Barclays Credit Cards

Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard: Made for MS’ers?

Following months of speculation Barclay finally announced the new Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard. Interestingly, their press release really emphasized the fact that this is “a card for life”. One you can keep beyond the sign-up bonus. Not to burst your bubble Barclay, but I was totally on board with keeping my Arrival Plus for life until you pulled the rug from under me. But I get it – that’s been the primary complaint about the Arrival Plus card: “Why keep this card when I can get a 2% cash back card with no annual fee?”

Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of the Barclay Arrival Plus card (even though I got mine shut down because of Walmart Bill Pay). How does this new card stack up against the Arrival Plus? With it’s higher $150 annual fee, it actually offers some generous benefits:

Barclay Arrival Premier Sign-up Bonus

Right now, the Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard has no sign-up bonus to speak of. Again, based on the promotional language it seems they’re really trying to discourage churning and no sign-up bonus is one way of doing that. I hope this doesn’t become a trend.

Barclay Arrival Premier Annual Loyalty Bonus 

The annual bonus miles are really where the Barclay Arrival Premier card distinguishes itself. And reaffirms its commitment to attracting non-credit card churners who keep the card long term. The card offers up to 25,000 bonus miles for meeting certain spending requirements every year:

  • 15,000 miles when they spend $15,000
  • 10,000 miles when they spend another $10,000 on purchases.

Those bonus miles are in addition to the 2 miles per $1 earned on the Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard. So in total, the first $25,000 spent on the card gets you a total of 75,000 miles. You can put those 75,000 miles towards $750 worth of travel purchases or transfer them to one of their airline transfers. This bonus is almost enough for a roundtrip JAL business class flight to Japan. So while the card has no sign-up bonus, the annual spending bonus is more than what you’ll get from most credit cards just once.

Empty beach cabanas at Nizuc Resort & Spa Cancun
Nizuc Resort Cancun – an amazing hotel you can book with miles from the Barclay Arrival Premier MasterCard

Earning and Redeeming Arrival Miles

The Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard earns 2 miles on everything, just like the Arrival Plus did. The difference is in the redemption. In addition to travel statement credits (at a rate of 1 cent per mile), Arrival Premier miles can also be transferred to airlines. The airline transfer partner list is mostly a hub of D-list rewards programs:

  • Japan Airlines
  • Air France/KLM/Flying Blue
  • Qantas
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Aeromexico
  • China Eastern
  • EVA Air
  • Etihad
  • Jet Privilege

To be fair, Air France/KLM is a decent program and their Promo Awards offer terrific value. Japan Airlines also has some sweet spot award redemptions. But seriously Barclays, can you guys throw in a domestic carrier or hotel program into the mix (please don’t make it Radisson Rewards). My vote goes to Alaska MileagePlan.

Barclay Arrival Premier Global Entry Fee Credit

Usually, Global Entry fee credits are offered by premium credit cards with annual fees in the $450 – $550 range. The Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard’s annual fee is just $150, yet the card offers a $100 Global Entry fee credit every five years. That’s a nice benefit on top of the crazy generous annual spending bonus.

Barclay Arrival Premier Travel Benefits

In addition to the $100 Global Entry fee credit, cardholders also get a slew of travel protections like baggage delay, travel accident insurance, trip cancellation and interruption and auto rental collision damage waiver. Yet another reason to put your travel expenses on this card! Cardholders also get access to MasterCard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey. The lounge benefit is kind of pointless, since you do have to pay for access. But it’s easily forgiven since the Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard only has a $150 annual fee.

Barclay Arrival Premier Card: Worth Getting?

I don’t know about you all, but I feel like the Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard was made for people like me. I’m not much of a credit card churner, so the lack of a sign-up bonus isn’t a huge deterrent for me. Gift card churning is my game and the ability to earn 75,000 miles every year from just $25,000 worth of spending is a huge plus for me. I wouldn’t just recommend this card to those who earn their miles via manufactured spending. The annual spending bonus is a great incentive for even the average consumer, who may *only* spend ~$25,000 every year on their credit cards and wants to get the most reward possible on a single card. I’m excited about the Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard and absolutely plan on applying for this card.

What do you think of the new Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard? Are you going to pick up this card when the application goes live?

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  1. Completely uninteresting without a compelling transfer partner. Sorry

  2. You do realize this is a 1% card?

  3. Ariana, I am wondering if they will transition those of us with Arrival Plus cards. I do a fair amount of WM spend on the Plus card and would hope Barclay would be just a nice to us that use the new card. I have even found them friendly when I needed some AA miles on the Aviator card and visited my WM daily. The outsized value was worth only getting 1x the spend.

    The redemptions are mostly in the 1.4:1 range, which is not that great. A follow up article on how each of the airlines can benefit those of us mostly in the US by transferring our points to them.

    • I hope not without warning – this card has a higher annual fee, so a lot of people would be miffed if it was automatic. In my experience, Barclay has always been MS friendly – they just don’t like WM Bill Pay. I knew that but took my chances anyway. A follow-up post is a good idea!

  4. And looks like the transfer rates are AWFUL. 1.4 or 1.7:1 depending on the partner. Yeesh. How does that 3X look now?

  5. No Thanks. This new card sucks, everyone should avoid it like plaque. i would rather put that 25k on my Amex blue business or CSR or SPG

    • Barclays is more MS friendly than Amex and Chase. If you’re talking legitimate spend, fine. But if you’re doing large amounts of MS, hitting that annual bonus spend is worth it.

