The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® from Barclays – 40k bonus + 2.2%
Bonus Offer: 40,000 points upon spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
Ongoing Points: 2 points for each dollar spent on the card plus a rebate of 10% back on points usage. Net result is a benefit equal to 2.2% of spending.
Fee: $89 Annual Fee (waived first year)
Point Value: Each point is basically worth 1 cent toward any travel charged to the card. It doesn’t have to be booked through their service, so buy that discount airline flight, stay in that B&B, whatever, and then choose to have your points applied to that item on your statement. Note that there is a 90 day window to apply the points.
Card Type: World Mastercard Elite
No foreign transaction fees!
Catches: Barclays sometimes approves you for an inferior card, though in this case, the bonus and key benefits don’t change, only a downgrade from a “World Elite” to a “World” or “Platinum” card.
Comparisons: The most direct competitor to this card is the Capital One Venture Rewards. The benefit of the Barclays card is that it gives an extra 0.2% in the form of a rebate vs. the Venture card that only gives a flat 2 points per dollar. The Barclays card also currently has a much higher bonus offer (though some years ago Capital One offered up to a 100,000 point bonus on the Venture Rewards). They both have no foreign transaction fees. The benefit of the Capital One card is that the annual fee is $30 lower. Though it would take many years to make up for the initial point difference.