Barclay’s, a global banking and finance giant headquartered in the UK, definitely seems to be mounting an aggressive push into the US credit card market of late. The new Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard is further evidence of this British invasion. This particular Barclay credit card seems squarely aimed at the Chase Sapphire card, but overall I would give it the edge versus Sapphire (See our head-to-head section below for more details).
Basic Information About the Barclay’s Arrival World Credit Card
- Earn 2X miles on travel and dining purchases
- Earn 1X miles on all your other purchases
- Earn 10,000 bonus miles if you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days. That’s $100 off your next trip
- Carry-on Miles- get 10% of your miles back when you redeem for travel
- No mileage caps
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
Some Specific On Earning Miles with Arrival World Barclay’s Credit Card
While the earnings program is quite straight-forward, with no mileage caps or other hidden terms, it’s worth noting what’s included in both travel and dining. For travel, this includes purchases at airlines, travel agencies and tour operators, hotels/motels/resorts, cruise lines, passenger trains and car rental agencies. Dining includes both restaurants and fast food operations.
As a side note, if you’re looking for dining rewards, we recommend checking out our review of the Citi Forward credit card, which offers up a bone-crushing 5 points per dollar of spend.
Redeeming Miles With Your Barclay’s Card
The Barclay’s website is quite clear about redemption. The way it works is that you can redeem your miles for flights or other travel activities. You do this by purchasing the travel, and then requesting a statement credit-which in our view is one of the best redemption methods around (you are given complete freedom to purchase travel wherever you want, and with the statement credit you don’t need to wait for a check in the mail).
The only catch here is that you need to request the statement credit within 90 days of making the purchase, and it needs to be for $25 or more. Both of these “catches” are not big issues in my book.
While you can also redeem for cash back as a statement credit (as well as gift cards or merchandise), we strongly recommend you only redeem for travel, since Barclay’s will give you back 10% of your miles when you do so. That’s equivalent to a 10% discount on your travel purchase, not bad.
Head-To-Head: Barclaycard Arrival World Credit Card Versus the Chase Sapphire Card?
These two cards definitely compete with each other. For starters, they both offer 10,000 bonus miles/points, although with the Barclay’s card, you need to spend $1,000 in 3 months, versus only $500 with the Chase Sapphire. So, slight advantage to Sapphire.
Both cards give you 2x points on dining, but while the Barclay’s card also gives you 2x points on travel purchases, you’ll only get 2x travel rewards with the Sapphire card when you make your travel purchases via the Ultimate Rewards website. Thus, advantage Barclay’s here, due to a less restrictive bonus regime.
Neither card has an annual fee, but Sapphire charges 3% for international transactions, whereas Barclay’s Arrival card doesn’t charge. This is an important advantage, particularly for cards squarely focused on the travel space. Advantage Barclay’s.
Finally, the Barclay’s credit card returns 10% of your miles when you redeem for travel, which is not matched with the Sapphire card. Again, advantage Barclay’s.
GetDebit’s Concluding Thoughts on the Barclay’s Arrival World Mastercard
While there are definitely cards out there with significantly higher sign-up bonuses and rewards, as a Sapphire Killer it does succeed. We’re also encouraged to see Barclay’s getting more and more aggressive with its offerings in the US. Finally, we strongly encourage you to use the GetDebit Ranking Engine found off of our home page. It can really help point you in the right direction for finding the absolute best rewards cards out there. Peace, the GetDebit team.
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