Review: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
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The Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is a flexible rewards card that gets widespread coverage on blogs like ours. Recently, Barclay’s made a once targeted 60,000 Mile Bonus Offer available to everyone who applies for the Arrival Plus.
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 reported approvals. As with any application, your approval is based on a variety of factors unique to each applicant. You can find recent reports in this Flyertalk thread.
Arrival Plus Features
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 get 5% back in miles when redeeming for travel in increments of $100 or more. The earn rate is essentially 2.1% cash back on all purchases after accounting for the 5% rebate.
- 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:
- 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 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 not waived the first year. (Newest Offer Waives The Annual Fee!)
The current 60k offer is the highest the sign up bonus has ever offered on the Arrival Plus. Historical bonuses have ranged from 0-50,000 Miles, generally settling between 40,000 and 50,000.
The Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard carries an $89 annual fee which is not waived the first year.
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 some of the value has been taken from the card.
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 .5 cents each for statement credits.
The Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® was a hot commodity for awhile, but has cooled significantly with the recent devaluation. This card is not quite the slam dunk long keeper that it used to be with the changes. The $100 minimum redemption makes it more difficult to use the points. The 5% kick back on redemptions does make it incrementally better than it’s main competitor, the Capital One Venture card.
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 difficult but it is worth keeping for some because of the best in the business chip and pin feature. It has been a life saver for many traveling overseas.