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By kerrirenzulli
September 22, 2014
Fernando Volken Togni

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite

APR: 15% to 19%

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $89

Sign-Up Bonus: 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

Rewards: Two miles per $1 spent; 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits

Why It’s a Winner: It offers top rewards without the hassles of redeeming miles on a particular airline. You can simply apply miles as a credit on your billing statement for any kind of travel you charge–from flights to taxis. Meanwhile, the Arrival Plus World Elite comes with a great earn rate of two miles per $1 spent (with one mile equal to one penny). Combine that with a 10% rebate when you use the miles as a travel credit, and your earn rate is effectively 2.2%. Heck, the sign-up bonus alone makes the card worthwhile: When used toward travel, it knocks $440 off your bill.

Besides taking the trophy for travel rewards cards, the Arrival Plus was also our pick for the card to take with you when you travel abroad: You pay no foreign transaction fee, and it has chip-and-PIN technology, now offered on only a handful of U.S. cards despite being the standard at terminals in Europe. This is espe­cially useful for unmanned kiosks (as at metro stations), where a swipe card may not work.

Another perk: You get a FICO score with every statement.

Caveats: The $89 annual fee is sub­stantial. You’ll definitely recoup that and more the first year with the sign-up bonus, but in future years, you’ll need to spend at least $4,500.

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Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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