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I have written before about cards like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® that are more like “cash” points.
This is in comparison with cards that give airline miles or hotel points with a specific airline / hotel chain. Many airline and hotel cards are good, but generally can only be used with the airline or hotel in question (some exceptions do exist, almost exclusively with airlines through using airline alliances and partners)
This may seem very obvious to many of you, but just last week I got a call from a friend who has a ton of Marriott points but wanted to stay at a specific Hilton for an upcoming trip and wanted to know if there was any way he could use his Marriott points. I had to give him the bad news.
How the Barclaycard Arrival card works
The Arrival card is different in that the points (technically “Arrival miles”) work like cash. The 50,000 miles you get for meeting the signup bonus criteria count as 1 cent towards travel redemptions, and any dollars you spend on the card give 2 Arrival miles. You can find it on our list of top credit card offers.
After you’ve made a travel purchase on your card, you can go in to your online account and make a redemption. Here’s a redemption I made a few years ago for hotel purchases at the Mountain Lake Lodge in Virginia (a non-chain hotel that also doubles as the filming site of the movie Dirty Dancing!)
You can see that you have a few redemption options – I chose to redeem the full 25,700 points. I then got a statement credit for the $256.12 on my next statement. At that time, you also got a 10% points redemption back (so in this case 2,570 Arrival miles added to my account). That bonus is now 5% instead of 10%
The Arrival card is not nearly as good as it was a few years ago, given recent changes that mean that your redemption points bonus is now 5% instead of 10% and you can only redeem for purchases of at least $100 (used to be $25). There are still a few workarounds to make redemptions for purchases under $100
My last 4 Arrival redemptions
I thought it might be interesting to see my last 4 redemptions I’ve made with my card
- February – $120.91 – rental car for my trip to Texas with my son – READ MORE: I am the King of Texas!
- April – $197.77 – rental car for our trip to Sacramento and San Francisco. As always, we used Autoslash to get the best car rental deal.
- April – $197.47 – this was our second rental car because hey we are a two rental car family 🙂
- June – $328.00 – 2 roundtrip train tickets to Machu Picchu
These types of redemptions are part of the reason that our family of 8 could go to to California for a week for about $500 as I mentioned when I was on the CBS Sunday Morning show.
A card like this is a great one to have to soak up the incidentals of things that miles and points don’t cover like car rentals, non-chain hotels, public transportation, etc.
As always, if you’d like to find the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® card or any other credit card offer, you can do it on our top credit card offers page