(Update: this card was discontinued in Summer 2019)
Not advertised nearly as much as the celebrity promos from Capital One, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard has very similar value as Capital One Venture Miles, often with a better sign-up bonus. In similar fashion, Arrival Miles may not be the highest value rewards program, but it can serve a valuable purpose when planning free vacations.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
How do Arrival Miles work?
Other rewards programs require advanced booking with their rewards, Arrival miles work after the purchases have been made. You must use the card to pay for travel expenses, and then you use Arrival miles to erase charges on your credit card statement.
Let’s say you find a great a hotel on Expedia, car rental with Costco, an Airbnb, or train tickets in Europe. Pay with your Arrival Plus card. Then when the statement comes out, you can use your Arrival Miles as a statement credit to erase the charge. Similar to Capital One Venture Miles, Arrival Miles are valued at 1:1. So 10,000 points = $100.
Arrival Miles are Very Flexible for Travel Purchases
If you’re a fan of Airbnb or love to go on tours and excursions, this is a great card to have. Arrival Miles can be used to erase any charges on your statement that code as travel. Say you want to go on a Safari but can’t use Amex, Citi, or Chase points to do so. You could pay for the Safari with the Arrival Plus card, and as long as that company is categorized as a travel company, then you’ll be able to use your Arrival Miles to cover all or part of that cost.
For example: My wife and I went to Iceland where most travelers stay at Airbnbs. Outside of Reykjavik, there were not major hotel chains. We stayed at Airbnbs and used Arrival Miles to cover those stays.
I love how I can use my Arrival Plus card right away for free travel. If you are going on a trip in just a few weeks, you don’t have time to earn a new sign-up bonus on a credit card. With Arrival Miles, you can get free travel on travel purchases you make on the first day of receiving the card.
For example, I can use my Arrival Plus card to book a whale watching expedition in Hawaii. Once the statement comes out, I have 90 days use Arrival Miles to reduce that cost on our statement since the charge was coded as “travel.”
I also use Arrival Miles to pay for rental cars since I can get cheap rates through online sites like Kayak or Costco Travel.
Arrival Miles can be very easy to redeem for lots of travel expenses. If you are just starting out with points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is normally the best starter card. Here’s a rundown to Get Started with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The Barclays Arrival Plus Card can be a great second card in your wallet. It comes in handy when other rewards won’t cover travel expenses you have.