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April 7, 2018

Barclays Arrival Premier Review: Why $150 Worth It?

Read more about Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® from Barclays, a CreditDonkey advertiser
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
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Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® has arrived. With 2x miles on purchases and transfer partners, is it a good travel card? Read on.

Barclays Arrival Premier
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Overall Score

4.1

Rewards

5.0

Interest Rates

3.5

Fees

3.5

Benefits

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Loyalty bonus
  • Earn 2x miles on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $150 annual fee (waived first year)

Bottom Line

Excellent travel credit card for loyal cardholders

The newly re-branded Barclays has released a new travel rewards card, Barclays Arrival Premier.

This new card offers a couple of more attractive benefits, such as transfer partners. But it loses the sign-up bonus. Is it worth the higher annual fee?

Read on for the pros and cons.

Who This Card Is Good For

  • Big spenders. Instead of a sign-up bonus, you get bonus miles after spending $15,000 and $25,000 on purchases each year. If you spend a lot on your credit card, you'll be able to receive the reward every year.

    Loyalty bonus miles are earned in addition to unlimited 2x miles. That means you can earn 75,000 miles each year if you spend $25,000 on purchases: 50,000 miles from the 2x miles and 25,000 miles from the loyalty bonus miles.

  • International travelers. You get application fee reimbursement for Global Entry and there is no foreign transaction fee. Both are useful for those who travel abroad.

  • Those with varied spending. You get unlimited 2x miles on every purchase. So this card is good if you have very mixed spending. You'll be able to rack up miles fast.

Why the Arrival Premier Is Worth Considering

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Here are the main benefits of the Arrival Premier, along with our opinions.

  • 2x miles on every purchase. You automatically earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend with the card, with no limit. This makes the Barclays Arrival Premier a great primary card for everyday spending.

  • Bonus miles when you spend a certain amount. The new Arrival Premier does not have a sign-up bonus. Instead, you get a loyalty bonus after reaching certain spending thresholds.

    • Get a bonus of 15,000 miles when you spend $15,000 in purchases in a calendar year.
    • Get an additional bonus of 10,000 miles when you spend another $10,000 that same year. This makes for a maximum total of 25,000 bonus miles after spending $25,000 in purchases.

    This bonus structure is designed to reward loyal cardholders. This way, you have a chance to earn a bonus every year, instead of just the first year.

    If you can manage to spend $15,000 a year on your credit card and therefore get the loyalty bonus, it means you're effectively getting 3x miles for every dollar you spend. That's a good deal despite no sign-up bonus.

  • Redeem miles for travel however you like. Redeeming miles is easy. You can redeem against any travel-related purchase made within the last 120 days, at the rate of 1 mile = 1 cent. Redemptions start at 10,000 miles for a $100 statement credit. This allows you to book travel however you want, with no airline restrictions or blackout dates.

    What Barclays considers as travel. The following are eligible for travel redemptions: airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, purchase and travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, and ferries.

  • Transfer to airline partners. An extra feature of this card is the ability to transfer miles to travel partners. However, it's not a 1:1 transfer ratio. Here are the airline partners and their transfer ratios:

    • Aeroméxico - 1.4:1
    • Air France/KLM Flying Blue - 1.4:1
    • China Eastern - 1.4:1
    • Etihad - 1.4:1
    • EVA Air - 1.4:1
    • Japan Airlines - 1.7:1
    • Jet Airways - 1.4:1
    • Malaysia Airlines - 1.4:1
    • Qantas - 1.4:1

    Most of the transfers are 1.4:1 (with the exception of JAL). This means 1,400 Arrival Premier miles = 1,000 airline miles. In this case, we'd say transferring isn't the best use of your miles. Unless you're already a member of one of these airlines and just need a little bit more to reach an award flight.

  • Global Entry fee credit. Every 5 years, you get a $100 credit for one Global Entry application fee. It's automatically credited to your account once you apply.

  • No foreign transaction fees. There is no extra foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside of the U.S.

  • Earn more miles for sharing travel stories. You get the opportunity to earn more miles by joining the Barclays Travel Community. You earn 500 miles when you complete a profile, and 150 miles for every travel story you post. You can earn additional miles for adding more details to the story and when your story gets "kudo-ed" by another member. This is an easy, fun way for travel lovers to earn more miles.

  • Reduced fee for lounge access. You get a "pay as you go" LoungeKey membership. This gives you access into over 850 airport lounges worldwide, at $27 per person each visit. It's too bad that there are no complimentary lounge visits at all. So this really isn't much of a benefit.

Reasons to Skip It

Here are some reasons you may not like the card.

  • No sign-up bonus. This may be a big disappointment to many. One of the biggest attractions of a new credit card is the sign-up bonus. But the Arrival Premier doesn't offer any. Instead, you have to meet high spending thresholds to receive a loyalty bonus.

    In our opinion, the bonus miles offer doesn't nearly come close to other travel cards' sign-up offers. The most you can get is 25,000 bonus miles, after spending a whopping $25,000 in purchases in a year. But that's only equivalent to $250 if you redeem for travel statement credit.

  • No domestic airlines transfer partners. The current roster of Barclays' airline partners doesn't include any of the major U.S. carriers. If you usually travel domestically, you may not find too much use for the partners. Plus, it's not 1:1 transfer ratio, which is another bummer.

  • $150 annual fee (waived first year). The annual fee will take away from your rewards. Even if you spend $15,000 a year in purchases, the annual fee will completely wipe out the loyalty reward you earn. So in a way, it's kind of like spending so much without any bonus. Don't consider this card unless you can spend at least $15,000/year. It's best if you can reach the $25,000/year threshold.

