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Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® Review

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by Chris Thompson Updated
Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®

Earn Unlimited 2x Miles on Every Purchase

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is a card made for anyone who travels, though globetrotting vacationers will get the most value from it. Every purchase, no matter whether it’s for clothes, groceries or an airplane ticket, will earn two miles per dollar spent.

This card features one of the strongest and most enduring bonuses on the travel rewards market, with up to 25,000 loyalty bonus miles available every year you keep your account open. But you do need to maintain a certain level of spending each year to earn that benefit. Spending $15,000 in a year gets you 15,000 loyalty bonus miles, and another $10,000 gives you 10,000 more miles. Loyalty bonus miles are earned in addition to unlimited 2x miles, which means you can earn 75,000 miles if you spend $25,000 in a year.

Barclays is rather flexible with its redemption options: you can use miles to cover travel costs, get cash back and earn retail gift cards and merchandise. These ample choices are atypical compared to the rigidity of the general travel rewards sphere and should be a welcome sight for many who appreciate customization in rewards redemptions.

With the inclusion of a $100 credit to cover your Global Entry application every five years, low-cost access to many international airport lounges and no foreign transaction fees, the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is worth a look. Although it does come with some high costs, this card has the ability to provide many rewards for travelers.

Smart Features

Unlimited 2x miles - Regardless of what you purchase with your Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, you’ll earn two miles for every dollar you spend. There is no cap on how many rewards miles you can earn.

25,000 loyalty bonus miles - If you can manage to swipe your card for at least $15,000 worth of purchases in a year, you’ll earn yourself a hefty 15,000 bonus miles. Another 10,000 bonus miles are up for grabs as well if you spend $10,000 more with the card in the same year. Loyalty bonus miles are earned in addition to the unlimited 2x miles you receive for every purchase. This means you can earn 75,000 miles if you spend $25,000 in a year.

  • Smart Tip: You can supplement these bonus earnings by being active in the Barclays Travel Community. If you share your travel experiences here and post regularly, you may earn extra rewards.

Mileage redemptions - Once you’ve decided to begin using your miles for redemptions, there are a number of different routes you can take. These include travel statement credits, cash-back statement credits, gift cards and retail merchandise.

No expirations - So long as you keep your account in good standing with Barclays, the miles you accrue with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® will never expire.

Transferring to other loyalty programs - If you belong to other major travel loyalty programs and want to combine your Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® mileage earnings with your rewards there, you can do so. You will need to be the primary cardholder to initiate these transfers.

  • Smart Tip: Air France, Etihad, Malaysia Airlines, Japan Airlines and Aeromexico are some of the largest programs associated with this benefit.

$100 Global Entry application credit - Global Entry is a program that helps expedite your trip through airport security. If you’re a cardholder, Barclays will cover your five-year mandatory $100 application fee.

No foreign transactions fees - This card is perfect if you travel around the world, as there are absolutely no foreign transaction fees when you use it abroad.

Access to airport lounges - Mastercard® paired with Barclays to give you the ability to get into more than 850 lounges in 400 plus airports across the globe, whether  you’re a pre-existing member or not. You must complete these redemptions through the Mastercard® Airport Experiences app and and pay $27 fee per person.

Complimentary FICO® score - You will receive access to your FICO® credit score with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, along with the ability to set up email alerts whenever your credit score is updated.

Who It Benefits

This card is geared toward the international traveler. Whether it be the lack of foreign transaction fees or the ability to transfer your mileage to international travel brands, just about every perk is designed to cater to a globetrotter.

Because it takes a minimum of $15,000 to begin earning loyalty bonus mileage, you must be open to making this card your go-to swipe. Otherwise, you may find it tough to build significant rewards. More specifically, Barclays heavily rewards loyalty.

How It Works

The 2x unlimited miles and loyalty bonus mileage earnings of the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® could result in significant redemption opportunities. There are some restrictions to be aware of, though.

