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TPG reader Eva tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy– “Is it better to buy airline tickets with American Express Membership Rewards points or Barclaycard Arrival Plus points?”

Not all miles and points are created equal, which is why I love to have a diverse collection of airline miles, hotel points and transferable credit card points. Lately I’ve been really ramping up my Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard points and Capital One Venture card points, which are both great because they cover costs like Uber, Airbnb and train tickets, basically acting as cash towards travel. Whereas hotel and airline points can be great for covering a majority of expenses, sometimes it’s great to have points you can use for other types of travel.

Not all travel rewards are created equal. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Not all travel rewards are created equal. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you want to use your points like cash, as Eva does, it’s best to use Barclaycard Arrival Plus points. Amex Membership Reward points are are much more valuable when you transfer them to airline partners like Aeroplan or Lufthansa. For instance, last summer I booked a first class ticket from Europe to the U.S. for 62,500 miles on Lufthansa simply by transferring some of my Amex Rewards points.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus points are always pegged at one cent per point plus you get a 5% rebate when you redeem your miles, so use those for travel costs like cheap plane tickets (or other types of transportation costs) and transfer your Amex points for a better deal on long-haul first or business class airfares.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

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.