What’s the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card? Chase Sapphire vs. Barclaycard Arrival Plus


Hey guys! Thank you so much for all your sweet
comments on our gender reveal video. We are super excited about Baby Girl arriving this
summer! But, today I wanted to talk about travel rewards cards. When we were planning
our trip to China last year, I did a bunch of research on what travel rewards cards people
were talking about, which ones were getting good reviews, etc. etc. etc. I found two that
seemed to be mentioned over and over and over again. I have the Barclaycard Arrival Plus
and the Chase Sapphire. I signed up for both of them. They both have annual fees that are
waived for the first year, so I thought I would get both of them, try them out for a
year, and then decide which one to keep. So today I thought I would go through the pros
and cons of each and let you know which one I’ve decided works for me the best after a
year of use. Both of these cards come with big sign-up bonuses when you put a certain
amount on the card within the first ninety days. Both of them have no foreign transactions
fees, which is great abroad. And both of them have the chip, so you can use them abroad
in places where the chip is taken rather than the magnetic strip. Okay, so let’s get started.
Chase Sapphire card: what I like about this card–this is a very cool card. Just superficially,
it’s very cool. Like, it’s really hefty, it feels nice. It’s heavier than any credit card
that I’ve used. The number is actually not on the front–it’s on the back. It’s just
an attractive card. With this one, you get 40,000 bonus points when you sign up and put
four grand on the card within ninety days. You get two points for every dollar
spent on travel and restaurants and one point for every dollar spent everywhere else. So,
Barclaycard. With this one, you also get 40,000 bonus miles when you sign up and put $3,000
on the card within the first ninety days. With this one, you get two points per dollar
spent anywhere, and the way you redeem the miles is you actually purchase travel on the
card and then reimburse yourself with the points that you have accumulated. Another
thing with this is that when you redeem your points, you get a ten percent point redemption
bonus. So, if I redeem 2,000 points, I’m going to get 200 of those back automatically, just
because. Okay, so I used these last year to fund our summer travels. Chase Sapphire card,
the bonus miles paid for my trip to Boston and Maine, and it also paid for part of Simona’s
flight as well, so yay. And with the Barclaycard, we used this a lot to pay for things while
we were in China, like hotel stays and flights over there. Okay, so, which one am I keeping?
Though it pains me, because I really like how this credit card feels, we are going to
keep the Barclaycard, and I’ll tell you why. First of all, you just get more points with
this one than with this one. We basically put a lot of our monthly expenses on our credit
card and then pay it off at the end of every month. And month-to-month, we are going to
spend a lot more on other things than, say, travel–sadly–um, and even restaurants. So,
getting two points for every dollar here and being able to get two points every time I
go to the grocery store, every time I go to Wal-Mart, I accumulate a lot more points with
this one than I do with this one. Secondly, redeeming the points. It’s way easier to redeem
the points here than here. The thing with the Chase Sapphire is that you’ve got to go
through their portal. And yes, you can transfer points to a miles program and all that stuff,
but just if you’re straight up using the system, you have to book through Chase. And while
they say, like, ooh you get discounts, you get this amount back, blah blah blah blah
blah, frankly, the prices were never as good on their site as I could find on other sites.
With the Barclaycard, I can book travel on Priceline, Hotwire, anywhere, and then get
reimbursed for it. So, I can find the best price on a flight or a hotel room and still
get reimbursed for my points. We ended up getting almost $1,100 of free travel off of
this card last year alone. So, that was awesome. Another thing that I like about this is that
when I use the online interface, I see the points accumulating in real time, so at any
point in the month I know exactly how many points I have on this card. With the Chase
Sapphire, you only get the points accumulated by the end of the month. So, a little thing,
but it’s just tiny little things like that make the Barclaycard just so much more intuitive
and so much easier to use. So next year, we will be staying with Barclaycard and sadly
letting go of the Chase card. Okay, so the disclaimer is obviously you don’t want to
be opening up all these credit cards and then closing them. That can kind of mess with your
credit score. So make sure you check your own credit score and know what your debt-to-credit
ratio is and all of that stuff before you start opening and closing accounts. Okay,
so thanks for watching guys! If you have any other rewards cards tips or tricks, please
leave them in the comments below. And don’t forget to like and subscribe. See you later! (music)

54 thoughts on “What’s the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card? Chase Sapphire vs. Barclaycard Arrival Plus

  • Thnx for your explanation. I have Capital one ventures. which card more batter ? capital one or Barclaycard?

