Barclaycard Arrival Plus Mastercard – $525 in Travel

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I just got approved for my second Barclaycard Arrival Plus Mastercard!  I was originally denied, but I called 866-408-4064 to ask them to shift credit card to get approved.  I cancelled my first Arrival Plus on 4/3/15 and applied for the Barclaycard Wyndham card in on 12/8/15.  This credit card is highly recommended for the infrequent and flexible traveler.  Let me explain.

Limited Time 50K Offer

Limited Time 50K Offer

Card Details

  • $89 annual fee, waived the first year
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Redeem for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Redemption values vary
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country

Analysis

I value each point at 1.05 cents each because when you redeem 50,000 points towards a travel expense (flight, hotel, etc.) you will get an extra 5% rebate, which would be $25.  If you divide $525/50,000 = 1.05 cents per point.  Barclaycard points can be used on anything that codes as travel.  I particularly like to use these points at unique AirBnB stays or 3rd party bookings. You can also use these points on small airlines like Wow Air or Norwegian Air because Chase doesn’t let you book these through Ultimate Rewards.

One catch is you have to redeem in 10,000 point increments, so it’s best used for misc hotel and airfare expense.  I don’t believe this card is worth holding after the first year.  To maximize, I would spend exactly $3,000 to get 56,000 points.  I would then redeem 48,000 miles to get 2,400 miles back.  Then, you would be left with 8,000 points plus the 2,400 points.  I would then redeem the 10,400 points for $104.  Here is the summary:

  • Spend $3,000 = 56,000 points
  • Redeem 48,000 miles and get 2,400 mile rebate
  • Remaining balance 8,000 plus rebate of 2,400 = 10,400
  • Redeem the 10,400 points and stop spending

Conclusion

This card is basically $525 towards free travel.  I recommend this card if you already have applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve.  You can use Barclaycard points to complement Chase points.

 

2 comments for “Barclaycard Arrival Plus Mastercard – $525 in Travel

  1. November 23, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Great article! Are you holding back on churns to save space for Chase 5/24?

    • November 23, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      I’m holding back on the wife’s account 🙂

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