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If you already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, this post isn’t for you. But if you’re intrigued by these top two rewards cards – pay, pay attention. Since I’ve received some recent emails from readers asking which card is better, I thought I’d do a post on the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Barclaycard Arrival Plus.
Here are the perks laid out on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Barclaycard Arrival Plus cards.
Best Sign-Up Bonus Chase Sapphire Preferred or Barclaycard Arrival Plus?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. But you will also receive an additional 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points by adding an authorized user and they make a purchase in the same time period. Being an authorized user won’t disqualify you from applying for the card yourself. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
50,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth $500 in cash or credit card statement credits (not my preferred redemption method), $625 in travel through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, or you can stretch out the value of your points by transferring them out to one of the many Ultimate Reward travel partners.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus card comes with a sign-up bonus of $500 in travel after spending $3,000 in 3 months. But you will also receive a 5% rebate on all redemptions so that $500 in travel is actually worth $525 in travel. The $89 annual fee is waived for the first year.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a slight advantage here because 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth more than 50,000 Barclaycard Arrival points.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best Spending Benefits
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus card earns 2x points on ALL purchases. That’s easy and pretty dang convenient.
The Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points on travel and dining and one point on everything else. Boo to 1x earning. Ok, earning 1x is better than nothing.
I give the nod here to the Arrival Plus card for simplicity, and 2x on all credit card swipes.
Best Perks Between Chase Sapphire Preferred or Barclays Arrival Plus
Ah, the perks. I love rewards credit cards that pack a lot of perks.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has no foreign transaction fees, is a chip & signature card, and comes with a lot of travel benefits & protections. Those are some hearty benefits.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is also a Visa Signature card, so it comes with some sweet additional perks.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus card has no foreign transaction fees, free monthly credit score update, chip technology, and a 5% rebate on all award redemptions.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus card is a Mastercard and comes with some additional perks too, but they aren’t as sexy as the Visa Signature perks. Still solid, though.
Shockingly, I’m going to go with the Arrival Plus card on this one. The free monthly credit score update and 5% rebate on all redemptions is just too saucy. Yeah. I said that.
Best Point System
This is where things really start to differentiate. And depending on your travel plans and needs, this is probably where you choose which card makes the most sense for you.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus card is a “fixed value” points program, meaning a point is worth what a point is worth. 50,000 Arrival points are worth $500 in travel. You can redeem your Arrival miles as statement credits toward travel purchases easily through your Barclaycard online account.
Using Arrival miles is great for those travel purchases that other miles cards wouldn’t cover, like trains, cruises, car rentals, and B&Bs. Since Arrival miles are seen as revenue bookings, there are no blackout dates, and you can still earn elite qualifying miles and stays when you use your Arrival miles on a redemption. I like to use my Arrival miles for Airbnb & Uber purchases.
(Using your Arrival miles for statement credits outside of travel isn’t a good option since you get half the value.)
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns Ultimate Rewards points which can be used liked fixed value points for statement credits, etc. AND they can be transferred out to many top loyalty programs, like: British Airways, United, Southwest, Korean Air, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Flying Blue, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Ritz-Carlton.
The transfer partners of Ultimate Rewards provide a lot of options when it comes time to book an award. And trust me, you will receive more value by transferring your points out to travel partners than by booking through their online portal. For example, you can transfer 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points to United which is enough points for a round-trip ticket in economy to Europe! That ticket is easily worth over $1,000. It would take at least 100,000 Arrival miles or fixed value points to get the same booking. Make sense?
Transferring Ultimate Rewards points is instant and always at a 1:1 ratio. And it’s so easy a Noob can do it.
Since Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred out to many loyalty programs at a better value, I have to give the edge to the Sapphire Preferred here.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Conclusion on Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Barclaycard Arrival Plus
You can’t lose with either of these cards, but if I was to apply for only one, it would be the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Its sign-up bonus is worth more and it earns Ultimate Rewards points which are move versatile and valuable. However, having both the Arrival Plus and Chase Sapphire Preferred makes sense too, since they serve different purposes and are from different banks.
If you’re looking to apply or see more details on the cards, the links are below.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.