Taking another look at MasterCard World Elite Benefits

Also see:

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A new World Elite

I’d already decided last month to keep the Barclaycard Arrival for another year. This weekend, I logged in to see if some points had posted for the gifts cards I purchased on a recent spree of manufactured spend.

I was asked to verify my address and contact info – no biggie, didn’t think too much of it. And then, I noticed the logo of the Arrival card looked a little different. It was now a Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.

Surely enough, the entire blogosphere exploded with this news. I’m not one to parrot news, so I’d recommend reading this post by Million Mile Secrets that outlines all the new changes. I already have a World Elite Mastercard (the Ink Plus from Chase), but having two of a nice product never hurts.

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So I thought I’d revisit the original most about Mastercard World Elite benefits. From almost exactly one year ago.

A few things have changed, mostly the air benefits. They have different promos now, different partners, and the program seems a little more rounded out.

With Barclays giving out a ton of World Elite Mastercards now, they may have to start making good on the claims made on the website.

New air benefits

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The benefits that really interest me are the upgrades on Lufthansa and LAN. The one from Swiss could be interesting, too.

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LAN upgrade to biz class

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Lufty upgrade to biz class

Lufthansa does specify that the upgrade-eligible fare is a “full economy price ticket.” LAN is more vague, and just says “eligible Economy Class Fare” which I assume is a full-fare ticket.

Notably missing now is Aer Lingus upgrade and Etihad upgrade. Aer Lingus is gone altogether, and Etihad is “down” to a percentage off. Aeromexico is a new benefit, as is Cathay Pacific.

Other benefits

There’s a lot to explore to the official Mastercard World Elite page.  Including:


Definitely check out their Luxury Hotel & Resorts page. It offers Amex Plat/Virtuoso-type benefits including late checkout, welcome amenity, free breakfast and internet, etc., subject to availability. This is definitely set up to rival the Visa Signature Hotels program. As they say, when banks compete, you win.

Bottom line

The Arrival Plus is now more robust, more widely usable, and they’ve increased the award redemption period from 90 days to 120 days. And Mastercard has been changing their World Elite program to boot.

As everyone else has already said, there is absolutely nothing negative about what Barclays has done with the Arrival Plus. Now you get more benefits to explore, and you should.

I will have to do a post in the future comparing the different insurance coverages for trip delay and cancellation, and for car rental coverage. Also for warranty and purchase protection, with regard to the different banks and types of cards offered.

I’m curious to hear about any type of interaction anyone has had with using their World Elite benefits, especially for air travel.

Has anyone had an experience with this so far?

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About Harlan

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

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  1. “There is absolutely nothing negative about what Barclays has done with the Arrival Plus.”

    That’s not true, they removed the 0% introductory APR. Also, Barclays might not offer all of the benefits you listed. Barclay has to pay a small fee to MasterCard per cardholder to unlock each of the benefits (or can choose an all you can eat style for a fixed price). A lot of card issuers prefer to handle some or all of the benefits themselves (e.g Citi).

    • This is all great info!

      I would argue that he intro APR doesn’t matter since this game is predicated on never paying a dime of interest.

      However, all the other stuff is good to know. I wonder how Barclays will handle the possible influx of people requesting the new benefits. All interesting stuff!

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