Well my GE has expired and as I travel internationally frequently, I'm not renewing my BA+. There are several cards with intro benefits plus the same annual charge, who will pay the fee. Like my Barclay card but in this instance they are just not competitive so there is no incentive not to change.
Unfortunately, I doubt that the Arrival Plus will offer any Global Entry (or Lounge Access) benefits due to the relatively low Annual Fee. As Stormtroopin2 and others have mentioned, most cards that offer such perks have much higher annual fees in the $400 range.
This is why I am still cheering for Barclays to launch a true elite travel credit card that comes with the elite perks. I would have applied for the Arrival Premier (which provided Global Entry), had I been able to request an upgrade as opposed to a second card.
Speaking of Global Entry, I just applied for it using my Arrival Plus. I am hoping to get conditional approval sometime in the next few months.
I might have to go to one of the Border Patrol offices along the Rio Grande in South Texas for my interview. If so, I plan to write stories about my experience assuming that this community is still active.
BelfryBat, the GE is great. We love ours and wow! The amount of time it saves. I can’t remember if I have mentioned this in a discussion or not, when we got back to SFO from Amsterdam last year we flew through customs, about 15 minutes. It took us 15 minutes because the couple in front of us didn’t know how it worked. After we got through customs we had to wait another 2 1/2 to 3 hours for the other two in our party got through regular customs. They are now in the process of getting GE. Fantastic if you travel internationally.
That is very encouraging to hear. The only reason I have been so slow to get it is because I live 2 hours away from the nearest airport and my family lives 2 to 4 hours away from their nearest airports. On the other hand, I have pretty much wide open rural highways to get from my place to where my family lives.
Thus, with a lot of my trips, I can just about drive where I want to go in the time that it takes me to fly.
I am anticipating taking a few airplane trips in the next few years so I figured that now is the time.
BelfryBat, once you use it you won’t want to be without. I have three cards that have the $100 credit, but I didn’t have them when we got our GE almost 3 years ago. So whe renewal time comes both of ours are covered. Even paying the $100 each it has been worth it. We have to go to SFO for our interview and the drive there can take anywhere from 1 1/2 hours on up. Traffic to and through SF is horrible. Your two hour drive is probably much more relaxing. I highly recommend GE to anyone that travels internationally. A few of the cruise ports are starting to get onboard the GE train now.
Yes, my 2-hour drive probably will be more relaxing - although I might end up going to one of the border patrol stations along the Rio grande. There are several of them in South Texas and a lot of border patrol personnel have gotten transferred down there so I might have a better chance of getting an interview in that area. I really like South Texas so I will consider it a nice vacation.
If this travel community is still going, I will share some travel stories related to this trip. I think that people enjoyed my stories from El Paso and Brownsville so hopefully they might like Laredo or Eagle Pass as well.
I have heard that it takes roughly 100 days or more to get conditional approval after you send in your application. Thus, I was planning on being conditionally approved around Thanksgiving and then doing an interview sometime in December or January.
Well, SURPRISE SURPRISE! I received conditional approval in only 2 business days! (4 calendar days) I am very pleasantly surprised.
The conditional approval was quick for us, it was the interview date that we had to wait for. The dates, at least for an appointment at SFO, were 3-4 months out. Hopefully you’ll have a closer date where your appointment will be set up. The interview was a piece of cake. Good luck.
Being in Texas is a major plus because there are so many Border Patrol offices here. They are all up and down the Rio Grande River in addition to being at the major airports. There are something like 13 interview locations in Texas.
AIthough I obviously cannot talk about the interview itself in a public forum, my trip will certainly result in some unrelated travel stories (historic sites, hotels, local restaurants, etc) on here.
I might as well take in a few sites on my journey.