Barclaycard Arrival Plus or Capital One Venture – Which Is the Better Card for You?

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus or Capital One Venture – Which Is the Better Card for You?

Million Mile SecretsBarclaycard Arrival Plus or Capital One Venture – Which Is the Better Card for You?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Want more flexibility to cover your travel costs?  Credit cards that earn miles & points are often the best way to get Big Travel with Small Money because they can get you award flights and hotel award stays.

But the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card let you redeem miles for other travel costs, like Airbnb stays, taxi rides, meals in hotels, and flights with NO blackout dates.  That can save you more money when you travel!

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Or Capital One Venture Which Is The Better Card For You
Can’t Find an Award Seat? Use Your Barclaycard Arrival Plus or Capital One Venture Card to Cover the Cost of Your Flight. I’ll Help You Decide Which Card Is Better for You!

Let’s look at both cards to see how they compare!

Two Excellent Cards for All Things Travel

Link:   Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

Link:   My Review of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus

Link:   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Link:   My Review of the Capital One Venture

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus and the Capital One Venture are a good choice for folks who want flexibility to redeem miles for a wide variety of travel purchases.  The Capital One Venture card offers:

  • 40,000 miles (worth at least $400 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 2X miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $59 annual fee waived for the first 12 months
Barclaycard Arrival Plus Or Capital One Venture Which Is The Better Card For You
Want to Rent a Tree House in the Caribbean on Airbnb? Use Your Barclaycard Arrival Plus or Capital One Venture Miles for a Free Stay!

You can redeem the miles to cover almost any travel-related purchase, including:

  • Airfare
  • Hotel stays
  • Taxis
  • Subway passes
  • Airbnb
  • Cruises
  • Train or rail tickets

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus and Capital One Venture earn miles that are different from cards like the Citi ThankYou Premier Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred.  You can NOT transfer your miles to other airline and hotel partners.

That’s because Barclaycard Arrival and Capital One Venture “miles” aren’t exactly miles.  They have a fixed value of 1 cent per point when you redeem them for travel purchases.

You can redeem them after you book your travel (or directly with miles through Capital One’s No Hassle Rewards Portal) for a statement credit.

Why Are These Miles Useful?

With these cards, you don’t have to worry about blackout dates!  And, you’ll also earn points with the airline or hotel when making a reservation.

You can even use your miles for food.  Credit cards code certain hotel restaurants and room service as a hotel purchase, so you can use your miles to eat for free inside hotels!

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Or Capital One Venture Which Is The Better Card For You
Time for Tea? Some Hotel Restaurants Show up as Travel Purchases, So You Can Enjoy an Extra Meal With Friends and Family

You have 120 days from the date of your purchase to redeem miles for Arrival Plus travel purchases, and 90 days to cover the charge from your Venture balance. 

How Are They Different?

There are important differences between these 2 cards.

Redemption Increments

You can only redeem Barclaycard Arrival miles for travel purchases of $100 or more.  So, you need at least 10,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles in your account before they’re useful.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus gives you the option to redeem your miles for cash back at 0.5 cents per mile, starting at a smaller increment of 5,000 miles.  This is NOT a good deal, because your miles are worth half of their travel value.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Or Capital One Venture Which Is The Better Card For You
With the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, You Can Only Redeem Your Miles for Travel Purchases of $100+. But the Capital One Venture Doesn’t Have a Minimum!

The Capital One Venture has NO minimum redemption increment when redeeming miles, unless you’re using miles to partially pay for a travel purchase.  In that case, the minimum is 2,500 miles ($25).

This is MUCH better than the Barclaycard Arrival Plus.  You are able to pay for a $30 cab fare with your Capital One Venture miles, but you couldn’t use your Barclaycard Arrival miles unless the cab fare is at least $100!

Capital One also has a tool similar to the Chase Travel Portal called No Hassle Rewards portal.  Through this site you can book travel with miles instead of purchasing your travel and erasing it later.  If you use the portal, there is no minimum miles requirement to book.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Or Capital One Venture Which Is The Better Card For You
You Can Use Capital One Venture Miles to Book Travel Directly Through the No Hassle Rewards Portal

Apart from this perk, booking with miles is NOT a good idea unless the price shown on the portal is the same or lower than other sites.  That’s because purchasing travel with miles does not EARN miles for spending, and purchasing travel with your credit card does!

The Capital One Venture also allows you to redeem your miles for a statement credit at 0.5 cents per mile.  The minimum redemption increment is 5,000 miles.  But again, you get half the value when you use your miles this way.

Redemption Rebate

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus gives you a 5% rebate on the miles you redeem for travel purchases.

