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The Arrival Premier is now available for sign-up!  But you might not want to get it…

(Check out our previous post on the Arrival Premier here!)

Here’s the latest:

  1. There’s no sign-up bonus!
  2. But there are high spend bonuses:  15,000 bonus points for $15,000 spent, and an additional 10,000 bonus points for a total of $25,000 spent in one year.
  3. You will not be able to product change to the Arrival Premier from any of your existing Barclays credit cards. (Check out DoC’s post for more info.)
  4. You may not be eligible for this offer if you have previously had an Arrival, Arrival Plus, or Arrival Premier account.
  5. Lounge Key Access (Priority Pass Select, but you have to pay for access)
  6. Details on transfer partners below…

What’s this mean for you? Bare minimum, product changing at Barclays has always been restricted to the same “brand”.  I could downgrade my JetBlue Plus card to a no annual fee JetBlue card, but not to a Barclays Arrival Mastercard.  So if you are able to product change, you could likely only change from an Arrival or Arrival Plus to the new Arrival Premier card.

Arrival Premier

I do think the card looks pretty sleek.

Reason #1:  No Sign-Up Bonus

No sign-up bonus?  Come on Barclays, you’ll need to do a bit better than that to make a splash.  Although, the 3rd point is interesting.  It looks like Barclays is including their boiler plate language in the card’s terms and conditions.  Hopefully this inclusion is indicative of future sign-up bonuses, on the card.

At Points With a Crew, we love sign-up bonuses.  I will be happily avoiding the Arrival Premier until Barclays wants to up the ante.

Reason #2:  Weak Transfer Partners and Rates

Ok, we were all excited about transfer partners on this card.  Unfortunately, Barclays doesn’t really deliver.  Partners listed below, with transfer rates in bold:

  • Aeromexico (1:1.4)
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue (1:1.4)
  • China Eastern (1:1.4)
  • Etihad (1:1.4)
  • EVA Air (1:1.4)
  • Jet Airways (1:1.4)
  • Malaysia Airlines (1:1.4)
  • Qantas (1:1.4)
  • Japan Airlines (JAL) (1:1.7)

None of these transfer partners are new or unique.  Every airline up there has another way to funnel points into it, whether that’s Ultimate Rewards, ThankYou Points, Membership Rewards, Starwood Points, or Marriott Nights & Flights Packages.

While it’s unfortunate there isn’t a 1:1 ratio up there, I get it.  Barclay would have to make some pretty good deals with their partners to be able to snag a 1:1 rate, since they’re giving out double miles on every purchase.  At 2 Arrival Premier miles/$, and a 1:1.4 rate to most airlines, you’re still earning about 1.4 airline miles on each dollar you spend.

Reason #3:  Confusing Points Earnings and Redemption

Two (2) miles for every $1 spent.  Easy.  But wait, there’s more!  High-spend bonuses, statement credit options, and transfer partners.

Let’s say you don’t listen to us (who goes to travel blogs for advice anyway?).  You open the card.  You spend $15,000 in a calendar year to snag those sweet 15,000 spend-bonus points.  At a 2x miles base rate earn on the card, you’ll get 45,000 miles total for exactly $15,000 spent.  Those points are worth a $450 statement credit or about 32,142 airline miles (26,470 on Japan Airlines).

But what if you don’t spend that much?  The value proposition drops dramatically if you’re not hitting Barclays’ high-spend bonuses.  Spend only $10,000, and you’re only snagging 20,000 Arrival Premier points.  Pick your poison:  $200 statement credit or 14,285 miles maximum.

Putting that $10,000 spend on a card with a sign-up bonus seals the deal for me.  Even without a bonus, spending $10,000 will net you 15,000 Ultimate Rewards on a Chase Freedom Unlimited.  20,000 AmEx Membership Rewards on a Blue Business Plus.  Even compared to a 2% cashback card, the Arrival Premier only ups the ante with a few mediocre benefits and some ability to transfer.  Spend $10,000 on a Citi Double Cash or on an Arrival Premier, you’re earning a $200 statement credit.

Reason #4:  Stale Benefits

Barclays’ Arrival Premier doesn’t bring anything new to the table.  Most of us already have Global Entry or PreCheck.  We already have Priority Pass (kind of like this Lounge Key thing, only better)…

Some people will appreciate the chip and pin functionality, but everything else? Meh.

Arrival Premier Benefits

Still Want to Open the Arrival Premier?

Don’t do it!  Without a sign-up bonus, there really isn’t a rush to pick this card up.  The other benefits are mediocre.  Global Entry?  This isn’t the only one.  High spend bonus?  Plenty of competition there too.  Transfer partners?  The Arrival Premier has a weak line up and poor rates. Having said that, if you’re interested in the card, you can compare it with other cards through the banner below (I may receive a commission)

Hold off on this one for now.  Wait for a good sign-up bonus.  And when (if) we finally do get a sign-up bonus, hit the bonus targets, transfer or cash out those Arrival Premier points, and move on.

Sorry Barclays, I’m seeing someone else right now…

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