This article is Part 2 in our 3-part series on Middle Age Miles about our credit card applications in mid-March 2019. This mini App-O-Rama resulted in 2 denials and 1 approval. Our 3 articles in this series are:
* Article 1: Experiment Foiled! Denied for the Ebates Visa Card
* Article 2: Barclays Arrival Plus Application Data Points – MAM Denied at 13/24; Others Approved at >6/24
The Barclays Arrival Plus (not a referral link) is a useful card with a current sign-up bonus of 70,000 points that can be redeemed for $700 in travel statement credits. It can also be useful on a going-forward basis, given that it earns unlimited 2x points on every purchase and its rewards are very flexible to offset a wide array of travel purchases.
With the higher-than-usual sign-up bonus, we thought it would be a good time to take a flyer to see if we could be approved for the Arrival Plus card. We decided to try, even though we have been approved for more than 6 personal cards approved within the last 24 months. This 6/24 “limit” has been widely reported as applying to the Arrival Plus card (and probably other Barclays-issued cards as well), but we’d also seen reports of approval for people who are over 6/24.
Unfortunately, Barclays denied our application. Still, though, we’re seeing recent data points as recently as yesterday of people being approved while over 6/24. Thus, we wanted to provide a detailed data point on our own application and denial, plus give you the most recent approval data points that we’ve become aware of.
Info on the Barclays Arrival Plus Card
As we mentioned in the Introduction, the Barclays Arrival Plus Card has a current sign-up bonus of 70,000 points, which you can earn by spending $5,000 on the card within the first 90 days after approval. The 70k-point bonus has been in place since mid-November 2018 and is an all-time high for the card. Historically, the sign-up bonus on this card has been 40k or 50k points for several years, before recent increases to 60k and now 70k points. The fact that the sign-up bonus was at an all-time high convinced us that now would be a good time to apply for the card despite our “well over 6/24” status.
Beyond the sign-up bonus, primary features and benefits of the Barclays Arrival Plus card include:
- Points can be redeemed at 1 cent per point toward qualifying travel purchases and are received in the form of statement credit
- Note: Barclays calls the points “miles” – but they’re not “miles” in the traditional airline miles sense, so we’re calling them “points”
- Point redemptions are quite flexible
- Any “travel” purchase is eligible after you charge it to the card
- “Travel” is very broadly defined and includes airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, and ferries
- All purchases earn 2x points per dollar
- You receive a 5% rebate on all points
- This means that points are actually worth 1.05 cents each
- And total return on spend is 2.1%
- Annual fee is waived for the first year; $89 thereafter
- Points don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
- No foreign transaction fees
- International Chip + PIN capability
Between the 70,000 points and the 5% rebate feature, the current sign-up bonus on the Arrival Plus is worth about $735. And because you don’t have to use any special portals or other limiting procedures to redeem your points, the Arrival Plus’ points can be especially useful.
Background on Arrival Plus Approvals
Barclays is one of the more strict card issuers in terms of approvals. And within the past couple of years, it’s become fairly widely accepted that, in addition to other underwriting factors, Barclays has a “6/24 rule” under which it denies most card applications (Arrival Plus and probably other Barclays-issued cards) if the applicant has more than 6 new personal credit cards opened within the past 24 months. Barclays pulls and uses TransUnion credit reports to make its determinations.
That said, however, there have been sporadic data points of people being approved for Barclays cards, including the Arrival Plus, even though they were “over” 6/24.
Doctor of Credit has a comprehensive article on the Barclays “6/24” situation that was originally published in September 2017 but has been periodically updated with additional data points since that time:
- Doctor of Credit: Is Barclay Denying Those with Many New Accounts (similar to 5/24)? Contribute Data Points Here
Our Own Recent Arrival Plus Application – Denied at 13/24 Despite Some Otherwise Positive Credentials
Given the value of the sign-up bonus and at least some uncertainly about how definitively the “6/24 Rule” was being applied, we decided to apply for the Arrival Plus card in mid-March, as part of a one-day mini-App-O-Rama of 3 cards (ultimate results: 1 approval; 2 denials).