To begin redeeming travel statement credits, you must have a minimum of 10,000 miles. You can use these to cover the costs of airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, limos, taxis and other typical travel services.

On the other hand, cash-back statement credits require 5,000 miles prior to redemption and are worth half the value of travel credits. The same 5,000-mile minimum applies to gift card redemptions, while merchandise minimums vary based on the item.

There are also minimums attached to transferring miles from your Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® to outside travel rewards loyalty programs. These aren’t definite, though, as each company will have its own set of qualifications. It can take anywhere from three to 15 days for these transfers to occur, and once they’re completed, you cannot reverse them.

What’s the Catch?

The card doesn’t have many downsides, though it does favor loyal cardholders who have a solid amount of money to spend. Considering you must spend at least $15,000 to begin earning loyalty bonus miles, you must either have significant capital or be extremely devoted to Barclays. Be careful not to spend past your limits with this card, as the upper end of its APR range could leave you with quickly mounting debt.

Just the Math Please

Rewards

The rewards potential of the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is completely attainable, especially if you’re willing to make it your primary card. If you were to reach the loyalty bonus cap of 25,000 bonus miles, you’d have to swipe your card for $25,000 worth of purchases over a single year.

With the 2x miles rate on the $25,000 you spent (50,000 miles) plus the 25,000 bonus miles, you could net 75,000 miles or more -- a total worth $750 in travel credits.

Balance Transfers

It wouldn’t be a particularly ideal choice to complete a balance transfer with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®. Unfortunately, the card’s 17.49%, 21.49% or 24.49% Variable APRs (depending on your credit score and history) just aren’t that inviting for transfer candidates.

Rates and Fees

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases

17.49%, 21.49% or 24.49% Variable, depending on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

APR for Balance Transfers

17.49%, 21.49% or 24.49% Variable, depending on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

APR for Cash Advances

26.74% Variable. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Penalty APR and When It Applies

None

How to Avoid Paying Interest on Purchases

Your due date is at least 23 days after the close of each billing cycle. You will not be charged interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month.

Annual Fee

$150

Transaction Fees

  • Balance Transfers: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Cash Advance: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign Transaction: None

Penalty Fees

  • Late Payment: Up to $37

  • Returned Payment: Up to $37

See all Rates and Fees

How It Stacks Up

In a world increasingly full of travel credit card offers, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card has become one of cardholders’ favorites. The card boasts a 1.5x points rewards rate for every dollar you spend, as well as a 20,000-point sign-up bonus if you make $1,000 in purchases over your first 90 days with an account. These earnings are not capped, and they’ll never expire.

Aside from traditional rewards perks, the card also has a 0% introductory purchase APR for 12 billing cycles and no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. When you combine everything, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card presents an attractive set of benefits, both in terms of rewards and cardholder costs.

So how well does the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® face off against it? If you’re concerned about cost, you’ll probably be taken aback that this card not only lacks a 0% introductory APR but also charges an $150 annual fee. There’s no such charge for its Bank of America® counterpart.

But the Barclays card does offer some redeeming qualities. Not only does it best the rewards rate of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card, it also features a larger and more sustainable bonus. Still, it is important to note that the 20,000 bonus points Bank of America® offers are much more easily attainable if you don’t have much to spend.

Ultimately, the decision as to which card is more suited for you comes down to your preferences: can you stomach the need for big spending to reap the rewards with Barclays, or can you settle for Bank of America’s less robust benefits that come at a lower cost?

Bottom Line

For those willing to remain loyal to Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, the potential benefits are substantial. Of course, this loyalty must come with significant spending, as cardholders who consistently swipe will earn the most by a longshot.

The high costs associated with becoming and remaining a cardholder will almost certainly deter some applicants. In other words, if you think it’ll be tough for you to make regular monthly and annual fee payments with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, steer clear. But if not, you could be in for some solid rewards.