Barclays Arrival Premier Will No Longer Be Open To New Cardmembers

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Update: These offers for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® and Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.


In April we saw Barclays introduce a new card, the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® (see terms). This was an intriguing card, given that it’s Barclays first US card that offers airline mileage transfers (however, not at a 1:1 ratio).

The card has a $150 annual fee (waived the first year), and offers 2x miles per dollar spent with no caps, in addition to the following spend bonuses:

  • Spend $15,000 on purchases in a cardmember year, earn 15,000 bonus miles
  • Spend an additional $10,000 on purchases in a cardmember year, earn 10,000 bonus miles

That means spending $25,000 on the card per year would earn you 75,000 miles. Miles earned on the card could be redeemed for a penny each towards a travel purchase, or could be transferred to partners at the following ratios:

Arrival Premier Transfer PartnerTransfer Ratio
(Premier Points : Partner Points)
Air Canada Aeroplan1.7 : 1
Air France / KLM Flying Blue1.4 : 1
Aeromexico Club Premier 1.4 : 1
China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles1.4 : 1
Etihad Guest1.4 : 1
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands1.4 : 1
JAL Mileage Bank1.7 : 1
Jet Airways JetPrivilege1.4 : 1
Malaysia Airlines Enrich1.4 : 1
Qantas Frequent Flyer1.4 : 1

What’s odd about the card is that it doesn’t offer any sort of a welcome bonus. It’s a surprising strategy for a credit card company to take given that we live in a time where big credit card welcome bonuses are the norm, and are often required to get people interested in a card, no matter how lucrative the card otherwise is.

View from the Wing is reporting that this strategy hasn’t worked out for Barclays, and that they’re going to stop accepting new applications for the Barclays Arrival Premier Card shortly.

Barclays says that not offering a welcome bonus was a test, and they didn’t see great demand, so they’re going to regroup. In the meantime, the card will continue to maintain the current benefits for those who already have the card.

I’ll be curious to see if they end up reintroducing the card with the same benefits and a welcome bonus, or what happens. Presumably they haven’t budgeted for a big bonus, so I guess we’ll see.

Interestingly Barclays is taking the opposite strategy with the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® (see terms), which now has its best welcome bonus ever. The card is offering 60,000 miles after spending $5,000 within the first 90 days, and the $89 annual fee is even waived for first 12 months. So if there’s a Barclays product to get now, this is it, as the welcome bonus is worth $600 of travel (or more).

Are you surprised Barclays couldn’t make the Premier work without a welcome bonus?

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Comments

  1. Lucky,

    I think you are focusing too much on the welcome bonus. Cards launch without big welcome bonuses all the time. The return on spend wasn’t interesting enough and it was too confusing. Fundamentally it was a 3% cash back card on $25,000 of spend (there are many better ways to get miles offered via the transfer partners). For a lot of people, $25,000 spend is too much, and for travel enthusiasts, $25,000 of spend can get you significant benefits (hotel status, elite qualification miles, whatever). Further, 2% cash back is available with no spend thresholds.

  2. Agree with Anthony. I think this card was an absolute joke from the onset. Not really sure who the target market for this card was, but I’m almost happy to see it failed. Barclays should use this and learn that most people who would even consider applying for this card, are folks who are most likely going to see through the smokescreen that it is.

  3. I think this would of been a decent card had it been 1:1 with a most transfer partners. But with no welcome bonus and meh transfer ratios make for a eh card.

  4. Welcome bonuses make sense as a way to push people to change their spending habits. It’s a lot harder to abandon a large number of points and change spending habits if you aren’t switching to somewhere that will almost immediately match your points total.

    That combined with the lack of 1:1 transfer killed this card, even if it had some potentially interesting transfer partners. If they came back with 1:1 transfers and a reasonable sign-up bonus it might actually be a compelling card for some people.

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