Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review: A Great Rewards Card

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

The Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard is my new favorite rewards credit card. Why you ask? Well, by signing up for the card and spending $3,000 in the first 90 days you qualify for $400 in travel rewards. Not only that, but when you redeem miles for travel with the Barclay Arrival Card you also get 10% back in points bringing the total value to at least $440! Before I get on with my Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard review, I’d like to share my personal experience in using it and redeeming the points for travel.

If the review of the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard isn’t enough to convince you to sign up for it, it was recently named the best travel reward card by Money Magazine. If you’re looking for a way to earn points to fund free travel, this could be the right card for you.

Get the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard today and get up to 40,000 bonus miles

From personal experience, using the Arrival World Mastercard was as easy as could be. My wife and I needed to cover our expenses for a business trip which we knew would require around $400 in hotel costs. We knew that we wanted to find a way to not have to pay for our hotel costs ourselves and that is when the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard came into play.

Our trip came and went and a couple of months ago we needed to redeem the points on my card. Calling Barclays to redeem was extremely simple. After a few minutes, my points were redeemed and were applied to my account within a couple of days. We’re doing the same thing with my wife’s card as we went to Vegas recently for my birthday and used her Arrival World Mastercard while there to cover part of our lodging along with another card we had churned.

Related: If you’re looking for more travel rewards, then check out my Lufthansa credit card review.

Awesome Features of the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

  • You can earn up to 40,000 bonus miles after spending at least $3,000 the first 90 days after opening your Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. This equates to a cool $400 that can be applied to flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals and more. There is one caveat to this. There are two card options (which I will get into later) that allow you to earn either 20,000 (the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard – Earn 1x on all purchases) or 40,000 bonus miles (the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard – Earn 2x on all purchases).
  • There is an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months on the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard and a variable rate after that, currently at 14.99% - 18.99%, but is based on your creditworthiness.
  • The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard has no mileage caps or foreign transaction fees.
  • You can earn 2X miles on all purchases using your Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard. On the 1X version you receive 2X miles on all travel and dining purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases.
  • Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates. How great is that?!
  • You get 10% of your miles back when you redeem for travel. So, the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard gives you 1,000 miles back if you redeem 10,000 miles.
  • You can easily redeem your miles for statement credits for any of your travel purchases made within the last 90 days.
  • You get your FICO score for free being a Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard card holder. Through opting in, you get access to it on your online account.
  • With the 1X version of the card you also receive a complimentary subscription to the TripIt Pro mobile travel organizer, which is a $49 value.
  • If you travel regularly, it’s easy to manage with the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard in terms of notating your account. They’ve added a new feature to the site that allows you to notify them when and where you’ll be traveling so you can handle it at your convenience as opposed to calling in to notify them.
  • If the intro 0% APR is one of the features you like about the Arrival World Mastercard, they’ve made it easier for you to know when that ends by adding a feature to the site which shows you when the introductory period expires.

Features are only as good as the benefit you can see them giving you, so I am going to share some of the biggest benefits I see with the features of the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard. The one that jumps off the page to me is the ability to get at least $440 in reward points towards my next trip by spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. The other benefit is that I can take this trip whenever I want to without having to clear it with them first. This was perfect for our business trip and with Mrs. Frugal Rules signing up for the credit card as well, it meant we had enough rewards points to afford the hotel stay for our business trip and also have over $400 to go towards our Vegas trip for my birthday.

Drawbacks of the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

  • The main drawback to the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard is the two card option. The first one has no annual fee and earns you 20,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. The second card doubles that bonus mileage, but comes with an $89 annual fee. For those choking after reading that last sentence, the annual fee is waived for the first year.
  • The interest rate is variable between a current rate of 14.99% or 18.99%. If you read my Discover it® card review it is still a competitive rate, but still variable none the less.

My Take on the Card

Beyond the annual fee issue, the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard has virtually no fees associated with it. They offer a very nice rewards system that has no blackout dates or restrictions to boot and was thus a no brainer for me to sign up for. I know the argument behind not using credit cards to get rewards points is that you may end up spending more. I will say that if that is a temptation of yours, then getting the Arrival World MasterCard  is likely not something you should do.

That said, we’re disciplined enough in our spending that I’m not concerned about us falling into the temptation of overspending.

The spending requirement is a competitive one in light of the rewards points you’re able to earn and even better they’ve recently changed it so that you now get 2X miles on all purchases as opposed to a tiered system, which is quite nice. If you do apply for the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard, you will be given the option at sign up as to which card you want to choose – the annual fee or no annual fee card.

Like I said at the beginning, we used the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard to cover our hotel expenses for our trip in October in addition to our upcoming vacation. I know that earning credit card rewards is not for everyone, but if you’re looking for a nice way to get someone else to pay towards that next vacation, then the Arrival World Mastercard could be a great option for you.

Do you like to take advantage of credit card rewards points like those available through the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard? If so, what’s your favorite new one, I want to know!


* Revised from original review on June 5, 2013

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About the author:

I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. You can connect via Twitter / Facebook.

62 comments on “Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review: A Great Rewards Card

    • Some random student loans still take credit cards for payments, strangely. i have a Texas State Higher Education Coordinating Board loan which takes credit cards for payments (not anything VISA however, as VISA won’t reduce credit fees for them)! I always pay that loan with my AMEX airline miles card to get the points and then pay the card in full every month.

      • Thanks for pointing that out Tara. We would love to pay our mortgage with a card to get rewards, but sadly Wells Fargo will not take them for mortgage payments. :(

    • I never really have before DC, though I think I have been converted. ;) The nice thing is they have other cards that are not devoted to simply travel and have the same $400 bonus.

