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Points, Credit cards and Airline Alliances
I am VERY new to the points reward credit cards and I am a bit confused…..Help?!?!?!?!
I am pretty much locked in on 2 cards. The Chase Reserve and The Barclaycard Arrival Plus. I use my credit card A LOT. In the past I was using the cash back program on another card and the 1 cent /$1 wasn’t getting much “back”. Barclay has the best return, 2x. However, I can not find which airlines (airline alliances) I can use with the Barclaycard. The Chase preferred has a handful that suit me since I want to go to europe next year. So which is better? Which airlines can I use with the better Barclaycard Arrival Plus rewards?
Apologies if this have been asked in the past, I couldn’t find this in the search menu.
I’ll suggest you read the Beginner’s Guide under the Start Here tab at the top of the page but here’s a quick rundown on the differences between these cards.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) card earns Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. Those points can be transferred to some airlines and hotels. You can use the points in this manner to fly on award tickets and they’re especially great if you want to fly in premium cabins.
You can also book through the Chase portal and use your UR points like cash. Each point is worth a bit more than 1 cent but you can book exactly the flights you want if there are no award seats available.
With the ArrivalPlus, as you note it’s 2x points on everything. Their points work a little differently, however. First you purchase your flight/hotel/anything travel-related and then you redeem points against that charge. You can wait up to 120 days to redeem points. I used this card for an upcoming cruise/tour. I made multiple $500 payments spread across several months and each time I accumulated 50K points I could get a $500 credit on my card statement. My last payment to the cruise company was in March but I was able to keep accumulating points until July when I finally had enough to credit it off.
Hope that makes sense but if not, let us know and we’ll try to clear things up.
A strategy that might work for you is to use the CSR in categories where it earns more than 1x (3x dining & travel) and use the Arrival Plus everywhere else.