For example, if you redeem 20,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles for a $200 travel purchase, you’ll receive 1,000 miles back (20,000 miles X 5%).

The Capital One Venture card doesn’t offer a redemption rebate.

Annual Fee

The Capital One Venture ($59) has an annual fee $30 less than the Barclaycard Arrival Plus ($89).

The lower annual fee will likely offset the Barclaycard Arrival Plus 5% rebate for most folks.  But if you spend a lot on travel purchases, the extra miles may be worth it.  As always, assess your spending habits and choose which one is best for you

And keep in mind, the annual fee on both cards is waived for the first year.

Chip-and-PIN or Chip-and-Signature?

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is one of the few cards with Chip-and-PIN capability.  It is primarily a Chip-and-Signature card, but has Chip-and-PIN capability if the signature option is not available.  This can come in handy if you travel internationally a lot, as I found out.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Or Capital One Venture Which Is The Better Card For You
I Used My Chip-and-PIN Card to Buy Gas in Iceland!

This means the Barclaycard Arrival Plus will work at unattended machines for things like bike rentals, gas, and at train ticket kiosks, while the Capital One Venture may NOT work.

Other Options to Consider

Link:   Citi® Double Cash Card

Link:   Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus and Capital One Venture are issued by different banks, you can apply for them at the same time!  This is a great way to get ~$800 in travel.

Once you’ve earned the sign-up bonus on these cards, there are other options that can give you similar value with everyday spending with NO annual fees:

Because these are cash back cards, you can redeem your rewards for anything, not just travel.  But these cards DO NOT come with a sign-up bonus.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Or Capital One Venture Which Is The Better Card For You
2% Cash Back Cards Are Easy Because There Are No Categories to Think About. But Depending on Your Spending Habits, You Can Earn More Cash Back From Other Cards, Like the Chase Freedom

Folks can also get cards that go far beyond a 2% return.  Cards such as the Chase Freedom® and SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express have 5% category bonuses that earn over double the rewards of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus or Capital One Venture.  And both have no annual fee.

One other point to consider is that Capital One pulls your credit score from all 3 main credit bureaus, giving you 3 hard inquiries on your report!  This is a deal breaker for some folks, because hard inquiries cause your credit score to temporarily dip.  And too many can make it harder to be approved for future credit cards and other loans.

Bottom Line

When you sign up for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus or the Capital One Venture and complete the minimum spending, you’ll earn 40,000 miles (worth at least $400 toward travel) purchases.  You can NOT transfer these miles into another loyalty account.

These cards are basically 2% cash back cards that limit redemption to travel purchases.  They have no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee the first year.

Both cards have great sign-up bonuses.  But there are other cards that offer the same return for everyday spending, without paying an annual fee.  

If you value other features, like the Chip-and-PIN feature on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus or having no foreign transaction fees, they could be worth it.  Especially if you spend a lot on travel. 

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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These cards are only good for sign up bonus even then the venture card will pull all 3 credit reports so that’s a no go. Instead get ur self a PayPal debit card that u can load with my cash cards. My cash cards will give u 5% cash back when bought using amex old blue card. PayPal debit business card will give u 1% cash back for purchases run as credit. So why would the writer not recommend this strategy over 2% cards? Makes u think h7h?

Also, from my experience, and multiple family members, Capital One Venture will easily waive the annual fee every year, if you call in, while Barclay never has. That alone makes the CapOne card a much better “long-term” option card, and my preferred “every day spend” cards. If I don’t have have some minimal spend to hit on another card, then I love building up on “travel cash”. Airline points are a dime a dozen with so many credit cards out there, but having travel cash for, AirBnB, car rentals, trains, etc. It’s soooo useful.

This is so useful, thank you. I am just about to move house and facing big commuting costs (on metro-north). I’m trying to find a card or cards which will enable me to use points to save on ticket prices. The Barclaycard $100 minimum doesn’t bother me as long as it will allow me, say, to use points for a monthly train pass or a 10-pack of tickets. Do you think that would be permitted?

And does the Venture card also allow users to redeem points against train tickets specifically? Travel rewards are great but I am looking for cards which will help me to reduce my big train commuting cost. Oh, and any other suggestions so welcome – love your site and your energy!!

Informative for someone like me weighing best reward cards. But also a lot to consider.

I consider these two cards fine for many for the signup bonus, but after one year, only the extremely big spenders would put enough on the Arrival to catch up after paying the annual fee compared to the Double Cash or Fidelity Rewards card, and you could never catch up after paying the annual fee on the Venture compared to those no-fee 2% options.

The exception would be people who enjoy writing a good number of stories for the Barclay Travel Community, since Arrival holders do also have the opportunity to earn points that way.