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Until this year, Barclays had not been a heavy hitter among travel reward credit cards. The Premier Miles and More World MasterCard and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® are becoming increasingly popular in the miles and points world, and justly so.
For a long time the Chase Sapphire Preferred card was considered the top travel credit card, but I think the Barclays Arrival Card is giving it a run for its money.
Why the Barclays Arrival Card is One of My Favorite Cards
Earn 2x Miles on ALL Purchases
You get a 2.2% return on everything. Unlike other cards that typically earn 2x on bonus categories and 1x on all others, the Arrival Plus card earns you 2x miles on all purchases across the board.
You earn 2x miles on everything, all year long. This keeps things simple and earns you some of the highest rewards available from any card. You don’t have to think about when to use what card for special purchases.
The 2x earning makes this card one of the best cards for the all-around traveler.
If you want to just carry around one card you will earn a great return on every purchase using the Barclay Arrival Plus card. One of the reasons this card is one of my favorites is that it consistently earns 2x miles. This makes this an incredibly hassle free card.
You don’t need charts or apps telling you which card to use for gas, groceries, travel, etc. It’s simple, if you keep the Arrival Plus Card in your wallet you will earn 2x miles–which is hard to beat with any other card.
You Can Redeem for ANY Travel
Yes, frequent flyer miles have their place in earning free travel, but the miles you earn with the Arrival Plus card can be redeemed for ANY travel expenses. You don’t have to find award availability or know all the routing rules.
With traditional airline miles, you often have to book a trip at least 3+ months out to get great award space, and at times you can’t even get the flights you want.
With the Arrival Plus card, you don’t have to deal with that. You can use the miles for any purchased travel expense, so feel free to buy the flights you want. You simply buy the flight and redeem your Arrival miles for a statement credit.
There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions. If you can buy the seat, then you can use your Arrival miles to cover the cost of the flight.
On top of that, you earn more Arrival miles for purchasing the ticket and airline miles for flying on the flight!
You can fly on whatever airline you want. With airline miles you are limited to the said airline and its partners. With the Arrival card, you have the freedom to choose.
You pick your airline, and you can even mix-and-match. As I said above, you can purchase any ticket that is available and use your Arrival miles to cover the cost of the flight.
You can fly on several different airlines and still be able to use your miles. This gives you maximum flexibility.
Plus, you can redeem for other types of travel: flights, hotels, rental cars and trains. You can pay for almost all types of travel expenses with Arrival miles.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t earn airline miles for long haul international flights, but having Arrival miles gives you ultimate flexibility when you need it!
10% Rebate Bonus on Redeemed Points
When you redeem Arrival miles, you earn more miles! You get a 10% mile rebate whenever you redeem miles.
If you redeem 40,000 airline miles, you will earn 4,000 miles that will be credited to your account for using your miles.
This makes the Arrival Plus card the top earning fixed-points card on the market. You essentially earn 2.2% back on every purchase.
The 40,000 Mile Sign-up Bonus
The current 40,000 mile bonus on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is worth $440 when redeemed for travel. The best part is that it is straight cash back that you can use for any flight or hotel.
You won’t get the value of a business or first class flight from this bonus, but it does give you ultimate flexibility. It could be worth a domestic flight or two, or you could even use it to cover the taxes and fees of an international flight you book with airline points.
No foreign transaction fees means that you can use the card on all your trips and not pay any fees when making purchases in foreign currencies.
The annual fee is waived for the first year. Even though the benefits of this card could easily cover the cost of paying the $89 annual fee, you wont have to until the second year.
The minimum spend for the bonus is only $3,000 within the first three months. This is a low minimum spend for a sizable sign-up bonus. Essentially, after you spend $3,000 you get $440 back when the miles are redeemed for travel.
The low spend requirement makes this a great card to throw into the mix when applying for other cards because you will be able to easily hit the minimum spend.
Barclays now also offers a free FICO score with the Arrival Plus card so you can easily check your score when you log into your online account.
The Potential Drawbacks of the Arrival Card
Since you earn fixed-value miles with the Arrival Plus card, you cannot get more than 1.1 cent per mile when redeeming for travel. This means that the 40,000 sign-up bonus is worth $440 in travel–no more, no less.
Unlike airline mile card offers that allow you to redeem miles based on award charts, Arrival miles are fixed. This means that you won’t be able to maximize your value per mile be creating award trips.
For this reason, airline miles are better for business or first class flights and hotel points are better for very expensive hotel stays. On the flip side, Arrival miles have there place and are great for flexibility and low cost travel.
I recently got the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® and love it. The 40,000 mile bonus posted to my account just a few days after I hit the spend requirement within the first billing cycle. The card is great and allows for incredible flexibility when you need to find a specific flight.
One of my favorite aspects about the card is that it is a hassle free way to earn 2.2% back on every $1 spent. This is why I highly recommend it to anyone who does not have a fixed-value points earning card or would just like to diversify their miles accounts.
By earning 2x on ALL purchases you don’t have to worry about which card to use for everyday purchases. Although, I would still recommend using 5x cards such as the Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, and the Chase Freedom cards for specific bonus categories if you want to absolutely maximize your points.
On top of that, the flexibility to buy whatever ticket you want on any airline makes this card so simple. You won’t have to worry about blackout dates or seat availability.
Because of these benefits, the Arrival Plus card has turned into my everyday spending card and as of current, I only carry this and my Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Do you have a favorite travel credit card? Let us know what it is and why in the comments below!
[As always, if you choose to apply for the Arrival Plus card through our links, we may earn a small commission. We’re always grateful of your support if you do!]
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