Barclaycard® Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard Review

 

barclay-arrival-plus-card-reviewOverview

APRs:

  • APR: 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99 depending on your credit worthiness/score
  • Introductory APR:  None
  • Cash advance APR: 25.99%
  • Penalty APRs: Up to 27.24% depending on your credit worthiness/score
    • Applies if you make a late payment
    • Can apply indefinitely
  • Grace period: 23 days
  • Minimum interest charge: $2

Note all APRs may vary based on the prime market rate.

Fees:

  • Annual fee: $89, waived first year
  • Balance transfer fee: $10 or 4% (3% during the first twelve months), whichever is higher
  • Cash advance fee: $10 or 5%, whichever is higher
  • Late payment fee: $35
  • Over the credit line: $0
  • Returned payment: $35

Card Benefits

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • EMV chip with PIN functionality
  • No cap on the number of miles that can be earned or redeemed
  • Standard MasterCard Benefits World/World Elite (click for full list, sample shown below):
    • Up to $200,000 accident travel insurance
    • Reimbursement for expenses if your baggage is delayed or misdirected
    • Trip cancellation/interruption coverage
  • Free TripIt Pro subscription
  • Free FICO score (TransUnion Classic 2008 Model, find out how often Barclays updates this score)
  • Bonus miles and miles earned post instantaneously

Card Negatives

If you’re not approved for the World Elite version of this card, you might automatically receive the World or Platinum version.

These cards are almost the same, except it is missing all of the MasterCard World Elite (and possibly World) benefits. You’ll still receive the 40,000 mile bonus and will earn 2 miles on all purchases, but you won’t have 200,000 accidental insurance and other benefits the World & World Elite versions comes with.

Application Information

Before applying, read our tips for getting approved.

Barclays is notorious for not approving customers for this card. Make sure you read our tips to help your chances.

What Credit Score Is Required

Credit BoardsCredit Karma
Lowest approved score668691
Average approved score703.5737

Credit Karma has a much higher lowest approved score and average approved score, that’s because the credit boards data probably contains some people who received the platinum Barclaycard Arrival (which will be offered if you don’t qualify for the World).

We recommend having a minimum score of 700 and a recommended score 720+. If you have a score below this, you might still be approved for the Platinum card which has the same sign up bonus and earnings structure but not the added benefits of being a Mastercard World product.

apply now big

Common Reasons For Denial:

  • Too many recent inquiries
  • Not sufficient spend on existing or past Barclays cards (if you’ve ever held or still hold a Barclays card, they will want to see that you continued to put spend on the card after the minimum spend requirement was reached)
  • Too much existing debt. If you have high levels of credit card debt, you’ll have problems being approved for this card. This is true even if you’re currently participating in a 0% balance transfer offer and have the cash to pay it off in a checking account.
  • Insufficient income

What Credit Bureau Does Barclays Pull For The Arrival Card?

Barclays will almost always pull your credit report from TransUnion. This is a good thing because most other credit card issuers will pull from either Experian or Equifax. This means you’ll likely have less inquiries on your TransUnion report and thus your FICO score will be higher.

 

What Credit Limit Will I Receive?

This depends on your credit profile, the lowest credit limit you’ll receive for any World Mastercard is $5,000. The highest limit we’ve seen on the Arrival is $15,000. All data is based on the creditboards credit pull app.

Minimum Credit LimitHighest Reported Credit LimitAverage Credit Limit
$5,000$15,000$8,212.50

Rewards Program

Earning Rewards

Card holders will earn 2 miles per $1 spent on ALL purchases. Returns and refunds will be deducted from this total. You’ll also receive 10% of your miles back when you redeem them for travel statement credits. Meaning this card actually earns 2.2 miles per $1 spent if you’re redeeming them for travel expenses.

