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More great news for international travelers! My favorite rewards card—the Barclays Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is back again! It now comes with PIN capability, which is huge since pin capability makes traveling internationally so much easier. Most international automated ticket machines require credit/debit cards to have a chip (also referred as EMV—Europay, MasterCard and Visa.) It’s a technical standard designed to ensure that microchip-embedded payment cards all work with the terminals of merchants who accept them.
They do this to reduce fraud so if someone finds or steals your card they can’t use it unless they know your secret four-digit pin. With all of the credit card fraud in the world I’m surprised the US has taken so long to adopt this but I’m happy that Barclays has made the switch. Having a credit card that requires a signature has made traveling more difficult for my friends and I. For example, I once couldn’t buy a train ticket in Denmark (and Germany, France, Italy…) using the ticket machine because my credit card didn’t have a chip so I had to stand in a long line to have the teller swipe my card—and I almost missed the train as a result. Recently, in Monaco, the ticket office was closed so if Natalie hadn’t had her Canadian credit card with a chip we would have been screwed.
But that’s not the only reason I highly recommend the Barclays Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. I love it because it’s an easy way to get free travel without spending a lot of money ($3,000 in the first 90 days). The 50,000 bonus miles this gets you equates to about $500 off your next trip by my calculations! And you can use miles for a statement credit towards flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels, and more, with any airline to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates.
On top of that, it comes with no foreign transaction fees! And, whenever you redeem for travel, you get 5% miles back (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 1,250 miles back). There are other perks too, like the fact that they waive the $89 annual fee for the first year and complimentary access to your FICO® Scores as a benefit to active card members. That said, as always: Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT get a travel rewards credit card if you can’t pay off your entire bill each month. It’s not worth it since these credit cards often come with high APRs (though this card comes with a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months). But if you can, it’s a fantastic way to travel for cheap.
- Check out more information on the card (and apply if you’re interested) here: Barclays Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
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