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Barclaycard stopped taking new applications for the Arrival and Arrival Plus cards earlier this week, in advance of a product refresh in mid-July. Amid the speculation about potential changes to benefits for cardholders, Barclaycard had remained silent about updates until this afternoon.
Barclaycard will lower the redemption bonus for both the Arrival and Arrival Plus cards from 10% to 5% starting in November for existing cardholders. As part of this change, Barclaycard will be applying the redemption bonus to additional categories, such as cash back, gift cards and merchandise, in addition to travel.
The changes to these rates effectively reduces the 2.22% return to 2.11% on cash back — making the card a tougher sell with so many other competitive products, especially with an annual fee.
For Arrival Plus cardholders, the minimum threshold to redeem for travel is being raised from 5,000 to 10,000 miles. The cash minimum redemption is also being raised from 2,500 Arrival miles to 5,000.
Barclaycard is also completely eliminating the tourist attraction category in an effort to eliminate confusion surrounding the definition of a tourist attraction, and what expenses actually apply. The TripIt subscription formerly included with the card will also be cut with this new refresh.
These changes will go into effect in November for cardholders who got the card before Sept. 30, 2014, and in August 2016 for cardholders who got the card on or after Oct. 1, 2014.
Both cards will still retain some of its other benefits, including 2x earned on all travel purchases, no miles expiration, redemption bonus with travel statement credits, no foreign transaction fees and other fringe benefits not directly related to travel.
The relaunched card will be available to new cardholders in mid-July (cardholders will now be able to get EMV chips for more security).
For more information about the Barclaycard Arrival and Arrival Plus:
New Barclaycard Arrival Plus With Chip + PIN Capability
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