles earned are Barclaycard Arrival Miles, not airline miles, and cannot be transferred to airlines. Miles can be redeemed as a statement credit toward travel purchases, and when redemptions are made you will get 5% of your miles back for future redemptions. The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® has a 0%  foreign transaction fee. This card has a $89 annual fee.

Both of these cards have some similar pros and cons as well as pros and cons that are specific to each card. First, let’s take a look at the general pros and cons that are shared between the two cards.

Pros

Simple Redemptions
There’s no need to figure out if airlines have availability when using your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. Simply purchase a flight, hotel, car rental, or other travel purchase on your credit card, and redeem the points against that purchase for a statement credit.
Same Earning on Everything
Maximizing the rewards you get back for you spending is definitely rewarding but can take up a lot of time depending on how complex you decide to make it. With either the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®, you can greatly simplify your finances and still earn reasonable rewards back for all of your spending. Both cards earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, everyday.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Neither card charges foreign transaction fees which can range from 1-4% depending on which card you use. Avoiding foreign transaction fees is a must if you plan to travel internationally as they will increase the cost of your trip by 1-4%.

Cons

Fixed Value
Both of these cards have fixed value miles. Each mile is worth one cent when redeemed toward travel purchases, and you earn two miles per dollar spent on purchases. That makes both of these cards effectively a 2% cash back card when the miles are redeemed for travel. Definitely not a bad cash back rate, but you’ll never be able to beat it. With other, more complex, combinations of cards it is definitely possible to earn a higher percentage back than this.
Here are more specifics about each card individually.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Pros

Rewards Don’t Expire as Long as Your Account is Open
You don’t have to worry about your rewards expiring – as long as you keep your account open your rewards will be there too. If you do choose to close your account, you will forfeit any unused rewards.
Small Minimum Redemption
You only need 2,500 miles to make a redemption against a travel purchase for a statement credit. 2,500 miles can be earned after spending only $1,250 which is a pretty low redemption requirement. There have been reports that as long as you have at least one travel purchase that you are redeeming your points for that you can actually redeem additional points against non-travel purchases as well, but your mileage may vary.

Cons

Annual Fee
Though the annual fee is pretty low, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card will still set you back after the first year ($0 intro for first year; $95 after that). If you spend $6,000 per year or more on your credit card, you will come out ahead versus having a 1% cash back card with no annual fee.

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®

Pros

Chip and PIN Compatibility
Most cards within the US are now being issued with Chip and Signature technology, but Chip and PIN is one step up. At this time, within the US it doesn’t make much of a difference, but if you travel within Europe, having a card with Chip and PIN technology could benefit you as many train ticket and gas station kiosks are un-manned with no way for you to sign, and the only way to complete a purchase is with a Chip and PIN credit card.
5% Bonus On Redeemed Miles

When you redeem your miles you will receive 5% back to use toward future redemptions. For example, if you redeem 10,000 miles, you will receive 500 back into your account for a future redemption. This equates to an addition 0.1% cash back in comparison with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.

Cons

Annual Fee
The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® has a $89 annual fee. Not considering the other benefits of theBarclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®, you would need to spend $30,000 to break even with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card considering the extra 0.1% that the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® earns (in the form of the 5% bonus that is returned).
High Minimum Redemption
The minimum redemption is 10,000 points, equivalent to $100. To earn this many points, you will need to spend $5,000 on your Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® credit card, which is quite a bit more than the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.

Which Should You Get?

In short: whichever card makes the most sense for you. If you travel internationally, the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is probably a better choice. If you don’t travel internationally it mainly depends on how much you expect to spend on your card each year.

If you plan to spend more than $30,000 per year on this credit card, you will come out ahead with the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® card, even though the annual fee is higher. If you don’t plan to travel internationally or spend significant amounts on your card, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is probably a better bet.


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March 20, 2017