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Up until last year, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard was one of the most appealing travel rewards credit cards on the market, thanks to the flexibility it offered — you could redeem points to offset the cost of any travel-related charge of $50 or more while receiving a 10% rebate on redeemed points in the process. Then, last summer, the issuer announced several changes, reducing the rate of return and making it a bit more difficult to redeem points for free travel (now only letting you apply points to offset a travel expense of $100 or more).
Now, this card is back on our radar, thanks to an increased limited-time sign-up bonus. As of today, you can earn 50,000 bonus “miles” after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Factoring in the card’s 5% rebate on redeemed points, the bonus is worth $525 toward travel expenses. Since you can redeem these points to offset almost any travel-related charge, this is a great option for booking inexpensive revenue flights (where redeeming airline miles wouldn’t make sense), paying for non-chain hotels and Airbnb stays, using rewards to cover the cost of award ticket fees, and so on. You’ll simply pay for these charges (of $100 or more) with the card and apply miles to offset the cost in the form of a statement credit. There’s an $89 annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year.
This new sign-up bonus makes the card a no-brainer compared to competitors such as the Capital One Venture Rewards and Citi Double Cash. The Venture card offers a 40,000 “mile” sign-up bonus, but these points can be redeemed for $400 in travel, vs. $525 with the latest Arrival Plus offer. The Citi Double Cash card offers 1% cash back on all purchases, plus another 1% back when you pay your bill, but that card doesn’t come along with a sign-up bonus — plus you’ll be subjected to a 3% foreign transaction fee, so you won’t want to use this card when you travel overseas.
If you’ve been eyeing the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard, now’s the time to act — we aren’t sure how long this 50,000-mile offer will stick around.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|N/A||16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24% Variable||$89 - Waived first year||0%||Excellent/Good|