Bad News for Barclaycard Arrival Plus Cardholders!

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Update: You can once again apply online for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus.

There are some BIG changes happening with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card, and it’s NOT good news.

Folks on Reddit reported yesterday you can NO longer apply for the card.  And a Barclaycard representative shared information about major reductions in this card’s perks!

Bad News For Barclaycard Arrival Plus Cardholders

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Cardholders Won’t Be Pleased With These Changes

I spoke to a Barclaycard representative and they confirmed the bad news.  I’ll explain.

What’s Going On?

Link:   Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Link:   My Review of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is (was!) 1 of my favorite cards for Big Travel.  That’s because you could get 2.2% back when you redeemed Barclaycard Arrival miles for travel purchases of $25 or more.

That’s changing.

Here’s what we know so far.  I’ve confirmed these details with a Barclaycard representative.

1.   No New Applications – for Now

You can NOT currently apply for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus or the fee-free Barclaycard Arrival.  The online application links have been shut down.  And you can NOT apply over the phone.

The representative I spoke with said “check back in a few weeks.”

2.   Major Perk Downgrades

Barclaycard is making it harder to redeem miles for statement credits toward travel.  And they’re changing the 10% bonus when you cash in your miles!

I was able to confirm:

  • You’ll no longer receive 10% of your miles back when you redeem them for travel.  Instead, you’ll only earn 5% back.
  • In the past, you could use Barclaycard Arrival miles towards statement credits for travel purchases of at least $25.  Now, you’ll have to redeem them for purchases of at least $100 (10,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles).
  • If you choose to redeem miles for cash back, the minimum redemption is increasing to 5,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles ($25).  Previously, you could redeem for as little as $12.50 (2,500 Barclaycard Arrival miles).
  • The free TripIt Pro subscription is being discontinued 🙁
  • Tourist attractions (museums, theme parks, Disney, etc) will be removed from the qualifying travel redemption list.
Bad News For Barclaycard Arrival Plus Cardholders

Tourist Attractions, Like Walt Disney World, Will NO Longer Count as Travel Purchases With the Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card

As far as I know, NO new perks are being added to the card.  When I asked the representative if the annual fee is changing, she said it will stay the same.

Getting 5% of your miles back (instead of 10%) turns this into a 2.1% back card for travel redemptions.

Bad News For Barclaycard Arrival Plus Cardholders

These Changes Mean You’ll Get Less Back When You Redeem Miles for Travel Purchases

But what I really don’t like is how they’ve quadrupled the minimum redemption amount and removed tourist attractions from the travel redemption list!

Now, you’ll only be able to cash in your miles for travel purchases of $100 or more.

That makes the card much less useful!  I know lots of folks would use Barclaycard Arrival miles towards things like taxis (when was the last time you paid a $100+ cab fare?), bus tickets, or admission to tourist attractions.

Note:   For current cardholders, these changes will take effect on their card anniversary when the annual fee is charged.  I’m sure many of us will give serious thought to whether it’s worth paying the annual fee!

Bottom Line

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is being changed and isn’t currently accepting new applications.

The changes are NOT good news:

  • You’ll only get 5% of your miles back (not 10%) when you redeem them for travel
  • The minimum travel redemption amount is increasing to $100 (from $25); for cash back, it goes up to $25 (from $12.50)
  • You’ll no longer get a free TripIt Pro membership
  • Tourist attractions no longer qualify as travel

If you have the card, these changes will take effect on your card anniversary when your annual fee (currently $89) posts.

Will these changes make you reconsider keeping your Barclaycard Arrival Plus when the annual fee comes due?

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35 responses to “Bad News for Barclaycard Arrival Plus Cardholders!

  1. Glad I applied and got mine a just month ago. Gives me about a year to enjoy these “grandfathered” benefits.

  2. The Tripit Pro and flexible reward redemption were some of my favorite perks. I wonder if there is another card that can be as easy to use in Europe as this one. I’ll probably cancel before it renews.

  3. Just received mine last week. I’m experiencing payment holds that are throttling my spending, therefore, minimizing my benefits as I am forced to use other cards.

