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Review – Barclay’s Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
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Before applying I highly suggest reading the following post about taking it slow. You can find all of our credit card reviews here.
The Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® card gets widespread coverage on blogs. For this reason, you may have already read or heard about it. In my opinion, the coverage it gets used to be warranted, however a recent devaluation stripped a lot of the value of the card. I used to use it for everyday spend, however I recently cancelled mine.
To get the Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, it is widely reported that you need good to excellent credit. Most people with decent credit histories and scores above 700 have been reported approvals. As with any application, approval will be based on a variety of factors which are unique to every individual. You can find recent reports in this Flyertalk thread.
The Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is a pretty straightforward credit card product which earns points in the following way:
- 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.
The miles earned with the Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® are worth $.01 each when redeemed to offset travel expenses. You can use the miles to get credit for any travel expense charged to the Arrival Plus card. Additionally, you earn 5% back in miles when redeeming for travel in increments of $100 or more. With the bonus, you essentially earn 2.1% cash back on all purchases.
- Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® cardholders.
- EMV Chip & pin for convenience when traveling overseas.
- World Elite Mastercard benefits.
- No foreign transaction fees.
Best Offer/Sign Up Bonus
Currently the best public offer for the Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® card gives:
- 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days.
- 0% APR on balance transfers done within 45 days of account opening. (Balance transfer fees apply.)
- $89 annual fee waived the first year.
This is the highest the sign up bonus has ever been for this card. It has been available at this level for a couple of years. Prior to that, the sign up bonus for the card was 20,000 miles.
Annual & Other Fees
The Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® card carries an $89 annual fee which is waived the first year. Additionally it does not carry a foreign transaction fee. There is a cash advance fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater. You can find a full list of fees on the application page.
To redeem your miles, simply login to your Barclay’s account, select the card and click “Manage Rewards” which is located below where it displays your mileage amount. Once on the “Manage Rewards” page, click “Redeem Now” under the Travel statement credits section. You can redeem miles against travel expenses starting with a minimum of 10,000 miles or $100.
It is important to note that you can only redeem miles towards a particular travel charge one time. If you make a partial redemption towards a travel expense, you will not be able to go back later and redeem miles for it again.
I used to gladly carry my Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. With its then 2.2% earning structure and Chip & Pin functionality, it was the perfect card. With the recent devaluation, I think much of the long term value has been stripped from the card. With a minimum of $100 per redemption, I don’t see many people getting more than the 2% value you can get with a lot of no annual fee cards with less hoops to jump through.
With that said, the Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is great for people who have a lot of travel expenses since it can be used to offset things like taxes on award tickets and other miscellaneous expenses of $100 or more. If you try to redeem the miles for straight cash back, then you do lose out since they are only worth 1/2 cent each for statement credits.
I believe this is probably a card that everyone who travels frequently should consider applying for considering the waived first year annual fee and sign-up bonus. Beyond that first year, I honestly don’t see very much long term value in the card compared to other no annual fee options like Citi’s Double Cash or the Fidelity Amex.
The Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® was a hot commodity for awhile, but has cooled significantly with the recent devaluation. I no longer feel this card is a good long term value, however the waived first year annual fee combined with a sign-up bonus that is worth $420 make it a card that is probably worth signing up for.
As someone who travels a lot, I used to love offsetting my travel expenses with earnings from the Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. Unfortunately nowadays they have made redemptions too difficult with the increased thresholds. While I will miss the chip & pin functionality, it just isn’t worth keeping past the first year.
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