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Update: Some of the offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

It’s been a busy couple of months in the credit card world, with sign-up bonuses increasing across the board. Amidst all this excitement, TPG reader Ignacio tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy Between two credit cards – Arrival Plus World Elite (4o,ooo-point sign-up bonus, $89 annual fee waived in the first year) OR Southwest Premier Rapid Rewards Visa (50,000-point sign-up bonus, $99, non-waived annual fee) – which is a better value?”

A comparison between these two cards depends largely on whether or not you fly a Southwest on a regular basis. The Southwest Premier Rapid Rewards card – even with its $99 annual fee – can provide an incredible value over time, with a 50,000-point bonus (after a $2,000 spend in the first three months) that is not only worth over $750 in Wanna Get Away fares, but also counts towards the 110,000 Rapid Rewards points required to earn the lucrative Southwest Companion Pass. The card  gives you 2 points for every $1 you spend on Southwest and AirTran travel, as well as partner hotels and rental cars, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

The biggest perk of the Southwest Premier Visa is the 50,000-point bonus that counts towards the qualiification for the Southwest Companion Pass
The greatest perk of the Southwest Premier Visa is the 50,000-point bonus that counts towards the Southwest Companion Pass.

The 40,000-miles bonus for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard isn’t as high, but it’s still really valuable. In addition to an $89 annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the bonus points are worth $440- those Arrival Plus points can be redeemed for travel at 1 cent apiece, plus you get a 10% rebate for travel reimbursements. The key advantage of Arrival Plus points over other types of loyalty currency are that they’re basically the same as cash. They allow you to book the airfare you want from anywhere, without having to redeem them at a portal or jump through any hoops. You just make your travel purchase, log into your Arrival account, and report any charge (over $25) for reimbursement – effectively wiping the charge off your statement. In addition, Barclaycard just added Chip and PIN capability to the Arrival Plus, which was personally helpful to me on my most recent trip to Europe, allowing me to easily purchase tickets at train kiosks.

Note that these two cards are offered by different banks. Southwest is from Chase, which does not limit the number of cards you can get, unlike Barclaycard, which offers Arrival Plus. If you’re interested in getting more than one card from Barclaycard – like the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard, the US Airways Premier World MasterCard or the Wyndham Rewards Visa Card – it might be a good idea to focus in and get a little picky. Overall, both of these cards have solid offers, but again, I’d lean towards the Southwest Premier Card only if you’re a Southwest frequent flyer. If you don’t fly Southwest often, definitely go with the Arrival Plus. I hope that answers Ignacio’s question.

If you have additional questions, please message me on Facebook, tweet me @ThePointsGuy, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.