Barclay Travel Community

Barclay has their own online travel community, which is extremely similar to tripadvisor. The only difference is that you get paid in miles to share your travel stories. The rates are as follows:

  • Sign up and complete your profile: 500 miles
  • Write a travel story (50 words + picture): 200 miles
  • Receive a kudos (similar to a facebook like): 10 miles

[Read: Our full review of the travel community]

Sign Up Bonus

Current Sign Up Bonus
  • February 20th – Current: 40,000 Miles After $3,000 Spend, Annual Fee Waived For The First Year
Sign Up Bonus History

Public Offers:

  • December 14th, 2012 – February 20th, 2014: 40,000 Miles After $1,000 Spend, Annual Fee Of $89 Waived
  • October 14th, 2013 – January 5th 2014 (maybe a bit longer, this was the last known mention of it): 50,000 Miles Total, 30,000 Miles After Spending $5,000 Within 180 Days And An Additional 20,000 Miles After Spending $20,000 Within 365 Days. Annual Fee Of $89 Waived. October 14th, 2013
  • December 8th, 2012 –  14th, 2013: 20,000 Miles After $1,000 Spend, Annual Fee Of $89 Waived

Targeted Offers:

  • 50,000 Miles After $1,000 Spend, Annual Fee of $89 Waived [January 2013: 1, 2, 3]

Redeeming Your Rewards

This card earns Barclays Miles. These miles can be redeemed in the following ways:

  • Statement credit for travel expenses: 1 mile = 1¢
  • Statement credit for non travel expenses: 1 mile = 0.5¢

Using Barclays Miles for statement credit must be done within 120 days of when that purchase was made. For example if you have 10,000 miles and purchase a cruise ticket for $100 on January 1st, you’d have 120 days to apply the 10,000 miles for that purchase before it’s no longer valid.

You can only apply miles to an expense once. For example, if I use 40,000 miles for a $600 travel expense, I cannot then use another 20,000 miles down the track on the same travel expense. Barclays miles can only be redeemed in increments of 2,500.

What Does Barclays Consider A Travel Expense?

The following are considered travel by Barclays: Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways, Taxis,Buses, Tourist attractions, Campgrounds, Limousines, Timeshares  and Car Rental Agencies. These companies must be using the correct merchant category code (MCC) for these to count. MasterCard does not make their MCC’s public knowledge, but Visa does. If in doubt check to see if a business is coded correctly with Visa and start with a small purchase if possible. 

[Read: What Expenses Count As Travel According To Barclays]

Our Verdict

The Arrival is one of our favorite cards for everyday credit card spend and for it’s high sign up bonus. The card is really designed for those who travel at least once per year, if you don’t travel that often you won’t be able to make the most out of this card (it’ll basically earn a flat 1% cash back rate, instead of 2.22% if redeeming for travel expenses).

What I really like about this card is it’s flexibility, you’re not locked into using a particular airline or staying at a particular hotel chain. You also don’t have to worry about award seat availability as you can book with your credit card as normal and then use the miles to reduce the balance owed. This also makes it ideal for people who have a last minute trip coming up, they can apply for this card, use it for their flight purchase, reach the minimum spend and then apply 40,000 miles almost instantly to reduce the next statement by $400.

This card is worth signing up for the sign up bonus alone, but it’s also worth using on everyday purchases where you’re not able to get at least 2.22% cash back on.

There are some downsides to this card though, the APR is quite high at 14.99-18.99% and it does come with an annual fee. Because this card is fairly new (first released a little over a year ago in late December of 2012) there isn’t a lot of data points on what Barclay will do when the annual fee hits, there are a few promising stories of people having the annual fee waived but equally concerning is the fact that some people haven’t had the annual fee waived after the first year. We would’ve liked to see Barclay offer this card annual fee free for life and whilst they do have a no annual fee version of this card the rewards program is too lacking to seriously consider using.

Fortunately the annual fee is waived for the first year, so there really isn’t anything stopping you for applying for the card and then cancelling if their retention department chooses not to waive your annual fee from year two onwards.

apply now big

We Recommend This Card For:

  • People who travel regularly
  • People who don’t have a preferred airline or hotel
  • People who don’t want to deal with the complexity of most rewards programs

We Don’t Recommend This Card For:

  • People who don’t travel
  • People who plan on carrying a balance
  • People who always use the same airline or stay at the same hotel chain
  • People who only spend a little bit on their credit cards each year (this card is still suitable for you, just make sure you cancel it after the first year).

