Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review – $500 in Free Travel

Last updated on July 22nd, 2017

Before I jump into the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard review, let me say a few words on why we chose to apply for this particular card.

If you don’t know, most of the major credit card issuers now offer rewards if you sign up for a credit card and meet a minimum spending requirement. You can then use these rewards to directly book flights or hotel rooms for travel.

This Barclaycard Arrival Plus is one such example. After spending $3000 on the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard within the first 90 days of receiving it, you would get back 56,000 miles, or over $560 in free travel.

And you get to choose how you redeem the miles! You can spend it on airfare, rental cars, and anything else that is coded as a travel related expense. This isn’t the case with most travel credit cards.

Another note worth mentioning is that both you and a spouse can apply separately for different cards. So if you can spend $3,000 on each within the first 90 days, you can secure more than $1000 in free travel.

About Barclays

Barclays is an enormous company, as shown on Wikipedia:

Barclays is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is a universal bank with operations in retail, wholesale and investment banking, as well as wealth management, mortgage lending and credit cards. It has operations in over 50 countries and territories and has around 48 million customers. As of 31 December 2011 Barclays had total assets of US$2.42 trillion, the seventh-largest of any bank worldwide.

This is a large and well established company who will continue to operate and issue credit cards. 

Barclays issues several other credit cards as well, but I’d say the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard currently offers the most bang for the buck. I should also mention that this card currently comes in 2 varieties.

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard (Without Annual Fee):

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard No Fee

  • No annual fee
  • Double miles on travel and dining, plus 1 mile per cent spent on everything else
  • 20,000 miles sign up bonus.

The no-fee version of the Arrival is a good basic credit card, but we opt for the version below.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard (With $89 Annual Fee):

  • $89 annual fee after the first year (Fee is waived first year)Barclay Arrival Plus World Mastercard
  • Twice the sign up rewards (50,000 points).
  • Double points on all purchases

This is the card we use. Although it has the annual fee, it is waived for the first year.

Once the first annual fee is due, you have several options.

  • You can pay the fee and keep the account open.
  • You can call Barclays and ask for a retention offer or a fee waiver.
  • You can call and attempt to downgrade your account to the version without an annual fee.
  • You can cancel your account outright after using the bonus miles.

How to Spend Points

Some travel reward cards have restrictions on travel. Barclays does a pretty good job in allowing you to book a variety of travel related services with the points. You can use the points for more than just a plane ticket or hotel. You can use Barclay Arrival points on any purchase coded as travel.

Here is a short list of approved travel bookings:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Resorts
  • Cruises
  • Car Rentals
  • Trains

You can book through discount agencies or whoever you want, so long as it shows up on your credit card statement coded as a travel expense.

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review Summary

All in all, this is one of the best travel credit cards on the market. If you have good credit and are looking for a great travel rewards card, we highly recommend this one.

I hope you enjoyed the Barclay Arrival World MasterCard review. If you want to apply you can compare the cards on the personal comparison page.

On a side note, if you’re looking for the best cash back card on the market, check out my Discover It Card Review.

Comments
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    • dive-eat-sleep-repeat
    • June 10, 2014
    Reply

    I have the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard and really like it. Are there other Barclay card options I can apply for to earn additional points? (Spouse already has the card as well.)

    • aldo
    • May 31, 2014
    Reply

    I have a Capital One Venture and already redeemed 140000 points on a trip to my home country with no hassle at all. Now, I want to try the BarclayCard Arrival and take advantage of the 40000 miles bonus. But I read in someplace that you can’t use the card for wholesale or business purposes.
    I ‘ve been used the Venture for my business with no problem. The companies I buy from, report as “Merchandise”, “Direct Marketing” or “Home Furnishing” when I see my statement.
    Do you think it’ll be considering Business or Wholesale and then won’t qualify for double miles ?
    Thanks !!

      • Jacob
      • June 1, 2014
      Reply

      Hi aldo, only purchases coded as travel can be redeemed with Barclay points. All purchases qualify for double miles.

    • Sam
    • March 21, 2014
    Reply

    This is by far my favorite credit card at the moment. $3,000 is required to actually get the bonus, but I personally think it’s one of the best bonus offers. The only other one that really tops this is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. You’ll have to check that one out.

