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What’s more impressive than an introductory credit card signup bonus worth 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days, worth $500 in travel statement credit? 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 50,000 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 50,000 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 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?
For starters, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card has an ongoing $0 annual fee; whereas, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® waives it the first year but then charges $89 afterwards.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® edges out the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card when it comes to how many miles you can get back on purchases, however. While the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card dishes out 1.5 miles per dollar, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® not only offers two miles on every dollar spent on purchases, but also kicks back 5 percent of the miles whenever you redeem your points towards your next trip, making the card a competitive choice.
Both cards offer an intro APR offer for 12 billing cycles, but neither have an intro offer for both purchases and balance transfers. (The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® intro period is for balance transfers, while the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card offers the intro period for purchases). But the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® rewards big spenders; you can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days, enough to obtain a $500 statement credit.
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.