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The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is an excellent travel card in terms of earning rewards for all purchases. While it lacks a large introductory bonus that some of the top travel cards have, it offers unique annual loyalty bonuses for cardholders who meet the spending requirements. This makes the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® our top pick for travelers looking for long-term value, and puts it among the best travel credit card options.
- Benefits and Features
- How Does the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® Compare to Other Credit Cards?
Review: Our Thoughts on the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®
The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is one of the best travel cards for those who spend over $25,000 per cardmember year, and is a solid card for users who spend over $15,000 per cardmember year. That's because people who charge $25,000 in purchases qualify for both loyalty bonuses—worth a combined 25,000 miles. If you only are able to spend $15,000 within a cardmembership year—earning 15,000 loyalty bonus miles—your bonus will cover your annual fee, essentially giving you a solid 2% rewards rate on all purchases, with some additional travel benefits.
|Good For…||Bad For….|
|Anyone who is looking for a card with good long term value||Consumers looking for a card with a large introductory spending bonus|
|Those looking for an easy to use travel card||Individuals that won't be able to make at least $15,000 per year in purchases|
The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®'s yearly loyalty bonuses make it a great card in terms of long term value-it’s a unique feature that we haven’t found in other travel cards. If you are looking for short-term benefits, you are better off getting a travel card with a large introductory spending bonus such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. However, as seen in the graph below, the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® can earn greater rewards after a few years if you are able to hit $25,000 in yearly spending. This is because—while the introductory bonuses make a big difference early on—the yearly loyalty bonuses matter more in the long run.
Consumers looking for good all-around rewards won't do much better than the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®. While other alternatives provide excellent rewards for certain types of purchases like travel and dining, they often offer mediocre rewards for all other spending. Few travel cards can match the 2% rewards rate on all purchases that the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® provides.
Bottom Line: The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is worth getting if you spend enough each year to qualify for one or both of the yearly loyalty bonuses. However, if you don't plan to make at least $15,000 in purchases, we would recommend instead the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or a cash back card with no annual fee like the Citi® Double Cash Card.
Benefits and Features
The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® rewards cardholders with miles for using their card to make purchases–earning 2 miles per dollar spent. While this card does not have an introductory spending bonus, it does let users earn loyalty bonuses when they meet the spending requirements. Each cardmembership year, making $15,000 in purchases earns 15,000 loyalty miles; if you spend an additional $10,000 you can get an additional 10,000 miles, for a combined 25,000 possible loyalty miles.
Unlike travel cards whose miles can be used to book flights or hotel stays, the miles earned with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® can be redeemed for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. However, cardholders recoup the most value when they redeem their miles for statement credits on travel purchases, at 1 cent per mile.
Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® cardholders can also transfer their miles to participating travel reward programs. Travel partners include:
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- China Eastern
- EVA Air
- Japan Airlines
- Jet Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
Miles are transferred a ratio of 1.4 Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® miles to 1 travel program miles, except for Japan Air which are transferred at 1.7 to 1. Because you take at a 29% decrease (or 41% for Japan Airlines) in the number of miles when you transfer, this will not always be the best redemption option. However, this can be a valuable option if you can redeem your transferred miles for value greater than 1.4 cents per mile or 1.7 cents per mile for Japan Airlines.
One of the more unique ways that cardholders can earn miles is by posting their travel stories on the Barclays Travel Community. Members in this community can earn miles for the following activities:
|How to Earn Miles||Value|
|Creating a profile||500 Miles|
|Posting a travel story that contains at least 100 words and at least one unique photo||150 Miles|
|Adding a detail to a travel story (limited to 25 details per story)||10 miles|
|Having your story 'kudoed' (similar to a 'like') by another member||10 miles|
Barclays Travel Community members are limited to five travel stories for each individual city that they post about and 100 travel stories per month. Participation in this program is also open to non-cardholders, but the points they earn are worth much less at 0.2 cents per mile.
One of the benefits that Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® cardholders can receive is a $100 statement credit for the application fee of the Global Entry program. This is a fairly common benefit among premium travel cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Global Entry grants its members expedited clearance when traveling into the United States as well as eligibility to participate in TSA Pre✓®. Membership in this program expires after five years, at which point cardholders are eligible to receive another $100 statement to cover the application fee.
Travelers with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® also receive access to more than 850 airport lounges worldwide through the Mastercard® Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey. Cardholders can also bring guests with them when it is permitted by the lounge. However, unlike other lounge access programs provided by some premium travel cards—such as Priority Pass™ Select—entry into these lounges is not free. There is a $27 fee that is charged per person, per lounge visit.
How Does the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® Compare to Other Credit Cards?
When considering whether a credit card is good or not, it's important to know how it stacks up to comparable offers. To give you a better sense of the value of the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, we have compared it to some other quality credit card options.
Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the better card for consumers who spend a lot on travel and dining. This is because on a gross rewards basis, it offers a 2.5% reward rate on these purchases (2 points per dollar multiplied by the 1.25 bonus when redeeming for travel on the Chase portal), which is 25% greater than the 2% you can earn with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®. It also has a lower annual fee of $95. If you don't spend that much on travel and dining, you should go with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® as it is the better card for all other spending.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards® points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are great for people who are willing to put in a little effort to maximize their points by finding the best redemption options. However, if don't want to worry about getting the most value from your rewards the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is the better choice, as you can recoup the same mile value when redeemed for any travel spending.
- Earn 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 60,000 bonus points for making $4,000 in purchases within three months of your account opening.
- Points are transferable to many leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Review
Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® vs Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the better for those that spend a lot on travel and dining, as it offers a 4.5% rewards rate for these purchases (3 points on travel after you earn the $300 travel credit). Additionally, if you're looking for short-term rewards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the clear winner. Its 50,000 point introductory spending bonus—which cardholders get by making $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening—is worth $750. To receive that much in loyalty bonus miles value with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® users would have to make $25,000 in purchases for three cardmembership years, for a combined $75,000 minimum spending on purchases.
- Earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases (3 points on travel after you earn the $300 travel credit).
- Get 50,000 bonus points for making $4,000 in purchases within three months of your account opening.
- $300 annual travel credit.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® Review
Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® vs Citi® Double Cash Card
We recommend that consumers who spend less than $15,000 in purchases per year with their card go with the Citi® Double Cash Card. The Citi® Double Cash Card earns 1% cash back when cardholders make purchases and 1% cash back when they pay their balance - that adds up to the 2% on all purchases that the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® gives, but with no annual fee eating into the rewards earned. So unless you can make at least $15,000 in purchases each cardmembership year and therefore qualify for the 15,000 loyalty miles to offset the $150 annual fee of the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, the Citi® Double Cash Card will offer more value.
- earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases
- No annual fee.
- 3% foreign transaction fee.
- Citi® Double Cash Card Review