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I’ve written before about the Barclay Arrival Mastercard.  I think that it’s one of the best cards out there for non bonus spending.  Whereas many of the credit cards we talk about give airline miles or hotel points, cards like the Arrival (and similar products from other banks) give you a different kind of points, that are typically redeemable for cash (or cash-like equivalents), usually at 1 cent per

I consider the Barclay Arrival card the best out there now, because you earn 2 cents per dollar spent, plus get a 10% rebate on any points redeemed towards travel, making each dollar of spend yield effectively 2.2% cash back.

Carolyn got this card as part of her churn last month, and I was planning on getting one as well, so I was bummed to hear the latest news.  Hat tip to Deals We Like, but the minimum spending requirement to earn the 40,000 Arrival points has just gone up, from $1000 in the first 3 months to $3000 in the first 3 months.

Now, while this is a bummer, it’s not the end of the world, because I think that the Arrival card is probably one of the best places to put your every day spending on.  Here is my recommendation on what cards to put your spend on

  1. Spending to reach credit card bonuses.  If you have a card where you are trying to reach a big bonus, of course that’s your first goal
  2. Anywhere you have big category bonuses.  An example would be 5x points at Office Supply stores with the Chase Ink
  3. Cash back style cards such as the Barclay Card.


One Exception to the Rule

I guess the only other exception would be where you have a definite need and where miles or points can be a good value.  For example, one of the great values in hotel stays are IHGs PointBreaks lists, where every 2 months IHG gives a list of hotels that can be redeemed for only 5000 points / night.  Some of these hotels have regular prices of $150-200 / night (or higher).

So in that case, if you had a specific need to do one of these PointBreak redemptions, it would make sense to put $5000 in spend on an IHG credit card (to earn 5000 points), instead of having to put say $7500 of spend on the Arrival card in order to get 15,000 Arrival points (to redeem for the $150 / night price).

You do want to be careful with this, because in reality, the “right” move would probably be Option C – find a cheaper hotel 🙂

Still Available by Phone

So the minimum spend on the online signup offer has increased to $3,000 but it has been reported that you can still get the old (better) $1000 spend offer if you apply over the phone.  Up to you if you think it’s worth it, but if you want to, the phone number is 1-800-307-0341.

If you do call, make sure to verify with the agent that it’s for 40,000 Arrivals points with $1,000 in spending.

What do you think?  Does this increased spending requirement change whether you plan to get the Arrival card?


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