Barclays, a British multinational bank, is well-known across the globe. While the choice of simple and beneficial cards from this bank may be somewhat limited, it, nevertheless, offers some of the world’s premier credit cards. This review will help you get to know more about the Barclays credit card, as well as you will be able to assess whether this card is right for you. Enjoy the read!
Things You Need to Know About Barclays
Barclays, the full name of which is Barclays plc, is a British financial company that is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. It provides various products in the spheres of wealth management, investment banking, commercial banking, and retail banking. Actually, this is one of the oldest financial companies, whereas it was founded in 1690.
As of 2017, the revenues of the Barclays bank exceeded £21 billion, while the net profit was slightly lower than £0.9 billion. The company employs slightly less than 120,000 workers. You can apply for a Barclays credit card in one of the offices of this financial corporation or online.
Types of the Barclays Credit Card
Even though there are quite many types of Barclays credit cards, not all of them are available to the new customers now. As it was pointed out above, Barclays is not that good at offering a solid variety of simple, low-end credit cards. On the other hand, this financial corporation offers pretty worthwhile credit cards for travelers.
In this Barclays credit card review, we will particularly explore two credit cards from this company: Barclaycard Arrival World Masterclass and Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard. The first one is quite a good credit card that we may recommend to all travelers to apply for – you don’t have to pay any annual fee after all. At the same time, you will have to pay an annual fee for the latter credit card, but, exchange, you will enjoy a far greater number of perks.
And even though these two cards from Barclays differ in many aspects, there is a common feature of these cards: they are both perfect for travelers. Besides, each of the cards is quite generous in rewarding the customers for making travel-related purchases. But some purchases (such as buying train tickets or ordering a taxi) may barely be related to traveling, but you will still earn generous benefits!
Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard
Annual fee: $0.
APR for purchases: 16.24% variable or 24.24% variable.
Credit card highlights:
- Insurance of trip cancellation.
- Travel accident insurance up to $200,000.
- You get 2 miles for every $1 spent on dining and travel, 1 mile for every $1 spent on anything else.
- You get 20,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 or more within the first 90 days after opening your account.
This Barclays credit card can deservedly be included in the list of the credit cards without an annual interest fee. While you don’t have to pay this annual fee, having the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard will bring an impressive number of benefits. The reason for that is simple: you get a perfect combo of no foreign transaction fees and no annual fees, while the rewards for traveling and dining out tend to be quite worthwhile.
The Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard tends to be among the most favored credit cards of the customers, as they enjoy the return rate of somewhat between 1.05% and 2.1% on the purchases they make. This tends to be a pretty decent reward among the no annual fee credit cards, as, for instance, even the cards from the Chase bank offer no more than 1.5% of cash back. Thus, this Barclays credit card appears to be a fairly good option for those customers who spend less than $1,000 and/or who spend a large share of their money on dining and travel.
Back in 2015, however, Barclays made a significant change to this credit card, which left many customers unsatisfied. Then, the company made a bit harder to redeem the bonuses the customers accumulated: in order to redeem the bonus miles, one has to collect at least $100 in bonus miles. This makes barely possible to redeem the rewards for smaller purchases like taxi rides. But if you are okay with collecting at least $100 in bonus miles, they you may consider applying for this credit card.
When it comes to collecting rewards, Barclays tends to reward you with two bonus miles for every dollar spent on dining and travel and with one bonus mile for a dollar spent elsewhere. That’s a pretty good deal from a no annual fee from credit card. But you are able to benefit from these bonus miles even more: you will receive 5% of the bonus money back if you spend the bonus on the products/services of the travel-related categories. Luckily, the definition of travel-related categories by Barclays is broader than that of many other companies and including the following categories:
- Cruise lines
- Discount travel sites
- Travel agencies
- Car rental agencies
Additionally, you can earn even more bonus miles if you apply for this Barclays credit card. For instance, you will receive as many as 20,000 bonus miles if you succeed to spend $1,000 or more within the first 90 days after opening your account. Though, fees, cash advances and balance transfers are not included in this $1,000 sum. If you redeem this bonus on travel-related purchases, it will be equal to around $200 – that leaves you with a pretty good 20% cash back rate on the first $1,000 spent. That is why we recommend you to apply for this Barclays credit card before embarking on your next journey.
Another thing this credit card is valued for is that this credit card from Bayclars comes without an annual fee and a foreign transaction fee. This makes this budget credit card pretty perfect for using abroad. You will not just enjoy the travel rewards this credit card brings, but will also make your transactions without additional fees. Considering that many credit cards have a foreign transaction fee as high as 3%, this benefit of the Barclaycard Arrival World Masterclass tends to be quite important for travelers.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
Annual fee: $89 (free during the first year).
APR for purchases: 17.24% variable, 21.24% variable or 24.24% variable.
Credit card highlights:
- You get 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 or more within the first 90 days.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- 0% introductory APR period on balance transfers that were made in the first 45 days after opening your account.
- Bonus miles don’t expire as long as your account is active and open.
- You will earn twice as many bonus miles on the purchases you make.
This flagship Bayclays credit card tends to be among the most attractive credit cards on the market for travelers. Even though it underwent significant changes in 2015, it still remains one of the top travel credit cards. Considering that the definition of travel-related categories by Barclays is quite broad and that you will get a 2.1% reward rate, this credit card is, indeed, worth your attention.
One of the most obvious advantages of this Barclays credit card is its 2.1% high reward rate. For instance, the flagship credit cards from Chase will offer you not more than a 1.5% reward rate on the purchases you make. You will get 2 bonus miles for every $1 you spend anywhere. Additionally, you will be able to enjoy a 5% redemption dividend if you spend your bonus miles on travel-related purchases. And while Barclays recently excluded some categories from this list, the number of travel categories at Barclays remains to be the highest than that of the other credit cards.
Among other notable features of this Barclays credit card, you will get a $400 bonus (40,000 bonus miles) if you spend $3,000 within 90 days after opening your account. This bonus alone provides a compensation for more than 4 years of the card’s annual fees! So if you are going to spend that large sum anytime soon, we highly recommend you to apply for this Barclays credit card.
Similar as with the previous credit card from Barclays, you won’t be able to use your collected bonus miles unless you collected at least $100. This makes it a bit inconvenient, as you will not be able to use them for small purchases like bus tickets, but rather on airline tickets and hotel bookings. And while the bonuses of this credit card seem to be pretty generous, many customers feel it’s not worth enough paying an annual fee of $89.
You need to have a credit score somewhat between 720 and 850 in order to apply for a Barclays credit card, but, if you are eligible, it is worth doing so. Applying for the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is worth for sure, as the credit card brings a pretty good number of worthwhile benefits. Actually, this card appears to have the highest reward rate among the credit cards without annual fees.
If you tend to be a big spender, on the other hand, you may consider applying for the flagship credit card from Barclays. And while there are some worthwhile benefits of this card, it may feel not enough to catch up its $89 annual fee.