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I love when banks issue brand new credit cards. Because it gives those of us in the miles & points hobby new ways to earn valuable travel rewards!
Barclays just introduced the Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard. And it’s got some unique benefits! For example, you’ll earn 2X miles on every purchase. And you can redeem the miles for 1 cent each towards travel, OR transfer them to airline partners, like Flying Blue, Japan Airlines, and Etihad!
If you hit certain spending thresholds each year, you’ll also earn thousands of bonus miles. Barclays really stresses that card benefit, though I don’t think it’s anything special. Because the requirements are pretty high!
I do NOT recommend this card if you’re new to miles & points. Because there are credit cards with more valuable sign-up bonuses and benefits that you should open first.
Here is a quick review of the all new Barclays Arrival Premier card.
Introducing the New Barclays Arrival Premier
Link: Barclays Arrival Premier
The Barclays Arrival Premier does NOT come with a sign-up bonus. But Barclays emphasizes the benefit of earning bonus miles for meeting tiered spending requirements each year. You’ll earn 15,000 bonus miles for spending $15,000 each cardmember year. And another 10,000 bonus miles for spending an additional $10,000 each year.
Because this card earns 2X miles on every purchase, for example, you could earn 75,000 miles for spending $25,000 each cardmember year ($25,000 miles X 2 miles per $1 + 25,000 bonus miles for completing tiered spending).
You’ll also get:
- $100 Global Entry credit every 5 years
- NO foreign transaction fees
- Chip + PIN capability (which helped me when I rented a car in Iceland!)
- Travel protection (baggage delay, trip cancellation and interruption, car rental insurance, etc.)
- MasterCard Airport Experiences (pay $27 per visit, per person, for 800+ airport lounges worldwide)
- Other benefits of the World Elite Mastercard program (free ShopRunner, extended warranty, etc.)
The card comes with a $150 annual fee.
Using Your Miles
There are a handful of ways to redeem the miles you earn from the Barclays Arrival Premier.
1. Purchase Travel
You can redeem your miles for a value of 1 cent each toward travel purchases, like airfare, hotels, campgrounds, cruises, etc. But you can only redeem for purchases of $100+ (10,000+ miles). You can erase any travel purchases you’ve made over $100 in the past 120 days.
2. Statement Credits and Gift Cards
If you aren’t interested in using your miles for travel, or if you don’t have the minimum redemption amount of 10,000 miles, you can use them for a statement credit or for merchant gift cards. You must redeem at least 5,000 miles.
I do NOT recommend this, because you’ll only get a value of 0.5 cents per mile. For example, 5,000 miles will get you a $25 statement credit.
3. Transfer to Airline Partners
This is a very interesting perk of the Barclays Arrival Premier. You can transfer your miles to 9 airlines:
- China Eastern
- EVA Air
- Flying Blue (loyalty program of Air France and KLM)
- Japan Airlines
- Jet Privilege
- Malaysia Airlines
The transfer ratio for all of these airlines is 1.4 Barclays Arrival Premier miles to 1 airline mile (1.4:1), except for Japan Airlines, which is 1.7:1.
Only the primary cardholder can transfer miles to their own airline loyalty accounts. Most miles transfer requests are processed within 3 business days, but it could take up to 15 business days.
Is This a Good Deal?
If any of the listed airline programs are important to you, this could actually be a decent card for you! You’ll earn 2X miles for every purchase, and up to 3X miles when you meet tiered spending requirements ($15,000 or $25,000 each cardmember year).
I personally would rather put that spending on other cards to earn new sign-up bonuses. And I’m very disappointed this card has NO sign-up bonus.
But if you don’t like the hassle of paying attention to spending category bonuses or opening new cards, this is a pretty simple card that might fit your lifestyle.
That said, I find a lot more value in the Chase Sapphire Preferred, because of its much more useful transfer partners, like Southwest, Hyatt, and United Airlines.
You won’t earn 2X points for every purchase, but you can redeem each point for 1.25 cents towards travel. And you’ll get 2X points when you spend on travel and dining.
The new Barclays Arrival Premier card earns 2X miles on all purchases. It has NO sign-up bonus. But you’ll earn a bonus 15,000 miles when you spend $15,000 each cardmember year. And another 10,000 miles when you spend an additional $10,000 in the same year.
You can redeem your miles for certain travel purchases, or transfer them to 9 airlines, including Etihad, Flying Blue, and Japan Airlines. Most of the transfer partners aren’t super valuable. But if Barclays continues to add more airlines, I might revisit this card.
If you already have lots of credit cards from AMEX, Chase, and Citi, this could be a good deal for you! But I do NOT recommend this card if you’re new to the miles & points hobby. Because there are credit cards with more valuable sign-up bonuses and benefits that you should open first.
What do you think of this new offer from Barclays?