  1. I haven’t gotten into the churning game yet mostly because I want our credit reports in top shape when we look to buy a house within the next few years. I do use credits for pretty much all purchases though. I have a Fidelity Amex that gets me 2% back on everything and a Fidelity Visa that gets 1.5% back for when Amex isn’t accepted. It’s a great and easy way to save money if you have the discipline.

    On a side note, the interest rate on a card is irrelevant to me because I will never carry a balance. The annual fee definitely matters though.
    Matt Becker recently posted..My Personal Investment PlanMy Profile

    • I completely understand Matt and if we were looking to buy within a few years we likely would not be taking advantage. Those Fidelity cards don’t sound too bad at all.

    • I never have before either Thomas, though I have learned that you can get some nice rewards out of it if you know what you’re doing.

    • I completely understand Grayson, I was there for many years and is much of what has held me back thus far. I am confident that I am at a point though where I can do it and be just fine. Will you be going to FinCon yourself?

  2. I started getting into credit card sign up bonuses a year ago and got a pair of round trip tickets and a hotel stay. I think they are great…if you pay off your card every month and don’t spend more than you normally would. I’d be interested in this card, but with a baby on the way I won’t be doing much traveling in the near future. I think the other good ones out there are probably Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Citi Thankyou Premier.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted..$1250 and Other Freebies with Little EffortMy Profile

    • That’s pretty sweet Andrew. I have heard good things about those cards and might have to look at one of them myself. The nice thing about the Barclaycard is that they have several other options that are not travel related that have the same $400 offer.

  3. John, I love the game of letting credit cards pay out way for trips. I think you will get hooked too. If you can be disciplined enough not to buy extra stuff, it’s a win win. If you can meet the spending requirement, which I think is $5K in the first three months, I would totally get a Chase Ink business card. You’ll get a huge bonus plus 5x rewards in several categories. Right now, we are working the Hawaiian Airlines Visa for our trip next summer. I fully intend to get airfare and hotel paid for, possibly even get first class tickets.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..12 Facts About Money Everyone Thinks Are TrueMy Profile

    • I think I will too Kim…and I think I finally cleared the hurdle of convincing Mrs. Frugal Rules to take the plunge. ;) I have heard of both of those cards and just might have to take a look at them.

    • That’s pretty sweet Tonya, I have heard good things about the Southwest card. I am seriously looking at that as we’ll likely be taking several trips next year.

    • I know, I was pretty stoked about it. I completely understand Laurie and would not recommend doing it until you’re confident you can trust yourself. It has taken me several years to get there myself.

  4. I wish I could join all of you at FinCon this Fall, but unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to attend. It’s great that you found a way to cover the hotels costs. We certainly appreciate our rewards points too! :) I have to also say thanks for your numerous warnings that churning is not for everyone, especially for those still struggling to get out of debt or even newly debt-free. Spending can be an addiction and for some – keeping their credit cards in their wallets is the best thing they can do for themselves. A lot of PF bloggers can churn without consequences or falling off the wagon while many of your readers might not be there yet.
    Shannon @ The Heavy Purse recently posted..The Power of Money Conversations with KidsMy Profile

    • Thanks Shannon…that’s very important to me. It took me several years to get to the point where I was even comfortable using a credit card, much less doing it for the rewards points and I have been debt free for over ten years. I think if you can do it confidently AND not over spend then it’s a nice little bonus to take advantage of, if not then it most definitely is not worth it.

    • I think it really is Jake. We did some reading & research into it and I like that it has no blackout dates and can use on virtually anything. Getting lodging covered for two trips is not bad at all either. :)

  5. I am a huge fan of credit cards to earn miles and point for travel. Unfortunately, they usually have an annual fee. I have had my airline card for 20+ years and I earn enough miles to allow my wife and I to travel overseas business or first class. Last year, I picked up a hotel card and earning enough points to stay at hotel overseas or locally.
    krantcents recently posted..Negotiation Starts When You Ask a Question!My Profile

    • I hate that as well KC, but you can work it to your advantage if the rewards are good enough…which it sounds like you have mastered. :)

    • I will likely either cancel the card or move down to the no fee option. It also depends if I am able to find any other cards that provide better travel rewards. If I can get value out of it greater than the fee than I just may keep it.

  6. Air miles don’t seem to be as good as they used to. I think European AIrport Taxes have seen to that – in the ‘old’ days Airmiles which was originally part of British Airways was brilliant and we could earn more from our local supermarket weekly shop. But the Barclaycard seems pretty good – pity this (UK) bank hasn’t relesed it over here!

    Anyway enjoy FinCon – I won’t be there but Maria is already booked…
    John@MoneyPrinciple recently posted..Your Money Is Important, Let’s Make Sure No One Else Spends It!My Profile

    • That is what I have heard John, which is why I was excited to find this card. Too bad you won’t be at FinCon, but that’s cool Maria will be there.

    • I know, I thought the same thing. I like getting the rewards as well, especially if it doesn’t mean that I really have to change anything.

    • I completely agree Brian and it took us quite some time to get to that point. Thankfully we’re disciplined enough to keep it within reason.

  7. I used to be really into the gaming aspect of churning credit cards, but over the past few months I’ve been trying to consolidate since I really don’t need to be digging through my wallet to figure out which card I need at checkout. I tend to maintain about 3-4 credit cards in my wallet at a time now which is much more manageable.

    Currently I use: United MileagePlus, Capital One Quicksilver, PenFed Cash Rewards (5% on gas), and PenFed Rewards (5% on groceries), plus my Capital One debit card for sub-$2 purchases since it gives you essentially 20 cents per ATM swipe.

    You can read more about the cards I used to use at
    Bobby recently posted..Markets Ready to Soar Before Next Debt Ceiling Debate and Fed TaperingMy Profile

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