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Yesterday I got an alarming Tweet
— Credit Card Nirvana (@creditnirvana) July 1, 2015
Credit Card Nirvana was talking about the Barclay Arrival+ page, which has changed to remove the link to actually apply
The hypothesis was that the landing page was taken down because Barclay was making changes to the Arrival and Arrival+ cards. Sadly, that does appear to be true. I first read about it on Travel Codex, and Miles to Memories also has some analysis. Mommy Points also spoke with the VP for Barclaycard US and has some good information. Here’s the bad news:
Redemption bonus dropping from 10% to 5%
Currently you get 10% back on all Barclay Arrival redemptions. As an example, I used 11,366 Barclay Arrival points to offset the $113.66 I paid to Avis to rent our car for our recent trip. Then I got 1,137 points back, making my net cost only 10,229 miles.
Of course, since we’re a 2 (rental) car family, I had to do that twice…
Now I’d only get 568 points back – this means each dollar spent is only worth 2.1% instead of 2.2% With the number of no annual fee cards that give 2% cash back, it’s hard to justify the Arrival anymore.
No more TripIt Pro subscription
TripIt Pro comes complimentary with the Barclay Arrival card, but will no longer.
Minimum redemption going from $25 to $100
Currently, you can redeem for as low as 2500 Arrival miles – that will be changing to 10,000 Arrival miles or $100. While there are some tricks to redeeming for purchases under the minimum amount, this is still a major bummer. Clearly Barclay is hoping for people to be less likely / able to redeem their miles.
Changes to what counts as “travel”
And by “changes”, you know they’re not going to be good! It’s not clear what exactly will count and not count, but any reduction in what is available to redeem is not good.
These changes took effect yesterday (July 1st) for all new applicants (though I’m not sure how you could apply since the landing page is not working). Current customers will see these changes the statement AFTER their next annual fee hits. Ours just hit a few months ago, so we have about 9 months under the “old” rules.
I think that this is a major gutting of the program, and I will likely be canceling my card once the annual fee hits.