Lately I have been receiving a frequent emails from readers wanting to know how they can earn enough miles for a trip that’s only a few months away. Since many cards take an entire billing cycle after reaching the spending requirement for the bonus to post, those cards often aren’t useful for last minute trips. This is even more true if your wanting to book an award ticket with the bonus miles because award seat availability can be very limited the closer to travel date.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is is one of the best cards to earn a bonus on for last minute travel. The bonus posts very quickly and you can use the 40,000 miles to purchases any flight or travel, so you don't have to worry about blackout dates.
Generally most cards will tell you within the terms how long it will take for the the bonus points to deposit to your account after hitting the spending requirement. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card says it takes 6 to 8 weeks for bonus points to post to your account and the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card says it takes 8-12 weeks! I’ve never actually had a bonus take that long to post, but I guess it’s possible if it’s in the terms. For most cards the common timeframe for the bonus to post is within one billing cycle after hitting the minimum spend.
Either way, this suggests that you should plan and apply for a card at least 2 months away to earn airline miles bonus for upcoming travel. It’s not always the case that it takes as long as it states in the terms, but I wouldn’t count 100% on the bonuses posting after the close of the first statement either.
So, lets take a look at the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® terms:
"Bonus Miles – 40,000 bonus miles are earned if you use your new Credit Card Account for $3,000 in Net Purchases within ninety (90) days of your Credit Card Account being opened. You will also receive your two (2) miles for each $1 of all Net Purchases made using your Card. This one-time 40,000 miles bonus offer is valid for first-time Cardmembers with new accounts only. Existing Cardmembers and existing accounts are not eligible for this offer. This is a limited-time offer and may be cancelled at any time without notice."
The terms don’t offer a timeline of when the bonus miles post! But from my experience and reports from readers the 40,000 miles bonus posts immediately after hitting the spending requirement.
For instance, I applied for the Barclays Arrival card in December and hit the minimum spend 7 days after getting the card. The 40,000 miles posted to my account the day I hit the minimum spend. This means that it’s possible for the bonus to post to your account within days of receiving the card in the mail and makes the Barclays Arrival card one of the best cards for last minute reward travel.
For last minute travel the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is one of the best card bonuses.
On top of the bonus posting the same day you hit the spending requirements, the 40,000 Arrival miles can be used for $440 worth of ANY kind of travel. You can buy a flight or pay for your hotel stay during your trip and redeem the miles for a statement credit after you return home. This takes a great deal of planning out the equation when comparing the uses of traditional airline miles for flights. Don’t get me wrong, I love using airline miles for long international flights, but they certainly take more planning in terms of earning and redeeming.
On top of that, the card earns 2.2% back on all purchases which makes it one of the highest earning travel rewards cards on the market. One of my strategies this year is to build up a balance of Arrival miles to fall back on when I can’t use traditional airline miles and hotel points to cover my travel. By spending an extra $10,000 on the card you will have $660 worth of free travel in your account for whatever kind of travel---whenever you need it.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that most credit card bonuses can take up to 6 to 12 weeks to get deposited to your account, but the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®’s 40,000 mile bonus posts immediately after reaching the $3,000 spending requirement.
For last minute travel you may not be able to earn airline miles and book an award ticket in time, but you can still earn $440 worth of travel from the Barclays Arrival card to cover a portion of the trip.
This makes it one of the best card options for last minute travel or people that don’t want to worry about planning for trips months in advance. In either case, it’s a great card to have as a backup plan for unplanned travel when your airline miles or hotel points can’t cover your trip.
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