  • I have the CSP (almost 10 months and have 103k points as I write this 🙂 and your comparison with the Barclay card has some good points. But, it doesn't paint the entire picture. The 40k points for the Chase card gives you $500 towards travel (25% bonus on the points and the ultimate rewards mall prices for air travel are exactly the same as booking with the airline directly). The Barclay card makes it 1 step easier but you get $60 less for that convenience ($500 for 40k points vs $440 for 40k points) if 1 extra click gets me 15% extra I am all for it.  That's just one point of the many I would like to make. All in all, I was compelled to listen to your entire comparison 🙂

  • Well done! I've got both cards. The Chase Sapphire card I got a couple of years they had a great promotion = 100,000 miles the highest I've ever seen. Just got my Barclay card, I'm going to get 40,000 after 3 months. I like the fact you can use the other sites like priceline, etc. And you are really getting 2.2% on your purchases if you use them all for travel. I'll look at if I would drop 1 card, now it would be the Chase. Thanks for your comparison!

  • I'm not sure if you head but you can use the chase sapphire and chase freedom to get points. What most people do is use the freedoms for the bonus 5% back categories and the chase sapphire for everything else. Knowing that which one would you prefer to use the chase two cars system or the other one?

  • Hi Erin! Super helpful video. I just got the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. After the first year, how much would you say you should spend to make the $89 annual fee worth it?

  • If you did it online last I heard was 3,000 in 3 months,  in the bank it was 2,000 in 3 months the last I heard.

  • well Erins travel we got our information from a credit card forum a couple of years ago.
    Now chase made some changes as I can see. but if you read what I wrote was the last I heard. Chase might have made these changes over the holidays, The last I might have heard was last year.

  • Hi Erin I have a question about the Chase Sapphire perfered. If you go to Florida and you buy Exhabtion Baseball tickets at the box office does this count as travel? You know Florida is a vacation place .

  • Thanks for the info. I just got my Barclay card. I think that being able to get 2x on everything is better than CSP. I use my card for everything including groceries and utilities. CSP gives you 2x only on restaurants and travel.

  • not for redeming your points but for acruing, does exibhation baseball games purchased through the box office count as travel like hotels, air fare, car rental? or does exibhation baseball purchased through the box office count as a regular purchase like purchasing
    Barnes and nobles gift cards, a day at the spa and a home improvement, bed bath and beyond?

  • Why dont u keep the chase and get the chase freedom?? U can combined the points and at the end of the day u get more pts than just use the barclays. Freedom got 5% cash back.

  • Hey! Question Question.  I dont know you can help me 🙂 but you seem like an expert hehe.  I applied for both CSP and Barclay, unfortunately I got denied for both then recon for Barclay and got approved today! Process was super easy and nicer than chase, I called chase before Barclay asking what my status was but not to recon so i do not know if I should call chase tomorrow to recon anyway since my credit took a hit already or not and if so, what should i say to them to convince them

  • for Siri-oron  If I understand your question correctly , as far as chase goes you already contacted them once, what I would do is wait maybe they may send you a letter in the mail or they may send you an email. but you got 1 card what I would do is go out enjoy your card, if you don't hear from Chase  in 1 month I would then call them.
    If I understand your question correctly.

  • Hi Erin I have the answer to that question. I Feel that an Exhibtation Baseball game should count as travel. your on vacation, the team is away from their regular season ball park. But this is the way that chase feels, they don't consider it traveling.
    what they consider travel are taxi cabs, air planes, trains, car rental, buses, hotel stays. so buying exhibtation baseball purchased through the box office counts as a 1 point purchase like a day at the spa, a barnes and nobles purchase, bed bath and beyond.

  • a while ago I applied for and received the Sapphire Preferred card for my wife and I.  I used it once for $120 bucks, the next day I called customer service to set up my online banking they said they couldn't cause my account was under review.  The next day I tried to use my card it was denied.  Now 3 weeks later I still have no explanation from Chase.  Avoid this card and avoid Chase.  If they are that brain dead to even let me know the cause then why in the world use them.  You will see what I mean when you call customer service then they farm the call out to a 3rd party credit card security company after waiting for 5 to 10 minutes.  So my wife and I snapped the aluminum cards in half and washed our hands of this company.  To be honest this company probably has the WORST customer care period, thank god I was not on a trip and had to deal with these idiots.

