Arrival Plus Keeps The Great Bonus, Cuts Its First-Year Annual Fee

Sep 24, 2018

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A great deal on one of our favorite everyday rewards cards has just been made even better. Barclays now waives its $89 annual fee during the first year when you open a Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard. The move makes the already best-ever sign-up bonus of 70,000 miles the issuer introduced in July that much more attractive.

The Arrival Plus has long been popular with us at TPG because of its flexible redemption options that allow cardholders to redeem miles for any travel purchase — from airline award taxes and fees to Airbnb and timeshare stays. Miles are worth 1 cent each, which means the welcome bonus can be redeemed for $700 in travel expenses. You’ll have to spend $5,000 on the card in the first 90 days after opening to earn this bonus.

The card offers a flat-rate earning structure, as well. You’ll earn 2x miles on all purchases, plus a 5% rebate on redeemed miles, giving cardholders an effective 2.1% return on their purchases. For non-bonus spending, this card can make sense for many points-and-miles chasers, particularly because you can redeem your rewards on travel not commonly allowed with other rewards credit cards.

The long list of redemption options includes things like airfare and hotels, but also less typical options like purchases from discount travel sites, ferries and campgrounds. When you can’t use another card to redeem your travel, look to the Arrival Plus for some help.

Although Barclays says “redeeming miles for travel statement credits offers the best value,” you can also redeem your miles for statement credits, gift cards or merchandise. Redemptions start at 10,000 miles (or $100) for travel statement credits and 5,000 miles (or $50) when redeemed for cash back and gift cards.

Aside from its value as a good card for everyday spending, the Arrival Plus also is handy to have when your traveling internationally. You’ll be charged no foreign transaction fees and is one of few credit cards to have chip-and-PIN capability, making it an excellent choice to use overseas where chip-and-PIN cards are the standard.

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.

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