How Does Barclaycard Decide Which Version of the Arrival Plus Card You’ll Get?

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Million Mile Secrets reader Judd commented:

I am very interested in applying for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard and your post has proven informative in my decision to pick Arrival Plus over Chase Sapphire Preferred.

As you note, however, Barclaycard is notorious for approving “lower versions” of the card.  Do you have any information (other than the terms and conditions) on what the requirements are to be approved for “World Elite” vs “World” vs “Platinum?”

I have a pretty good credit score (on the cusp of good and excellent, depending on the reporting agency), and I’d ultimately like to get approved for “World Elite” but don’t know what the requirements might be.

Is it all in the score, is income taken into account, does it really even matter?!  Thanks in advance!

Judd wants to know how Barclaycard decides whether to issue new cardholders the World Elite, World, or Platinum version of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.
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How Does Barclaycard Decide If You’ll Get a World Elite, World, or Platinum Version of the Arrival Plus Card?

What’s the Difference?

Link:   Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

While the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is advertised as a “World Elite” MasterCard, Barclaycard will sometimes issue folks a lesser “World” or “Platinum” version of the card.  Their terms and conditions say:

Offer subject to credit approval.  Not everyone will qualify for the World Elite MasterCard credit card and its benefits.

Regardless of the version he gets, Judd will still get the 40,000 mile sign-up bonus (~$400 in travel) after he spends $3,000 in the 1st 3 months.

And all versions of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus earn 2X miles on all purchases.

But some of the lesser known (and lesser used!) benefits on each version of card are slightly different.

For example, the World Elite version offers concierge services, a personal travel advisor, and access to elite travel benefits.  The World card has concierge services, but not the same elite travel perks.  And the Platinum card doesn’t have concierge services at all.

Note:   Regardless of the version you get, the sign-up bonus and interest rates (currently 14.99% or 18.99% depending on your credit history) are the same.  The only differences are the benefits that come with the card.
How Does Barclays Decide Which Version Of The Arrival Plus Card Youll Get
World Elite, World, and Platinum MasterCards Have Different Benefits…but Many Folks Don’t Use Them

But many folks don’t use the extra perks on World Elite and World MasterCards anyway, so for most it won’t matter.

Although 1 potentially useful benefit of the World Elite version is the discount when renting a car with Avis, National, or Sixt.  But to get the discount, you have to book through MasterCard’s travel agent, Carlson Wagonlit Travel.  They may not have the cheapest rates to start with, so it’s always best to shop around.  Here’s my series on the best ways to get cheap car rentals.

And World and World Elite cards allow you to be reimbursed for price reductions on eligible purchases within 120 days versus 60 days for “regular” MasterCards.

Many of the other benefits will likely only appeal to big spenders.  For instance, you can get a $300 on-board credit for sailing at least 5 days on Norwegian Cruise Line but only if you purchase the most expensive cabins that come with 24 hour butlers.

How Does Barclaycard Decide Which Version You Get?

Barclaycard does NOT advertise their criteria for approving folks for different versions of their cards.

That said, there are discussion threads on both MyFico and Credit Karma where folks have shared their experiences in applying for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card.

Some folks report having credit scores above 770 and only getting approved for the Platinum version, while others with scores in the low 700s received the World version.

How Does Barclays Decide Which Version Of The Arrival Plus Card Youll Get
There No Real Way to Tell Which Card Version You’ll Be Approved For

And there don’t seem to be any hard and fast rules about what income qualifies for each version of the card.  That said, there are recent college graduates with lower incomes and short credit histories that report getting approved for different versions.

One thing that’s clear is that if they issue you a credit line of less than $5,000, you’ll probably get the Platinum version.  Higher credit lines are for World and World Elite cardholders.

You could try to free up some available credit by cancelling other cards, but there’s no guarantee this would get you a higher credit line on the Arrival Plus.

It really does seem to be a combination of credit score and income, but it’s hard to say specifically what they’re looking for!

Bottom Line

Folks who apply for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard may get the World or Platinum version of the card, depending on their credit score and income.

All 3 versions have the most important benefits in common.  No matter which card you’re approved for you’ll get the 40,000 mile sign-up bonus after completing the minimum spending requirement, the 2.1% back on travel purchases, a chip-and-PIN card, and the same interest rates.

But only the World Elite version gets you discounts on private jet service! 😉

Barclaycard doesn’t publicize their criteria for qualifying for the card, but the version you get seems to depend on both income and credit score.  But you really won’t know until you are approved!

I wish I had a more specific answer for you, Judd.  Thanks for the question!

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