Four Negative Changes to Arrival Plus for Existing Cardholders


The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® offers new cardholders 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in 90 days, which is worth $430 in free travel, and 2.15% back toward travel on all purchases. See my full breakdown of the Arrival Plus.

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Existing cardholders have better perks than new cardholders. If you got the Arrival Plus before September 30, 2014, your benefits will be aligned with new cardholders’ on November 17, 2015. If you got it after October 1, 2014, your benefits don’t change until August 2016:

  1. Existing cardholders get a 10% rebate on miles redeemed to offset travel purchases (How to Redeem Arrival Miles). That will drop to 5%. This drops the value of an Arrival mile from 1.14 cents to 1.075 cents. I guarantee every other blogger gets this valuation wrong. See this post for the math.
  2. The minimum redemption will increase from 2,500 miles for $25 off of a travel purchase to 10,000 miles for $100 off a travel purchase. This will greatly increase breakage (the inability to redeem all your miles) or increase engagement with the card as people try to get to 10,000 miles.
  3. The definition of “travel” will lose “tourist attractions,” which means that what we can redeem our Arrival miles against will decrease slightly.
  4. The free TripIt Pro subscription for cardmembers will end. If you have a current free subscription, it will not be cancelled, but it also won’t be renewed.

For existing cardholders, these changes will begin on November 17, 2015. If you want to downgrade to the no annual fee Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®, you can do that by November 3, 2015 and get a pro-rated portion of your annual fee back from Barclaycard.

All of these changes stink, but overall they’re not huge changes.


The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® still offers about the same value proposition it always has. It is a great card for every day spending when that spending doesn’t fall into any cards’ bonus categories. It is great for people who want to earn rewards toward domestic flights, low cost carrier flights, car rentals, and non-chain hotels. It is great for redeeming against award taxes to make an award ticket truly free.

The sign up bonus and earning potential of the card are down 5.4%, and you need to more carefully manage your redemptions to make sure you use up your points fully, but overall, these are small cuts.

Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® with 40,000 bonus Arrival miles

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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  1. Barclay question (sorry if there is a more appropriate spot for this). I need to move some credit around to (hopefully) get approved for a Barclay card – never done that before. Can anyone give me their experience with Barclay’s moving credit – will I be allowed the sign-up bonus, if I’m just moving a credit line over to a new card (need to get rid of an older one anyway)?

  2. This card always has been a good value for many for its initial signup bonus, but very questionable for renewing by paying an annual fee, and even more so now with the new policies. Your first almost $5,000 in spend in a given year goes just to counter the cost of the annual fee, and you won’t be able to redeem to cancel travel expenses for any amount less than $100 (eliminating that idea of offsetting award ticket fees in many cases), which itself means $5,000 in spend. This card will be of merit after year one only for the truly big spenders and for those who like to write lots of stories for Barclay Travel Community. Thanks for the reminder to cancel or downgrade by Nov. 3.

  3. These changes don’t take effect for me until 8/6/16, according to the letter I received. I opened my card this March.


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