Will I Lose My Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Points If I Cancel the Card?

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Will I Lose My Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Points If I Cancel the Card?

Million Mile SecretsWill I Lose My Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Points If I Cancel the Card?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Million Mile Secrets reader Matt commented on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®:

Once I get the 40,000 points, can I cancel the card and still keep the points?  I ask because I don’t have any travel plans, but don’t want to have to keep the card beyond 1 year and get hit with the annual fee.

What’s the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® ?

Link:  Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Link:  Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® Review

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® card has a 40,000 point sign up bonus (~$400 in travel) after spending $3,000 in the 1st 90 days of account opening.

You earn 2X miles on all purchases, so you’re effectively getting 2% cash back for each purchase.  But since you get 5% of your miles back when you redeem for travel, this is effectively a 2.1% cash back card when miles are redeemed for travel.

That said, read my post on how you can call to apply for the same card with a potentially lower spending requirement of $1,000 within the 1st 3 months of account opening.  I don’t get a commission for the offer with the lower spending requirement, but it could be useful for you!

40,000 points can be redeemed for up to ~$400 in travel expenses, but Matt doesn’t have any travel plans yet.  If he cancels his card to avoid the $89 annual fee, will he lose his points?

Will I Lose my Miles & Points if I Cancel a Card?

This is a common question with credit cards that have the annual fee waived for the 1st year.  Last year, a reader asked if he’d lose his United miles after cancelling the United credit card.

You WON’T lose points earned on airline and hotel credit cards (like the Chase Southwest cards) if they are already in your account.

You usually WILL lose your points if you cancel a bank rewards card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card without using or transferring the points first.  Some cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or The Platinum Card from American Express, let you transfer points to a lot of different airline and hotel programs.

In general, do NOT cancel a bank card without transferring the points first!  Each bank is slightly different, so read this post for the specifics about losing miles and points after you cancel a credit card.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® terms and conditions are very clear.  You WILL lose your points if you cancel the card.

Forfeiture Your miles may be forfeited if any of the following occur:

Your Credit Card Account becomes seriously delinquent, as determined by Barclaycard at its sole discretion.

You or we close your Credit Card Account for any reason.

You engage in fraudulent activity on this Credit Card Account. Call the number on the back of your Card if you want to obtain more information.

So how can Matt cancel the card without losing his ~40,000 points?

1.   Buy Airline or Hotel Gift Cards

Barclays defines travel as:

Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways and Car Rental Agencies as defined by the merchant category code.  Purchases made at merchants that do not process transactions under these terms or that use incorrect MasterCard merchant category codes will not qualify.  Barclaycard is not responsible for incorrectly coded purchases.

Matt could buy gift cards DIRECTLY from his favorite airline or hotel to use later, and use his 40,000 miles towards those purchases.  And then close the card.  But they have to be coded under the correct merchant category to qualify as a travel purchase.

Try Buying Gift Cards Directly From the Airline or Hotel!
Try Buying Gift Cards Directly From the Airline or Hotel!

I haven’t done this myself, so I can NOT guarantee that the purchase would be coded correctly for every airline or hotel.  Matt may want to make a test purchase for a small denomination gift card, and see if it works before buying a lot of gift cards.

2.   Try to Downgrade the Card to the No Annual Fee Version

Barclaycard has a no annual fee version of the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® with a sign up bonus of 20,000 points after spending $1,000 within the 1st 90 days of account opening.  Matt could wait until his first year is up, then ask Barclaycard to downgrade his card to the no-fee version.

Because the Barclaycard Arrival has only been available for just over a year, I’m not sure if this strategy will be successful.  Some cardholders have suggested that Barclaycard will allow you to downgrade the card, but I haven’t tried this myself so I can’t guarantee it will work.   Some folks on this Flyertalk thread have had success with downgrading.

I’ve heard from folks that it may take multiple calls and messages over 2 to 3 months to get Barclaycard to downgrade a card!

3.   Book Refundable Airline Tickets 

Some folks buy fully refundable airline tickets and then use their Barclaycard Arrival Plus card points to claim a statement credit for buying the ticket.  Then they cancel the flight for a refund, and close the card after the refund posts to their statement.

This crosses my personal line and isn’t something which I’d feel comfortable doing.

Another option could be to buy a paid Southwest ticket using the Arrival card and get reimbursed for using your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® points.  Remember that if you cancel any paid Southwest ticket, you don’t pay any change fees and get a credit for travel on Southwest which you have to use within 1 year.

Bottom Line

If you cancel the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, you WILL lose the points in your account.

You could buy airline or hotel gift cards for future travel, as long as they are coded under the correct travel merchant category.  Or you could try to ask Barclaycard to downgrade the card to the no annual fee version, but there are no guarantees that they’ll do it.

Matt’s best bet may be to just plan a trip and use the points that way, before his 1st year is up!

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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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I asked very nicely but Arrival+ Annual Fee was not waived so I closed the account. Citi DoubleCash MC also give 2% cashback. You’ll have to spend $44,500 annually on the Arrival+ card to match the cash back from Citi DoubleCash. Also in order to get cashback from Arrival+ you have to have travel expenses.


I was allowed to downgrade No issues

I tried to downgrade or work something out with Barclay. I used it a huge amount so I figured they would be reasonable but they weren’t. I am trapped I with tons of points, on one hand I am happy but now I paid the $89 and I just look to cancel. I could keep the year which is what more people do, but I am annoyed so I won’t. I was going to also do a huge transfer balance at 0% but even that I doubt. I take it personal when I shouldn’t.

WARNING! DON’T RELY ON BARCLAYCARD FOR TRAVEL! Recently, I contacted the company for each credit card I planned to bring on an international trip. I even gave Barclaycard an itinerary with dates and countries in Asia I would visit. I was planning to use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® for the majority of spending. In spite of contacting Barclaycard in advance–with a detailed itinerary–they denied my attempts to pay for travel expenses! I have now contacted the company 7 times trying to resolve the issue. Their customer service has been so HORRIBLE, that I finally just told them to close the account. (It is worthless since I can’t use it for my trip.) I am a woman traveling alone in foreign countries where I don’t speak the languages.

If you want to use this card, be sure to carry an extra Visa or MasterCard with you. Fortunately, I had other credit cards from much better companies so this situation did not put my life in jeopardy–but it has caused me a number of problems. WARNING! BARCLAYCARD ARRIVAL PLUS WORLD ELITE HAS HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! Do NOT rely on the company! If you ever have a problem, they will NOT resolve it.

Hey, I already got this card! Quick question, if I used up all my 40000 points, and cancel the card before hitting 1 year, are there consequences?

Million Mile Secrets

@Fatt Hon – See this post.

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