What’s more impressive than an introductory credit card signup bonus worth 40,000 bonus miles, worth $400? How about on-going high rewards rates to the tune of 2 mileage points for every $1 spent? If that entices you, read on. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® has more to offer, which is exactly why it was nominated for a CardRating’s Editor’s Choice Award, 2016 as one of our favorite travel cards:
Each time you redeem your mileage, you get 5% back to use on your next redemption. So if you redeem, say, 60,000 travel miles, you get 3,000 miles toward your next trip. We love this innovative approach to earning travel points.
Unlike some travel cards, spending on travel is not the only way this card rewards you. The 2X points you earn each time you spend $1 applies to all purchases you make.
Barclay’s calls the benefits of this offer “rich rewards.” So, be prepared to spend big to be rewarded big. As with any worthwhile bonus, the 40,000 mileage points from Barclay’s require you to spend some cash, specifically, $3,000 in 3 months. So if you’re a light spender, look into the light version of this card. The $89 annual fee that kicks in after the first year as a bit steep, but it’s not unheard of, and is easily offset if you use your credit card often.
Barclays offers a nearly identical offer to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® —both in name and in offer. This card is the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®, and the primary difference is how much you’ll have to spend in the first 3 months in order to redeem the intro offer. Instead of $3,000 of purchases to earn 40,000 miles, you only need to spend $1,000 to earn 20,000 miles. A third of the spend for half the miles, which might work out to be a better deal if you’re a casual credit card user. Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® also boasts no annual fee, where its counterpart has an $89 annual fee that kicks in the second year. Both cards double your points on all purchases and give you 5% of your miles back once you redeem miles.
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® card by American Express (American Express is a CardRatings.com advertiser) allows cardholders to earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles for a total of 40,000 miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new card in the first 3 months. In addition to the massive bonus incentive, cardholders can earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months. This mega-offer comes at a price. The American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles card has a $195 annual fee. Delta rewards cardholders with 2 miles for every Delta purchase, which is comparable to the 5% miles back that Arrival Plus™ gives you for redeeming your mileage. If you need to redeem mileage and still want to have miles leftover, the Barclay’s version is for you. If you have the funds to pay for travel upfront, and want to get rewarded for it later, the American Express format works better.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has a similar intro offer to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, Venture® offers 40,000 mileage points (a roughly $400 value) for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. The other big perk is that every $1 you spend gets you 2 mileage points (but the Barclaycard still edges out Venture® with 2.1%). The biggest differences: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card $0 annual fee is introductory. In the second year, you pay $59, which is $30 cheaper than the Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. The Venture® card does not offer 5% miles back when you redeem your mileage points. So, is the $30 you save each year worth it?
Clearly, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is for the traveler who regularly spends with a credit card. If you are able to qualify for the introductory bonus miles, and venture out more than once a year for travels, this card is one to consider. This is not a forgiving card if you start missing payments or stop using the card, since—like most cards of this type—truancy and inactivity could forfeit your points and remove you from the program.