Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® Review

Full Disclosure: We may be compensated when you click on links to credit card products from our advertising partners, such as American Express, Chase & Barclays. Opinions on this site are ours alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details. Thanks!

"A premier travel card that rewards member loyalty."

Loyalty miles give this card an effective 3X earning rate on your first $25,000 spent, while travel perks make it a great option for those looking for lounge access and Global Entry fee credit.

Apply Now (at Barclays' secure site)

Card Summary Table

  • Card Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
  • Card Provider
    MasterCard Barclays
  • Card Type(s):
  • Card Focus:
    • All Purchases
    • Travel (General)
  • Annual Fee
    • $150 (waived first year)
  • Rewards Center
    Redeem miles as statement credit in your account page
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
    0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Typical Users
    Frequent Travelers, Hobby Travelers, International Travelers
  • Customer Service Number

    1-877-408-8866 (Available 24/7)

  • Login Link
  • Partners
    Aeromexico, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, China Eastern, Etihad, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Jet Privilege, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas.
  • Interest Rates
    • 17.74%, 21.74% or 24.74% variable based on your creditworthiness
  • Balance Transfers
    • 17.74%, 21.74% or 24.74% variable based on your creditworthiness
    • Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 26.99% Variable
    • Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater

The Ideal Cardholder

Earnings Rate and Spending Bonuses

Right from the start, you’ll be earning 2 miles for every dollar spent on your Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®.

While this card doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus, you’ll be earning loyalty spending bonuses of 15,000 bonus miles once you’ve spent $15,000 on the card annually, plus an additional 10,000 loyalty bonus miles once your purchases reach a total of $25,000 each year.

Additionally, there is no cap on how many miles you can earn at 2X per dollar spent. Combined with the above bonuses, that means each year your first $25,000 spent on the card will earn a total of 75,000 miles. That’s an effective earnings rate of 3 miles per dollar and a total of $750 in value when redeemed as a travel statement credit.

The earnings continue as long as you hold the card, because you can receive the loyalty spending bonuses and unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent year after year.

Bottom Line: The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® has unlimited earnings of 2 miles per dollar spent on the card, and spending bonuses that result in total earnings of 75,000 miles after spending $25,000 on the card annually.

 

US Passport & Application Guide
Receive discounted lounge access, Global Entry fee credit, and no foreign transaction fees with this card.

Benefits a Traveler will Enjoy

If lounge access while traveling is important, you’ll value the complimentary Mastercard® Airport Experience LoungeKey membership that comes with the card. LoungeKey membership offers discounted (but not free) lounge access at the rate of $27 per visit per person.

LoungeKey Membership gives you discounted access to over 850 airport lounges and service providers throughout the world. You’ll need to register your Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® with LoungeKey prior to using the card by visiting their website. It can take 7-10 days to activate your lounge access, so plan accordingly.

With typical daily access fees for most airport lounges running around $50, there’s definitely value in having a quiet respite with free drinks, snacks, and Wi-Fi at a discounted price.

This card does not charge foreign transaction fees, making it extra great for travel. With chip and pin technology, you’ll also have the convenience of your card being widely accepted throughout the world where chip-enabled terminals are used.

Additionally, travelers will find value when charging their Global Entry fee on the card and receiving a $100 statement credit. This credit will reset every 5 years to coincide with Global Entry renewal.

Finally, don’t overlook the premium-level perks and discounts offered with this card’s World Elite Mastercard travel benefits.

Comparison to a Similar Card

Citi® Double Cash CardBarclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®
Annual Fee$0$150 (waived first year)
Rewards1% + 1% cash-backUnlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on the card + up to 25,000 loyalty spending bonus miles annually
Transfer Points/MilesN/A9 airline transfer partners
Travel BenefitsN/A$100 Global Entry credit, no foreign transaction fees, discounted lounge access, and World Elite Mastercard travel benefits.
Redeeming RewardsCash-back or statement creditsRedeem miles for travel statement credits, cash-back statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and transfer miles to airline partners.

The most significant difference between the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® and the Citi® Double Cash Card is the annual fee. The Citi® Double Cash Card comes with no annual fee, while the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® charges $150 (waived first year).

The Citi® Double Cash also charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, while the Barclays Arrival® Premier does not charge a foreign transaction fee, making it a better choice for frequent travelers.

You’ll also find that the Citi® Double Cash has an 18-month interest-free balance transfer option. The Barclays Arrival® Premier doesn’t have this promotional offer. If this benefit is important to you, keep in mind that fees on balance transfers do apply: Citi charges $5 or 3% of the amount transferred, whichever is greater.

Also, promotional balance transfers to the Citi® Double Cash must be made within 4 months of card approval.

