More Info on Minimizing Travel Costs Using Barclaycard Arrival

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I wanted to share more info on minimizing travel costs using Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard because I think it is a very practical credit card to save money.  I recently used the card extensively when traveling in Europe to test out the credit card internationally.  Make sure you give a quick call to the number on the back of your card to inform them of your travel dates.

Why Use the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard for International Travel?

In my opinion, this is probably the best card to use internationally because of no foreign transaction fees and the guaranteed 2X Barclaycard points on every purchase.  It is an easy credit card to earn and redeem points and also can earn a 10% points rebate when redeeming.  Therefore, each dollar spent with the card equates to 2.22% travel cash back.  I also like to keep it simple and hassle free while traveling abroad by mainly using one credit card.  I also used the Chase Hyatt card as a backup card because it has a Smartchip technology, which certain vendors in Europe prefer.

Redeeming Barclaycard Points and Minimizing Travel Costs Using Barclaycard Arrival

I used the Barclaycard Arrival for various expenses such as taking regional trains, boat rides, and paying the cash portion of my SPG points and cash redemptions.  These specific expenses qualify for Barclaycard points redemption.  All you need to do is log into your account, click redeem miles, identify the expense, and redeem points to credit the travel expense.

The interesting thing is to see which expenses actually qualify.  As advertised, all the train related and airline related expenses qualified for Barclaycard points redemption.  Even a boat trip I took around the scenic Lake Konigsee in Berchtesgaden National Park qualified!  Below is what my account looks like:


Using My Barclaycard Points to Minimize My Costs!

Minimizing Travel Costs Using Barclaycard Arrival Points!


  • You have 90 days from the date of charge to redeem Barclaycard points to credit your travel expense.
  • The two Sheraton charges are from paying the points and cash portion with my Barclaycard Arrival card.  The Sheraton Frankfurt was 4,000 SPG and $60 USD and Salzburg was 4,800 SPG and $90 USD.  Both these hotels were booked before the cash and points devaluation.  This was better than paying 10,000 SPG for a hotel.  It only takes $3,000 spend to get 6,000 Barclaycard points.  Therefore, using a combination of SPG points and Barclaycard points saved me 3,000 SPG points for example.  
  • I booked a Hotel Bavaria on and paid the full cost with the Barclaycard Arrival.  
  • The United $25 charge is a phone award booking fee.
  • The other charges are for train tickets and a boat ride.
  • Don’t forget you get a 10% points rebate after redeeming your points.

There are many uses for the Barclaycard Arrival card that will help minimize your travel costs.  This is just one more way in addition to award flights and hotels to make travel economical and not sacrificing on the experience.  It’s not being cheap, it’s being strategic and smart with your spending.  Spending on the Barclaycard Arrival card basically gives you 2.22 cents per dollar spent, which is a pretty decent cash back return.  Even though it is not purely cash back, there are many uses for the points that I always need more Barclaycard points.  Collect those points!

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11 comments for “More Info on Minimizing Travel Costs Using Barclaycard Arrival

  1. Nguyen
    July 9, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for the good information. May I ask what would be good credit card for buying “ice cream” at the CVS?

    • July 9, 2013 at 10:34 am

      I would either use any of the cards mentioned above. It’s good to mix up your spend on various cards to avoid possible shut downs (very unlikely, in my opinion though).

  2. happy9zz
    July 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Barclaycard Arrival , does it have annual fee? I prefer no annual fee version card.

    • July 9, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      No annual fee first yr. you can downgrade to no fee version anytime. Preferably after you get $440 for free!

      • kris
        July 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

        I am currently debating between the fee and no fee version, and that sign on bonus looks very alluring on the fee version. How do you downgrade to the no fee version? if I can do that I’m definitely taking advantage of the sign on bonus.

        • July 13, 2013 at 7:57 pm

          A simple call to downgrade will do. I’ve downgraded many cards with no problem. Many people just don’t want to or are scared to make a simple 3 minute call. I’ll take $200 for 3 min of work.

          • Kris
            July 13, 2013 at 8:18 pm

            One other question for you, how many months after I have the card should I call to downgrade? Also, thanks for the quick reply, I’m new to sign up bonuses and churning and really like your blog, its been very informational!

          • July 14, 2013 at 8:12 am

            You usually have 60 days from when the annual fee hits to refund it. I usually wait until the annual fee hits and call right away before I have to pay it. The longer you wait, the better chances you have for a bonus or waived fee in my experience. I wouldn’t stress too much over it because worse case you can downgrade or cancel.

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