Today Barclays rolled out the much-anticipated Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard with something unique: year-over-year loyalty bonuses instead of a one-time sign up bonus. With this new feature, Barclays is clearly pushing for a long-term relationship with its customers.
For those who stick around and spend a lot, the payoff is substantial: 75,000 miles, which translates into a $750 statement credit not just once, but year-over-year.
Here’s how that loyalty bonus works:
Arrival Premier cardmembers earn a 25,000-mile loyalty bonus each year for spending a minimum of $25,000 (not much of a feat for a truly frequent traveler). Combine that bonus with two miles per dollar spent (on all purchases), and the total works out to 75,000 miles, which can then be redeemed for a $750 statement credit for travel-related purchases. That’s nice to get once, but it’s even better when it comes every year.
“This product will truly occupy a unique space as it’s the only card in its category with year-over-year loyalty bonuses, on top of the 2X unlimited miles cardmembers earn on every purchase,” Barclays’ Rachana Bhatt, managing director of US Branded Card Business, told us. “We’re rewarding loyalty and making those rewards last, as opposed to providing a one-time bonus. We found that consumers don’t want to constantly juggle or open and close cards to get the most value, so we’ve created a card for life.”
In addition to the loyalty bonus-earning opportunity each cardmember year, Barclays has packed the Arrival Premier card with perks that are meaningful to frequent travelers such as:
>Two miles per dollar spent on all purchases
>A $100 credit for a Global Entry application fee every five years
>Access to 800+ airport lounges plus discounts at airport spas and restaurants
>The ability to transfer miles to loyalty programs with nine international airlines (and more to be announced soon)
>No foreign transaction fees
>International chip & PIN capability for self-service ticket kiosks in other countries
>Car rental collision protection
Since I know airport lounge access is important to TravelSkills readers, here’s the scoop on how it works: Via the Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey program, Arrival Premier provides access to 800+ airport lounges worldwide for a fee of $27 for each visit. Guests are allowed at the discretion of each lounge. At SFO’s international terminal, cardmembers use the Air France/KLM lounge. At LAX, it’s the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in Terminal 2. At New York-JFK, it’s the Wingtips lounge in Terminal 4. The LoungeKey plan also offers deep discounts at airport restaurants, spas and retailers. For example members get $28 off food and beverages at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse at JFK’s Terminal 8.
I had a few more questions for Barclays executives about the new Arrival Premier card, which I’ll share here in Q&A format:
Q: What makes this card stand out from other ultra-premium cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve or American Express Platinum?
A: Compared to competitors in the travel rewards space, Arrival Premier is the only card with this type of loyalty bonus structure – earning miles year over year. It also provides premium global travel benefits including a $100 Global Entry application fee credit every five years, Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey, no foreign transaction fees, international chip and PIN, and miles transfer. The annual fee for the Arrival Premier card is $150. Some of these features are only available on competitive cards with much higher annual fees.
Q: Will this card replace current Barclays Arrival cards, or complement them?
A: Arrival Premier is a new card joining the Barclays Arrival product suite. Current Barclays Arrival and Arrival Plus cardmembers should continue using their card with confidence; nothing will change for those who already have an Arrival card.
Q: Only foreign carriers are listed as miles transfer partners. Is there a timeline or estimate when a US carrier will be added to the list of transfer partners?
A: We designed this card to be the premier global travel card, and that is reflected with our current partners: Aeromexico, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, China Eastern, Etihad, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Jet Privilege, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas. Additional transfer partners are expected to follow. Stay tuned!
Q: Is the card made of plastic or metal?
A: The card is made out of plastic.
For more details or to apply for the card, go to www.ArrivalPremier.com.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Barclays. We will periodically publish posts like this one from commercial partners about topics relevant to frequent travel.
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Chris McGinnis is the founder of TravelSkills.com. The author is solely responsible for the content above, and it is used here by permission. You can reach Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cjmcginnis.