Review: Barclays Credit Cards

Barclays Bank offers 3 main credit cards under its own brand. (It also serves as the issuing bank for a number of other prominent cards such as the Uber Visa, NFL credit card, etc.) Below we offer a short review of Barclays’ own credit cards:

  • The Barclays Arrival Plus World MasterCard offers “miles” equal to a penny per mile in airline/travel benefits. (For example, 10,000 miles equals $100 of travel benefits.) The card has an $89 annual fee. It offers 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, plus a 60,000-mile bonus if you use it for at least $5000 in spending in the first 90 days. Every time you redeem your miles, you get a head start on your next redemption by having 5% of the amount you just redeemed put back into your account. If you can hit that bonus, (which requires a pretty high spend), you end up with a very nice reward in the first year, but in subsequent years you’d end up paying an $89 annual fee for a card that is essentially the same as a 2% cash back credit card, and there are 2% cash back cards on the market with no annual fee at all.

  • The Barclays Arrival Premier Mastercard is the same as the Plus card described above, except it puts a different spin on earning bonus miles, rewarding you for longer-term loyalty instead of the possibility for a big upfront bonus. You get the same 2 “miles” per dollar, but you can earn up to 25,000 bonus miles per year — 15,000 miles if you spend at least $15,000 with the card in a year, which escalates to 25,000 bonus miles if you spend over $25,000. This card has a $150 annual fee (waived for the first year). To be worth that annual fee, you definitely would have to make this your everyday card. Once that annual fee kicks in, if you spent $25,000 with the card in a year, you’d essentially end up with a 2.4% rebate on your purchases (75,000 points equals $750, then subtract the $150 annual fee for a total reward of $600), which is pretty good.
  • The Barclaycard Ring Mastercard is for people who don’t care about credit card rewards and just want the lowest interest rate possible. That rate is 13.74%, which is quite a bit lower than most other cards on the market these days. The card also has no annual fee, and no extra fee on foreign transactions made outside of the United States. If you have a balance on another credit card with high interest, you can transfer that balance to this card and get a 0% interest rate for the first 12 months, without paying a balance transfer fee (provided you transfer that balance within the first 45 days of getting the card).