One Year(ish) Later: The Barclaycard Arrival. Keep or toss?

So I’m going through it with my credit cards right now. I think I have about 14, which seems like a big number. I’m comfortable having that many (which took a long time – the comfort factor, I mean) but now I find there are one or two that I got for the signup bonus and never used again. Case in point: the American Express Premier Rewards Gold. It’s not worth having unless you can put $30,000 in spend on it within a year. If you don’t, the annual fee is too high to make it a firm keeper. The one year mark for that one rolls around next month, and I’m hoping I can downgrade it to one of the new Amex EverDay cards that are coming out soon. If I can’t do that, I will simply cancel.

What about the Arrivalcard? I’ve had this card for about a year, too, and have had some time to let my thoughts come together.

You're a keeper!

You’re a keeper!

I’m totally willing to pay the $89 annual fee in a month or so. Why?

  • I actually used TripIt Pro. A LOT
  • I redeemed my miles and earned a ton more both by making purchases and
  • I can get my FICO credit score on demand (which I like)
  • No forex fees
  • It’s a MasterCard (for places Visa or Amex aren’t accepted globally)
  • The rewards roll in fast, and redemption offers immediate gratification
  • The card actually offers around 2.27% travel cash back – one of the highest cash back cards in the industry
  • I’m just plain curious to see what else Barclays is gonna do with this card

I remember I had a super tight connect at DFW this year. Don’t remember where I was going, only that I only had 30 minutes or I’d miss my connecting flight. As I landed, I powered up my phone and TripIt Pro immediately alerted me of a gate change. Having that one little alert in that one tight spot made all the difference. It gave me confidence, calmed me down, and I made the connection. Just having that peace of mind that all is in order is worth the $89 (for me, anyway). I also liked having all of my trips neatly organized automatically – TripIt scours your email once an hour for any travel plans. I found myself using the app on my iPhone a lot this past year. It works offline too, which has also been a lifesaver.

Can we talk about RewardsBoost. Thank you. I believe I was the first person to talk about this portal (others are talking about it more now). It’s fabulous. It routinely offers higher payouts than other portals, even the famed Ultimate Rewards portal. It’s to the point where I always check it before buying anything online. If, for example, it’s offering 10 points/dollar and I spend $100 somewhere, that’s 1,000 points (duh). With that, I can get $10 off a travel purchase just by clicking a link. That’s pretty awesome. Oh, and I have used other bank’s cards in conjunction with the portal and everything’s posted perfectly.

I like traveling with this card. Both because there are no forex fees and because I can make some of the purchases “free” at some point in the future. It just feels fun. Good job thinking this card up, Barclays. A+ for marketing, too.

Bottom line

So, one year on, I’m definitely keeping this card. Barclays is trying to get people involved in a forum that offers Arrival points for posting. I earned 500 points ($5) for making a profile. It’s unclear what direction they’re going to take it, but it’s enough to gather my interest. I’m just plain curious to see what else Barclays is gonna do with this already solid card.

In short: it’s a total keeper.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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    • Neil, I didn’t call up to ask for one. The reports I’ve read say the annual fee gets waived – MAYBE. I will try and report back!

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