Review: Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – Get Double Miles and 20,000 Bonus Miles

Want to reward yourself with travel by just using your credit card?

A great travel card is offering a hefty welcome bonus right now.

The Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases will give you 20,000 bonus miles (if you spend $1,000 in the first three months).  That bonus alone equals $200 total in travel rewards!

And get this — The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard was named ‘Best for Travel Rewards’ by Money Magazine (October ’13).

Keep reading to find out how you’ll actually earn even more than that.

To start off here are the basics of the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®:

Barclaycard_Arrival World_MasterCard_2xapply_now_button
  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days – that’s enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 14.99% or 18.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Book the travel you want – airfare, hotels, cruises and more and earn miles on your purchase
  • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits toward flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels and more
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

As you can see, you can really rack up the reward miles quickly with this card.

How You Earn “Miles” With the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

First of all, you get 2 miles for EVERY dollar you spend on travel and dining.  Then, you can redeem the miles you earned for travel purchases with NO blackout dates, NO seat restrictions — no nothing.

Wait, there’s more!

Additionally, you earn “Carry-on Miles”– 10% BACK on any miles you’ve redeemed.  And you earn 1x points on all other purchases.

This translates to 2.2% back on all purchases when you redeem for travel!

The miles you can earn are unlimited as long as your account is open and in good standing — and the miles never expire, either.

A note about their miles: They’re not really “miles” because they can’t be used directly with the airline as miles, they’re basically points that convert at 1% to a cash statement credit you can use to reimburse yourself for travel purchases you’ve charged to the card.  This is actually pretty useful since you aren’t locked into any one airline rewards program.  And you can redeem their miles for a number of other options that we’ll get to below.

Redemption is flexible — you only need 2,500 miles saved up to start redeeming, and you can use all or just some of your miles at once.

Annual Fee

There in an annual fee of $89 for this card, which is waived for the first year with this offer.  The generous bonus they’re offering right now certainly makes that a low-risk “investment” in future miles!

If you want a no-fee card, they have one (also called Arrival) but it’s only 1 mile for everyday purchases and 2 miles on travel and dining, along with the same 10% back on used miles.  In fact, if you don’t qualify for the fee-based card, you might get this one in the mail instead.

Intro APR Rate

This card offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening.  After that, there is a variable APR, currently 14.99% to 18.99%, based on your credit.  Of course it’s not worth bothering with these reward programs if you carry a balance, though (you know that, right?).

Earn Rewards Fast, Redeem Them Fast

air_travel_rewardsMany cards that offer rewards miles for all purchases only offer 1 mile per dollar.  By doubling that at 2X miles, you earn your rewards twice as fast!  Figure you add $20 more to the initial $400 bonus every time you spend $1,000.

So where can exactly you redeem these miles, you say?

You can redeem miles as a credit to your statement for any of the following:

  • Airlines
  • Travel Agencies & Tour Operators
  • Hotels
  • Motels & Resorts
  • Cruise Lines
  • Passenger Railways
  • Car Rental Agencies

This makes the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® a pretty versatile travel rewards credit card.

Just make sure you request your statement credit within 90 days of your travel purchase.  Statement credits will show up within 5 to 7 days.

But don’t forget – each time you redeem your miles you get…more miles…which you can use and get…more miles!  And so on…it’s an endless cycle of fun travel, I guess!  (Those bonus miles show up within 1-2 weeks after processing.)

So, say within the first three months you only spend the $1,000 required for the bonus, giving you 42,000 miles (or a $420 credit) total after the bonus.  Then you use it all on an awesome trip.  You immediately will get back 4,200 miles (a $42 credit) and have a nice head start.  Total free money for travel without spending a dime more — $462.  So, you’re getting rewarded quite nicely for spending in general, but getting handsomely rewarded for travel redeemed with points…to the tune of 10%.

Bon Voyage

Here’s a great benefit for international travelers – no foreign transaction fees!  These can be up to 3% which can really add up so it usually makes sense to find a card with no fees to use while traveling abroad.

Other travel bennies this card offers:

  • $200,000 Worldwide Automatic Travel Accident Insurance
  • Reimbursement for expenses if your baggage is delayed or misdirected
  • Trip cancellation/interruption coverage
  • MasterCard® Global Service with 24-hour worldwide, emergency assistance along with lost/stolen card reporting, emergency card replacement, and emergency cash advances

Like with many cards, you also have $0 Fraud Liability, which is essential.

Get Access to Your FICO® Score

Barclaycard took it to 11 and partnered up with FICO so their cardmembers could have 24/7 access to their FICO scores for free.  This is your real FICO score we are talking about here.  You also get tools to help you track and understand your credit score.

This is a valuable perk to have.  For the last two big purchases we made, our house and car, I made sure to pull our FICO scores to make sure our credit scores were excellent.  We had to pay for these of course.  With this card I’d get access to pull my score when I like.  Very nice!

Is the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® Right for You?

You might want to get this card for the free 40,000 miles alone – that’s quite a lot of travel to get for free.  But if you’re a frequent traveler, this card will really pay off over time.  This card is comparable to the Chase Sapphire card, but that one only gets you 2 points back on travel and dining, while this one gets you 2 miles back for EVERY purchase.  But you don’t get discount on travel like you do with the Sapphire card (which also has a higher annual fee, by the way.)

This card is also very similar to the CapitalOne Venture card, with a similar yearly fee, though that one doesn’t get you the 10% bonus on the miles used that you get with this one.  With this card, travel leads to travel!

All three of these cards don’t have foreign transaction fees, something that’s a “must,” in my opinion, if you travel internationally.

You also get the valuable perk of access to your FICO score.  This is something you won’t see in many other top cards.

Whatever you decide is best for you, this is definitely one travel rewards card that will make your purchases really work for you, as long as you know you will use the miles!

Apply now for the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

*I know you’re smart but I’ll tell you this anyway — make sure you read through the card details to make sure this card fits your needs and you understand the terms and conditions. Be aware that the terms may change after this article’s publication.

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Published or updated October 9, 2014.

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