The Barclays Arrival Premier is no longer available
Barclays and Capital One are two of the biggest credit card issuers nationwide, and their Venture® from Capital One® credit card and Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® both rank as top-rated credit cards for travel rewards. Today we are going to look at Capital One Venture® Rewards vs Barclays Arrival® Premier to find which may be the right card for you.
Premium travel credit cards: earn free flights with each swipe
Both the Capital One Venture® card and Barclays Arrival® Premier fall into a category of premium travel credit cards. Both cards allow you to redeem points for a range of uses including free and discounted travel.
To get the best value from this type of card, it is important to understand the rewards, costs, and benefits you get from the card. Similar cards in this category include the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi ThankYou Premier. But today, two of the most popular cards from Capital One and Barclays will go head-to-head to see which is the best travel rewards credit card.
Barclays Arrival® Premier gives you an automatic 2x points per dollar for every dollar you spend. But when you take into account the annual bonus, worth 25,000 bonus points if you spend at least $25,000 on the card per year, gives you an effective 3x points per dollar for the first $25,000 per year you spend on the card. You earn 15,000 points after spending $15,000 and an additional 10,000 after spending a total $25,000 per year.
Barclays points are worth 1 cent each for travel, so every 10,000 points is worth $100. You can book travel purchases through any discount travel site, travel agent, airline, hotel, cruise, train, taxi, or other travel company as usual and redeem points for statement credits. For example, if you buy a $200 plane ticket from any major airline, you can log in to your Barclays account online and redeem 20,000 points for a statement credit. The $200 purchase is effectively removed from your balance.
Barclays also gives Arrival Premier cardholders options to transfer points to a range of airline transfer partners. The transfer rate is 1.4:1, so you lose some points in the transfer process. That might make statement credits a better redemption option depending on your air travel needs. But it is nice to have the additional choices.
If you spend $25,000 per year on the card, you’ll earn 75,000 points per year worth $750 in free travel. That easily offsets the annual fee (more on that below).
The Venture® credit card gives you the exact same 2x points per dollar and 10x points when booking hotels at Hotel.com. And just like Barclays, points are worth 1 cent each. You can redeem as a statement credit or book new travel using points. That makes the points a little more flexible.
Due to the annual points earning bonus, you can earn more rewards points in total with the Barclays Arrival® Premier per dollar than the Venture® card, outside of bookings at Hotels.com. Because most of us do our spending at places that are not Hotels.com, Barclays is the winner.
WINNER: Barclays Arrival® Plus
Both cards waive annual fees the first year and charge in subsequent years. Capital One’s card charges $95 per year and Barclays charges $150 per year. That does put Barclays at a 50% higher fee after the first year. The total value of points earned including the bonus offsets that higher cost, however.
Both cards charge no foreign transaction fee. For purchases and balance transfers, Barclays charges variable 17.74% APR to 24.74% APR. Capital One charges 14.74% to 24.74%. That makes Capital One a little cheaper for the most creditworthy borrowers, but if you pay your card off in full each month you won’t pay any interest on either card.
For other charges, like balance transfer fees and late/missed payment fees, costs are within a dollar. Cash advance fees are a 2% cheaper at Capital One.
WINNER: Capital One Venture®
Barclays Arrival® Premier does not have the most exciting benefits, particularly when it comes to travel insurance and purchase protections. Barclays Arrival® gives cardholders a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every 5 years and a free credit score. You can also more easily use the card when traveling outside of the United States with a more secure Chip + PIN checkout.
The Venture card comes with a lot more in the benefits department. As a Visa Signature card, cardholders get auto rental insurance, automatic extended warranties, a complimentary concierge service, and other perks. It also includes a Global Entry or PreCheck credit.
I see the weak travel and purchase benefits as one of the biggest drawbacks of the Arrival Premier® card. While you hope to never need them, they can be valuable in some situations.
WINNER: Capital One Venture®
The Barclays Arrival® card does not offer any signup bonus. Instead, you get that annual loyalty bonus of up to 25,000-points per year. If you keep this as your primary card for at least two years, it passes the Venture card’s signup bonus and keeps on delivering value every year.
This type of bonus is rare in the premium travel credit card category, and the ongoing value is worth $250 per year if you spend $25,000 per year on the card.
Capital One Venture® gives new cardholders a 50,000-point signup bonus after spending $3,000 on new purchases within three months of opening a new account. That is $500 in value up front, an enticing offer for sure.
Because the bonuses work differently, you can’t compare them apples-to-apples. But the long-term value of the bonus from Arrival Premier can easily beat the signup bonus from the Venture Card.
WINNER: Barclays Arrival® Premier
The bottom line
We came out with a dead tie for the score at 2 to 2, so we have to look at the more subjective measures to decide which card is the winner. The tiebreaker comes down to better rewards at Barclays against better benefits at Capital One. Because you use the rewards regularly and benefits only come in as a backup on occasion, Barclays Arrival® Premier is the winner!
Both cards are excellent credit cards that offer good value. You can certainly earn your annual fee back and more from rewards if you use the card regularly. But when choosing a card to keep in your wallet for a long time, you’ll probably do a bit better with Barclays Arrival® Premier.
If your travel or spending habits send you to Hotels.com regularly or you care a lot about the rental car insurance, Capital One Venture® pulls ahead in some limited cases.
When deciding on your next rewards credit card, both cards are a good choice. But when deciding between the two, Barclays Arrival® Premier wins in this competition.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated September 18, 2018 but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.