Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®
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Editor’s note: This offer is no longer available. Check out our list of the best travel rewards credit card for alternatives.
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.
Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® Overview
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.\
What are the advantages and 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.
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.
Fees and APR
- There’s a $150 annual fee (waived the first year).
- The variable APR for purchases and balance transfers is 17.99%, 21.99% or 24.99% 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.
Key cardholder perks
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.