This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

This morning it was reported that the Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard is going to be closed to new applicants. The product launched in April and was met with a lukewarm response. It was rather well known that the card was not having much success, largely in part to the unique rewards structure which doesn’t include an upfront sign-up bonus.

The card offers 2 miles per dollar on all spend, and every year you earn additional miles for hitting spending thresholds. If you spend $25,000 on the card in a year, you’ll earn 75,000 miles equating to 3 miles per dollar, broken into the following thresholds:

  • $15,000 spend earns 15,000 bonus miles
  • $25,000 spend (i.e. an additional $10,000 spend) earns an additional 10,000 bonus miles

The miles are transferable, but to loyalty programs that I’d largely call secondary, and at odd transfer ratios that confused those who aren’t familiar with transferable loyalty currencies.

This morning I was able to speak to Rachana Bhatt, Managing Director for Barclays U.S. Branded Cards, about the decision to pull the card from the marketplace. She confirmed that starting today, the card would be pulled for new sign-ups, and that product-changing from an existing Barclays product to the Arrival Premier would no longer be possible.

All existing Arrival Premier cardholders will continue to enjoy the benefits and earning rates they were promised when signing up for the card, and there is no end date planned for the card as far as existing customers are concerned.

I inquired about Barclay’s take on the Arrival Premier and what it saw as the reason for the card’s performance. “Customers told us they wanted to be rewarded for long-term loyalty, but once their feet were in the market that’s not what we saw,” Rachana told me. “We’re going to step back, read results, and talk to customers who have the card.”

Bottom Line

I honestly think the Arrival Premier was a bit ahead of its time. In 2018, with the economy great and stiff competition for new cardholders across all US banks, the instant gratification of large welcome bonuses is too popular with the public. There was reportedly great hope within the entire credit card industry that the Arrival Premier model would be successful so banks could cut down on their customer acquisition costs. I don’t think the sign-up bonuses of today are sustainable in the long term, and we’ll eventually see more cards offering rewards for high spend like the Arrival Premier.

The card almost offers a little bit of everything, including higher than average cash back on all purchases and the ability to transfer to partners for outsized value redemptions. The problem, I believe, is that a mixture of instant rewards and long-term loyalty is required. Ms. Bhatt confirmed Barclays has no intention of abandoning the market for a card that offers long-term loyalty, and I think we’ll see plenty more to come from the Barclays testing the space.

Featured image courtesy of Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card



CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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.