Barclaycard Arrival Plus 70K Bonus With Annual Fee Waived

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It has been quite a while since I’ve written about the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® (see terms), and I think it’s worth posting a reminder about this card, given that it currently has its best ever welcome bonus. Within the past several months this welcome bonus has been improved a few times:

  • This card used to have a welcome bonus of 50K miles upon completing minimum spend, and the annual fee wasn’t waived the first year
  • Then the card’s welcome bonus was increased to 60K miles
  • Then the card’s welcome bonus was improved to 60K miles with the annual fee waived the first year

Now the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is offering a welcome bonus of 70,000 miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 90 days. While the card has an $89 annual fee, it’s waived for the first 12 months.

The card earns 2x miles on all purchases, and each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase. Furthermore, you get 5% of the miles back to use towards your next redemption every time you redeem.

The travel category for which you can redeem is really broad, as you can redeem points for everything ranging from flights to hotels to timeshares to campgrounds to car rentals to cruises to travel agencies to trains to buses to ferries, and much more.

This is a solid travel card for anyone looking to earn rewards in the form of cash that can be used towards travel, given how these miles can be redeemed. The 70,000 mile welcome bonus can be redeemed for $700 towards the cost of a travel purchase, so with the annual fee waived for the first year, that’s roughly what I value the welcome bonus at.

Long term this is a card that’s essentially getting you two miles per dollar that are equal to two cents total, plus a 5% refund on redeemed miles, so your net return is over 2% of value. Furthermore, the card has no foreign transaction fees, and is also one of the few valuable US credit cards with Chip & PIN technology.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is a card that I have, so if you don’t yet have it, this is an ideal time to pick it up.

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  1. @Robert Schrader. No transfers. Just fixed value points. (They did briefly have a card, the Arrival Premier, which did offer airline transfers, but it’s gone.)

    @Lucky: Beyond the bonus, this card doesn’t seem that special compared to others out there. What about it makes it a keeper for you? When do you choose to spend on it, or do you keep it for other benefits?

  2. I just got it! I’m excited about Chip and Pin because I go to Germany a lot and it sucks paying cash at metro kiosks. As a Mastercard, it gets a better exchange rates than a Visa when you pay abroad in the local currency. Its main competition to me was the Cap1 Venture, but I don’t book hotels very much so 10x on hotels doesn’t do much for me, it’s a Visa so worse exchange rate overseas, and the travel protection the Venture offers I get from Chase Sapphire. Basically, when I am abroad I expect to use this card for everything that isn’t a Sapphire bonus category.

  3. Hmmm… applied and approved immediately with a measely $3k credit line with a $100k+ income and 800 credit score… less than 3 cards in the portfolio.

  4. Apart from the bonus, what is so special about this card? Cap 1 also gets 2x points on everything

  5. Apart from the sign up bonus, I think Cap One Venture is better at this point because of its transfers, but neither card is as good as the right set of Chase or Amex cards if you want miles, nor as good as the right combo of no-fee cash back cards if that’s what you prefer.

    The sign up bonus is about as good as it gets for this type of card, though.

  6. The value to me is in having chip and PIN. Buying train tickets or gas at the pump in some European countries requires this.

    You can always downgrade to the non-plus / no annual fee version after you burn these points. I keep the card, but don’t put any spend on it unless I run into a chip and PIN only situation.

  7. Anyone run into an issue of denial of bonus with this card due to “non-typical consumer” activities? Since most folks on this site are savvy about sign-up bonuses, if there ever was a case of denial of bonus for this reason, someone here might have experienced it…

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