  4. Reply

    This is a great card! My wife and I both got it and both got the 40,000 point bonus. We have truly enjoyed the travels that we’ve paid for with this card. I love that it gives you 2x points on every purchase! A minor drawback worth noting is that if you redeem your points for anything other than travel reimbursement, the points lose half their value, effectively making it a 1x points card. Granted, this is inherently a travel card and using it for travel gets the full value from your points, but I stumbled upon a trick that makes this an amazing cash back card that you can use to get cash back statement credits at the full point value.

    • Ryan
    • March 18, 2014
    Reply

    If I downgrade from the card before the annual fee is due, will I lose the 40,000 bonus points in my account? Or will I still have those to use if I happen to be saving for a trip in over a year?

      • Jacob
      • March 18, 2014
      Reply

      If you downgrade, you will still keep all the points. If you cancel, you need to use them before you cancel as they are tied to that card account.

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  11. Reply

    So wish I had gotten into credit card churning sooner! I love travel, but as you said, it is expensive! Definitely going to look into this…thank you for the excellent explanation!

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    • Erin
    • December 4, 2013
    Reply

    I hear a lot of good stuff about the Barclay Card! I have the Amex Starwood card (which I love) but I would definitely consider this one if I felt the need to get a new card. Great review!

      • Jacob
      • January 17, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks Erin!

    • Laurie
    • December 3, 2013
    Reply

    Great review, Jacob. This is one card we strongly consider as we look to delve into the world of credit cards.

      • Jacob
      • January 17, 2014
      Reply

      It’s a great option Laurie!

  17. Reply

    Great card! I applied for one myself, but was denied… I’ve already opened 8 credit cards this year, so may have to try again on the Arrival card next year.

    Too many credit inquiries… haha, but that comes with the territory when you play the travel hacking game.

    Cheers!

    • Rebecca
    • December 2, 2013
    Reply

    I got this card before attending FinCon13, so it paid for my entire hotel bill! Plus, when I redeemed the points, they gave me some of my points back. Cool! That said, I’ll cancel it after my next trip, so I don’t have to pay the annual fee. But I still have point left to redeem so I can’t cancel yet!

      • Brian
      • December 2, 2013
      Reply

      Have you considered asking them to waive the fee again or downgrade you to the no fee card? This can be helpful since average age of credit (and credit usage) is considered in your FICO score. I have done this with several cards with different degress of success. I mean, it never hurts to ask… just a thought

  18. Reply

    Jacob,

    How do you redeem the points? Is there a Barclay’s specific site that you have to use, or can you just redeem at at an airline’s site directly, Orbitz, etc?

    If it’s a card specific site, do you find the rates to be comparable to the regular channels (e.g. – Orbitz, Travelocity, etc.)?

      • Jacob
      • December 2, 2013
      Reply

      You can redeem for any travel expense, on any site. After you charge a travel expense, you log onto your Barclay account and apply your reward points toward the charge. Barclay then gives a statement credit to your account for the points redeemed.
      1 points = $0.01 toward anything travel related.

  19. Reply

    This seems like a pretty solid rewards card, to be honest.

    We already took advantage of the initial offer with our Chase Ink, and I think it may be time to churn a new one. This looks like a solid contender.

  20. Reply

    I was thinking the same thing…I wish my wife and I had gotten into the travel rewards game sooner. You guys are younger so have more time to enjoy it. We just had a baby and are in the process of taking on a mortgage so probably no credit cards in the near future. Hopefully, these travel reward bonuses will still be around when we have the chance to do some more traveling.

    • Kali
    • December 2, 2013
    Reply

    I just signed up for this and will be putting that $400 statement credit toward our flight to Ireland next spring. I’m new to travel hacking too – Brad at Richmond Savers helped me get started – and I am so glad I entered the world of travel rewards! It will really help our budget when it comes to traveling.

  21. Reply

    Up until this point I’ve stuck with my chase freedoms 1% cash back on everything card. But obviously if you use a rewards card, they will give you more for your money. This is an intriguing option. I guess I need to figure out where I want to travel next year.

 

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