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The Barclay Arrival card is one of the best travel cards and I have spoken before how it is really the best card for domestic travel for sure (now that the Southwest cards are back down to 25,000 points). There are actually two different Arrival cards and the only way they have been differentiated before was by the type of point earning they had – 1x or 2x. Certainly, for the first year anyway, the 2x version is much better. The bonus is better (40,000 instead of 20,000) and the earning is better (2 miles per dollar instead of 1 mile per dollar). But, given they are named the same thing, it can be confusing sometimes!
Application Link – Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® – 40,000 miles after $3,000 in 90 days
Application Link – Barclaycard ArrivalTM World MasterCard® – 20,000 miles $1,000 in 90 days
Barclay Rebrands Arrival Cards
Well, Barclay has helped us out a bit with a bit of a rebrand to more distinctly separate the cards as well as to give them a new look – complete with chip. This is definitely not something you should look at as a reason to run out and get the card since the bonus still sits at the same level, but it is nice to see some separation of products and the chip finally make its way on to the card. The EMV chips have been coming to many cards as of late with Chase saying that they will bring chip and pin to their cards in the later part of this year (to read more about EMV chip technology, check here) – and Barclay has now brought it to the Arrival cards.
Chip and Pin
The biggest change was the addition of the chip and pin technology. This is very important for international travel. It is always amusing to see cashiers react to my Chase Sapphire Preferred when they scan it and find that it has no pin (when it has a chip). Most US-issued credit cards are chip and signature, which does add an extra level of protection to your transactions but is not as safe as the chip and pin approach. Thanks to Barclays addition, we now have a great travel card with the chip and pin technology.
Unfortunately, the chip and pin only comes on the Arrival Plus card, and not the newly named Arrival card (used to be Arrival 2X and Arrival 1X). There are a few differences between the two cards that we will look at in a moment.
Addition of Travel Categories
Barclay added a few transactions that count for rewards redemption. Now, the complete list is:[blockquote]A travel redemption is defined as: airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, tourist attractions, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, and ferries as defined by the merchant category code. [/blockquote]
This gives a lot of redemption options! If you make purchases in those categories with your card, you will be able to redeem your miles toward those purchases (with a minimum of 2,500 mile redemptions).
It used to be 90 days back for redemption purposes (as in, you could redeem your miles towards redemption purchases made 90 days before). Now, that has been lengthened to 120 days. That gives an extra 30 days to go back to apply your miles. This can be helpful depending on what your travel needs are and what you had anticipated them to be.
This is not something necessarily new with this rebrand but has been handled recently. The Arrival Plus Elite no longer offers a 0% interest offer. But, the Arrival card (the old 1x) does offer it for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. If that is something that interests you, that may make the plain Arrival card more attractive than the Arrival Plus Elite. However, I would not give up the extra 20,000 mile signing bonus on the Arrival Plus Elite for the 0% interest offer.
How To Get The New Cards
If you are currently a cardholder, you can request a new card with the chip through the online messaging service or by calling them. There is some mention that they will not be sending out the new cards until after May 28th, so there is a chance that you may get the same card you have now if you ask for one right now.
If you have an international trip coming up in June, you can ask them to rush it for you to receive it in time for your trip.