New Barclaycard Arrival Aimed at Travelers

July 02, 2013

After an initial launch last December, Barclaycard US has expanded the availability of its Arrival World MasterCard travel rewards credit card to all U.S. customers, giving cardholders a way to earn miles for travel--even when they're redeemed.

Barclaycard Arrival cardholders earn miles for all purchases and can use those miles on any airline, with no blackout dates or restrictions. When a cardholder redeems the miles for travel rewards, Barclaycard gives back 10 percent of those miles. Along with the ability to earn miles, the card also includes a free subscription to TripIt Pro's mobile travel organizer and access to Barclaycard's Travel Community, where members can share travel stories and have discussions with fellow travelers from around the country.

"Barclaycard Arrival was created with the traveler in mind -- even those who don't get on the road as much as they'd like," said Paul Wilmore, managing director - consumer markets, Barclaycard U.S., in a statement. "We spoke at length with people who love to travel about what they wanted in a new rewards card and found that consumers are frustrated when they can't redeem rewards for the travel they want. Barclaycard responded with a program that offers the ultimate in rewards flexibility and gives them miles back to encourage future travel."

The amount of time it takes to earn enough miles or points is one aspect of travel rewards credit card programs that frustrates consumers. In a Barclaycard-commissioned Harris Interactive online survey of 2,407 U.S. adults that took place this past March, 40 percent of respondents said they strongly or somewhat agree that earning points for travel takes too long. Nearly three-quarters of those polled were frustrated by not being able to earn enough points to take advantage of travel rewards, which in turn resulted in 69 percent saying that this was the top reason they were unhappy with their travel rewards card.

In response to this, Barclaycard structured its Arrival card to offer features to try to make travel rewards more attainable for its cardholders. One of the main differences of this program compared to others is that when cardholders redeem their rewards for travel, they'll get 10 percent of their miles refunded to them.

Additionally, the card has two tiers of rewards, depending on whether or not the cardholder elects to pay an annual fee. Those who don't want the annual fee earn two miles per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases and one mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. Access to the TripIt Pro app is also free for the first year and $49 a year thereafter.

Those who do pay the annual fee -- $89 per year after the first year you have the card -- will earn two miles for every dollar spent on all purchases, as well as up to 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 in purchases during the first 90 days the account is open. The TripIt Pro account feature will also continue to be a free perk.

Similar to its Barclaycard Ring, which is a crowd-sourced credit card that features an online community, the Arrival card also has an online community for this card's holders and other travel lovers. Through this portal cardholders can share their travel stories and tips, and they can also give feedback to Barclaycard on how to improve Arrival's services. For participating, all members of the community can earn miles, whether or not they have the credit card. Non-cardholders will have the opportunity to redeem the miles they earn by being active in this community through an online portal.

The card comes with a zero percent APR for the first year, with a 14.99 percent or 18.99 percent APR thereafter based on the cardholder's credit worthiness.

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