Head to Head: Capital One Venture vs. Barclaycard Arrival Plus

When it comes to personal travel needs, both fixed-value credit cards and cards with flexible rewards offer valuable benefits. But while both can be used to erase travel expenses, they each serve different purposes: fixed-value cards earn points that can be redeemed as statement credits at a set rate toward travel purchases. Flexible cards earn points that can be transferred to airline and hotel programs.

Depending on the frequency of your trips and your spending patterns, you might find more value in holding one type of card or the other—often both. Fixed-value cards can help you offset the cost of trip components that can’t be booked with miles, such as train and ferry tickets or amusement park tickets. Let’s take a look at and compare two of the most popular fixed-value travel cards: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard.

Sign-Up Bonus/Value

With the Venture from Capital One, you can earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership. The Arrival Plus from Barclays offers new customers 40,000 bonus miles as a reward for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.

As you can see, the minimum-spending requirements are the same, but the Venture Card’s sign-up bonus is higher. However, the miles aren’t worth the same. Fifty thousand miles earned with the Venture Card are worth $500, or 1 cent each. But, Barclaycard lets you receive 5 percent of your redeemed miles back, which means a 40,000-mile bonus is worth $400 plus 2,000 miles back in your account, worth another $20. Still, the Venture Card’s welcome bonus offers a bit more bang for your buck.

Winner: Capital One Venture

“Get more information about this card and other travel rewards cards here.”

Annual Fees

A card’s annual fee is important to consider when choosing a rewards card from the many options available on the market. The Capital One Venture Card costs nothing for the first year and then $95 annually. The Arrival Plus credit card also waives the fee for the first year and then charges $89 per year. Keeping the Barclaycard over time makes more sense, especially if the 5-percent rebate on miles is a factor.

Winner: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

“Get more information about this card and other travel rewards cards here.”

Earning Structure

Both cards earn 2X miles per dollar spent on anything and everything. No mater the spending category, you will earn double miles every time you swipe your card at a grocery store, gas station, Wendy’s drive-through or paying bills online.

Winner: Tie

Ease of Redemption

The Arrival’s redemptions start at $100 (10,000 miles) and can be applied toward any travel purchase, such as flight upgrades, cheap airfare deals, travel packages, etc. Miles can also be redeemed for gift cards and merchandise, but redemption values aren’t that great.

The Venture Card’s miles can be redeemed as a statement credit toward any travel purchase to wipe out the cost. You can also redeem miles for certain travel components at the Capital One Rewards Center online. There’s no redemption threshold limit, which makes this card more user-friendly.

Winner: Capital One Venture

International Use

Both cards waive foreign transaction fees, which can be as high as 3 percent of the total transaction made outside of the United States. For those who travel abroad often, it’s an important factor to consider when choosing a day-to-day credit card. However, the Arrival Plus card comes with a Chip + PIN technology, whereas the Venture Card comes with a Chip + Signature technology. Although not vital, the Chip + PIN cards have a slight edge in my opinion because they can be used without issues at unmanned kiosks, such as gas pumps and train stations.

Winner: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

In Conclusion

The Venture Miles rewards card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus are quite similar from the consumer perspective. Both of these fixed-value credit cards earn 2X miles per dollar spent, waive annual fees for the first year and come with EMV chips for extra security. The differences are subtle, and I think choosing the right card depends on a personal preference.

The Venture Credit Card’s sign-up bonus and the ease of redemptions make it more appealing to a short-term card holder, but the 5-percent mile rebate and the Chip + PIN technology make the Arrival Plus more useful for someone looking to keep the card long-term.

Which card would you choose and why? What perks are more important to you when selecting a fixed-value credit card?

Anya Kartashova

The JetBlue Plus Card

  • Annual Fee: $99 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: 0%
  • Card Type: Travel

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  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire.
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember’s first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
  • Your first checked bag is free.

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


3 months

30,000

$1,000


JetBlue Purchases

6.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Groceries Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


The JetBlue Plus Card

  • Annual Fee: $99 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: 0%
  • Card Type: Travel
FTG Review Reward Breakdown Points Breakdown
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire.
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember’s first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
  • Your first checked bag is free.

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


3 months

30,000

$1,000


JetBlue Purchases

6.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Groceries Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


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