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Best Barclays Credit Cards: The Best Promotions, Bonuses and Rewards of 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

Barclays' roots reach all the way back to 1690, so it's had a few years to figure out what its customers want. Most Barclaycards focus on specific niches like travel or brand partnerships, so they're typically best suited as complimentary cards, not general spending, but a few stand out among the rest. Here are the best Barclays credit cards you should consider keeping in your wallet.

Recommended Cards

Best ForCredit NeededAnnual Fee
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®Travel MilesGood/Excellent$89 ($0 first year)
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®Balance TransfersGood/Excellent$0
Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®
Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®European TravelGood/Excellent$89
The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card
The Choice Privileges® Visa® CardHotel PointsExcellent$0

Here's a closer look at the best Barclays credit cards available this year and the benefits you'll get for signing up.

Best Barclays Credit Card for Travel Miles

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is Barclays' most popular credit card, and it's easily the best Barclays card for people interested in earning travel rewards.

Earn Double Miles with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Cardholders earn double miles on all purchases, and they can be redeemed at a rate of 1 cent per mile as a statement credit against travel expenses, such as taxis, hotel reservations, airfare and more. Miles never expire as long as the account is open and in good standing.

On top of the 2% rewards rate you get on all purchases, Barclays will also give you a 5% redemption bonus anytime you redeem miles for a statement credit. For example, if you redeem 50,000 miles as a statement credit against travel expenses, you'll be refunded 2,500 miles to put toward your next redemption. This means the real rewards rate is 2.1%.

Sign-up Bonus and Annual Fee

Finally, Barclays is offering a sign-up bonus of 70,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®. That's the equivalent of approximately $700 if you redeem those miles as a statement credit toward qualifying travel expenses.

The main downside to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is the $89 annual fee. However, Barclays waives that fee for your first year, and the sign-up bonus more than covers a few subsequent years' fees, making this a great card to keep in your back pocket if you plan to travel much over the next few years.

The information related to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Best Barclays Credit Card for Balance Transfers

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Regular APR
14.24%
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

Much like The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card, the value of the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® is limited in scope. It has no enticing sign-up bonus and no lucrative rewards program. But it does do one thing really well: balance transfers.

Balance Transfers with the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®

The Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® offers a 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of opening your account and a low 14.24% APR after that. So if you're currently carrying a balance on another credit card, you could probably save money by transferring that balance to this card. However, if a decent balance transfer rate is all you're after, you should also consider other good balance transfer credit cards before signing up.

The information related to the Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.  

Best Barclays Credit Card for Travel Between the U.S. and Europe

Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®

Earn 20,000 award miles with first purchase
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 spent on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airlines partners
  • Receive 2 complimentary Lufthansa Business Lounge Vouchers after each account anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees on international purchases
  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase and payment of the annual fee, then an additional 30,000 award miles after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 spent on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airlines partners
  • Receive 2 complimentary Lufthansa Business Lounge Vouchers after each account anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees on international purchases
  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase and payment of the annual fee, then an additional 30,000 award miles after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days
Annual Fee
$89
Regular APR
18.24% or 27.24% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® from Barclays and Lufthansa isn't the best travel card on the market, but it is great for one thing: European travel.

Companion Tickets and Lounge Vouchers

Because Lufthansa does most of its business in Europe, the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® offers considerable rewards and good deals for people who frequently cross the pond. The card's biggest benefit is the Companion Ticket you'll receive each account anniversary, giving you an additional ticket on an economy class fare on any flight beginning in the United States and traveling to Europe, the Middle East, Africa or the Far East. When you consider the cost of an international economy class flight these days, that's a huge savings. And to make the deal even sweeter, you'll also receive two complimentary Lufthansa Business Lounge Vouchers every year, so you can relax while you're waiting for your flight.

Earn Miles

But the complimentary passes aren't the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®'s only benefit. You'll also earn 2 miles per $1 spent on ticket purchases from airline partners and 1 mile on all other purchases, and you'll receive a discount of up to 15% off Miles & More Hotel and Car Awards if you log in to your Barclaycard account before making reservations.

Sign-up Bonus

The Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® comes with a decent sign-up bonus, too. You'll earn 20,000 award miles when you make your first purchase and pay your annual fee, then you'll earn an additional 30,000 miles after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. We value the miles you earn on this card at a penny a piece, meaning the sign-up bonus more than makes up for the card's annual fee. But before signing up, you should also check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers a similar sign-up bonus while waiving the first year's fee.

Best Barclays Credit Card for Hotel Points

The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card

  • 15 points per $1 spent at eligible Choice Privileges locations with your Choice Privileges Visa Card and Choice Privileges membership
  • 2X points per $1 spent on everyday purchases
  • 32,000 bonus points after $1,000 in purchases
  • 5 points per eligible $1 spent on the purchase of Choice Privileges® points or Choice Hotels gift card purchases
  • 15 points per $1 spent at eligible Choice Privileges locations with your Choice Privileges Visa Card and Choice Privileges membership
  • 2X points per $1 spent on everyday purchases
  • 32,000 bonus points after $1,000 in purchases
  • 5 points per eligible $1 spent on the purchase of Choice Privileges® points or Choice Hotels gift card purchases
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Regular APR
17.49%, 22.24% or 27.24% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

Overall, The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card is an underwhelming card for general spending. That said, there are two major perks that make it worth mentioning here: its lack of an annual fee and its rewards rate for spending at Choice Privileges locations.

15x Points at Choice Hotels

Cardholders will earn an impressive 15 points per $1 spent at Choice Hotels, plus 2 points per $1 spent anywhere else. If you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days after opening your account, you'll receive a 32,000 point bonus, and you'll receive an anniversary bonus of 8,000 points every year you charge at least $10,000 to the card.

These perks make The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card great for people who frequent Choice Hotels, but less attractive for people who don't. Overall, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card would be better options for most people, if they're willing to pay an annual fee.

Daniel Caughill

Daniel is a Staff Writer at ValuePenguin, covering insurance, retirement and other personal finance topics. He previously wrote about compliance and best practices for K-12 school districts at Frontline Education.

Comments and Questions

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Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).