[Application link: Barclays Arrival Plus – 40,000 miles with $3,000 spend in first 90 days]
Today we dive into one of the best travel cards out there: the Barclays Arrival Plus credit card. The Arrival Plus currently offers 40,000 bonus “miles” – not miles in the traditional sense – that can be used on a wide variety of purchase types.
But more on that later; for now, here are the details:
- 40,000 Arrival miles after spending $3,000 in three months
- 2 miles per $1 spend everywhere
- $89 annual fee (first year waived)
- 10% of your miles back when redeemed for travel
- No foreign transaction fees
- EMV chip card
- Approval difficulty: Hard (720+ credit score with good income)
- Churn status: Moderate (can be reapplied for after 12-18 months)
Let me start with this: the Barclays Arrival Plus credit card is considered one of, if not the, premier travel cards out there by a number of bloggers. The 40,000 miles is right on par with some of the other top credit card deals, and two miles per dollar spent means you are earning more – on a pure miles per dollar standpoint, ignoring what each mile is worth for the moment – on everyday spend than almost any other card (the Capital One Venture card matches the two-for-one, but not 10% dividend which we'll get into in the next paragraph).
In addition to the miles, the Arrival card is an EMV chip card – more secure and great for travel to Europe, Canada, and other international destinations – and offers no foreign transaction fees, the latter of which is pretty standard for top-tier credit cards these days.
What makes this card one of the best though, is their 10% miles back dividend when redeemed for a travel statement credit. Here's an example of how it works. Say you make a $400 charge for a flight – 40,000 miles would be needed to fully credit the $400, effectively removing the balance from your statement. Then the 10% kickback would occur, giving you 10% of the miles redeemed – in this case, 4,000. This means that every dollar you spend on the Arrical Plus, you earn 2% (the two points) plus 10% of any travel redemption (the preceding example) – this gives you an effective earning rate of 2.2% of each dollar spent, assuming your miles are used on travel purchases.
This 2.2% is the best in the business from a "cash-back" perspective, making it superior to the aforementioned Venture card. All the major airlines and hotels work as a travel purchase and, for the non-traditional purchases, FlyerTalk has a great thread going showing what purchases do and do not work for the 10% back. Just click the “display full wiki” link near the top of the page, then scroll down to view a list of not-so-obvious travel purchases that count towards the bonus.
The only downside to the card is the annual fee, although it is waived for the first year and at $89 it is actually cheaper than the Chase Sapphire Preferred or American Express Delta Gold, to name a couple. Only $6 a year cheaper, mind you, but less is less. Ultimately, the annual fee being waived means this is a no-lose proposition – it is clearly one of the best travel credit cards out there and I highly recommend considering this, even as an every day card you can consider paying the fee on. See application links and support information below.
Click to apply: Barclays Arrival Plus – 40,000 miles with $3,000 spend in first 90 days.
Personal application support line: 1-877-523-0478.
Click here for the Barclays contact page.
Disclaimer: Photos credit to Barclays.