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The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® has a well-earned reputation as one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. But not everyone knows how to really maximize the card’s benefits.
If you have the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® in your wallet— or even if you’re just thinking of applying — you probably already know about the card’s powerful mile-earning potential.
You’ll earn 70,000 miles if you spend $5,000 on purchases during the first 90 days after opening the account and paying the annual fee.
For every $1 you spend, you’ll also earn two miles, period. You’ll also earn 5% of your miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem.
But what if we were to tell you that you can squeeze even more value out of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® to counterbalance its $0 intro, $89 after first year annual fee? Read on to discover why some savvy spenders think of this card as a lot more than a flat-rate miles earner.
*We estimate the sign-up bonus can be worth $630 when redeemed through the associated rewards program. Here’s how we calculated the dollar value: In May 2018, our editors estimated the redemption value per mile. We multiplied the number of miles you could earn through the current sign-up bonus by that redemption value. You can learn more about our methodology here. The value of the sign-up bonus has been rounded down to the nearest whole dollar.
5 ways to maximize the benefits of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
- Make sure you qualify for the sign-up bonus.
- Redeem miles for travel purchases to get maximum value.
- Earn extra miles shopping with Barclaycard RewardsBoost.
- Take advantage of trip cancellation protection (if you need it).
- Pack it when you travel overseas.
If you’re looking for the fastest way to earn rewards with this card, look no further than the sign-up bonus. You’ll earn 70,000 miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
While the sign-up bonus is one of the best ways to accumulate miles and maximize your travel rewards, we don’t recommend stretching your budget just to qualify for it.
If you think you won’t be able to meet the sign-up bonus and pay off your full monthly balance on time, this might not be the best card for you.
You can redeem your miles for travel statement credits, cash back statement credits, gift cards or merchandise. If redeeming against a travel purchase, the purchase must have been made within the past 120 days.
Here’s where you should listen up, because how you redeem your miles can significantly affect the value you get for each mile.
To squeeze the most value out of your miles, you’ll want to redeem them for a travel statement credit. When redeeming for travel statement credits, your miles are worth 1 cent apiece.
The other redemption options simply aren’t as valuable. “The redemption rate on gift cards and cash back is a poor half a cent per mile, making travel by far the best redemption option,” explains credit card expert Jason Steele.
When redeeming miles for a travel statement credit, Steele warns, “cardholders should also be aware that they can only redeem their miles toward travel expenses $100 or more, so you can use [miles] for a $150 airline ticket, but not for a $25 baggage fee.”
While you earn two miles per $1 spent on all purchases, shopping through the Barclaycard RewardsBoost portal can easily increase the amount of rewards you earn with purchases through certain stores.
Simply visit the Barclaycard RewardsBoost website before you shop online. Then, visit participating stores using the links on the RewardsBoost site to earn the specified number of extra miles per $1 spent.
For example, as of August 2017, you can earn four miles per $1 spent at Sephora and three miles per $1 spent at Macy’s. See? Told you it was easy.
Extra RewardsBoost miles will show up as pending immediately after your purchase and will usually be confirmed in your account within 45 days after your purchase.
Unfortunately, not all travel goes as planned. But if you book a trip with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® and then cancel for a covered reason, you and your family will be covered for nonrefundable trip expenses.
It’s important to note that the trip cancellation benefit is secondary to any other applicable insurance or benefits available to you, including benefits provided by your airline such as ticket refunds or credits.
Remember: To qualify for this benefit, you must pay for the trip expenses with your card. Otherwise, you’ll only receive partial reimbursement based on the percentage of the trip paid for with your card.
Your coverage is limited to a maximum of $5,000 per trip, $10,000 per 12-month period or the original cost of the common carrier ticket for the trip (whichever is lower).
When traveling overseas, you may need a chip and PIN (personal identification number) credit card to complete purchases at unmanned kiosks, such as those found at train stations throughout Europe.
If you don’t have a chip and PIN card, you may be forced to use local currency or find a cashier.
Not all chip cards issued in the U.S. are chip and PIN cards, but your Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® does support the chip and PIN verification method.How the EMV credit card chip works and why it matters
Make sure you know your PIN before you leave for your trip. If you can’t remember your PIN, you can update it via your online account settings or call the number on the back of your card and request to have it mailed to you.
Another good reason to take the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® abroad? This card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, saving you money when using your card overseas.
At a glance: Other travel rewards cards worth considering
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Travel rewards with flexible redemption|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||2 miles per $1 spent on purchases with an annual fee of $0 intro, $95 after first year. You can also earn 10 miles per $1 on thousands of hotels through January 2020.|
|Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card||1.5 points per $1 spent on purchases with a $0 annual fee|
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® offers many benefits other than the rewards miles you earn on your purchases (though those are nice, too). Using the additional benefits that come with your card can help you save money or make traveling easier and less stressful.