F.A.Q’s & Tips

Where Can I Find On Going Discussion Of This Card?

You can ask all of your questions below and we will do our best to answer them immediately. You might also find the following discussion board topics helpful:

How Long Will The Card Take To Arrive?

Your card should arrive in 7-10 days after you’ve been approved.

When Will My Bonus Miles Show Up?

Your miles bonus will show up a day or two after you hit the minimum spend requirement. For example if you apply for the card on Jan 12th and then hit the minimum spend requirement on the 17th, your bonus miles should arrive by the 19th of January.

Can The $3,000 Minimum Spend Be Travel Expenses?

Yes. E.g you can purchase $3,000 worth of airline tickets to reach the minimum spend and then use the 40,000 miles as statement credit (after they post) to reduce it by $400, you’d then also receive a 10% (4,000 miles) travel redemption bonus.

I’ve Already Redeemed My Points For A Hotel/Airline Ticket Expense, I Now Need To Cancel That Ticket – Will I Lose My Cash Back?

As far as we are aware, you shouldn’t have any issue doing this. That said using this to game the system (e.g buying a refundable ticket and then redeeming your miles purely to cancel) is extremely unethical and could lead to your account shut down.

Do You Earn The Redemption Bonus Multiple Times?

Yes. For example, I redeem 40,000 miles for a $400 travel expense. I then receive a 10% bonus of 4,000 miles. If I then use those miles for a travel expense I’ll again receive a 10% bonus of 400 miles and so on. This means the card actually earns 2.222222% on all purchases, if redeeming for travel.

How Long Does It Take For The Redemption Bonus Miles To Appear?

Redemption bonus miles will appear instantly in your account.

Can You Do Partial Redemptions?

Yes. For example if you have 20,000 miles but a $500 travel expense you can apply the 20,000 miles and you’ll now only owe $300.

What’s The Minimum You Can Redeem For?

A travel expense must be a minimum of $25 for you to be able to redeem your miles for it. You must also redeem in increments of 2,500 miles (possibly only increments of 100 if redeeming for the full amount).

How Long Do Miles Take To Appear In Your Account For Purchases?

These will also appear in your account immediately after purchase. Just remember if you get a refund for a product these miles will be automatically deducted from your account.

Can You Downgrade Or Do A Product Change For This Card?

People have had mixed results with downgrading to the no annual fee version of this card. Keep in mind the differences,:

  • Success stories: 1, 2, 3
  • Failure stories: 1

If You Downgrade To The No Annual Fee Version, Do You Keep Your Miles?

Yes, you’ll keep any miles you currently have in your account. You’ll lose any miles that haven’t processed yet (miles only take a day or two at most to appear in your account).

Will They Waive The Annual Fee For The Second Year Onwards?

Yes: 1, 2, 3, 4 (plus 10,000 mile bonus)

No: 1

You Have 90 Days To Reach The Minimum Spend Requirement – When Does This 90 Days Start? 

This starts from when you are officially approved.

Does Barclays Ever Offer Bonuses Or Specials For Existing Customers?

They’ve had a few specials in the past for existing card holders. For example:

  • Between October 1st and December 31st, 2013 you earned 5 miles per dollar spent (up to a maximum of $500 in spending or 2,500 miles) in at the following locations:
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
    • Department, toy or game stores

Does Barclays Offer A Business Version Of This Card?

No, at the moment Barclays does not offer a business version of this card. Although you should have no problem putting business expenses on this card, even though the ToS states that points will not be earned on business purchases.

Is It Possible To “Churn” This Card And Get The Sign Up Bonus Multiple Times?

Nobody has had success doing this as of yet. Update: One person has had success doing this.

How Long Does It Take For The Free FICO Score To Show And How Often Does It Update?

The score will update at minimum every 60 days. It’ll show be updated whenever your TransUnion has a significant change. For example, a new credit inquiry or late payment.

