Barclays Arrival Plus vs. Capital One Venture: Which is Right for You?

Arrival Plus vs. Capital One Venture

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When it comes to credit card travel rewards, figuring out transfer partners and how to get the best value out of your loyalty points can be a headache. We get it and understand that this isn’t for everyone. Fixed-value points credit cards are a great solution if your number one goal is to use your points without a lot of complexity involved.

A fixed-value points credit card allows you to redeem the points or miles the card earns for a fixed one cent per point when redeeming for travel. You simply charge a travel purchase to the credit card and redeem the points or miles back for a statement credit. This is about as easy as award travel gets.

Two of our favorite cards in this space are the Capital One Venture Card and the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. In this post, we will break these cards down to help you make the decision on which one is right for you.

 

Annual Fee

The annual fee on the Capital One Venture card is $95. However, the fee is waived in your first year of card membership. This makes your out of pocket cost for year one on the Capital One Venture card $0.

The annual fee on the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is $89 and it is not waived in the first year of card membership.

Winner: The Capital One Venture Card. While the annual fee is higher, it is waived for the first year. Holding this card for two years will cost $95 out of pocket while the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card will cost $178. 

Learn more about the Capital One Venture Card at our Top Credit Cards page.

 

Sign-Up Bonus

Capital One Venture Card: Earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of card membership. Since Capital One Venture miles are worth a flat 1 cent each, this sign-up bonus is worth $500 towards travel.

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee. Since Barclays Arrival Miles are worth 1 cent each when redeemed towards travel, the sign-up bonus offer is worth $600 towards travel.

Winner: The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. While the minimum spending requirement is higher, 10,000 additional “miles” can be redeemed for an additional $100 towards travel.

 

Earning

Capital One Venture Card: You will earn 2x Venture miles on all purchases. Being that each mile is effectively worth 1 cent when redeemed towards travel, you are getting a 2% return on all spending with the Venture card. Further, because of Capital One’s new partnership with hotels.com, you will earn 10x miles for every dollar spent on hotel bookings through the site.

When you combine the 10x miles offered by paying with your Venture card through the Hotels.com/Venture portal with the 10% back from the hotels.com rewards program, you will effectively be getting 20% back on all hotel purchases! I don’t know of another credit card or rewards program that can offer that kind of return on spend.

 

Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

 

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®Earns 2x Arrival miles on all purchases. Being that each mile is effectively worth 1 cent when redeemed towards travel, you are getting a 2% return on all spending with the Arrival Plus card.

Winner: Capital One Venture card. Although the earning rate on all spending is the same on both cards, the partnership with hotels.com gives the edge to the Capital One Venture card.

Learn more about the Capital One Venture Card at our Top Credit Cards page.

 

Redeeming Your Miles

Booking flight deals like those you find here at Thrifty Traveler or with your Thrifty Traveler Premium subscription is one of our favorite ways to use points. In this category, one of these cards is the clear favorite.

While both cards let you redeem your miles for a flat one cent each towards travel, the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® requires that each redemption be a minimum of $100. This means if you booked a hotel room for $90 a night, you wouldn’t be able to use your Arrival miles for the purchase.

It is worth mentioning that you will receive a 5% mileage rebate each time you redeem your miles. This means if you booked a $500 flight and redeemed 50,000 Arrival miles to cover the cost of the flight, you would receive 5% of your miles back (2,500 Arrival miles).

On the other hand, the Capital One Venture card has no minimum redemption amount for your Venture miles and thus they are a lot more flexible. There is no mileage rebate available on the Capital One Venture card.

Winner: Capital One Venture card. Redeeming your miles is simply easier without a minimum redemption amount. 

Learn more about the Capital One Venture Card at our Top Credit Cards page.

 

Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

Getting through airport security and clearing immigration is a breeze if you have either a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership. Considering Global Entry includes a PreCheck membership, that should be an easy choice.

On June 12th, Capital One added a credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry as a benefit of holding the Venture card. If you charge the membership fee for either program to your Capital One Venture card, you will be reimbursed the full amount once every four years. This is a great benefit and one that isn’t offered on many cards with an annual fee below $100.

Since the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®  doesn’t offer a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit, Capital One’s Venture card is the clear winner here. 

Winner: Capital One Venture card.

Learn more about the Capital One Venture Card at our Top Credit Cards page.

 

Chip & Pin Capabilities

Perhaps one of the most intriguing benefits of the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is the fact that it is one of the few US credit cards that has chip and pin capabilities. This makes it a great option when traveling overseas. In many parts of Europe, credit cards come with chip and pin security features instead of the chip and signature features we are used to in the US. 

Many of the unmanned kiosks you will find at train stations, bus stops or unmanned gas stations in Europe simply will not accept payments from credit cards that are not equipped with chip & pin capabilities. This makes the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® a fantastic option for international travel. 

The Capital One Venture card is not chip and pin capable.

Winner: The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®

 

Our Analysis

By the numbers, the Capital One Venture card wins four categories to the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®’s 2. Every cardholder will weigh these individual categories differently so, at the end of the day, your decision should be based on which categories you value highest.

For example, if you are looking for an affordable way to gain access to the Global Entry program, the Capital One Venture card should be your choice. However, if having a chip and pin capable credit card is more important, the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® should be the pick. 

 

Bottom Line

Every traveler should consider the ins and outs of cards before deciding which one to open.  Hopefully, this breakdown of the Captial One Venture Card vs. theBarclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® helps you decide which is right for you.

 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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