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Barclaycard has upgraded the card with a new name, design, and features.
The new name is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. More importantly, it now comes with a Chip & Signature technology with an option to use the card as Chip-and-PIN in case Chip & Signature is not accepted (which is great for overseas travel). And they’ve made travel redemptions with the card much more flexible.
1. New Name and Card Design
The new name on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® makes it easier to distinguish from the no-annual-fee Barclaycard Arrival card, which has fewer benefits than the Arrival Plus card.
They’ve also changed the card design as is usually the case when cards are relaunched.
2. More Flexible Travel Redemption Options
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® keeps many of the same benefits that came with the old card:
- 40,000 mile sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months (worth $400 when redeemed for travel expenses)
- Earn 2 miles for every $1 you spend on all purchases
- Get 5% of your miles back when you redeem for travel
- No foreign currency fees
- $89 annual fee, waived for the first year
But the travel redemption options have changed for the better and now you have many more choices. They’ve added new categories to what is considered travel for redeeming miles, including:
- Tourist Attractions
- Discount travel sites (they don’t specify which, but I suspect sites like Hotwire, Priceline, and Orbitz could count!)
This also makes the Barclaycard Arrival Plus more competitive with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Because the Chase Sapphire Preferred already gives you 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel categories that include
airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.
And you can still redeem miles for purchases in the previously existing categories, which are:
- Travel agencies
- Cruise Lines
- Passenger Railways
- Car Rentals
I’m especially curious to see which discount travel sites Barclaycard will consider travel. I sense another experiment coming on! Here are the results of my previous experiments buying airline and hotel points with my Barclaycard.
They’ve also extended the timeframe for redeeming points for travel. Previously, you could only redeem points for travel transactions within the past 90 days. Now, you can redeem for transactions up to 120 days ago.
You still have to redeem a minimum of 2,500 miles ($25) towards each travel redemption.
3. Chip & PIN Technology
The new Barclaycard Arrival Plus card comes with Chip & Signature, and can be used for transactions overseas that require a chip-enabled card.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus has the option to default to Chip & Pin to process a transaction in case Chip & Signature doesn’t work (which is often the case with automatic machines).
Because it also has no foreign transaction fees, this is a great card to use when you travel out of the US!
If you already have the old Barclaycard Arrival, they’ll send you a new one when your card expires. But if you want the new chip-enabled card now, you can request 1 by logging into your Barclaycard account. Or you can call Barclaycard at 866-558-1107 to ask for the new card.
You don’t need a new card to use the rest of the new benefits, so if you don’t require the chip-and-PIN for traveling abroad, there’s no need to ask for a new card.
4. World Elite Mastercard
- Travel insurance
- Car rental insurance
- Personal travel advisor and concierge services
- Discounts and perks on luxury hotels
- Shopping and dining promotions
- Access to VIP events
I haven’t tried out any of the World Elite Mastercard benefits yet, but if you have experience with it, please leave me a message in the comments!
Barclaycard has upgraded and redesigned the Arrival card, and changed its name to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. It still has a 40,000 mile sign-up bonus after completing minimum spending which will get you ~$440 in travel.
You’ll now get more choices for travel redemptions, Chip-and-Signature (with back-up Chip & Pin) technology, and access to World Elite Mastercard perks.
Barclaycard has made a good card even better with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®!
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