When it comes to earning rewards, you’ll see that the Citi® Double Cash earns a total of 2% cash-back:

  • 1% when you make a purchase and
  • an additional 1% when you make on-time payments each statement period.

If you spent $25,000 per year on the Citi® Double Cash Card, made timely payments, and paid the minimum due or greater, you would have earned $500 in cash back.

On the Barclays Arrival® Premier, that same $25,000 spent would earn $750 in travel statement credits.

If we subtract the cost of the $150 annual fee (in every year except your first), you would have received a net $600 in value.

Bottom Line: If you’re a traveler who will use the additional travel benefits offered on the card, you would fare better with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®. If you’re not a traveler or you don’t plan to spend $25,000 on a card, you would do better with the Citi® Double Cash Card.

Great Card If

  • You plan on spending $25,000 annually
    • Loyalty bonus miles are awarded after hitting $15,000 and $25,000 in spending, so you’ll need to hit these levels to maximize your earnings.
  • You’re a frequent traveler
  • You want a card you can keep for the long haul
  • You value the luxury World Elite Mastercard travel benefits that come with the card

Don't Get If

  • You plan to spend less than $15,000 a year on the card
  • You are looking for a card with an upfront sign-up bonus
  • You travel infrequently

U.P. Pro Tips

There’s no need to carry multiple cards — you’ll maximize your earnings on everyday expenditures by putting all of your non-bonus category spending on this card to earn at least 2 miles per dollar.

How to Use the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®: The Upgraded Way™

Best Way to Maximize Points

Getting the maximum value from this card requires meeting the bonus spending limits on an annual basis. Otherwise, you’ll just be earning 2 miles per dollar spent on the card.

While 2 miles per dollar is not a bad rewards earning rate, keep in mind that you do have an annual fee on this card after the first year. You’ll need to spend a minimum of $7,500 to offset this $150 fee each year.

Once your annual spending reaches $25,000, you’ll be earning those extra 25,000 bonus loyalty miles. This is the equivalent of earning 3 miles per dollar spent, so you’ll want to plan this level of spending in order to realize value from having the card.

The good news is that every purchase counts towards that $25,000 — even purchases made by authorized users.

You may also want to use your card for purchases where you might not normally consider using a credit card. These purchases might include car/home insurance, utilities, medical/dental expenses, or even paying for others’ expenses and getting reimbursed.

Bottom Line: You’ll need to spend an average of $2,084 per month on the card to maximize the amount of miles earned. You’ll want to consider using your card for expenses that you might not normally put on your credit card, and even adding an authorized user.

Another unique way to boost your mileage balance from your Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is to join the Barclay Travel Community and earn miles for contributing travel stories and details.

Each story with a minimum of 100 words, at least 1 image, and 25 details earns 400 miles. A maximum of 100 stories can be submitted each month. Joining and completing your initial profile earns 500 miles.

Hot Tip: If you enjoy writing about your travels and submitted just 10 stories a month, you would earn 4,000 miles (the same earnings received from spending $2,000 on the card at 2 miles per dollar spent).

Best Way to Redeem Points

Redeem your miles as a travel statement credit after using your card to pay for your resort vacation getaway.  Image courtesy of the author.

It’s easy to redeem your points for travel statement credits, cash-back statement credits, gift cards, or merchandise. You’ll just access your Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® account online, go to the Rewards and Benefits section, and select the option to redeem your points.

To receive the most value for miles earned on this card, redeem those miles for a statement credit for travel expenses that exceed $100.

This is because each mile redeemed for a travel statement credit is worth 1 cent, which is a better redemption value than your other redemption options.

For example, you can redeem your miles for a $25 cash-back statement credit starting at 5,000 miles, or gift cards (which also start at 5,000 miles for $25). These are not good value for your miles as they result in a .5 cent per mile redemption value.

You can also transfer your miles to partner airlines. Miles transfer at a ratio of 1.4 Arrival Premier miles to 1 airline mile with all partner airlines, except Japan Airlines (which has an even worse transfer ratio of 1.7 Arrival Premier miles to 1 airline mile). In this case you would need to transfer 17,000 Arrival Premier miles to receive 10,000 Japan Airlines miles.

Using your miles to purchase merchandise can result in poorer value at far less than .5 cent per mile redeemed. An example of this would be a 10 oz package of Godiva coffee, which sells online for around $12, and is listed in the Barclays rewards shopping catalog for 4,700 miles. When used toward travel statement credits, that same 4,700 miles would be worth $47!

Note that to use travel statement credits, you must redeem a minimum of 10,000 miles (worth $100).

