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I write a lot about the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® and very little about the Capital One Venture Card.

Superficially the two cards are similar. Both offer miles that can be redeemed for any flight, hotel, car rental, or other travel expense.

Plus the Venture Card has had a sustained TV advertisement blitz for several years that seems to have gotten through to most people. So a lot of people assume the two cards are identical or just as good as each other. They’re actually very different though.

Sign Up Bonus

The Arrival Plus offers 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

The Venture card offers 20,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months.

That means the Arrival Plus offers a better headline bonus and a better rebate on the minimum spending requirement. But the difference is even larger than it appears.

Value of One Mile

Arrival miles are worth 14% more at 1.14 cents each than Venture miles, which are worth 1 cent each.

The reason Arrival miles are worth so much more is that you get an instant 10% rebate on all redemptions of Arrival miles for travel. Plus you earn Arrival miles on the travel purchase that you later eliminate with your redemption.

All this means that the Arrival Plus’s 40,000 bonus miles are worth $456 in free travel, while the Venture card’s 20,000 bonus miles are worth $200 in free travel.

While the Venture’s sign up bonus has never tempted me, I opened the Arrival Plus and cleared its bonus last month. Here’s why.

Big Advantage: Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®

How do the Arrival Plus and Venture card compare on earnings, annual fee, foreign transaction fee, and other benefits?

Earning Potential

Both cards earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. As noted earlier, Arrival miles are worth 1.14 cents each and Venture miles are worth 1 cent each.

That means their earning rates are:

The Arrival Plus’s earning rate is 14% better than the Venture card’s.

The Arrival Plus’s earning rate is so consistent and so good that I’ve labeled it one of the Three Cards Big Spenders Should Use.

Big Advantage: Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®

Foreign Transaction Fees

Neither card has any foreign transaction fees.

Since I travel so much, this comes in handy frequently for me.

Also the Arrival is a MasterCard and the Venture is a Visa, both of which are widely accepted worldwide just like in the United States.

Other Benefits

The Arrival Plus comes with two other awesome benefits worth mentioning:

  • Free FICO credit score
  • Free TripIt Pro Subscription ($49 value)

Barclaycard announced in November that its cardholders for some cards would have free access to their FICO score, which is an exciting feature for those of us who get so much value from our credit score.

This is your real FICO credit score, not one of those “FAKO” scores that are readily available online. Because I have an Arrival Plus, I get free access to my FICO score. About every month, I get an email that it has changed, and I log in to check the score.

I experimented with TripIt Pro before getting the Arrival Plus to see if it was worth getting. I really enjoy the interface and the convenience of having all my trip information in one place for all my upcoming trips. A normal TripIt Pro subscription is $49, but the subscription is complimentary if you get the Arrival Plus.

Big Advantage: Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®

Annual Fee

Both cards waive the annual fee for the first year.

After 12 months, the Venture Card has an annual fee of $59. After 12 months, the Arrival Plus has an annual fee of $89.

That $30 difference is more than swamped by access to the FICO score and TripIt Pro that the Arrival Plus gives.

But even if you valued those perks at zero, it only takes a little over $10,000 in spending per year for the 14% better earnings rate of the Arrival Plus to eliminate the $30 difference.

Plus since the Arrival Plus’s sign up bonus was $256 better than Venture’s, it would take until the 10th year for the sign up bonuses’ difference to be smaller than the annual fees’ difference.

Small Advantage: Venture Card


I understand why people initially notice the similarities between the Arrival Plus and Venture cards and don’t see all the differences at first.

Both are cards that earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases that can be used toward:

  • Any flight on any airline with no blackouts
  • Any hotel, hostel, B&B, etc
  • Car Rentals
  • Other travel expenses

But the cards actually differ quite a bit on the specifics.

Sign Up Bonus: Arrival Plus worth $456, Venture worth $200

Earning Rate: Arrival Plus worth 2.28%, Venture worth 2%

Foreign Transaction Fee: Zero for both cards

Other Benefits: Arrival Plus gives access to real FICO score and TripIt Pro

Annual Fee: Both waived the first 12 months, then $59 for the Venture and $89 for the Arrival Plus

Overall, I think the Arrival Plus blows the Venture Card away. For more information on how both compare to other cards in the category, see this comparison table I made of bank-point cards.

Application Links:

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 75,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the 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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