BarclayCard ArrivalTM World MasterCard® Review
REVIEW

Advertiser Disclosure
Picture of Barclays Arrival Card - No Annual Fee
By : Mr Credit Card

There are many no annual fee travel credit cards in the market and it is very competitive in this space. However, Barclaycard has managed to to offer a very competitive card with a couple of unique features which their competitors do not have.

Card Details
Card Details

2X Points on Travel and Dining - With this card you will earn 2X points on travel and dining expenses. You will earn the usual 1X on regular purchases..

5% Carry-On Miles and Rewards Redemption - As with most rewards card, you can redeem the points for travel. The rate of return on your points is 1%. That means that when you use 100 points, you get $1 in value. As an example, 20,000 points gets you $200 in value. However, Barclaycard has sweetened the deal if you redeem points for travel. For every point that you redeem for travel, they will top up your account with an additional 5% of the points you have used. Let's use an example to illustrate this. We will assume that you redeemed 20,000 points for travel. After one to two weeks, Barclays will deposit 1,000 points in your account.

How To Redeem Points - The card also gives you great flexibility in how you use the points. You do not have to use any designated travel agent or online portal. Instead, you are free to choose who you want to book your travel with. That means that you can book directly with the airlines, hotels, car rentals or cruise. You could choose to use an aggregator like Travelocity.com. Or you could use an off-line travel agent. When you redeem the points, it will show up as a statement credit and what happens is that you simply end up not paying for that expense.

If you choose not to use the points you have earned for travel, you could also use them to redeem for gift card and merchandise. But you will get a return of less than 1% and not get the 5% carry-on miles.

Free FICO Score - Barclaycard announced on 4th November 2013 on their Facebook page that holders of this card will be able to get their FICO (at no extra charge) from their dashboard. This is great news for the industry as you are getting a real FICO score (not FAKOs).

No Foreign Transaction Fee -Many travel credit cards still charge a foreign transaction fee. Barclaycard does not.

Chip Technology

Competition
Competition

Cards Details
BarclayCard ArrivalTM World MasterCard® Annual Fee - $0
2X Travel and Dining
1X on other purchases
5% Redemption Bonus
No FX Fee
Free FICO Score
Capital One VentureOneRewards Annual Fee - $0
1.25X on all purchases
No FX Fee
Citi ThankYou Preferred Annual Fee - $0
2X on dining and entertainment
1X on other purchases
3% FX Fee
BlueSky From American Express Annual Fee - $0
1X on all purchases
7500 points = $100 in value
2.7% FX Fee
BankAmericard Travel Rewards Annual Fee - $0
1.5X on all purchases
10% more points if you are a BOA banking customer
No FX Fee


While the annual fee version of this card has few competitors (because there are very few cards that give double miles or points), this one faces lots of competition from almost all issuers. In this next section, we'll take a look at how this card fares in the market.

There are three things that we should look at when we are comparing reward cards. The first is how you earn points. The second is the value of the points you redeem. The third is to see if there are any valued added features that stands out from the crowd.

In terms of the ability to earn points, this card fares pretty well and is very competitive. For example, the Citi ThankYou Preferred allows you to earn 2X on dining and entertainment. The Amex BlueSky allows you to earn 1X. Capital One VentureOne Rewards and Bank of America's Travel Rewards Card allow you to earn 1.25X on all purchases

In terms of redemption, this card is perhaps the best of the lot because of the 5% carry-on miles. Most other programs like the Citi ThankYou, Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards and even Capital One have a 1% redemption value on travel (just like this card). But the 5% extra points you get when you redeem them for travel puts this a cut above the rest. The only card that offers something extra on this front is the Blue Sky Amex, where you only need 7,500 points to get $100 in reward value versus needing the usual 10,000 points.

The other advantage that this card has over others is the fact that they do not charge any foreign transaction fees. Capital One and Bank of America does not either. But all other no annual fee cards that we know of charge about 3% for any foreign transactions when you use your card abroad. You will also be able to get your FICO score for free as a card member (which other travel cards do not offer).

Our Take
Our Take

There are many no annual reward cards that come with travel rewards in their program. Hence, this is perhaps one of the most competitive space to be in. Most cards in this space allow you to earn one point for every dollar that you spend on their card and the redemption value for travel is 1% (ie 100 points gets you $1 in value). To rise up above it's competition, Barclays has to add a couple of features on top of the usual features and I it has succeeded in this.

Firstly, you can earn double points on travel and dining. This puts it above most of their competition with the exception of a few like the Chase Sapphire (which also allows you toe earn double points on travel and dining). Secondly, you get the 5% carry-on-miles when you redeem points for travel. Most of their competitors do not have such features. Furthermore, there is no foreign transaction fee, whereas their no-annual fee peers have them (with the exception of Capital One). But perhaps, what might tip you over to this card is that fact that you can get your FICO scores for free.

If you are looking for a no annual fee reward cards for travel, it is likely that you are not a super frequent flyer and just want to earn some points which you can redeem to travel. If you check every major issuer, you will find that all of them have similar offerings. This one stands out through the extra perks and features (which other cards have not caught onto yet). I would highly recommend this card.