Barclays currently has several great credit card sign-up offers on the table—most of the offers are at an all-time high. Given that Barclays has several valuable sign-up offers it really comes down to how you can use the miles and points.
Each card has its benefits and drawbacks over the other, so here’s a rundown and my thoughts on the top Barclays credit card offers:
The US Airways Premier World MasterCard
The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® will disappear soon as the US Airways and AA merger goes through, which in my opinion makes it the top Barclays credit card to apply for. Currently the sign-up bonus on the US Airways MasterCard is 40,000 bonus miles after the first purchase and after paying the $89 annual fee, which makes it an incredibly enticing offer.
Applying for this card before it is gone is a no brainer and it’s only a matter of time before it’s gone. It’s presumed that after 2014, no new applications will be accepted.
The US Air Mastercard is an super easy way to earn 40,000 US Airways miles that can be redeemed either with US Airways or wait for them to convert into AA miles after the merger completes. One of the most valuable aspects of US Airways miles include their super flexible award routing rules that let you add stopovers in almost any region!
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is among my favorite Barclays credit cards and its 2x earning for all purchases makes it an incredibly valuable card for everyday spending. The card is currently offering a limited time offer of 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days.
The high earning potential and super flexible reward redemptions makes it a card I will always keep in my wallet to maximize earnings for non-bonus spend categories. I see it as one of the best catch-all cards for everyday spending as it offers high mile earnings, super easy redemptions, and incredible flexibility.
I recently applied for my second Barclays Arrival Plus card and was instantly approved. Given that the card is relatively new to the market there are few data points for earning the 40,000 mile bonus a second time on the card. Look out for my report in the next week or so!
Miles & More Premier World MasterCard
Last week Barclays increased the offer on the Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard® to 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. Given that the spending requirement is considerably higher on this card and you will pay fuel surcharges on many awards, be sure that you can get the value you want from the 50,000 miles before applying for this one.
After hitting the $5,000 spending requirement you will have 55,000 miles, which is enough for 2 roundtrip economy OR 1.5 roundtrip First Class flights within the US OR a round trip economy flight from the US to Europe. One aspect that I like about Lufthansa miles include their incredibly valuable stopover and open-jaw rules that allow you to have 2 stopovers and 2 open-jaws per round trip award. Knowing how to use them can give you options to book complex award itineraries.
The most important thing to pay attention to when using Lufthansa miles are the potentially high fuel surcharges. Lufthansa Miles & More passes fuel surcharges onto many partner airlines. To get the most value from your miles you can avoid paying them by redeeming for domestic awards on United, Polish LOT for flights to Europe, or TAM, TACA, or Avianca for flights to South America.
The Bottom Line
Given the roundup of current offers your best option will be to evaluate your immediate vs. long term travel goals. All of the cards offer tremendous value for the right person and I currently have both the US Airways Mastercard and Arrival Plus card. Even though the Miles & More Mastercard 50,000 mile bonus offers some valuable award options it isn’t an offer I would apply for until I have immediate plans for using the miles.
Considering the sign-up offers I would rank and apply for the cards in this order:
- The US Airways Premier World MasterCard
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
- Miles & More Premier World MasterCard
How long will these offers last? Will they return?
My guess is that the 40,000 mile offer on the US Airways MasterCard will be available until the end of the year and any existing cardholders will be converted into the new Barclays AA card. Once this bonus offer is gone, it’s gone forever.
If the pattern holds true I would expect the 50,000 Miles & More offer to come back every 6 months.
Although the Barclays Arrival Plus Card’s 40,000 mile bonus is marketed as a limited time offer I would guess that the offer is here to stay for the time being.