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This question comes from my mom, Suzanne, who recently applied for the Barclaycard Arrival:

What is the best way to you use your 40,000 miles that come with the Barclaycard Arrival after you reach the $1,000 in spend after 3 months?”

One thing many people don’t realize is that Barclaycard Arrival miles are basically cash. When you redeem those miles for travel you’re going to get 1 cent per miles and then a 10% refund on top of that, meaning that after you redeem those points, you get 10% of them put back into your account.

As an example, let’s say my mom was going to buy a $400 flight to visit me in Miami – you would go to the airline website of your choice whether it be American, Delta, United etc. and book the flight using your Barclaycard Arrival. The charge will go through as $400 and then you would go into your Barclay online statement and indicate that you want to use 40,000 miles to cover the $400 airfare charge. That charge will then be taken off your statement and you don’t ever actually have to pay it.

What makes this card so great?

One of the biggest benefits is that you’re still earning award and elite miles while using your miles since using fixed-value points like Arrival miles is just like using cash, and if you have elite status you can still enjoy your elite benefits such as possibly getting upgraded. Also when you redeem your points for travel, Barclaycard will give you 10% of those points back. Using the same example as above, on that 40,000 point redemption to cover your $400 airfare you would get 4,000 points put back into your account for a future trip, which is equivalent to $40 in value.

Another great aspect of the version of this card with the $89 annual fee waived the first year is that you earn double miles on every dollar you spend and with the 10% bonus you’re earning 2.2% cash back to redeem for travel rewards.

I know my mom has a lot of American Airlines miles and Chase Ultimate Rewards points saved up, so the beauty here is that you can redeem those points for flights and hotels and then use your BarclayCcrd Arrival miles for other expenses that you may not be able to use other miles for. It’s a great card to use and take advantage of when you booking rental cars where it might not make sense to use your Ultimate Rewards points. Instead you can transfer your hard-earned Ultimate Rewards points to a partner like United or Hyatt where you’ll get a lot more value out of them.

A downside to Barclaycard Arrival miles is that you won’t be able to transfer them to airline partners for expensive premium redemptions – their value is fixed at 1 cent apiece, so I wouldn’t recommend using them to book any first class or international tickets that are on the expensive side because you can get more value from using them for domestic airfare and covering all those in-between travel expenses that you may not be able to use your airline miles or hotel points on.

Did you get in on the 40,000 point offer for the Barclaycard Arrival? How do  you plan to use your points?

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.