For example, you may purchase a hotel room on your card for $169. You can then redeem enough miles to cover the entire purchase (16,900 miles), use the 10,000-mile minimum for a $100 credit, or redeem any amount of miles in between.

You can also save your miles and redeem for a larger travel expense — your miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active, and in good standing. You may choose to redeem your miles once a year, for instance, to offset the cost of vacation expenses.

Bottom Line: To receive the best and most straightforward redemption value for your miles, redeem the miles earned on your card for a travel statement credit. Eligible travel category purchases include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, and ferries.

Partners

Transferring Your Miles to Airline Partners

It’s great to have choices when it comes to redemption options, so having the ability to transfer miles earned on your card to airline partners is positive in that respect.

While none of the 3 domestic legacy carriers are currently included, that could change in the future. The terms and conditions of this card state that the selection of airline partners and the number of miles needed to purchase miles can change over time. The list of airline transfer partners now includes: Aeromexico, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, China Eastern, Etihad, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Jet Privilege, Malaysia Airlines, and Qantas.

AirlineTransfer Ratio of Loyalty Miles to Airline Partner Miles
Japan Airlines 1.7 : 1
Aeromexico, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, China Eastern, Etihad, EVA Air, Jet Privilege, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas.1.4 : 1

Bottom Line: Transfer ratios are not stellar, and there is a lack of domestic airline partners. However, transferring a small number of miles to top off an existing frequent flier account and secure an award ticket could prove useful. 

Enjoy Partner Perks, Benefits, and Discounts With World Elite Mastercard Travel

Cardholders will enjoy the partner relationships associated with the World Elite Mastercard travel benefits that come with this card.

You’ll find a vast array of luxury travel benefits including:

  • Upgrades and perks at luxury hotels/resorts
  • Discounted airfare on selected International airlines
  • Cruise discounts
  • Special amenities and savings on vacation packages/tours
  • Savings on transportation including car rental, chauffeur service, or private jet

The special offers and savings with World Elite Mastercard travel partners can be significant. Examples include the 25% savings on select Cathay Pacific airfare and 15% off certain fares on Swissair.

Card Math

You’re probably wondering if this card is worth the annual $150 fee you’ll have to pay, and if you’ll receive enough value to consider acquiring and subsequently keeping the card.

To figure this out, let’s take a look at what you’d need to spend annually, and what you would get in return:

Annual Spending Level Miles Earned
$15,00030,000 miles (2 miles per $ spent), plus 15,000 loyalty bonus miles
$25,000Additional 20,000 miles (2 miles per $ spent), plus 10,000 additional loyalty bonus miles
Total spent: $25,000 Total miles received: 75,000

Considering the annual fee is $150 (waived first year), you’d need to spend a minimum of $7,500 each year on the card just to offset the fee. That’s because spending $7,500 earns 2 miles per dollar spent and equates to 15,000 miles, which would be worth $150 in travel credit.

When you reach $15,000 in spending, you’ll have earned 30,000 miles plus a bonus of 15,000 loyalty miles. That’s $450 in travel value and $300 more value than the cost of the annual fee.

To receive the maximum value on this card, you’ll need to plan on spending $25,000 each year. That’s because you’ll earn a total of 75,000 miles (see the above chart), which are worth $750 in value when used for a travel statement credit.

Subtract out the cost paid for the annual fee after your first year, and you’re net positive $600 in travel value. That’s an effective 2.4% return on your $25,000 in purchases each year!

Bottom Line: If you spend a minimum of $7,500 a year on the card, you’ll receive enough value to offset the annual fee. If you spend $25,000 a year on the card, you’ll receive enough value to offset the $150 annual fee (waived first year), plus an additional net value of $600 in travel statement credits. 

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need to Know

Earnings Diminish After $25,000 in Annual Spending

While reaching the $25,000 level of spending annually earns a nice stash of 75,000 miles (worth $750 in travel statement credits), any spending beyond that point will earn only the 2 miles per dollar spent. There are no further loyalty spending bonus miles awarded after the annual $25,000 spending level.

120 Days to Redeem Your Miles

Once you make a travel purchase on your card, you have just 120 days to redeem your miles for a travel statement credit against that particular purchase.

You also cannot combine smaller travel purchases to create 1 larger expense that meets the minimum redemption of 10,000 points ($100).

This is not a huge deal, but you’ll want to keep it in mind when charging travel on your card. If you don’t make any large purchases, you could expect to be reimbursed but not find any eligible travel expenses listed for redemption purposes because none meet the minimum $100.

Certain Transactions Do Not Count as Purchases

You’ll be earning 2 miles per dollar on every purchase you make, but keep in mind that miles earned are based on net purchases. Credits, returns, and adjustments will be deducted before miles are awarded.

