Leveraging the Travelocity Amex
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
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.
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.
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.