  6. Looks like Aryana is been paid by Barclays as she is the only blogger favors this card, maybe barclays will read n let her open a new account with them lol

    • It’s Ariana (see the name printed under the title). I guess details are not your thing because there’s no link in this post, so draw your own conclusions. Not following the herd on this one – I guess that makes me wrong?

      • Give you credit for being “independent” — The Herd IS indeed shilling for this card — the ones getting bonuses for pushing for the card. (Lucky and on down) But you’re off in la-la land among bloggers not getting paid for this “dead on arrival” card. (Compare your pollyanna take with DoC) You say this card is meant for (extreme) ms types — even as you got shut down for the same….

        • How is this dead on arrival? You essentially get 3% travel cash on the first $25k spent. Like, I said, MS-ers will like this card. Yes, I got shut down but it was most certainly WM bill pay.

  7. I see mostly negative comments. Not so fast people. For someone who likes Barclaycard arrival the card payments difference is $55. So, basically that person paying $ 55 for 25000 points or $ 250. It is around 400% profit.
    Now for Barclaycards haters
    You buying $250 for $150 without paying for 25 credits cards, 25 1000$ worth MOs, saving time and trips to WM.
    You will spend $ 3-4 for each credit card plus 88 cents for MO=$75-100 + $22 = $97-122. I can buy only $2000 MO a time at Walmart in my area. It saves me 12 trips or 120 driving miles. In my case 120 miles = 6 gallons of GAS or $18. So,total expenses will be $115-140. Do you think it is worth to profit $10-$35 for 12 opportunities to meet nice people in local Walmart?


    This card is stupid. Just get a Discover It Miles card for 3% back the first year with no spend thresholds and no AF.

  9. Beach Miles

    3% on everything, for the first $25,000. Not a lot of those cards out there anymore.

    • That’s not 3%. You have to factor in the $150 annual fee. with it it’s 2.4%, and only if you spend exactly 25000 and is not in a form of cash back, just for travel redemption that probably have their own limitations (minimum of $100, 120 days etc…)

    • Right? Lots of people being touchy about this one.

  10. You are missing the 5% rebate on the plus card. Lets do the math : – for 150 k spend ,with + you will get 3000 $ + 150 (5% rebate ) – 90 fees = 3060 $ profit. For the same spend , premier will get you 750 $ on the first 25k , 2500 on the remaining 125k – 150 fees = 3100 $ profit . Just 40 $ benefit for having premier . If you spend 200k , then the + becomes winner by margin of just 10$. if you spend 250 k per year , then u will get shut down :p

    Get Alliant 3% first year , 2.5 % following year with no fee or get miles card and churn it . Those are straight cash back cards.

    • What’s Why you shouldn’t go crazy on that card. Use it just to devertisify you spending.
      I personally go heavy on SPG, I have 6 C/cards, Hilton, and MR points.

  11. YoLaViajera

    Crappy perks, no signup bonus, high annual fee, and poor transfer ratios… what’s to love? For me this card is dead on arrival. Not a big MSer anyways, so to each their own.

  12. Will Barclays let you get this card even after they shut you down for Walmart Bill Pay in the past? I was shut down a few years ago for MS on my arrival card, and they still won’t give me any new cards 🙁

  13. I appreciate your views on the card. I really rolled my eyes at bloggers who gave this a decent review and who talked “in theory” of spending 25k. It lacked credibility, you know they wouldn’t sign up. But, that’s where your review is different. I don’t doubt that you would sign up for card and hit atleast 25k every single year. I hope to get to this kind of excess spending capacity. I mean, isn’t this why we read this blog? To be inspired.

    • Thanks HuckFinns! Yes, my perspective is definitely different. I guess for people who don’t MS, putting $25k on a card that gets them 3% doesn’t sound that great compared to annual spending bonuses they could be hitting. I don’t know. It’s got a lot of people riled up and I suspect it’s because they don’t MS.

  14. Is there a post or can you create one for top 10 MS friendly credit cards?

  15. Thank you for reminding me 100 times that we’re talking about Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard, because from paragraph to paragraph, I was beginning to forget that this is a keyword stuffing fluff piece about Barclay Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard.

  16. Ariana — do you know that the “Radisson Rewards” cards (both personal and biz) are now available, replacing Club Carlson ? Hope you intend to review them and any changes to the new program.

    I used to have both CCs, but cancelled after the devaluation. It has been 11 months since I cancelled — and with my ARS and IDA reports frozen given U.S. Bank’s requirements — think it is worthwhile to apply again, or wait until hitting the one-year mark? CC points good for stays in Ireland.

    Many thanks. Your blog is one of the tops.

    • Yep, review on it’s way. Though TBH this week is going to be insane at work, so I likely won’t get to it for a while. I think it’s still valuable though – yeah the US free night sucks but they’re trying to remedy that by increasing their portfolio stateside. And RR is the best hotel rewards program for earning free nights via credit card spend. I would totally keep the card as a means to cover hotel stays in places like Europe.

  17. you didn’t factor in the annual fee, so for $25000 spend you’ll actually get $600 as travel credit and not $750, that’s 2.4% return but only if you spend exactly $25000. Any dollar on top of that will reduce the return rate

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