Barclays (Barclaycard) is the latest bank to introduce their own flexible, transferable points currency with the introduction of the new Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard. The new credit card is available for applications as of now. When you think of incredible transferable points currencies, you generally think of three – AMEX, Chase, and SPG. I wouldn’t consider Citi points as a “powerful” currency due to the limited transfer partners they have.
The new Barclays Arrival Premier Mastercard isn’t worth much, sadly. Many were hoping this new credit card would allow transferring of points to American Airlines and Lufthansa (Barclays issues credit cards for both of those airlines). Unfortunately, that isn’t the case as Barclays has added some of the most ridiculous transfer partners which have little or no value – and the transfer ratio isn’t 1:1. You can transfer points earned with this credit card to Air France, Aeromexico, China Eastern, Etihad, EVA Air, Jet Airways, Malaysia, and Qantas at a ratio of 1.4:1 and you can also transfer to JAL at a ratio of 1.7:1.
The new credit card offers NO sign-up bonus with an annual fee of $150 NOT waived the first year. The card does offer unlimited 2x points on every purchase – but with no sign-up bonus and strange transfer ratios, I don’t see many people signing up for this card. Other benefits include Global Entry credit every 5 years, no points expiration, no foreign transaction fees, lounge access for $27, and you can earn 25k points after spending $25k on purchases.
All in all, this is a disappointing credit card and I doubt I would ever get it. The two biggest issues I have is that there is no sign-up bonus and that the transfer ratios to partners are incredibly strange (not to mention the partners are not useful). There’s no way Barclays can win clients with the current state of the credit card – I don’t see why they felt the need to introduce a card with such limited benefits.
Be sure to check out some of the awesome Travel Rewards Credit Cards, Hotel Rewards Credit Cards, and Point Rewards Credit Cards that are available and will earn you lots of miles and great travel benefits!