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.
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