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.
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
- Malaysia Airlines
- China Eastern
- EVA Air
- 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?