Posted by William Charles on April 4, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on April 4th, 2018 | by William Charles


Barclays Arrival Premier Now Live – Doesn’t Transfer 1:1 (1.4 or 1.7 to 1)

The Barclaycard Arrival Premier is now live. Keep reading for more information, sadly you’re unlikely to like what you’re about to read.

Card Basics

  • No sign up bonus
  • Card earns 2x miles per $1 spent
  • Ability to transfer miles to Barclays travel partners
  • $150 annual fee
  • Annual spend bonuses:
    • Spend $15,000 in a card membership year and get 15,000 bonus miles
    • Spend an additional $10,000 and get an additional 10,000 bonus miles (total of $25,000 spend for 25,000 miles)
  • Global Entry credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Lounge Key access (basically just Priority Pass, but you have to pay for lounge access at $27 per entry)
  • In early May existing Barclays Arrival/Arrival Plus cardholders will be able to convert to this product. Points earned on the Arrival/Arrival Plus do not carry over to this card
  • Not currently available to existing Arrival/Arrival Plus cardholders: Unfortunately Arrival Premier is not available for instant approval at this time if you are an existing Arrival Plus or Arrival cardmember. Please check back in the next 30 days

Travel Partners

One of the most exciting things about this card in the lead up is the possibility to transfer the miles this card earns into other programs. The transfer partners are:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • China Eastern
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Japan Airlines (JAL)
  • Jet Airways
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas

The transfer rate is 1.4 arrival miles = 1 miles with all of these programs apart from Japan Airlines. Japan Airlines requires 1.7 arrival miles per Japan airlines mile.

Other Redemptions Options

You can still redeem miles for 1¢ per point like you can with the Barclays Arrival/Arrival Plus products. This card does not carry the 5% rebate the Arrival Plus does.

Our Verdict

Overall it’s hard to see this for anything other than a massive disappointment. The nail in the coffin for me is the transfer rates aren’t 1:1. Keep in mind this card doesn’t come with a sign up bonus and also comes with a $150 annual fee.

At best you’re earning 3x miles per $1 and you have to spend exactly $15,000 or $25,000 for this to be the case. Let’s assume you spend $25,000 and earn 75,000 points, that’s either worth $750 or 53,571 miles. You’re basically earning 2.142 miles per $1 spent, best case scenario. You then still have to also pay a $150 annual fee and the annual fee isn’t offset by anything (e.g the card doesn’t really have any useful benefits). Worst case scenario you’re earning 1.42 miles per $1 spent and then paying $150 for the privilege. Actually if you want to transfer to JAL then it’s even worse as you’re earning 1.175 miles per $1 spent.

Keep in mind Chase offers the Chase Freedom Unlimited and this earns 1.5x points per $1 spent with no annual fee, the points are transferable as long as you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Reserve or Chase Ink Preferred. Even more damning is the American Express Blue Plus, that card earns 2x points per $1 spent with no annual fee and the points are transferable out of the box. Those cards also usually come with a sign up bonus of $150/$200. All of this is forgetting that the Barclays transfer partners are incredibly weak, they haven’t even partnered with any brands they offer co-branded credit cards with.

From a purely marketing perspective this card is simply to hard to understand for most people. You earn 2x miles per $1 spent, then those miles need to be transferred at uneven rates of 1.4 or 1.7 and then sometimes you get bonus miles for meeting spend requirements. Part of the reason the Chase Sapphire Reserve was so successful was that understanding the value was so easy.

I feel like a parent that has found out their child is doing drugs. I’m not angry Barclays, I’m just so very disappointed in you.

P.S. If you like our unbiased reporting on this and other cards, please considering retweeting this out or sharing it out elsewhere. 


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If JAL had not added YQ to Emirates tickets this actually would be a good deal… but now, meh.

🙄 Yawn. 1%? Get a cash back card folks. move on folks. Nothing to see here.

If you use this card to spend exactly $25,000 per year then you’d receive 75,000 miles, which is worth a $750 travel statement credit. If you subtract the card’s $150 annual fee, you’re looking at $600 worth of rewards on $25,000 of spend, which is the equivalent of a 2.4% return

Since you earn 2 miles per dollar, I wouldn’t have expected it to be 1:1 transfer. At these ratios, $7 gets you 10 miles, so it’s better actually better than 1 pt / $. I would say the partners sucking really is worse than the transfer ratios.

SPG offers a 1.25 miles per $ earn (effectively) across many more airlines, with much lower annual fee, AND ability to use at 1000s of hotels if needed. The only remotely useful feature of this card is an effective 1.18 miles per $ earn for JAL, which is still worse than SPG.