Will You Get Shut Down If You Do Large Amounts Of Manufactured Spending On This Card?

We haven’t heard of anybody getting shut down for this. In fact there was one example of somebody earning 1,000,000 miles with manufactured spending techniques.

Can You Transfer Miles Between Two Separate Card Holders?

No, it’s not possible to transfer miles between two separate card holders.

Do Miles Expire?

No, as long as you still have your Arrival card the miles will stay active.

Can You Receive The Sign Up Bonus On Both Versions Of The Card (Annual Fee + Non-Annual Fee)?

According to some they’ve received both: 1


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Ryan
Ryan

Just a data point… my Arrival+ card has a $19k credit limit.

willieb24
willieb24

Impressive! What’s is your credit score

Kirby
Kirby

Was approved for Arrival+ with $4k limit, and it’s a World Elite….

Tom
Tom

I applied for the BarclayCard Arrival Plus World Elite last night and got approved. After visiting a few websites (along with this one) I verified that it was indeed the World Elite that I got approved for. My FICO is in the 800-830 range. Originally approved for a $15k CL but called their support line and got a CLI to $30k. They went over my credit info (from yesterday’s hard inquiry, not another hard), asked me a couple of questions and bingo, CLI.

John
John

just received my BarclayCard Arrival Plus World Elite card with a $3500 limit. (all 3 fico scores in the 720-735 range)

Brian
Brian

Just a quick bit of input from what I’ve read is a fairly unique outcome.

I was denied automatically. Called reconsideration number and was denied again due to lack of credit history (plus my score was on 655 at the time, according to the denial letter that came in the mail later on).

Called reconsideration a 2nd time a few days later, and was approved with a $1000 credit limit.

I haven’t seen of anyone getting approved from a 2nd reconsideration call, nor have I seen anyone getting the Arrival + with that low of a credit limit.

trackback

[…] speculation (first by Travel Codex and then Miles to Memories) regarding negative changes to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card, as it had stopped accepting new sign ups (the apply now button is still replaced with a check back […]

Ron
Ron

650 fico, 5k limit

Ron
Ron

mine was a recon

Elliot
Elliot

Datapoint re your observation about credit limits: I was auto-approved about a month ago for the World Elite with a $3500 credit line.

dan
dan

my card was shutdown for ms – funding citi banks accounts. any advice?

A t
A t

???

Philip
Philip

Applied for the Arrival+ today and was instantly approved! Yay!
My TU FICO was 757, with thin file (less than 2 years of credit history), no baddies, low-medium income.
Got MC World Elite with $5000 limit. My highest limit yet.

Any recent experience with MS on this card? I have almost unlimited possibilities of MS but not sure how quickly and in what volume to start.

shar
shar

just wondering what you consider to be low-medium income, am wondering what the minimum annual income is that is accepted for this card… any help would be appreciated- thanks!

Jamie

Can you transfer the miles on this card to Hilton Honors or Starwood Preferred?? Where can you use? Is it only for airlines? I’m debating about getting this card. Help!!!!

Jamie Cramer

Can you transfer these miles to hilton Honors or Strawood Preferred? Is it only good for airlines??
Not sure to apply or not… Help!!

me
me

Barclay says “check back later to apply”. Am I only seeing this or is it currently unavailable to everyone?

Chuck

Yeah, you’ll have to use an affiliate link to get this offer now.

Irene
Irene

Hi. I applied for the Arrival World yesterday through an affiliate link & hit submit & the next thing it said was there was an error obtains the next page of your application & yo try again later. Then I went to check application status & it said no applications match the information entered. I then called & explained what happened to a rep & was told there is no application on file. I then checked credit karma & it clearly showed Barclays inquiry & my score dropped a few points. I called back & was told I was denied & to wait for the letter. They used TU, my score was 678, now at 676. I have 3 other credit cards starting from the beginning of the year, which include Chase Freedom, Discover it, AMEX. Everything is paid on time & never any minimum payments, always 10x the amount has been paid. I have 1 negative on my credit report. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Is this a case to call recon about? Thanks in advance.

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