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Full Review Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite Card
A Truly Elite Card
You've proven that you're responsible with credit and you have a great credit score, so now you're thinking "What's the best credit card to get?" Then you'll want to take a look at this Barclay card.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite is a top-tier rewards card for sure. It looks the part, has promising rewards, a great signup bonus, and is a mouthful to say, so should you go out of your way to add this to your wallet?
Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - This is an absolutely huge signing bonus and one of the best on the market. You end up with about $400 to redeem against travel expenses you have accumulated on your credit card. To give you a point of comparison, the Citi Hilton Reserve card nets you 2 weekend nights so if you're an avid traveler and thinking about peak travel, then the Citi has the upper hand here.
Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits - Scratch what I wrote up top. So, in addition to the monster signup bonus, you also get an additional 10% bonus tacked on to your travel redemptions. Translation - your signup bonus is actually more like $440 and you continue to get the 10% after that.
No foreign transaction fees - This is fairly typical with top tier cards and if you plan on using credit when you travel, this is a big deal.
Complimentary FICO score access - I don't know about you, but I cannot get enough insight into my credit score! It's a really nice free perk to keep an eye on your credit when you log into your account, and it's a good move that companies like Barclay and Discover have made for consumers.
And The Bad
Annual Fee - As a reminder, my policy has always been to stay away from annual fee cards. BUT we're talking about a $440 signup bonus so what's the big worry about $89? Sure, without an annual fee it would feel like you're getting your cake and eating it too, but this is typically what you get with top-tier credit cards. As you compare this card with other elite rewards cards, then you'll want to strongly consider a comparable card without an annual fee.
Credit Requirements - The word on the street is that you need EXCELLENT credit to get this card, so if your credit is still on the mend from some poor college choices or you don't have much of a credit history, then don't get your hopes up when applying for this guy.
The Long Name - It's really hard to brag about a card when you end up saying something like "It's my Barclay Worldcard...Elite...no wait it's the Barclaycard Arrival Elite Card? Whatever". Maybe only I care about this point.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Yay or Nay
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite
Super signup bonus equal to $400 or $440
10% kicker on travel redemptions
No foreign transaction fees
Free FICO score
I believe that being frugal and making smart money choices is like any other exercise. As we continue to practice good habits in saving money where possible, finding deals for what we want, and having a good time at it, then we become better at dealing for a living.
I'm committed to sharing my experiences with getting the most out of using credit cards, saving and spending tips, and I might even add a slice of perspective without trying to be a psychoanalyst like some other personal finance folks out there.
Please let me know what you think and if you'd like to hear my take on a specific topic.
Verdict: Thumbs Up
As I mentioned earlier, you should only be considering these top-tier cards once you've established good positive credit history. And once you've gotten to this point, you're thankfully given a bevy of good credit card options to optimize your rewards (and for me to review).
And you should most definitely consider this Barclay Elite card. The signing bonus on it's own wipes out all the cons about the card and it's an attractive, secure, top-flight rewards card with free FICO score and no foreign transaction fees. If you CAN get it, then go get it.