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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- The definition of “travel” will lose “tourist attractions,” which means that what we can redeem our Arrival miles against will decrease slightly.
- 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