December 25, 2016
Barclaycard Offering $525 Towards Travel with this Credit Card
Straight to the Point
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card currently has a sign-up bonus worth $525 towards travel with no annual fee for the first year!
Basics of Earning Arrival Points
- The card comes with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
- You earn additional points at a flat rate of 2X points per dollar spent on all purchases.
- You also get 5% of your points back when you redeem them for travel expenses on the card. For example, if you redeem 10,000 points, you get 500 points added back into your account.
- The Arrival Plus has no foreign transaction fees and the points never expire.
- Combining the 50,000 point sign-up bonus with the 5% you get back when you redeem them (2,500 points), the signup bonus is effectively worth $525 towards travel ($0.01 per points).
- The $89 annual fee is waived the first year!
This card is similar to other cash back cards in that you redeem points for statement credits. However, you can only redeem Arrival points towards travel purchases made within the past 120 days. A minimum of 10,000 points can be redeemed at a time at a rate of $0.01 per point. Doing some math, 10,000 points would give you a credit of $100 towards travel purchases.
- $0 Fraud Liability-You’re not responsible for unauthorized charges you report to the bank (pretty standard).
- Chip Technology-The card comes with a chip and a magnetic stripe, so you won’t have problems using it in countries which only have chip readers.
- Free Online FICO Score Access-You can check your FICO score on Barclaycard’s website. Your score is updated every 1-2 months. I personally love this benefit as it helps me make sure my credit score is healthy when I’m applying for new credit cards and it tells me the two factors having the largest negative effect on my score.
- MasterCard World Elite Concierge and Luxury Travel-Free 24/7 concierge service that helps you with travel bookings.
- Travel Accident & Trip Cancellation Insurance-Reimburses you for nonrefundable cancellation or change fees if your trip is interrupted or cancelled for a covered reason.
When I Redeem Arrival Points
Arrival points can be used for pretty much any travel expense-airfare, parking, uber, ferries, cruises, rental cards etc. I typically redeem these points for things like cheap inter-Europe airfare, nominal seat upgrades, ferry transfers etc. You just charge the travel expense to your card, and then you have 120 days to go online and redeem your points for a statement credit. Here’s an example of what this looks like-
- I book a $150 ticket through Lufthansa for a flight within Europe and pay with the Arrival card.
- I earn 300 Arrival points for my purchase (2X per dollar).
- I redeem 15,000 points for a $150 statement credit, which means that flight is effectively free.
- I earn 750 Arrival points because I get 5% of the miles I redeem added back to my account.
- Because I purchased a revenue ticket with Lufthansa, I still earn Lufthansa miles for my trip.
I use the Arrival card for filler spending, meaning I use it when I don’t have another credit card that pays more than the standard 1X per dollar on that particular purchase category. I also love the flexibility of the points since I can redeem them for a huge range of travel expenses. Given the fact that the card has no annual fee for the first year and gives you $525 towards travel, it’s an easy decision to get this card and keep it for at least the first year (free points woot)! After that, you’ll need to decide for yourself whether it’s worth $89 per year for you to keep the card. I’ve personally had this card for years, and although Barclays has reduced some of the perks from when it originally launched, it’s still a solid card to have for filler spending categories. You can apply here if you’re interested.