And this is a MasterCard, not Amex, if that helps at all…
(See Barclays we are trying really hard to think of any usage of your product here.)

HAHA, doesn’t help me one bit. Places where I do most of my heavy spending (at certain malls 😉 take all the cards just fine.

Agreed. SPG is also effectively 1.5 AA miles per dollar if you wait for the transfer bonus that happens every year around July/Aug to Sep/Oct.

Those transfer partners are trash anyway

So basically 2.14 transferred miles per dollar, if you spend exact $15k or $25k on the card, with $150 AF, no sign up bonus,

So really it’s roughly 1.4x per airline mile per $1. Not bad, but airline list doesn’t impress. Shocking no Singapore. I’m probably missing a few others that work with all of the three other banks.

Sad day, sad day. So DOA it almost hurts a bit. We need another day like when the CSR premiered. Jumping for joy over an actual GOOD product.

I can see some MSers using this for 3%cb, but yeah other then that, pass.

I see this more to be compared with Citi double cash. You get 2% back on everything assuming you spend at least 15k (the 15k bonus will cover your annual fee). However if you spend at least 25k, you will get an additional $100 profit. Plus, you get GE and some lounge access. Might be useful as a daily driver.

If you spent 25k exactly you would get 750 travel credit- 150 fee = 600 travel credit vs 500 cash from double cash. I don’t think they are going to steal any Double Cash business.

People who want cash are going to stick to the Double Cash. Other people aren’t going to want to pay 150 dollars up front or spend exactly 25k.

But if you plan to spend less than $15,000 a year, Citi Double Cash is much more rewarding.

If someone’s going to reliably have $25k in unbonused spend then they’d probably better be served by the BOA Premium Rewarda and get 2.625% back, $100 airline fee credit, GE without needing to futz with hitting some exact spend.

The person willing to put in the effort of maximizing the value of this card would recognize there are better options with less effort. And less sophisticated people are going to be turned off with a $150AF no benefit card.

Shouldn’t you have some assets with BOA to get the 2.625%?

Absolute garbage. Good luck Barclays, you’ll need it.

Good luck indeed. I was skeptical at first as they had seemed to be weakening the arrival to begin with. Then I was optimistic at the possibility of the cobranded partners. Now I’m almost having my day ruined this is so bad (not really, but as far as CCs go).

No signup bonus
No fee waived
Worse earn than any other transferable currency
Worse partners than any other currency
Net lose of $130
No 5% rebate so even their miles are worse
Changes from Arrival+ apparently won’t bring your miles so everyone can just eat it

Why would ANYONE want this card.

So is the arrival+ coming back? Ugh.

My prediction -> they pour money that would have gone into the signup bonus into commissions for major blogs.

I bet in the coming weeks you’ll see them touting this as a 3x back card: ‘It doesn’t have a sign up bonus but is PERFECT for everyday spend!’ Similar to the high levels of promo you saw for BofA Premium Rewards and Venture recently.

Saves money in the end and drives signups through ‘trusted’ outlets.

Chris Schneider
Chris Schneider

And it looks like TPG is already pushing this one. Big surprise…

Based on comments on the TPGs article people aren’t buying it…

My favorite comment: ” wish I had 4 hands so I could give this card 4 thumbs down.”

TPG is *THE* d* bag. Product pusher!

Gary at View from the Wing is hard at work polishing the turd, and spinning it so it sparkles.

I can’t understand why DoC keeps linking to VFTW – DoC is 10X the better site than Gary’s shill-crazy blog.

You’re absolutely right. This reveals so much about the greed and dishonesty of bloggers.

That’s why DOC I my favorite blog.

Oh so information about not being able to convert was wrong. I just closed my card two days ago. Oh well luckily this card is terrible. It is like they raised the fee on the Arrival Plus. Also no transfer to American Airlines. I don’t know why anyone would ever get this card.

Thank you for the honest take on the flop this card is. The other blogs are being diplomatic “I could see myself getting a lot of value out of this card” says one of them. Please…this card is going to be a huge flop.

You talking about View from the Wing? He’s a paid shill with no scruples. Even Lucky was reserved and basically called this a boring dud.

For those of us who do MS, the spend bonus would cover the annual fee, so in effect this is a 1.17 JAL mile per dollar card. Lame compared to SPG. Other programs I couldn’t care less about, and even if by a miracle they add Lufthansa or AA, I’m sure the xfer ratio would be even worse.

Lucky might not have been totally on board but he still called it “compelling and interesting” which is just a slap in the face to readers IMO.

I think their advertising contracts require them to pump all the crappy cards that come out, on some kind of schedule. Seems like there will be days when all BA bloggers parrot the same links at once.

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