The Barclay Arrival World Mastercard. How did I miss this one?

Earlier this year, a good friend told me that he had decided to cancel his cable TV service. “I’ll save $80 a month!” he crowed. “Almost $1,000 a year!”

He was right. With Roku and Hulu and Netflix, who needs TV? Excitedly, I promptly canceled our cable as well. That was over four months ago. We don’t miss it at all. And we’ve saved hundreds of dollars so far.

Why didn’t I think of that before?

Which brings me to the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®. How did I miss this one?

To use a fashion metaphor, I like to think of my collection of Chase and Amex cards as “wardrobe basics.” They are like my favorite jeans, my broken-in boots, my perfect little black dress. I’m not giving them up. Most of the other cards in my wallet are like accessories: I swap them out each season for fresh selections. That way I keep current and well-stocked with points of all types.

Shockingly, up until this point, the Barclay Arrival World Mastercard was just not on my radar. I say “shockingly” because it is now at the top of my list.

Let me explain.

Cash Back Card = Mistake Proof = Good For Busy People Like Us

The Barclay Arrival World Mastercard is a cash-back card, which means that you earn 2% cash back for every dollar you spend (2x points on every purchase). At this point, you might be thinking, “Seriously? She’s excited about getting $2 back for every hundred she spends?” Let me assure you that there is more to this than meets the eye.

If you are a regular reader, you know that I can be a little scatterbrained at times. I think it comes from doing too many things at once. (Note to Josh: fine! I admit that maybe it’s possible to do too much multitasking! But it’s also possible to do too little!) With the Barclay Arrival World Mastercard, it’s an easy equation. Use the card, get the 2x points, spend them on travel (any travel!). You don’t have to think much about where to use the card, how to redeem your points, and all of the myriad other things that can keep you up at night.

It’s simple.

I’m also loving the sign up bonus, plus all of the ways you can use it. Let me explain.

$440 Sign up Bonus

This is a generous offer: spend $3000 within the first three months of getting the card, and you will earn 40,000 points, which are redeemable for $400 worth of travel (one point = one cent toward travel).

The $400 shows up in the form of a statement credit, which you can use to pay yourself back for travel expenses. I love that you can book your travel any way you like, which means that you can find deals, then get reimbursed for them!

Plus, you get 10% of your points back if you redeem for travel, so if you used your entire sign-up bonus of 40,000 points, you would get a rebate of 4,000 miles deposited back into your account, which is worth $40.

No Annual Fee For The First Year

Woo hoo!

Purchase Fares That Would be Prohibitive on Points

My family has told me that they want to go to Costa Rica. I think their exact words were, “Make it happen, miles wench!” Ever obedient to their whims and demands, I looked into possible flights, only to find that all direct award-travel options were astronomically expensive. I could use points, but I would wipe out all of my carefully hoarded balances if I did. So I would love to buy tickets if possible, but I really don’t want to spend a lot. The $440 credit would go a long way toward a ticket!

Costa Rica - Looks Amazing.

Costa Rica – Looks Amazing.

Snag a Seat When There is no Award Availability

While planning an upcoming trip to Mexico, we were able to snag the last two award seats on a flight, but ended up paying cash for the remaining two. I was fine with this because tickets were cheap, but it would have been nice to get them for free using the credit.

Leverage the Bonus to Get Two Free Tickets Instead of One

One of the credit cards I’ve kept over the years is my Alaska Airlines Visa card. The reason is that every year, I get a free companion ticket on any paid flight. This is a valuable perk if you use the ticket on an expensive flight to Hawaii, but the problem is that you have to pay cash for the first ticket. By using the credit, problem solved.

Leverage the Sign-Up Bonus Towards Status

Over the summer, Josh completed a Hyatt Diamond challenge. To earn Diamond status, he had to complete twelve paid Hyatt stays within 60 days. We timed the challenge so that most of these stays were covered by planned business trips, but he still had a 3-night gap, which we paid out of pocket. This would have been a perfect use for the $440 credit.

So this card has moved to the top of my list, both because of the big benefits and also because of the ease of use and multiple ways to maximize the bonus.

To recap, here are the benefits of the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®.

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when 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
  • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Chip card for increased confidence and convenience to pay abroad as easily as you do at home
  • Book the travel you want — airfare, hotels, cruises and more and earn miles on your purchase
  • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

I will be applying for this card with my next round of credit cards. In fact, I think Josh will apply for it as well. That way, we can have double the spending power: $880 is a lot of travel!

Anyone else excited to discover this gem?


  1. I applied for it and was denied after trying to get reconsidered twice! What to do now? I have perfect credit (in the 780 area) have 4 cards with them and nothing I tell them from cancelling a card or anything makes the trick…what do you recommend??

  2. I too cancelled cable service, TV service period, 3+ yrs ago. Haven’t missed it a bit.

    I love how you share the detail of managing all these point deals. I can’t help but wonder, was math one of your best subjects in school?

  3. Points Pixie says

    Rebecca – HA! No, definitely not! I barely managed to pass my math classes. It just goes to show that interest is key 🙂

  4. calflygirl says

    I’ve had this card since April and love it. A lot of the bloggers pooh pooh it because it is basically a cash back card, but 2.2 cents back for travel is great in my opinion. It’s hard to get 2.2 cents out of most points unless you’re staying at extremely nice hotels or flying in a premium cabin. For families and/or people who can’t fly internationally all the time, this is a great card. I’m using it a lot these days to help offset some of my travel spending early next year. Plus, the fact that you still earn miles for purchasing airfare on the Arrival has to be accounted for as well, but the specifics are beyond my math skills.

    • Points Pixie says

      calflygirl – Exactly! You’ve summed up why I am loving this card. It’s a great basic to have in your “card wardrobe.”

  5. I totally agree! This is why I love your blog. It’s the points and miles plan for people with families a/or FT jobs…this is a great value and it takes no time to manage. I plan to get this one (two of course) next year when I step back from aggressive miles gathering-it’s taking the life out of me. :). I was amused to see others bashing this card…

  6. I used your click and applied during my cc churn yesterday. I’ve been reading about this, and it did finally click this would be a great card for my family. We like to stay in hotels that aren’t chain hotels frequently. This is perfect for that! I love the flexibility of it.


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