Video SRQ: Maximizing Barclaycard Arrival Miles

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Update: Some of the offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

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?

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.

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