  4. GROSS.
    This is a very easy way to make sure people don’t use your product.

  5. Actually this is not unreasonable. They were the only card I know of that is willing to give over 2% on points for ALL purchases. Redeeming them through travel is of course, the only way to go. $100, I agree, is a real jump. You may not redeem tomorrow but if you are patient and do travel, the redemption will happen, that is, as long as the points don’t expire.

    I think the changes had to be made for the card to be a sustainable business product. Again, no other issuers are this generous with cash back for travel redemption unless it’s a promo or for a limited time. I can live with 2.1% vs 2.2%. Where are you going to get 2.1% for paying your gardener, going to the movies, and yes even getting a taxi/Uber for $20 or $1. Remember you don’t have to SPEND $100 on various purchases to get 2.1%. You just have to spend $100+ on travel to redeem the 2.1%. Big difference.

    One question, points before had no expiration. Wonder if that has changed? That would suck if your points expire.

  6. Was about to advise my mom to get a BarclayCard Arrival Plus as her foreign travel card…. never mind!

  7. I am very disappointed. We just switched this to our everyday card (when we aren’t meeting a spend or have category bonuses). I think the one thing that bothers me the most is the $100 requirement. I always seem to have travel charges and I am at the point where I automatically cash in 2500 points when I get them for $25 off some travel charge on my account.

    Gotta figure out my one year anniversary and make a plan to cash out anything I have before that time and switch to another card.

  8. Bummer! I hope that a Disney Cruise will still be eligible for points redemption.

  9. I really hate that! They just sent me knew cards with new numbers (stated that there was fraud at some stores I shop). I had to call several places that charge me monthly and give them the new number. I would have rethought this plan if I had know this. One good thing, my anniversary date was about 2 months ago and I was able to call and tell them that I spend a lot on that card and I didn’t want to pay an annual fee. They credited my account $89. If you have this card, definitely give it a shot. Ask to speak with a supervisor and tell them to look at your spend. Worked for me but not my husband so we spent all the points and closed his. Not a big deal since we have my card and he is an authorized user.

  10. JP Traveler – rumor has it it starts at your next statement date.

  11. What a bummer, this was my next card to apply for. We were hoping to use it toward our trip to Disney–any other suggestions for other cards we can use toward a Disney hotel/theme park tickets?

  12. Citi DoubleCash offer 2X for every purchase
    Capital One Spark 2X

  13. The main reason I used this card for the everyday spend was the many small misc expenses like taxis but also charges like rental cars. In fact they also allowed you to use points to pay the AF which would be hard at min $100. The question then is the $100 requirement offset over multiple redemption’s or a single redemption. In using these I always redeemed each individually to earn the bonus to apply to the next redemption, if I had multiple. I had thought that Disney parks were not previously an included option. Guess I have a decision to make as my AF is coming due this month but was working to offset a rental car charge I will be incurring next week. With a little luck this will happen after my anniversary and I will get another year to decide – although good argument to get AF waived

  14. Wonder when this starts. I still see this in my “manage rewards” option:

    “Use your miles to redeem for a travel statement credit starting at 2,500 miles for $25 toward all or a portion of your qualifying travel purchase of $25 or more made within the last 120 days.”

  15. Odd. Looking at a $105 travel transaction from 28 May I can max out the entire purchase with miles (10500), and if gives me options in increments of 2500. But a transaction from 5 Jun gives me options to redeem for 5000, 7500 or 10000. Confusing.

  16. Does this apply to the no annual version card as well?

  17. I’ve never really cared that much for TripIT – IMO it’s highly over rated and Kayak is FREE and much better anyway.
    So that benefit was completely worthless to me. As far as the redemption levels… and cutout of some tourist attractions from redemption… never used them, so don’t care.

    The cutback on the bonus miles back from 10% to 5% is a big deal. IMO that was the differentiation from the competition. Exactly how
    is this card better now than Capital One Venture?

    P.S. Love this blog… keep up the good work!

  18. I tried calling customer service and the phone lines are busy. I guess account holders are calling them like “hot cakes.”

