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Leveraging the Travelocity Amex

by on September 26, 2013 · 20 comments

in Barclays, Credit Cards

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Lately Barclaycard has been making a major push into the market of travel points and rewards with a host of new products targeted at the US market including the Barclaycard Arrival and various airline and hotel-specific co-branded cards.

Travelocity card

The issuer has another potentially lucrative credit card offer for travelers, the Travelocity Rewards American Express. Don’t let the name confuse you, Barclaycard is the issuer, the card just transacts through Amex’s network, so when you’re applying, you apply through Barclaycard. Here are the current terms:

  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after your first purchase
  • Earn an additional 5,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on eligible Travelocity purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Points can be redeemed for statement credits towards Travelocity purchases for Flights, Hotels and Vacation Packages
  • No blackout dates or restrictions
  • No Annual Fee

So the potential total sign-up bonus is 10,000 points if you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days. Normally, Travelocity points are worth 1 cent apiece when you redeem them towards statement credits for purchases on Travelocity, so 5,000 points = $50, 10,000 points = $100, etc.

However, when you redeem 20,000 points the value propositions doubles, to a credit of $400 on purchases of airline tickets or Flight + Hotel packages, meaning each point is potentially worth up to 2 cents, and your return on Travelocity spending is up to 6%, which is pretty great. As always, you can earn even more points by booking through an online shopping portal as I outlined in this post about Choosing the Best Site and Credit Card For Booking Airfare.

Your redemptions are worth up to 2 cents per point.

Your redemptions are worth up to 2 cents per point.

Like many other fixed-value points programs, there are no blackout dates, and what’s also great about these points in particular is that you can redeem them towards purchases of airfare, hotel, flight-hotel packages or car rentals that are available on Travelocity.

Is this the most valuable points-earning card out there? No, but remember, this is a Barclaycard product, so if you’re fully leveraged with American Express, this is a great option to have and be able to apply for. I would actually even say that Barclaycard’s Arrival is actually the most valuable card in their portfolio (you can read my full review here) since the sign-up bonus is 40,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in 3 months, and you earn 2X points per $1 on all purchases, but that card comes with an $89 annual fee (waived the first year) while this Travelocity card has no annual fee.

That’s why it might be a great idea to get this card – it costs you nothing to keep it open since there is no annual fee, and could be a great key product in your long-term points-earning strategy to get the maximum value back on your travel spending if you tend to go through an online travel agency like Travelocity and can really maximize those 20,000-point redemptions.

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.

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  • Uri Hadelsberg

    Hi,
    I don’t really get the point of the card- I need to spend 1000 dollars and apply for the card and then get $100 dollars off the credit. How do you get $400 dollars off? You have to spend another $3500 dollars or so for that to get to $400.

    Still a good deal but since I’m on a new credit crunch, this one will be a hard one to pull off don’t you think?
    Any thoughts?

    Uri

  • DWT

    I did have this card a few years ago, and while it does have the potential for great returns on airfare as well as everyday spending, ultimately the customer service was so bad/inept that I went ahead and cancelled the card. (I.E. when I did my first redemption, double the number of points was debited from my rewards balance, and it not only took several weeks for them to fix it, it took a lot of effort to even get the offshore call center reps to understand what the issue was.)

  • Nathan

    it’s very specific… but I guess could work for some people. Get the card and spend about $3,334 at Travelocity and clicking through the UR portal. You’ll then have 20,000 Travelocity points and 6,600ish UR points, netting you about $520 in free travel if you get $.02 from your UR points.

    Factoring in the sign-up bonus, and if you had $3400 in travel you could buy on Travelocity in the near future, that’s about 15% you’ll get back in travel.

  • Uri Hadelsberg

    Yep, but you have that $3334 number hidden in there. I guess that its good for people who, as mentioned above, are already done with all the Chases/Amexes possible.

  • Mike

    “so 5,000 points = $50, 10,000 points = $1,000, etc.” You mean $100, right?

  • joeypore

    So, you don’t have to use a Chase card to get the Chase UR bonus points?? That’s really good to know.

  • thepointsguy

    Doh! Yes, corrected.

  • penncomm

    It’s an “iffy” proposition. Sometimes you get ‘em, and sometimes you don’t. And if you don’t use your chase card, they won’t really do much to help you when you call to ask for your missing points.

  • entrada

    I’ve never received Ultimate Rewards points when using the UR portal to buy an item using a non-chase credit card. I gave up trying.

  • wildsman

    You’re talking about non-chase card. I paid using the Chase card and I still didn’t get the points. Does anyone know if I can get them if I call and find out?

  • Mr. Cool

    “so you’ll earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 and 3 Travelocity
    Rewards points per $1. I value those Ultimate Rewards points at about 2
    cents apiece, and with a smart redemption of 20,000 Travelocity points,
    you can get a value of 2 cents apiece for each of those as well, meaning
    that your total return on spending is approximately 10%!”

    –help me out here plz. you {mixed spending $ while earning points} with {redeeming points} in the same paragraph. are these mutually exclusive?? did i miss something plz?

    -also..how did you arrive @ the “10%” figure plz?

  • thepointsguy

    Here’s how it breaks down: You earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per $1, which I value at 2 cents apiece when it comes time to redeem them – so that’s 4 cents back in value.
    You earn 3 Travelocity points, which you can redeem at 2 cents apiece when you redeem 20,000 of them for $400 in travel, so 3 points at 2 cents each = 6 cents.
    6 cents plus 4 cents = 10 cents back on the $1 you spend = 10%.

  • Kristie

    AmEx just sent me an offer about Blue Sky – $0, 7500pts/$100 statement credit or travel + 30k bonus points for signing up. Thoughts on Blue Sky?

  • Jasmine

    I assume you mean Travelocity’s customer service, which is HORRIBLE.

  • Brandon

    Do you recommend using the Travelocity Amex to book paid travel over airline-affiliated credit cards (that usually give a category bonus for booking with their airline) or the Sapphire Preferred?

  • GREAKLY

    Yes, see my post above.

  • BBB

    I agree with DWT. I have toughed it out, but the Cust. Service is terrible. And no, not talking about Travelocity here. Barclay’s card service…everytime I spend on Travelocity, it takes me weeks and multiple emails to get the bonus points. Literally, every time. And I’ve had the card for several years now.

  • Nvtech

    I have been heavily using this Travelocity AMEX.
    For the last 2 months, I spent close to $4k and all the bookings through Ultimate Reward mall.
    For some strange reason, I did not get a single point.

    Prior to this, I almost spend $6k and I did get all the 12k UR points. Not sure if something got changed.
    Can you please confirm on this.

  • Greg

    Barclays also has a better card with $39 annual fee and 5 points per $1 spent on travel.

  • coop

    Have people had success using the Travelocity Amex on Travelocity purchases through the RewardsBoost portal to earn extra points? I’m seeing 2 bonus pts/dollar for Travelocity purchases through the portal, add this to the 3 pts/$ for any Travelocity purchase and you’re at 5 pts/$ which valued at $.02 each = 10% return. Has this worked for anyone?

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