Credit Card Bonus Offering $700+ Worth Of Travel (With Annual Fee Waived)

Filed Under: Credit Cards, Great Deals
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It has been quite a while since I’ve written about the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® (see terms), and I think it’s worth posting a reminder about this card, given that it currently has its best ever welcome bonus. Within the past several months this welcome bonus has been improved a few times:

  • This card used to have a welcome bonus of 50K miles upon completing minimum spend, and the annual fee wasn’t waived the first year
  • Then the card’s welcome bonus was increased to 60K miles
  • Then the card’s welcome bonus was improved to 60K miles with the annual fee waived the first year

Currently the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is offering a welcome bonus of 70,000 miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 90 days. While the card has an $89 annual fee, it’s waived for the first 12 months.

The card earns 2x miles on all purchases, and each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase. Furthermore, you get 5% of the miles back to use towards your next redemption every time you redeem.

The travel category for which you can redeem is really broad, as you can redeem points for everything ranging from flights to hotels to timeshares to campgrounds to car rentals to cruises to travel agencies to trains to buses to ferries, and much more.

This is a solid travel card for anyone looking to earn rewards in the form of cash that can be used towards travel, given how these miles can be redeemed. The 70,000 mile welcome bonus can be redeemed for $700 towards the cost of a travel purchase, so with the annual fee waived for the first year, that’s roughly what I value the welcome bonus at.

That’s a really good bonus. Sure, earning traditional miles and points is great, but this can help you cover all kinds of purchases that can’t be booked with miles, be it an inter-island Air Tahiti flight, a stay at a Four Seasons, a car rental, or fuel surcharges on award tickets.

Long term this is a card that’s essentially getting you two miles per dollar that are equal to two cents total, plus a 5% refund on redeemed miles, so your net return is over 2% of value. Furthermore, the card has no foreign transaction fees, and is also one of the few valuable US credit cards with Chip & PIN technology.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is a card that I have, so if you don’t yet have it, this is an ideal time to pick it up.

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  1. I’ve always been a fan of the large sign up bonuses for the possibility of long haul business class redemptions and largely ignored the cash back cards. I’m starting to waver though with the seemingly inevitable move to the dynamic pricing and the increasing number of moving parts required to navigate through..
    I’ll probably get this one and see how it goes..

  2. Probably worth mentioning in the post that the points can only be applied to travel purchases of $100 or more, which is a not inconsequential limitation on the card’s value proposition. Still a great bonus though.

  3. I see this as a great card to get before a big trip. That $700 can go a long way towards lowering the cost of an independent hotel or non-award airfare. The $100 limitation is annoying for redeeming for everyday items like Ubers, but great if you have large travel purchases coming up.

  4. After you spend the welcome bonus, this card is a bit of nuisance to redeem. You’d have to put $5000 worth of spending on it to get $100 worth of travel redemption. Then, it must be used at least $100 at a time for travel. I prefer to use other cards for airlines, hotels and rental cars, so that basically leaves $100+ train tickets for points redemption. I’m not planning any European train journeys so it basically can only be redeemed the next time I’m in Japan. It likely will be eaten up by annual fees before then.

    PS You can use points to cancel out the annual fee even though it is less than $100.

  5. Simple question: I assume you redeem the (up to) $700 by spending $700 on the card in at least $100 increments. Right?

  6. I’d also like to know when the offer expires. I’ve got a couple hard inquiries that will fall outside of 24 months at the end of May and was planning to wait until then for any new applications…

  7. Be aware also of the reported 6/24 limit with Barclays – I just got a “too many cards in the last 24 months” letter (I’m at 6) when I was declined for the Choice Hotels card (didn’t apply because I’m a masochist – I’m planning a honeymoon in Norway and that bonus would’ve been quite useful).

  8. Robert, I have the card it can be redeemed in increments of $10 once you get over $100. So if you book a hotel for $164 a night, you have up to 120 days to manually redeem the 16,000 points for a $160 statement credit against that hotel purchase.

    The 2% back is great for slowly building points on random things that other credit cards usually can’t get a better percentage back on ($2k/month in daycare = $40 points for me).

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