The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is considered one of the best all-around travel rewards credit cards. Some of the biggest perks of the card are it’s 2X earning on all purchases, 10% mileage rebate on miles redeemed for travel, and its ultimate flexibility to redeem the miles for any travel purchase.
The card currently offers a 40,000 miles welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. The card’s welcome bonus is marketed as having a value of $400 in free travel, but in all reality it's worth more--you can maximize the bonus to get $525 to $626 of free travel when you liquidate all your miles. If you buy Amex gift cards through RewardsBoost to earn extra miles while hitting the minimum spending requirement you can get a maximum of $626 out of the card.
There are several ways to maximize the value of the 40,000 miles. This post isn’t meant to cover how much is possible to earn for big spending (which the card is great for), but rather how to maximize the 40,000 miles with as little spending as possible.
From what I can tell you can redeem for the full charge amount (rounded to closest $1) if you have enough points in your account to cover the entire charge. If you are only redeeming for a portion of the total charge, you can redeem in increments of $25. The examples below will assume your travel purchases are larger than what you can cover with your miles, after all if they are not, then you can just cash out all your miles.
Getting $525 of Value from the Card
You’ll have to spend the $3,000 to complete the minimum spending requirement to earn the bonus and in the process you’ll earn an extra 6,000 miles. This puts you at 46,000 miles after hitting the spending requirement.
You can then redeem these miles to pay yourself back for travel purchases, and in turn earn 10% of your redeemed miles back. To start you can immediately redeem the 45,000 miles for $450. Now, having 5,500 miles left in your account you can redeem them for $50, leaving only 1000 miles. Since the minimum redemption level is $25 you’ll either have put $750 of additional spending on your card or you can earn extra points through Barclaycards’ Travel Community.
After linking your profile, you’ll earn 500 miles you can earn 1050 miles by submitting 7 travel stories (150 miles each). Now you can cash out another 2,500 miles for another $25, and leaving you with only 300 miles left in your account. The value from the points earned comes to a total of $525.
Getting $626 of Value from the Card with RewardsBoost
If you really want to maximize the value of the Arrival card’s bonus and don’t mind purchasing Amex gift cards, you can get up to $635 in value. You can purchase Amex gift cards through Barclaycards RewardsBoost shopping portal and earn 4X miles per dollar spent. By hitting the minimum spending requirement through this, you’ll earn 6X miles on the $3,000 spent.
After hitting the spending requirement you’ll have 58,000 miles in your account, and can immediately redeem $550 on a travel purchase. Now you’ll be left with 8,500 miles in your account, which you can redeem for $85. From there you’ll only have 850 miles left in your account. The total value from this method is $626 in free travel.
To save on purchase fees using this method you can use a promo code, but you’ll have to pay the $8.95 shipping and handling free (if you want free shipping you can sign-up for the Amex 90 day ‘premium shipping’ trail). Even after paying for shipping you’ll come out ~$190 ahead from the points earned on the Amex gift cards.
Here are a few Amex gift card promo codes that should work:
- FPMOM (valid through 5/15/14)
- MOMPCL (valid through 5/31/14)
- ADAYPCB (valid through 5/31/14)
- MOMCNH (valid through 5/31/14)
You can liquidate the Amex gift cards by:
- Buy Visa gift cards and either load to Bluebird or do a money order.
- Liquidate through Amazon payments for free.
- Load Amex Target card for $3 per $500 and cash out via ATM or bank transfer.
- Use for regular purchases.
Earn More Miles with RewardsBoost
You can earn extra miles by making purchases through Barclaycards shopping portal RewardsBoost. The best way to find good deals is by sorting the online stores by mile earning per dollar. Depending on the online store you can earn between 1 to 24 miles per dollar spent, and there are also some larger one-time welcome bonuses at low-cost.
Earn More from Barclaycard Travel Community
To add to the 2X miles per dollar spent on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® you can earn some extra points through Barclaycards’ Travel Community. You can get 500 bonus miles for registering a profile, 150 miles for submitting a 50 word travel story, and 10 miles for getting ‘likes’ from other users. This can be a great way to earn extra miles to cash out a few leftover miles in your account without making any additional purchases on your card.
The Bottom Line
Even though the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®'s 40,000 mile welcome bonus is marketed as $400 in free travel, you'll get a lot more value after adding in the 10% mile rebate when redeeming for travel and miles earned just from hitting the $3,000 minimum spending requirement. After earning the bonus through everyday spending or purchasing Amex gift cards through RewardsBoost you'll be able to redeem all of your points to get $525 to ~$626 of free travel.
To learn more about how to maximize the Arrival card, check out these posts:
|Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®|
|Quick review: The Arrival Plus card is one of my favorite all-around 2X earning cards. The miles can be redeemed for any type to travel, making it a great beginner travel rewards credit card.|
Why we like it: The Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard earns 2X points per dollar spent on all purchases. You'll also get 5% of your miles back when you redeem your points, to use on your next redemption. The card has Chip+PIN technology, which can be useful for international travel. Especially when traveling in Europe. Lastly, the card comes with a complimentary online FICO® Credit Score and of course has no foreign transaction fees.