I realize that it was only in 2018 when Barclays launched the short-lived Arrival Premier card. While the card offered 2 points per dollar on all spending with bonuses for meeting spending thresholds, it also had a $150 annual fee with no sign-up bonus. The Arrival Premier also had several transfer partners but no US domestic airlines and points were transferred at a lower than 1:1 ratio.
In less than a year, Barclays pulled the plug on the Arrival Premier for new applicants (although there may still be some people out there who have this discontinued card.)
TPG spoke with Barclays after they pulled the Arrival Premier about why it didn’t meet expectations.
I inquired about Barclay’s take on the Arrival Premier and what it saw as the reason for the card’s performance. “Customers told us they wanted to be rewarded for long-term loyalty, but once their feet were in the market that’s not what we saw,” Rachana told me. “We’re going to step back, read results, and talk to customers who have the card.”
That was four years ago, plenty of time to speak to customers to see what they want in a travel credit card. In the meantime, Barclays also stopped applications for their Arrival+ card, which I still keep in our card portfolio.
So why hasn’t Barclays tried to get back into the market with a card that earns transferrable points?
The other banks have made deals with the programs that they issue co-brand cards. AMEX deals with Delta and Hilton and Chase has United, Southwest and Hyatt. Why couldn’t Barclays issue a card with points you can transfer to their co-brand card partners?
I’ll tell you what. That would be one eclectic group of partners.
- Carnival FunPoints
- Emirates Skywards
- FRONTIER Miles
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Holland America
- Lufthansa Miles & More
- Princess Cruises
- Wyndham Rewards
And finally, the big one. American AAdvantage.
Even without AAdvantage, that’s quite a list and the only program that would have cruise line partners. While Citi has only been able to have a limited transfer opportunity from Thank You points to AAdvantage, Bilt Rewards has shown that it’s not impossible to get the program onboard as a transfer partner.
While it doesn’t seem that Barclays is interested in rebooting its Arrival card portfolio, it would be interesting if they did. All they’d need is an Asia carrier to round out the program and from what this website says, Barclays is still a transfer partner with EVA Airways.
Never say never.
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