Barclaycard Arrival Card Becomes Elite, Adds Chip and PIN

The Barclaycard Arrival card I wrote about last year is still the best credit card for charging “everything else” outside special categories such as gas or groceries. It pays a 2.2% reward on every purchase when you redeem the earned miles/points as a statement credit against previous charges for travel expenses. The 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days effectively pay the annual fee for five more years after the annual fee is waived in the first year.

This card just became even better. The name changed to Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. The “Plus” part differentiates it from the no-annual-fee version — Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® — which gives 2X miles only on travel and dining, and 1X on everything else. The “Elite” part makes it eligible for a bunch of exclusive travel perks through MasterCard such as special discounts and complimentary upgrades on select airlines.

This card has no foreign transaction fee. It also added Chip and PIN to make it easier to use when you travel outside the US. This is not just Chip and Signature. You can set a PIN and use it at unattended locations that only accept Chip and PIN.

All existing perks are still there. In addition to the usual extended warranty and rental car insurance benefits, it offers a rare Price Protection program that pays you the price difference if you find a lower price after you made a purchase. You also get a free FICO score every month.

Overall it’s a great card to have. If you don’t have it yet, be sure to use my affiliate link when you apply.

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Comments

  1. Leigh says

    They also increased the number of days you have to redeem against a transaction from 90 to 120 and increased the merchant categories that count as travel, making it a much more useful card!

  2. CES says

    The point about Chip-and-Signature vs. Chip-and-Pin isn’t quite right. As someone called “marbat” who works for a credit card issuer has explained in Bolgleheads threads like this one, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=105331&start=100, typically an EMV card can do BOTH Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-Pin. But it might be set up to prefer Chip-and-Signature, so you would only experience the Chip-and-Pin if you were actually at an unattended terminal that didn’t have a signature pad. Alternatively, the unattended terminal might not ask for anything. Regardless, the global EMV standard means that an EMV card will not be rejected.

    • Harry Sit says

      marbat works for a network, not an issuer. Standard is one thing; 100% compliance with the standard in the real world is quite another. Here’s a real-world report from a traveler:

      http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/chip-pin-only.cfm

      Many issuers of EMV cards in the US so far chose not to allow cardholders to set a PIN, thus making their cards chip-and-signature only. Some terminals may fall back to chip-and-signature or not asking for a signature at all. Some may insist on a PIN. If you run into a terminal like that, are you going to report it to the network for out-of-compliance? Having a true chip-and-PIN card will get you going without fuss.

  3. CES says

    My point was rather that chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN are not separate categories of cards. According to this, http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/barclaycard-arrival-plus-world-elite-mastercard-review/, this is a “Chip and signature card with PIN capability.”

    It would be better to advise readers to make sure that their card has a chip-and-PIN capability, rather than imply that they should avoid chip and signature, which is how I read this post.

    • Harry Sit says

      In the two short sentences about chip and PIN, I didn’t say anything about chip-and-PIN being a separate category or just a capability within the same category. Who decides what is a category and what is a capability? Why would lack of a capability not make it a separate category? Does it really matter to a cardholder whether it’s a category or a capability? The bottom line is that if you get a chip card from other issuers and you can’t set a PIN, which is the case among many issuers in the US, you may run into places you can’t use it.

  4. RobertC says

    Having read the Marbat info, it is clear he is providing ‘theoretical’ information. Living in Europe for many years, I can tell you that I frequently see Americans standing in line for train tickets because their ‘chip & signature’ card did not work in the machines. I have talked with a few of the frustrated tourists that had chip & signature cards. The U.S. does not set the standard in Europe.

    Don’t be conned into thinking that a chip&sig is as good. It’s not. Get a real chip&pin.

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