Also, cash advances, balance transfers, fees, and interest charges do not count as purchases and do not earn miles.

Free FICO Score Access

Lenders use your FICO score to make decisions about your creditworthiness. Your Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® offers free and easy access to view your FICO score at any time. Having access to your FICO score before applying for a mortgage, a car loan, or other credit can be very helpful.

The Added Value of World Mastercard and World Elite Mastercard Benefits

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® comes with a variety of travel, purchase, and protection benefits.

World MasterCard Travel Benefits

  • Onefinestay: Access, amenities, perks, and discounts for cardholders at a network of over 10,000 high-end properties.
  • 24/7 complimentary concierge: Personal and professional travel assistance is just a call away.
  • Low price and hotel stay guarantees: Make sure you’re getting the best price possible on your hotel stay and assistance if your hotel experience is not working out.
  • Mastercard Luxury Hotels and Resorts Portfolio: Upgrades, early check-in, late check-out, breakfast, and preferred amenities at more than 2,000 properties worldwide.
  • Special event access: Receive access and ticketing assistance for special entertainment and sporting events.

Other World Mastercard Benefits

  • Identity theft services: Provides help with detection and resolution of identity theft.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Covers theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S and abroad.
  • Baggage delay insurance: If your bags are delayed more than 6 hours, $100/day for essentials is provided in the form of a reimbursement.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Receive up to $3,000 for damaged or lost bags. Immediate family members on the same travel itinerary are included.
  • Travel and emergency assistance services: Help locating emergency services while you travel. (Cardholders pay for actual services rendered.)
  • Roadside dispatch assistance: Includes assistance with lockout service, jump start service, gas delivery, and towing. (Cardholders pay for the actual services.)
  • Travel accident insurance: Pay for transportation with your card and receive death/dismemberment coverage for any injury incurred.
  • Purchase benefits: You’ll receive extended warranties, price protection, purchase security, and return protection when using your card for qualifying purchases.

World Elite Mastercard Benefits

World Elite Mastercard benefits include all of the previously listed World MasterCard benefits, plus these additional benefits:

  • Trip cancellation insurance: Provides up to $1,500 per incident if your trip is canceled for covered reasons. 
  • Luxury hotel perks: Receive amenities such as room upgrades, resort credits, free breakfast, and more at dozens of luxury hotel properties.
  • Air savings: Receive a discount of up to 25% off qualifying airfares on airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Swissair, and more.
  • Cruise and vacation packages discount: Receive discounts on several cruise lines, amenities, and savings on tours/vacation packages.
  • Transportation upgrades and discounts: Receive upgrades, discounts, and special services on rental cars, chauffeured cars, and private jets.

This is just an overview. You’ll find a complete list of World Mastercard and World Elite Mastercard benefits with these links and in your cardholder benefit package.

Bottom Line: You’ll want to become familiar with all of the added benefits available to you as a cardholder. These benefits can upgrade your travel experience, provide assistance when you need it, offer significant savings, and provide extra protection.

FAQ

What is the annual fee of the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®?

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® charges an annual fee of $150 (waived first year).

Does the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® charge any foreign transaction fees?

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is great for travelers, as it does not charge any foreign transaction fees.

Is the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® worth the annual fee?

If you’re a traveler and plan to spend $25,000 a year on the card, you’ll probably receive enough value to warrant having the card. That’s because you’re going to earn $750 worth of travel statement credits by spending at that level.

The card makes little sense if you’re not a traveler and plan to spend less than $7,500, which is the break-even spending level for the annual fee of $150 (waived first year).

How do I redeem my miles earned on the card?

The miles earned on your Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® are easy to redeem. You’ll log in to your credit card account online and select Rewards and Benefits. You’ll click on Start using my Miles and see all of the categories from which to select. You’ll find the options for travel statement credits, shopping, gift cards, e-gift cards, and cash back statement credits.

Do my miles expire?

Miles in your Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® account do not expire as long as your account is open, active, and in good standing.

Which travel expenses qualify for statement credits?

Eligible categories for redeeming your miles for travel statement credits include merchants that are coded as airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limos, and ferries. Your annual fee is also listed as an eligible travel category.

How do I earn miles?

All purchases made by you and authorized users earn an unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on the card. In addition, you’ll receive a maximum of 25,000 loyalty spending bonus miles when you spend $25,000 annually on the card. You can also earn miles by participation in the Barclay Travel Community.

Advertisement

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

10 best ways to use 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (E.g. Fly 2 People To Hawaii, Round-Trip!)

And – discover 10 of the most valuable benefits you’ll get access to as a cardholder.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. For more information on our advertisers, see here.