  • yes Veronica you're right. when I posted my statement I didn't know that Chase had made some changes.
    when you say that you have the Chase Sapphire is that the perfered or the Basic Sapphire?

  • Erin,  Good analysis of the two travel cards.  I just switched to the Barclay Card and look forward to earning points to travel to Europe in the future.
    Question:  I have a 120,000+ miles on a Southwest Airlines Visa card.  I am just stuck using those on SW flights?  or is there any way to transfer them to Barclay's??  As you know SW is great for domestic travel, but doesn't help for international.  Thank you.
    John in AZ

  • I feel that the points go way farther on chase sapphire. For one I can book a flight Roundtrip from Dallas to Paris for 65,000 points or 30,000 points depending on airline. The cost of the cheapest flight is $1,300 dollars. So with any other card 65000=$650 or 30,000=$300. I double or triple my point value using sapphire. Plus I use the freedom card and get 5 points back then transfer those to the sapphire for travel. By far that is the best in my opinion.

  • The sapphire card is great. You mention you can book on other sites and be reimbursed with the Barclay card. The same thing can happen with the chase sapphire preferred. Just redeem the points as a statement credit or send it to your checking account if you have chase account.

  • Hi Erin I have a question for you what do you think about either Capitol 1 Venture cards? I have venture 1 how would you compare that card to all travel cards including
    hotels and airlines?  Not cash back not low interest cards, example
    How would you compare my card vs American Express platinum card, Citibank American airlines, both citi thank you's Chase Sapphire , American Express starwood perfered guest, the green card both golds, Bank of america travel card all travel cards
    how would you compare my card vs Venture 1 vs all travel credit cards?
    where would you rank mine?

  • As others have mentioned, you get nearly the same value when you cash out the Sapphire card points as you would with an Arrival Card on Travel. Arrival card's point is only worth 1/2 when you cash out. New Arrival members only can claim Travel reward at above $100. Where Arrival shines is where no hotel points can have any value…if you stayed in independent hotel outside of any major chains, you can still claim it on the Arrival travel. The other advantage is that you don't need to pay the entire cost of the travel when claiming and simply get partial credit with arrival. Sapphire in theory gives tremendous value on flights but you have to collect enough points to get the entire flight–not easy after you are done collecting sign up bonus even when combined with 5% rotating rewards using a Freedom card in combination of Sapphire card.

  • Thank you for your very helpful review. I am going with Barclay, for sure. Do you ever use any of the perks with the World Elite Mastercard programs?

  • If you're just tracking which card gives you more points than yes the Barclay card gives you more points overall, but not all points are created equal. The Chase Sapphire is a much more valuable card if you use the transfer partners. You will end up getting more than three to six cents per dollar on the Chase Sapphire then you will on the Barclay card arrival.

  • Sapphire is more valuable card. (1) Freedom + Cash Plus + Sapphire is just unmatched. You simply get too many 5% categories. Also, just spending $127 each month on Cash Plus category bills will cover CSP annual fee. (2) Ultimate Reward points are values for 1.25+ if not redeemed for cash. (3) Don't use UR portal book stuff (since it is often overpriced). (4) If you transfer UR points somewhere else, depending on the situation, it can be worth high amount of points. There was one dude who was able to get 6 cent value for a 1 UR point each. (5) In Other news, Forward + Prestige is excellent as well. Forward has been discontinued but you can apply Prestige at bank for lowered annual fee of 350. Then you get $250 in travel each year so for travelers Prestige technically only has +5 dollars annual fee than Sapphire.

  • Lets say I make spend the required amount that the card request. But at the end of the year, i decide not to keep the card. Do I still get to keep the miles even though I cancelled the card ? Also do the miles ever expire ?

  • Thank you Erin..Hey u know what credit score is required for either card? My Amex fico is 698 and my others are over 740 ty again.

  • Thanks. What about the BarclayCard "Choice Privileges" card for those of us who cannot afford to fly to places like China – or almost anywhere else, for that matter? It's a great card with no fees, points that aren't lost, etc. You earn points toward nights at Choice Hotels for all purchases. We have stayed numerous times over the years for absolutely zip but taxes on the room cost. A large number of Choice Hotels – a great brand, by the way – with a wide variety of "luxury levels" can be found throughout the US and parts of the world. There are also a number of other advantages to having this card. Thanks.

