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Barclays has made a key update to the Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard card, waiving the $150 annual fee for the first year. Additionally, View from the Wing reports that Barclays is planning to add two new transfer partners by the end of July. While those partners — Finnair and Alitalia — are not wildly exciting options (and surely won’t be 1:1 transfers), he also reports that there is another more interesting partner in the works.
- Barclays Arrival Premier card is now available with the annual fee waived the first year
- This card still carries no introductory offer but rather offers 2x Arrival miles on all purchases with bonuses at $15K (15K bonus Arrival miles) and $25K (additional 10K bonus miles) in purchases in a year (so you’ll earn an effective total of 3x Arrival miles per dollar if you spend exactly $15K or $25K in the card in a year)
- New transfer partners Finnair and Alitalia to be added by the end of July
- See our Barclays Arrival Premier page for more information and a direct link
No word yet on the transfer ratios, but having two additional partners in Finnair and Alitalia beats not having those partners. That said, they aren’t the most exciting partners as I am not aware of any amazing sweet spots on their charts. Alitalia is an Amex transfer partner and an SPG transfer partner, so you at least have an option for topping off / combining forces from your transferable currencies. I’ll be more interested to see what this partner in-the-works is that Gary cites. It would certainly be interesting to see Barclays add one of their co-brand relationship partners to the mix.
The waived annual fee the first year certainly makes a difference in the economics of trying this card out. I argued that this card was an interesting option for generating JAL miles as it actually earns them at a better rate than the SPG cards unless you spend north of $200,000 per year (see: Was I crazy for saying the Arrival Premier can be interesting?). Then, JAL announced a devaluation coming in November. Still, if you have the ability to generate miles between now and then and at no fee the first year, this might not be a bad deal.
The Arrival Premier still isn’t the most compelling card out there, but the waived first year fee makes it more worthwhile. Keep in mind that the Arrival Plus has also been re-launched (See: Re-launched Arrival Plus: 60K offer (worth $600 toward travel)). While Gary reports that customers can theoretically be approved for both, anecdotal evidence suggests that it might not be so easy to be approved for two in a short period of time. Still, if you currently hold one, it is possible to get the other.
You can not transfer Arrival miles between the two cards.
H/T: View from the Wing