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(Note: This article reviews the no fee Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®. For the $89 annual fee version see our review Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®)
The Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® is one of the best no-annual-fee credit cards, with a 2.1% rewards rate. Despite recent changes to the card’s benefits structure (such as the reduction of the redemption bonus from 10% to 5%), we believe this card still is worth its weight in gold, especially for consumers who spend less than $1,000 month-to-month. Due to the value it offers, the Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® made our list of top rewards credit cards and top travel credit cards.
- Great travel rewards on dining and travel purchases
- No annual fee + no foreign transaction fees combo
- Minimum $100 redemption requirement
Review: A Good Annual Fee Free Option for Travel Rewards
The Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® is one of our favorite no annual fee travel card with cardholders earning a 1.05% - 2.1% rewards rate on their purchases. Among ‘no annual fee’ travel credit cards, this is a very competitive rewards rate, with the only better options coming from cards with significant annual fees. Consumers spending under $10,000 a year on their credit cards and those for whom travel or dining making up a significant amount of their spending, the Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® is a pretty good option. However, if you spend significantly more and have more balanced spending, consider the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, our pick for best ‘everyday credit card’.
A recent change to the rewards structure of both Barclays Arrival cards has made redeeming miles a little more difficult process. You now need to accumulate a minimum of $100 in reward miles before you can redeem them. This limits cardholders’ abilities to use the card’s rewards to pay for smaller day-to-day expenses, such as taxi rides or hotel room upgrades. For individuals who do not mind waiting to accumulate the miles necessary for redemption, this change may not prove benign.
The Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® is one of the few credit cards to come with both no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees – a major strength. Individuals who travel abroad, but don’t spend enough to justify getting an annual fee credit card, have the ability to use this card on their travels, without having to pay a 3% fee common on many other credit cards of this type.
Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® Benefits And Rewards
Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®
- Up to $200,000 travel accident insurance
- Trip cancellation coverage
- Up to $200,000 travel accident insurance
- Trip cancellation coverage
In Depth Analysis: Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®
To give you a better understanding of the Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®, we break down the card and its features in a more in depth analysis. Continue onward to see the card features and how we go about evaluating the card.
Calculating the Rewards Rate: 1.05% - 2.1%
The Arrival World rewards you with 2 miles on every dollar spent on travel or dining and 1 mile for every dollar spent otherwise. With points usable as statement credits against travel the rewards you earn have a value of 1 penny per mile. For general spending the card will net you 1% in rewards and 2% when used in the bonus categories. If you include the 5% redemption bonus that you will receive when you redeem these rewards for travel, the card will net you a rewards rate in the range of 1.1 to 2.2%.
Below is a graph detailing how this card’s rewards rate compares to its competitors.
Outside of the rewards earned through ordinary spending, the Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® comes with a 20,000 mile welcome bonus. In order to qualify, cardholders must spend at least $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of membership. Balance transfers, cash advances, and fees do not count towards this $1,000 minimum. Barclays estimates the value of this bonus to be around $200 (if redeemed on travel statement credit).
5% Travel Redemption Bonus
A twentieth of all the miles you redeem towards awards travel will be returned back to you with the Arrival World. This effectively improves the rewards rate on the credit by 5%, assuming you use the card for travel expenses.
Barclays is more generous than most other issuers when it comes to labeling purchases as “travel”. Everything from taxis, timeshares, and bus fares are among the things which can be categorized under “travel” and thus earn users the 5% redemption bonus. The table below provides all the other items which Barclays includes in its list.
|Spending Categories Under Travel|
Car Rental Agencies
|Travel Agencies||Discount Travel Sites|
How does the Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® compare to other no fee travel cards?
In order to get a better feel for the value of the Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®, it is imperative to compare it to the other available options. Below we detail how this card fares against other leading credit cards.
Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® vs Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is one of the best credit cards available to individuals with a wide array of spending. If you spend at least $5,000 in the first 90 days, you can qualify for the 70,000 mile bonus on the Arrival Plus, which will cover the annual fees on the card for over 5 years.
Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® vs Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is designed somewhat differently with a flat rewards rate structure of 1.25 miles per dollar spent on all categories. For general spending the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is definitely the better choice, but performs more poorly if you have greater spending in dining and travel. If more than 25% of your spending is in the dining and travel categories, go with the Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® otherwise the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card will come out ahead. If you care about add-on features, then Capital One® cards have the benefit of offering cardmembers complimentary credit scores.
The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card currently awards 10x miles on purchases made through hotels.com/Venture. This promotion ends January 31, 2020.
Comparing The Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®
To help you see how this card stacks up against the competition use our credit card model to project the types of rewards you would earn with the Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®