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Two years ago I made a list of Barclaycard travel cards to research in the attempt to find some hidden gems. At the time the US Airways card was about the only card with wide appeal, the Arrival having not yet been introduced.
About all I found was that the Priceline card then had a 2x cash back on everything offer (now 1x for new applicants but still 5x for most Priceline purchases including airfare). Also the Icelandair card had an award chart opportunity that I thought to good to be true and foolishly did not investigate. Fortunately Jared at Online Travel Review independently found and shared this deal in the context of buy miles.
Most of the cards were comically bad. I started to write reviews on them, eventually giving up at the futility (see reviews of Priceline, Virgin America, Wyndham, Aer Lingus, Carnival, and Icelandair).
There were a number of foreign airline cards that had little appeal and were seldom promoted, which have quietly disappeared. Amazingly, or perhaps not, the dreadful cruise line cards have all survived.
Here’s the list with the deletions:
Personal Credit Cards:
Aer Lingus Rewards MasterCard®(gone)
- Barclaycard® Rewards Mastercard®
- Best Western Rewards® World MasterCard
- The Carnival™ MasterCard®
China Airlines MasterCard®(gone)
- Choice Privileges® Visa Signature Card
- Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®
- Holland America Line Rewards Visa® Card
Icelandair World MasterCard®(gone)
- Lufthansa Premier Miles & More MasterCard®
- Priceline Rewards Visa® Card
- Princess Cruises® Rewards Visa® Card
- Travelocity Rewards American Express® Card
- US Airways Premier World MasterCard® – will close to new applicants at some date unspecified, likely in 2015, when all new AA cards will be issued by Citi
Virgin America Visa Signature® Card(lost to Comenity Bank)
- Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card
Business Credit Cards:
- Frontier Airlines BusinessCard
- US Airways® Dividend Miles® BusinessCard
There are also a number of retail cards, such as the often generous NFL card. Some people dabble with UPromise, often with complaints.
With plenty of also-ran cards still around Barclaycard has put most of its focus on the Arrival and the new personal and business versions of the Hawaiian Air cards, which it got from Bank of America.
A rough ranking of my current Barclaycard favorites is:
- US Airways personal, depending on the offer.
- Arrival for travel rebates.
- Lufthansa for some good Star Alliance rewards including US domestic on United.
- Hawaiian Airlines personal and business, if you have uses for them like intra-island flights or on their partners like Korean Air.
- Priceline if you book a lot of travel and prefer cashback and no annual fee (5% cashback for most Priceline purchases versus 2x or 3x points for cards with hefty annual fees).
There are some specialist uses for Choice, Frontier, and Travelocity however at this point quality drops very fast.
I currently have US Airways (x2), Priceline and Choice. I previously had Virgin America but canceled to avoid conversion to Arrival.
Barclaycard has gotten very tough for approvals for many people, myself included, though there are always exceptions. Their offers can also be very confusing with different versions of cards under the same or similar name, possibility of being approved for lesser versions of cards, and even some that exclude applicants from Iowa.
For more on Barclaycard, some of my prior posts:
- Reduce Barclaycard Credit Limits to Get Approvals?
- HawaiianMiles Share Miles for Personal and Business Accounts
- There Are 3 New Hawaiian Airlines Credit Cards, Not 2, Can You Get Them All?
- Barclaycard Arrival Hype – Beware Ruining Your Best Shot at Barclaycard
- Barclays Decoded: Where to Find the Best Offers
- Barclays enforces its 6-month card activity rule
- Barclays credit cards 101, and how many can you get at once, 4, 5 or more?
If you are in the market for Barclaycards, the following cards I have affiliate offers for which, to my knowledge, are the best public offers available (US Airways always being a complicated wild card). Applying through these links supports this blog:
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
- The Carnival™ MasterCard® – not going to even publish that link!
- The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card – specialist uses for cheap rewards in Europe and Australasia
- Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® – 35k
- Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® – another 35k (expired 7/31/14)
- Lufthansa Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard® – 50k (expired 6/30/14)
- The Priceline Rewards Visa® Card – 10k, but the real value is 5x cashback on most Priceline purchases with no annual fee
- The Travelocity® Rewards American Express® Card – 10k, good for frequent Travelocity customers
- The US Airways Premier World MasterCard® – 40k with no anniversary bonus, I am not aware of any working links for cards with anniversary bonuses
- A few others I have affiliate links but are not the best public offers
Disclaimer – if you apply for credit cards listed in this post using the links provided, I will receive compensation. Thank y0u.