I travel with multiple credit cards but one that’s always in my pocket when I travel internationally is the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. See Rates & Fees here for more information on the Arrival Plus. There are many reasons why I love this card. Here are eight of them:
1. It has a Chip with PIN capability
The Barclays Arrival Plus’ Chip and PIN capability is the main reason this card is so valuable to me. Shockingly, the U.S. has been slow to adopt the Chip but after all of the data hacking and fraud, credit card companies have become wise. That’s because a Chip and PIN is much more difficult to use fraudulently. But most U.S. credit card companies only have Chip and signature, unlike Barclays Arrival Plus, which has Chip and signature but with PIN capability. That’s an important distinction because that means if you go to an unmanned kiosk, say, at a train station where there are only machines and no attendants, you can still buy a ticket using your Barclays. If you have a credit card that just has a chip and requires a signature, then you won’t be able to buy a ticket unless there’s a person working the counter.
This exact scenario has happened to me when I’ve tried to buy train tickets in Denmark (and Germany, France, Italy … ) using the ticket machine. But because I didn’t have a chip I had to stand in a long line to have the teller swipe my card—and I almost missed the train as a result. Another time in Monaco, the ticket office was closed so if my wife, Natalie, hadn’t had a Canadian credit card with a chip and PIN, we would have been screwed.
The execs at Barclays know that this is a game changer. “We designed Arrival Plus to meet our customers’ needs and many of our customers do travel internationally, which is why we have no foreign exchange fees in addition to chip and signature with PIN capabilities,” says Rachana Bhatt, U.S. Branded Cards segment at Barclays. “Especially in locations where there is an unmanned kiosk, where a customer is going to need chip and PIN, our card comes in handy. Saves you time, gets you on your way to your trip faster.”
2. 60,000 Bonus Miles
When you sign up to get a Barclays Arrival Plus and you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days, you’ll earn 60,000 bonus miles. That’s enough to redeem for a $600 travel statement credit.
3. No Blackout Dates
What’s great about using credit card miles (they really should call them points) is that unlike airline miles, these don’t have blackout dates. So, you can travel whenever you want. To redeem your miles, you just apply them after you’ve gone on your trip and paid for the purchases. It just needs to be within the past 120 days and with credits starting at 10,000 miles for $100 toward all or a portion of your travel purchases.
4. Miles Don’t Expire
As long as you keep your account open, active, and in good standing, your miles don’t expire so you don’t need to set any reminders or be stressed out about when you need to use them by.
5. Get 5% Miles Back
After you redeem your miles, you might notice that you have more than you thought. That’s because after you redeem your miles, Barclays will give you 5% of your miles back when you redeem. How sweet is that?
6. Earn 2 Miles on All Purchases
Earning miles with the Barclays Arrival Plus is easier than a good portion of other credit cards since you earn two times the miles on all purchases.
7. No Foreign Transaction Fees
Another main reason I use this credit card when I travel internationally is because they don’t charge foreign transaction fees. That means I’m not getting hit with a 2- 3% fee like some other credit cards.
8. Annual Fee is Not High
The Barclays Arrival Plus annual fee is a reasonable $89 (waived the first year), which really makes you wonder: Why shouldn’t I get this card?
Click here to get the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®
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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.