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Barclays recently added eight transfer partners to one of its lesser-known and no-longer-available credit cards: the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®. While this is great news to those that still have an old Arrival Plus, it may also be good news to those that don't have the card. Here's why.
What Is The Barclays Arrival Plus Card?
If you're not familiar with the Barclays Arrival Plus card, you're not alone. The Arrival Plus was, at one time, Barclay's flagship travel rewards credit card. It was available to new applicants for a number of years. However, the card was closed to new applicants when Barclays launched the Arrival Premier card.
The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® was short-lived. Once the Arrival Premier card was closed to new applicants, the Arrival Plus card was opened back up to new applicants. However, this was also short-lived. Now, neither card is open to new applicants.
Although both cards once offered new cardholders lucrative sign-up bonuses, neither card became all that popular. Numerous other travel rewards cards offered benefits and features that were more attractive than those offered by either the Arrival Plus or Arrival Premier credit cards.
Despite the Arrival Plus card being closed to new applicants and never gaining much attention from frequent travelers, Barclays just recently added transfer partners to the card.
New Barclays Transfer Partners Added for Arrival Plus Cardholders
The Barclays Arrival Plus card now features 8 frequent flyer programs to which cardholders can transfer their points. This is a first for this card. Prior to the addition of these airline programs, the Arrival Plus card did not offer members any transfer partners.
The following frequent flyer programs were added to the Barclays Arrival Plus card:
|Partner Airline||Program Name||Barclay Points Transferred||Airline Miles|
|Air France/KLM||Flying Blue||7,000||5,000|
|Etihad Airways||Etihad Guest||7,000||5,000|
|EVA Air||Infinity MileageLands||7,000||5,000|
|Japan Airlines||JAL Mileage Bank||11,500||5,000|
Not only is it strange for a credit card to begin featuring transfer partners once that card is no longer available to new applicants, but the transfer partners and transfer rates are even stranger.
Still, this is good news for Arrival Plus cardholders, as it means more ways to use points. However, with lackluster transfer rates and only a few worthwhile transfer partners, it's not an amazing addition to the Arrival Plus card.
More noteworthy, this could indicate a more significant change coming to the Barclays travel rewards cards.
What New Transfer Partners Might Mean For The Future of Barclays Rewards Credit Cards
So, why would Barclays add transfer partners to a card that no longer accepts new applicants? What does this mean for the future of Barclays and the card issuer's travel rewards credit cards? There are currently two explanations for why Barclays added these transfer partners.
The Arrival Plus Card Will Soon Be Available to New Applicants
The first explanation as to why Barclays would add transfer partners is that the card issuer is actively restructuring its entry-level travel rewards card ahead of a relaunch. While purely speculation, this seems to be the most logical explanation.
As previously mentioned, the Barclay Arrival Plus card was not all that appealing to prospective cardholders. With dozens of alternative entry-level travel rewards credit cards, the Arrival Plus card never gained all that much traction.
Adding major airline frequent flyer programs as transfer partners is a great way to entice feature members. That is, it's a great way to entire future cardholders should the card, once again, become available to new members.
Barclays Is Planning on Announcing a New Travel Rewards Card
A second explanation for why Barclays added these airline transfer partners is that the card issuer is planning on launching a revamped travel rewards card.
The rationale behind this explanation is that Barclays is trialing transfer partners with its Arrival Plus card. Ultimately, Barclays, should the card issuer move forward with a new travel rewards card, would be able to add these transfer partners to this fictitious new credit card.
The Bottom Line
While these new transfer partners are great news for existing Barclay Arrival Plus cardholders, this news is somewhat of a head-scratcher. However, the addition of new transfer partners might be good news for prospective travel rewards credit card applicants.
There are currently two main theories behind why Barclays would add transfer partners to a credit card that no longer accepts new applications. Both theories are logical, but we have no idea which may come true — if either. Only time will tell if this is just an oddity or an indication of a new opportunity to earn travel rewards.
What do you make of this odd development? Are you a current Barclay Arrival Plus cardholder?
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