Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®

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Amazing repeat bonus for high-spending travelers but poor cash rewards rate.

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For someone who’s been on the fence about applying for a travel rewards credit card but they don’t care to juggle multiple cards or pay a hefty annual fee, the brand new Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® could be the tipping point.

Review

Credit card companies are getting smarter to the ways of those who make a hobby out of churning and burning rewards cards and their points. The trend is slowly shifting from outsized introductory sign-up bonuses to rewarding customers for their loyalty and top-of-wallet status.

Launched in April 2018, the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® tries this new paradigm on for size to by offering an annual bonus of up to 25,000 miles, worth $250 when redeemed for travel and $125 as a cash-back statement credit, every year you spend at least $25,000 on the card. That’s in addition to the 2X the miles you’ll already be earning for all of your spending.

“This is a card for somebody that’s looking for long term loyalty, they don’t want to have to do the work opening and closing cards,” says Rachana Bhatt, Managing Director of the Barclays Branded Card Business Segment.

Here’s how the bonus works. Spend $15,000, get 15,000 bonus miles at the end of the year. Spend an additional $10,000, get an additional 10,000 bonus miles, up to a maximum annual bonus of 25,000 miles.

If you end up spending $25,000 on this card, before factoring in the bonus you’ll have earned 50,000 miles on your spending. But, add in that loyalty reward and you’ll pocket a total of 75,000 bonus miles. If you use the miles for travel, that’s a rewards rate of 3 miles per $1 spent, putting it on a par with some of the best travel rewards cards on the market today, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Citi Prestige Card.

But, those cards come with a pricey cost of ownership and the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is only $150. This card also comes with several other traveler’s delights like airline transfer partners, Global Entry Fee Reimbursement and reduced fees at airport lounges in the Mastercard Airport Experience network. Although what it offers pales in comparison to the perks offered by several of the pricier travel cards. But, perhaps the most intriguing feature of this card is the fact that you can earn the bonus every single year, if you meet the spending requirements each year.

“The opportunity to earn 75,000 miles every year is unheard of,” says Bhatt.

If you’re someone who spends a lot on your credit cards anyway, and you don’t already have a travel rewards card, this could be the card you’ve been looking for.

But, there’s a huge caveat here, it’s only worth it if you plan on using all those juicy rewards on travel. Otherwise, the value of a mile drops to a half a cent if you redeem them for cash back. This key feature sinks an otherwise great card. Sure it’s nice to get a loyalty bonus every year, but if it’s ease of redemption and ultimate flexibility you’re after, you’re probably going to do better with a flat-rate cash back card that lets you use your rewards anyway you’d like.

Who should get this card

Someone who spends $25,000 a year or more on their credit cards, doesn’t want to be bothered tracking bonus categories and wants to earn easy to redeem travel rewards.

Advantages
  • No other rewards card offers a big bonus each and every year.
  • The cost of ownership is outweighed by the perks and extras.
  • The flat rate of 2X the miles for every $1 spent is simple to use and understand.
Disadvantages
  • The cash-back rewards rate is poor, at half a cent per mile there are plenty of other cards with more compelling rewards rates.
  • The lounge access feature isn't stellar, you still have to pay to use the lounges.
  • The amount of spending to reach the bonus threshold is high and may not be attainable for many.

Fees and APR

  • There’s a $150 annual fee (waived the first year).
  • The variable APR for purchases and balance transfers is 17.74%, 21.74% or 24.74% Variable.
  • There’s a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount being transferred, whichever is greater.
  • This card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees.
  • See Rates and Fees

Extras, perks and using rewards

This card comes with an additional mileage bonus every year for meeting certain annual spending requirements.

Get a $100 statement credit every five years towards the Global Entry application fee.

Cardholders are eligible for reduced airport lounge access at participating Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by Lounge Key locations.

You can book your travel anyway you like and then get a travel statement credit towards that purchase. Redemptions start at 10,000 miles for travel statement credits and 5,000 miles for cash back statement credits and gift cards. Note that when a mile is redeemed as a statement credit against a travel purchase, it’s worth approximately 1 cent and when it’s redeemed as a cash-back statement credit its worth one half of a cent.

How this card compares

The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

N/A

Annual Fee

$550

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

The Platinum Card from American Express sets the bar high with a steep annual fee and a high rewards rate It also has best-in-class travel perks like extensive airport lounge access-including their exclusive Centurion lounges, a Global Entry fee credit, hotel upgrades and more comprehensive travel and auto protections than most other cards.

Citi Prestige® Card
  • 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
  • 1X points on all other purchases

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our excellent credit category page.

Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

17.49% to 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness, for transfers completed within 2 months from date of account opening. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Annual Fee

$450.

Balance Transfers Intro APR

The Citi Prestige Card gives air travel rewards at a rate of 3X points to the Amex Platinum’s 5X points. But, it comes with one perk that could make it worth more to you: on hotel stays of four or more nights booked through the Citi concierge, get the fourth night free. For some, this benefit could exceed the cost of card ownership.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Credit Needed

Excellent, Good

Regular APR

14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card‘s unlimited 2X miles per $1 spent on all purchases makes it less cumbersome to track than cards with different bonus categories. Depending on your spending habits this could work out better or worse for you in terms of mileage earning potential. One of the best attributes of this card is you can book your travel any way you like, on any site, and then redeem your miles as a statement credit towards that purchase. This makes it a more flexible choice than other cards that require you to use their travel portals for maximum value.

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
  • Earn 3X points per dollar for travel and mobile wallet spend.
  • Earn 1X point per dollar on all other purchases.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our excellent credit category page.

Credit Needed

Excellent

Regular APR

17.49%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Annual Fee

$400.

Balance Transfers Intro APR

Another contender in the premium rewards card category is the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite, which, in addition to its boosted rewards on travel also 3X points per $1 on all mobile wallet purchases-something no other card currently offers. This means you could theoretically earn triple points on all your spending with this card. The only catch is you have to be a U.S. Bank customer to apply for the card.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.