How It Compares

How does the new Arrival Premier compare against popular favorites? Let's take a look.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: better transfer partners
Sapphire Preferred has a lower annual fee, plus it's waived for the first year. Its everyday spending rewards aren't as good (as you only get 2x points on dining and travel), but there is an outstanding sign-up bonus. We also like Chase's transfer partners more. You get both United and Southwest, as well as a few other major international airlines. And if you want to use your points to book travel on Chase's travel portal, you get 25% more value.

 Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite MastercardChase Sapphire Preferred Card
 Apply NowApply Now
 

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR17.74%, 21.74%, 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.74% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR17.74%, 21.74%, 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.74% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$150 annual fee (waived first year)$0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year, then $95
Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees 
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Reward Points Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Airline RewardsAirline Rewards: Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase.Airline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Bonus Airline RewardsBonus Airline Rewards: Each year earn up to 25,000 loyalty bonus miles. Loyalty bonus miles are earned in additional to unlimited 2x miles. That's 75,000 miles each year if you spend $25,000 on purchases. 
Point Rewards Point Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Airline StatusAirline Status: Global Entry - $100 automatic statement credit for the cost of one Global Entry application fee every five years.
Access to over 850 lounges worldwide with Mastercard® Airport Experience provided by LoungeKey, fees apply.
 
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include Aeroméxico, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, China Eastern, Etihad, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, and Qantas.Airline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.
 Apply NowApply Now

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: better benefits
Sapphire Reserve, despite the huge annual fee, offers some of the best benefits. First, you get an annual $300 statement credit, which helps offset the $450 annual fee. One of our favorite perks is the Priority Pass Select membership. You get free lounge access into Priority Pass' network of 1,000+ lounges. This perk could be worth a lot to frequent travelers. And on the Chase travel portal, your miles are worth 50% more.

 Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite MastercardChase Sapphire Reserve
 Apply NowApply Now
 

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR17.74%, 21.74%, 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.74% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR17.74%, 21.74%, 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.74% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$150 annual fee (waived first year)$450 annual fee
Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees 
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Reward Points Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Airline RewardsAirline Rewards: Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase.Airline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Bonus Airline RewardsBonus Airline Rewards: Each year earn up to 25,000 loyalty bonus miles. Loyalty bonus miles are earned in additional to unlimited 2x miles. That's 75,000 miles each year if you spend $25,000 on purchases. 
Point Rewards Point Rewards: 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Airline StatusAirline Status: Global Entry - $100 automatic statement credit for the cost of one Global Entry application fee every five years.
Access to over 850 lounges worldwide with Mastercard® Airport Experience provided by LoungeKey, fees apply.
Airline Status: $300 Annual Travel Credit (as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card).
Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership for access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide. Enrollment required for Priority Pass Select
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include Aeroméxico, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, China Eastern, Etihad, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, and Qantas.Airline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.
 Apply NowApply Now

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Capital One Venture: lower annual fee
Capital One Venture also gives you 2x miles on everything. Instead of a loyalty bonus every year, it has a large sign-up bonus. The annual fee is smaller, and it's waived for the first year. If you don't spend over $15,000/year on your credit card, then this card presents much better value.

 

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR17.74%, 21.74%, 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.74% to 24.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR17.74%, 21.74%, 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.74% to 24.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfer FeeEither $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greaterNo balance transfer fee
Annual Fee$150 annual fee (waived first year)$0 intro annual fee for first year; $95 after that
Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees 
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening (worth $500 in travel).
Airline RewardsAirline Rewards: Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase.Airline Rewards: Earn 2x miles per dollar on all purchases
Bonus Airline RewardsBonus Airline Rewards: Each year earn up to 25,000 loyalty bonus miles. Loyalty bonus miles are earned in additional to unlimited 2x miles. That's 75,000 miles each year if you spend $25,000 on purchases. 
Airline StatusAirline Status: Global Entry - $100 automatic statement credit for the cost of one Global Entry application fee every five years.
Access to over 850 lounges worldwide with Mastercard® Airport Experience provided by LoungeKey, fees apply.
 
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include Aeroméxico, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, China Eastern, Etihad, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, and Qantas. 
 Apply NowLearn More

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Capital One Venture: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on June 28, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Are you already an Arrival Plus cardholder? If you already have the Arrival Plus, you can continue to use it as normal. You are allowed to also apply for the Arrival Premier. Or you can request a product change to the Arrival Premier.

Bottom Line

This is certainly an interesting card in Barclays' lineup. The lack of a sign-up bonus may be a disappointment, but this card is meant to be used as the primary card year after year. We commend Barclays for giving loyal customers the chance to earn a bonus every year. This card is best for big spenders who spend at least $15,000 a year on their credit card.

We were excited about the transfer partners. But upon seeing the list, we wish there were some domestic carriers and that it was a 1:1 transfer ratio. Given the case, we don't think this is a perk of this card. It's best to use your miles for travel statement credit.

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Barclays. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Barclays. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on April 7, 2018. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Barclays website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard
Apply for Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard
At Barclays' Secure Site
  • 75,000 miles each year if you spend $25,000 on purchases
  • After that, keep earning unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
  • Global Entry - $100 automatic statement credit for the cost of one Global Entry application fee every five years
  • Book the best travel deal, no airline, seat or hotel restrictions, and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
  • Access to over 850 lounges worldwide with Mastercard® Airport Experience provided by LoungeKey, fees apply
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Travel RewardsAirline RewardsBonus Airline RewardsNo Expiration on Rewards
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
17.74%, 21.74% or 24.74% variable based on your creditworthiness
$150 (waived first year)

Compare Barclays Arrival Premier to:

Compare Barclays Arrival Premier vs Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Compare Barclays Arrival Premier vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Compare Barclays Arrival Premier vs Capital One Venture

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card


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