  19. We’ve had the card since May, and we JUST booked a Disney trip with it. Will I be able to redeem my points against the Disney trip as a travel expense?

  20. Hi, how will it affect my credit score?

  21. They never allowed you to redeem Disney theme park tickets bought directly from the theme park as a travel expense. (At least, we couldn’t redeem them.) You had to buy them through UndercoverTourist — maybe that workaround will still be there.

  22. This card has always been a glorified cash back card. Now it’s even more mediocre. Not sure why anyone would carry it at this point, especially when there are options like CSP or CP out there.

  23. mtctextbooks – get the SPG card and stay at the swan or dolphin resort.

  24. My partner’s annual fee is coming up, looks like we’re going to cut this card! Good thing I applied last month for it, then its off to the chopping block next year.

    Our primary cards would be CSP & SPG then for quarterly bonuses, Freedom & Discover. No point using Arrival+ anymore if I can only redeem 100+ at a time.

  25. This is terrible. My DH’s anniversary month is THIS month, July!

    I don’t care about the miles left on the table, ie, 125 instead of 250 after minimum redemption. But, I do WANT to hit that minimum redemption before the anniversary hits.

    Oh, no, it just hit me. My son has regular Arrival, too. I would guess the same thing goes.

    Looks like we will have to redeem for a $25 WN GC in the very near future.

    BTW, your site was the first I read to be informed of this info. Thanks! 🙂

  26. Alan L. :

    I did that strategy on WN GCs when I had a big ticket to buy. I took a $359 fare and whittled down the purchase using descending valued WN GCs bought at the WN website and applied to the fare. Then, as business charges that were reimbursed came in, I applied redemptions to the higher values until I got to the last one, which was either $25 or $39 (can’t quite remember). Got the ticket covered.

  27. There continues to be writing on the wall regarding many great miles/points rewards cards. Continue getting these great deals while you can because they won’t be around forever. Banks will end up tilting things more in their favor eventually for those who are cashing in on the free flights/hotels etc.

    That being said, I think Chase/Starwood will be the last frontier of great rewards so stock up!

  28. 10% to 5% rebate, 10k minimum redemption which is 74% increase and take away tourist attractions is a hard hit.. Why not go citibank double cash card? No annual fee. The AF at $89 is hard to justify to basically a 5% rebate and no forex fees. Plenty of other cards have no forex and I believe on e pointed out you have to spend $46000 annually to break even on the AF. I’ll charge and milk the benefits until my AF is due in jan 2016 and try to get the AF waived as another poster above was able to based on spending. Otherwise it’s pump and dump for me.

  29. The free TripIt Pro subscription is being discontinued from the next renew period or is it immediate? If it will be discontinued, how do I signed up for it till my renew comes up?

  30. 1. I’m hearing the changes take place on the next statement date AND/OR when the AF is due. Does anyone know for sure?

    2. Are the exact same changes coming to the no-fee version? I just checked my account and there is no indication/warning that anything is changing….

  31. I plan to drop the card when it comes up for renewal. It also has a fairly high annual fee. Not worth it.

  32. Will you still be able to redeem points for purchases made through Undercover Tourist, like Disney World tickets? Does that fall under tourist attractions or not?

  33. I have the same question as BP about Undercover Tourist and whether it codes for a travel redemption or not….

  34. Since I didn’t get a reply I decided to just try it. With a new barclay world elite card issued in august 2015 with the new redemption rules I made a purchase of Universal Orlando tickets from Undercover Tourist and charged it to the card. Two days later it showed up for travel redemption and I used points to cover the cost. So for anyone else wondering… it does work!

  35. Maxine Dombrow

    Can I get the Barclaycard Arrival Plus again?.. It says in the fine print that the bonus is a one time only.. It used to be that you could get bonus after 18 months from the previous bonus.. Is that still the case?.. Also I am never sure how long after the card has been cancelled do you have to wait to get the bonus.. I love this card and hate that they are changing so many of the benefits.. Especially the 5% back instead of 10%..

    Advice much appreciated.. I always use your blog for travel concerns