December 6th, 2012
Review: Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – Earn Travel Points Faster
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Barclaycard is on a roll with its reward-centered cards. Hot on the heels of the NFL Extra Points Credit Card launch, it has a brand-new product—this time for the travel-hungry.
Got wanderlust? Then read on!
Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – Points toward travel on any airline
This card comes in two varieties—one without an annual fee and one with a fee. The differences work out to how quickly you can earn points toward travel Here’s how the details break down:
- Earn 2x miles on travel and dining purchases.
- Earn 1x miles on all other purchases.
- Earn up to 10,000 bonus miles if you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. The 10,000 bonus miles will get you $100 off your next trip.
- When you redeem your miles for travel purchases, you’ll get 10% back, credited to your account.
- No limit on miles you can earn and miles never expire.
- Earn 2x miles on all purchases.
- Earn up to 20,000 bonus miles on qualifying transactions.
- The annual fee is waived for the first year.
With both cards, you can use your miles on any airline to any destination—there are no seat restrictions or blackout dates. For the frequent overseas traveler, it’s good to know that there are no foreign transaction fees with the Barclaycard Arrival.
How it compares to other travel rewards cards
Chase Sapphire Card – This card has a similar rewards-earning structure. You can get 10,000 bonus points after spending $500 in the first three months of card membership, just like the fee-free Barclaycard Arrival. Plus, it doubles your points for airfare booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which is better than the 10% back you get with Arrival when you redeem your miles for travel purchases.
Downside: You need excellent credit to qualify for this card.
Capital One Venture Rewards Card – This is one of the highest-rated travel rewards cards, because it gives you 2 miles for every dollar spent on every purchase, every day. You have to spend a little more in the first three months to earn the 10,000 bonus miles–$1,000.
Downside: After the first year, this card gets an annual fee of $59.
Virgin America Visa Signature Card – This card currently has a limited time offer: you can earn up to 25,000 bonus points. Otherwise, you’ll earn 3 points for every $1 spent on Virgin America purchases and 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else. Plus, cardholders get $150 off of a companion ticket each year. This card is for the frequent Virgin America flier.
Downside: If you don’t fly often on Virgin America, this card isn’t the best choice.
Bottom Line: Overall, the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is a good option for people with excellent credit who want flexibility in choosing an airline and are eager to earn airline miles for their purchases.
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