Today Barclays announced a re-branding of its popular Arrival World MasterCard to a souped up, sleeker version known as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard. Arrival Plus offers the same features as its predecessor, plus a few added and extended benefits to make the new card even more attractive. All existing cardholders will start receiving the enhanced perks starting today, though it may be a couple months until the new physical card is mailed out. If you have plans to travel abroad in the near future you may want to request a new card online to get the new Chip + PIN technology more quickly.
- Chip and signature cards with PIN capability- whenever you activate your card you can set a PIN so you can use it abroad where PIN-only transactions are accepted
- Redemptions for travel statement credits toward any travel purchase made in the last 120 days (up from 90 days)
- Expanded travel statement credit redemption options, including buses, timeshares, and campgrounds
- An improved card design that is sleeker and more durable with a “cyan-core”
While the added redemption options and longer redemption period are welcome, the greatest boost here is the step up to a chip and signature card (with PIN capability), which strengthens security and improves the likelihood of acceptance when traveling abroad. Many self-service kiosks and automated ticket machines in Europe and elsewhere will not process the swipe and signature cards prevalent in the US, so you’ll be glad to have the chip when you’re out of cash trying to board the Paris Metro and there’s a 20 minute line for the human teller. Since it also has signature technology, it can still be used in the US with ease since most merchants are not equipped to handle strictly Chip + PIN cards.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus still offers 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of card membership, and miles don’t expire as long as the account is open and in good standing. The $89 annual fee (waived the first year) is also unchanged. The fee-free version of Arrival (still known as the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard) also comes with the enhanced redemption options and longer redemption timeframe, but does not come with the chip technology.
Current cardholders of the annual fee version will receive the new Barclaycard Arrival Plus card (with chip technology) when their current card expires, or they can request the newly enhanced card at any time by logging in online. Those who have the no-fee version can continue to use their card as usual with the enhanced redemption options, and can receive a card with the new design at the time of renewal or upon request.
Enhanced Travel Categories
The current travel categories which are eligible for the 10% rebate in points are: Airlines, Rental Cars, Hotels, Motels, Resorts, Subways, Ferries, Passenger railways, Steamships, Cruises and Travel Agencies.
The new expanded travel categories now include: Buses, Taxis, Limos, Campgrounds, Trailer Parks, Timeshares, Tourist Attractions and Exhibits, International railway. Remember, an expense needs to be $25 (2,500 points) to be eligible to use points to wipe it off your statement.
Overall, these are great new changes with no negatives that I can see. I already have the Barclaycard Arrival and now I will make sure I have it with me when traveling abroad, because the Chip + PIN technology, no foreign transaction fee and 2x on all purchases makes this a top card for international and domestic travelers alike.
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