  • it seems to me that the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and CapitalOne's Venture kinda work like the same
    correct me if i'm wrong

  • I also recently obtained the Barclaycard. While I did not see it mentioned, one of my reasons was the Barclaycard is one of the very few that offers "Chip & Pin" in addition to "Chip & Signature" that all the other cards offer. While not important (or even used in the US) Chip & Pin is the standard in Europe. You MUST have chip and pin capability to use the card at unattended machines (such as to purchase train tickets, pay for parking) in Europe. Barclays is a UK bank (also incorporated in US) thus the reason they have the chip and pin feature.

  • I'd like to disagree on this, because credit cards should be selected based in needs and usage. Since we travel frequently, we got Chase Sapphire, and it pays much more than points.

    Actually, what I do love more about Chase Sapphire is their coverage of baggage lost or delay/ flight delay/ trip cancellation/ rental car collision programs! Those are great to have covered.
    Plus, we received $50K points while opening the account, and will get 2X for every dollar spent on travel, hotels, dining.

  • Thanks you for sharing. Just one question, how do you "redeem the points back to yourself"? Thats sounds a bit complicated and time-consuming. Could you show a "how to" video? I wish I knew about this before. I paid for my whole China trip from savings last year and my 3-week trip to the U.S. last month. I live in Germany, so not sure if I can apply for this Barclay card here…

  • you should try out !!(Capital One Venture!!) Card it is the most great car I came across for traveling it is the best mileage given card you will get 2 mileage in anything and everything you spent on !! the yearly fee is $59 and there is no International foreign exchange fee at all.

  • This was very helpful. I have had the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card for about 3 years now and was trying to decide whether to keep it or get rid of it. I was trying to get a card that gave you airline miles, but was trying this one out first. I am going to London soon and will now definitely keep this card for the no Travel fees. Thank you.

  • That is one sleepy dog on the couch, haha. Thanks for doing this. I've considered Chase, but now Barclays sounds like a better option.

  • The one thing I think your missing or two for that matter is that with the CSP you and transfer your points to other rewards programs. Also if you use it in conjunction with another Chase card rewards can be maximized so your earning 5 times the points. As a standalone card the Barclaycard might be better though.

  • Chase Sapphire is way better than Barclay-not by the looks, but you get way more benefits with Chase opposed to Barclay. I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, not preferred.

  • You forgot about chip n pin benefit with Barclay that I don't think any credit card gets including chase that you may need to use in some parts of Europe. That's main reason I got Barclay cause I got into embarrassing situation in fancy restaurant in istanbul, this was b4 chip got into American credit cards.. plus 2 points for everything is a bonus.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve all the way! My wife and I have been traveling for 1 year around the world. We have found that the overall 2 best cards to go with are the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. We originally did a ton of research on Upgraded Points' website and narrowed it down to these two for perks like 3x points on travel / restaurant expenses, Priority Plus, Global Entry, and with Barclaycard the flexibility to redeem points against purchases across the board. For those considering cards, check out Upgraded Points – they do a great job at breaking all the cards and affiliated programs down. Cheers!

  • Advice from a world traveler to almost 50 countries: Get the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. You made GREAT points in this video – I'd love to elaborate on personal experience. What sold me originally on the Reserve card (upgraded edition of the Preferred card) was this nifty article / table I read through on Upgraded Points' website. It outlines exactly how those two compare. Ultimately, with the Global Entry, Priority Pass, 3X points on travel purchases, and hefty sign on bonus (now however half of what it used to be) I COULDNT say no to that card. The limitation is redemption – you have to go through Chase's portal to redeem on flights (if that's what you're redeeming for) and most of the time the flights are more expensive than what I would have purchased on Kayak, let's say. Barclaycard is GREAT in this respect. I love the flexibility of the card – If I see a low price on a site I will book it with Barclaycard knowing that I can then use my miles to essentially pay off the charge of the flight – kinda like the charge never happened. FLEXIBILITY IS KEY. If you guys are interested I'd definitely suggest checking out these two cards on Upgraded Points' website – I found it super helpful.

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