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This week I opened the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® with 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3k in the first 90 days.

Beyond the sign up bonus, the card comes with:

  • 2.15% back on all purchases toward any travel expense (including any flight on any airline with no blackouts)
  • the easiest redemption process imaginable

A lot of people ask me what cards I get and why, so I wanted to share my decision making process, my experience getting the Arrival Plus, and my strategy with the card.

For a full review of the Arrival card, see Barclaycard Arrival Plus: 2.15% Cash Back Card with $430 Sign Up Bonus.


Why I Got the Arrival Plus

Four things jumped out at me about the Arrival Plus:

  • $400 sign up bonus after minimum spending requirement
  • Arrival miles fill a huge hole in my mile collection strategy
  • 2.15% back on all purchases toward travel
  • Ease of redemption of Arrival miles

$400 Sign Up Bonus after Spending Only $3,000 in 90 Days

The Arrival Plus’ sign up bonus is $400 in free travel after spending only $3,000 in the first 90 days. That’s a huge sign up bonus for such a tiny minimum spending requirement.

I spend very little money, and I often travel in countries where using a credit card is difficult, so it is not always easy for me to meet cards with a large minimum spending requirement. Getting a great card that only has a $3,000 minimum spending requirement is a nice change.

Filling a Hole in My Miles Collection Strategy

I know not everyone is into First Class travel, but I am! To fly international first class, I collect United and American Airlines miles.

But those types of miles are not always the best miles for the trips I want. For instance, during my travels, I often want to:

  • fly domestic flights in the US
  • hop a low cost carrier in Southeast Asia
  • fly interisland in Hawaii
  • pay the taxes on a first class award ticket
  • book a hostel
  • rent an apartment on airbnb
  • rent a car

United and American miles can be used poorly for some of those things–rarely the best option for domestic economy flights–and can’t be used at all to book a hostel, to get a place on airbnb, or to pay the government taxes on an award ticket.

But Arrival miles are incredible for all of these redemptions. Arrival miles are worth 1.075 cents (after the 5% rebate you get on travel redemptions) toward all travel redemptions.

That includes all flights on all airlines, any method of lodging, renting cars, booking cruises, and more!

Arrival miles are horrible for booking first class. You’d need 1,000,000 to book a $10,000 first class ticket, so I keep collecting American and United miles for those flights.

But for everything else, Arrival miles fill a hole in my miles collecting strategy. It’s important to diversify your miles and points across the Six Types of Frequent Flyer Miles.

2.15% Back Toward Travel on All Purchases

Every purchase with the Arrival card earns 2 miles per dollar. Each mile can be redeemed for 1 cent toward any travel expense. When you redeem for a travel expense, you immediately get a 5% rebate on the Arrival miles redeemed.

As an example, a $100 plane ticket would cost 9,500 Arrival miles after the 5% rebate. That’s a value of 1.075 cents per mile. Since you earn 2 miles per dollar, the card earns 2.15% back toward travel on any purchase.

That’s an incredible rate of return on everyday purchases that only one or two other cards can match. That’s why I rate the Arrival Card as one of the Three Best Cards for Big Spenders.

Ease of Redemption of Arrival Miles

Here’s how to redeem Arrival miles:

  1. Purchase whatever travel-related thing you want with your Arrival Plus.
  2. Sign into your Barclaycard account.
  3. Click “redeem miles.”
  4. Find the purchase you made and select it to redeem your miles for it.

For screen shots and more details, see How to Redeem Barclaycard Arrival Miles.

Arrival miles are not like airline miles where you have to search for Saver award space on multiple websites or call a phone agent. Buy whatever you want, and with a few clicks you can redeem your Arrival miles to make the charge disappear.


What was the application process?

Last week, I clicked an application link for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®.

The application took just a few minutes, and I was instantly approved for the card as soon as I submitted the application.

Who is this card wrong for?

This card was right for me for the 2.15% back on everyday spending and big sign up bonus, but it’s not right for everyone.

Don’t get this card if you only collect rewards for first class travel. Arrival miles are bad for first class travel because a first class flight can cost $10k (1MM Arrival miles) and a top-tier hotel might be another $1k per night (100k Arrival miles.)

Airline miles and hotel points put first class travel in our reach in ways that the Arrival Plus doesn’t. If you are in the hobby exclusively for luxury, skip the Arrival Plus and get the Sapphire Preferred or the SPG Card.


How Will I Use the Card?

I plan to use this card frequently for everyday purchases that don’t fall into a bonus category on any on my other cards. When I am faced with a non-bonused purchase, my best two options are my Arrival Plus with 2.22% back toward travel and 1 Starpoint per dollar with my SPG Card.

If I’m trying to build my balances for a premium cabin air redemption or a stay at a nice hotel, I’ll put the spending on the SPG card. If I want flexible rewards for other accommodations and economy flights, I’ll put the spending on the Arrival Plus.

Full Offer Details

The Arrival Plus is a great card for people who want big earning power and easy-to-use rewards for travel expenses or economy flights.

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, currently 16.24% or 20.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®


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 60,000 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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