Free travel from credit card welcome bonuses has been a great way for me to travel as a graduate student. Not everyone has extra money saved away to book a vacation every year so this is where travel hacking comes into play.
A crux to my travel hacking strategy is to sign-up for the best credit card offers and use the miles and points to travel for almost free. There are many valuable rewards credit cards out there and each can give you great travel perks that help you travel for much less. Each reward credit card has a welcome bonus that rewards you miles or points that you can then spend on free flights or hotels. It’s that simple.
In the last year, I was able to earn over a million airline miles from credit card bonus offers and there are many more that I plan to earn. I haven't paid full price for a flight or hotel in over two years. That’s how lucrative these credit card offers can be.
One of my favorite credit cards is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. You’ll get 40,000 bonus miles after signing-up for the card and spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. You can then use these 40,000 miles to get $440 worth of free travel---flights, hotels, trains, cruises, rental cars.
There are a lot of great credit card offers available, but one unique thing about the Arrival card is that there are no black-out dates or restrictions on how you can use the miles for travel. That's one of the main reasons I have this credit card in my wallet.
Most credit card bonuses have airline miles and points that have to be used with a specific airline---this is still a great way to earn free travel. But with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® you can purchase whatever flight or hotel you want. This will save you from being frustrated over not being able to find award availability like with traditional airline miles, which have capacity controlled award seats.
You’ll get 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. This bonus is worth $440 in free travel of any kind. It’s simple to redeem the miles, all you have to do is make a travel purchase with your card and then log in to your account and redeem miles for said travel purchase. The card's annual fee is waived for the first year, and then it's $89.
The credit card is one of the most flexible travel rewards credit cards because you can redeem miles for travel-related purchase. This means you can go out and purchase any flight on any airline or stay at any hotel and use the miles to remove the charge from your statement.
Earning bonus miles is easy with the card’s amazing 2X miles on all purchases. This powerful earning is among the highest across rewards credit cards---after all said and done you getting 2.28% back on all purchases. So even after the original 40,000 mile bonus you’ll be on your to racking up more free travel.
Many cards offer a bonus spending category, but few match the earning potential of the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard. You won’t have to bust out the calculator to decide with card to use for specific purchases, you’ll earn a high return on everything. On top of that, when you redeem miles for free travel you get a 10% miles back, so every time you redeem miles you get a kickback.
Redeeming miles for travel is easy and simple. The fact there are NO blackout dates and you can choose to fly on any airline, stay at any hotel, set sail on any cruise line, etc. gives you ultimate flexibility to choose how you want to travel. You won’t be stressed out trying to figure out how to find award space like when using traditional airline miles.
Plus, when you purchase an airline ticket with the the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® you earn double---the 2X miles on the card and your frequent flyer miles on your airline of choice (United, AA, Delta). This means when you redeem miles for a flight you’re earning miles on your credit card and airline account! This is what makes this card even more valuable.
Don’t forget about the 10% mile rebate when you use it for travel expenses. This means when you use your 40,000 miles to pay yourself back for travel purchases you will get 400 points ($40) instantly credited back to your account. You essentially earn 2.28% back on every purchase with this card, and that’s why it’s one of the most powerful travel cards out there.
Barclays defines “travel-related” purchases as “Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways, and Car Rental Agencies.”
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees, so you won’t have to worry about paying any fees traveling abroad. If you’re a frequent international traveler you know it’s essential to have a great rewards credit card that has no foreign transaction fees. Avoiding these fees can save you lots of money.
As a cardholder you get a Complimentary FICO® Score. You can easily check your credit score from your Barclaycard online account. This along with using free credit monitoring sites such as Credit Sesame or Quizzle is a great way to stay on top of your score and manage it responsibly.
During your travels, you’ll also be covered with the Arrival card’s medical and accident insurance, and trip cancellation reimbursement. The credit card offers protection for up to $200,000 so it can be a great source of backup travel insurance. Also, remember that if you are renting a vehicle, you can use your credit card to serve as rental car insurance to save money on your daily rate.