Our stats at the time of the application were:
- 13/24 — 9/12 — 6/6
- 807 credit score on TransUnion
- 3 open Barclays cards
- Barclays AA Aviator Silver card (open 2+ years)
- Barclays Wyndham Rewards card (with annual fee; open 2 years)
- Barclays AA Aviator Business card (open 1½ years)
- Never held an Arrival Plus card
- And in fact, we’ve never held any other Barclays-issued cards other than the 3 currently open, so we’ve never closed any Barclays-issued card
- Most recent inquiry on TU report: Jan 2018
- Average Age of Accounts on TU report: 2 years, 10 months
- Good spend (and perfect payment history) on Barclays cards in the past year
- More than $60,000 on AA Silver card
- About $7,500 on AA Business card
- But little to no spend on Wyndham Rewards card
If there were any exceptions to be made to the “6/24 Rule,” we felt like we had a good chance to get one – we have a good credit score and have been a good Barclays customer with a lot of spend.
We applied for Arrival Plus using a referral link from a fellow points-and-miles blogger who we respect. Barclays pulled TransUnion as expected. The application went pending, and we were told that Barclays would contact us within 10 days.
Within the 10-day period, we received a letter from Barclays denying the application. The reason given was: “The number of bankcards opened within the last 24 months.” This sounded like a solid denial under a “6/24 Rule” to us. Under the circumstances, we decided not to call Barclays to ask for reconsideration.
A few other points here:
- I somewhat regret not calling Barclays reconsideration. Even if the denial decision was not overturned, I possibly could have gotten a bit more information for this article.
- You can check Barclays application status online
- Barclays: Application Status web page
- Although our denial letter did not include a call-back number, we believe that you can use the following number for Barclays reconsideration: 866-408-4064 (Hat Tip to US Credit Card Guide)
Finally, here’s the full text of our denial letter:
But There Are Still Other Recent Data Points of Approval for Arrival Plus at Over 6/24
In yesterday’s Reddit Churning Daily Discussion thread, user “AnonFlyer” posted a data point of instant approval for Arrival Plus at 8/24. AnonFlyer stated that he had one lightly-used Barclays AA co-branded card (but apparently no other Barclays cards). They also stated that within the past 6 months they had 4 new personal accounts and 1 new business account opened.
Other Reddit Churning users reported a couple more Arrival Plus data points:
- “Wolfe1” reported approval for Arrival Plus despite being “lol/24” (way over 6/24)
- “rty05” reported denial last week at 10/24
- The general consensus is that approvals over 6/24 are still the exception rather than the rule
Another Reddit Churning user reminded everyone that you can’t be approved for another Arrival Plus card if you have one open; you must close any existing Arrival Plus before applying again. As usual, we’d recommend letting at least 2-3 months pass after closing, before you re-apply for the same card, to give the card issuer’s systems time to clear.
Barclays may still have a 6/24 Rule for the Arrival Plus, but it must not be a strict, hard-and-fast rule as we see some approvals of people over 6/24. That said, approvals over 6/24 still seem to be the exception, and 6/24 (or 6+/24) still seems to be important. Our own denial was clearly based on the single factor, “the number of bankcards opened within the past 24 months.”
But at least there’s some element of YMMV here, so at least there’s hope of approval for Arrival Plus if you’re over 6/24. Peripheral facts such as high credit score and good Barclays relationship didn’t help us personally, but they might matter more for someone with fewer new accounts than our 13/24 status.
If you could get value out of the Arrival Plus card – especially with the sweet sign-up bonus – it’s worth a shot to apply. There’s little downside to trying. Barclays only pulls TransUnion, so a failed attempt at the Arrival Plus won’t hurt you at all with respect to most other card issuers who only pull Experian and/or Equifax.
If you do apply for the Arrival Plus card, please search out your second-favorite points-and-miles blogger’s affiliate/referral link (since we don’t have one!) and use it. We never like to leave points, miles or cashback on the table!
And if you apply, of course we wish you the best of luck!
Have you applied for Arrival Plus recently, or do you plan to? Please share your data points of approval or denial in the Comments, along with your 6/24 status and any other relevant details! Thank you!
At Middle Age Miles, we love to bring you travel, credit card and points-and-miles information that you can use to help make your travel dreams come true. To see all of our tips and insights, please Like and follow us on social media at:
Please share and re-tweet our posts and tell all of your friends about Middle Age Miles! Thank you!