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More great news for international travelers! My favorite rewards card—the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is back again! It now comes with PIN capability, which is huge since pin capability makes traveling internationally so much easier. Most international automated ticket machines require credit/debit cards to have a chip (also referred as EMV—Europay, MasterCard, and Visa). It’s a technical standard designed to ensure that microchip-embedded payment cards all work with the terminals of merchants who accept them. See Rates & Fees here for more information on the Arrival Plus.

They do this to reduce fraud so if someone finds or steals your card they can’t use it unless they know your secret four-digit pin. With all of the credit card fraud in the world I’m surprised the US has taken so long to adopt this but I’m happy that Barclays has made the switch. Having a credit card that requires a signature has made traveling more difficult for my friends and I. For example, I once couldn’t buy a train ticket in Denmark (and Germany, France, Italy…) using the ticket machine because my credit card didn’t have a chip so I had to stand in a long line to have the teller swipe my card—and I almost missed the train as a result. Recently, in Monaco, the ticket office was closed so if Natalie hadn’t had her Canadian credit card with a chip we would have been screwed.

But that’s not the only reason I highly recommend the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. You can use miles for a statement credit towards flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels, and more, with any airline to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates.

On top of that, it comes with no foreign transaction fees! And, whenever you redeem for travel, you get 5% miles back (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 1,250 miles back). There are other perks too, like complimentary access to your FICO® Scores as a benefit to active card members. That said, as always: Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT get a travel rewards credit card if you can’t pay off your entire bill each month. It’s not worth it since these credit cards often come with high APRs. But if you can, it’s a fantastic way to travel for cheap.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

6 Comments On "One Way to Make International Travel Smoother"
  1. wgchinn|

    Can you comment on the other Barclaycard, the Barclaycard ArrivalTM World MasterCard. It has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. The wife and I only travel a couple of times a year and out of the country but wind up spending a lot. We pay it off w/o any late fees.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Sorry it’s taken so long to reply! This one fell through the cracks. It’s a great card since it has no foreign transaction fees, it now has a chip and it’s a MasterCard so it’s accepted everywhere credit cards are accepted. I use it 90% of the time. It’s also really easy to redeem the points with no restrictions or blackout dates (on any airline, hotel, car, cruise…).

  2. Johnny Jet|

    From a reader:

    The Barclay card may have a Chip-and-PIN and it may be EMV-compatible but it still may not work in certain Point-of-Sale ticket and retail sales terminals. I have been going around and around with the Editor at International Travel News (ITN) (print edition published from Sacramento, CA) for over 18 months on this.

    I have been trying to get them to ask the simple question: “Does anyone from the USA have a USA bank-issued debit or ATM card that works in the Netherlands?” The ATMs in Holland have gone 100% Chip-and-PIN bank account-linked cards since January, 2013 . My magnetic strip ATM cards still work in many ATM machines in Germany, France, Switzerland, and Belgium.

    According to an article in ITN, American United Nations and Pentagon employees have access to USA credit union account-issued bank debit/credit cards that work in Holland ATMs and other places. I also understand that some Canadian banks have these (?).

    I have been trying to find a USA-bank (or credit union) issued Chip-and-PIN debit/credit or ATM card for over 18 months. I got a Citibank ThankYou Rewards Chip-and-PIN credit card back in the fall of 2012 before going to the Christmas Markets in Germany. I thought it would work in all POS terminals. It wasn’t accepted in the POS terminal in the Leipzig Public Transport ticket/info office.

    I have other Chip-and-Signature cards from Citi and Chase which worked in the Amsterdam Tourist Office, an hotel, and Paris RATP booths as Chip-and-Signature cards. But they aren’t true Chip-and-PIN EC EMV cards. We now have some stores with dual Chip-and-Signature credit card POS terminals here in PA. If you have a chip card you slide it into the slot.

    So my question is: Does any Johnny Jet reader or staff writer have a USA bank-issued debit card that works in a Dutch ATM? If so it should work in any automated-only terminal for purchases, highway tolls, gasoline sales, etc., in Europe.

    Thank you

    Richard Milberg
    Easton, PA

  3. Steve Greenberg|

    Hi Johnny,
    Are the chip and pin cards useable in overseas ATMs? The cash advance fee is quite high for these cards. What is your recommendation for accessing cash? Thanks.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I use my Bank of America card and try to use partner banks but most of the time i have to eat the $5 + a few dollars fee. I usually just do it once and pull out petty cash and pay for everything on my credit card.

  4. TomA|

    I just cancelled this card. Too many declines when buying international plane tickets. For someone like me that flies internationally on a regular basis, this card is too annoying and not a good solution.

    BTW: My recommendation for accessing cash is Charles Schwab Bank ATM. They REFUND ALL FOREIGN ATM CHARGES and CHARGE NO FEES OF THEIR OWN. The service is incredible as well.

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