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Barclaycard Arrival Miles: What Are Your Miles Worth?

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barclaycard arrival rewards program

Barclaycard Arrival Miles: The basics

The Barclaycard Arrival Miles program is straightforward. You earn miles by using your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® or Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®, and you can redeem them for statement credits for travel or non-travel-related purchases, gift cards or merchandise. Points are worth 1 cent apiece if you use them for travel statement credits, and new cardholders will get a 5% miles bonus on travel redemptions. Even with the July 2015 devaluation of the cards’ miles program, it’s still worth serious consideration.

Read on to learn how to earn and redeem Barclaycard Arrival Miles.

Cards that earn Barclaycard Arrival Miles

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Credit Card
Learn More

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get bonus miles back when you redeem
  • APR: 0% intro on balance transfers APR for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% or 20.24% Variable
  • Complimentary FICO score
  • Annual fee is $89 - waived first year
  • Read our full review for more information

Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

Barclaycard No-Fee Arrival Credit Card
Learn More

  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Get bonus miles back when you redeem
  • APR: 0% intro on balance transfers APR for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% Variable
  • Complimentary FICO score
  • Annual fee is $0

How to get more Barclaycard Arrival Miles

Both the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® and the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® have great sign-up bonuses to help you get started off right. While the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® offers 2X miles on all purchases, the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® offers 2X miles only on travel and dining.

Barclaycard also offers other avenues to maximize your earning power. For example, you can shop on the RewardsBoost online bonus mall, with some featured stores offering up to 4 miles per dollar spent. You can also join the Barclaycard Rewards Fan Zone community and earn miles for different activities, including connecting your profile to your social media accounts, following Barclaycard on social media, and sharing your travel stories with other community members.

One unique way to earn Barclaycard Arrival Miles is by redeeming them. You read that right. When you redeem your miles, you get a bonus based on when you got your card.

  • If you got your card after July 1, 2015: You’ll get a 5% bonus on travel redemptions, plus a 5% bonus on all other categories starting November 2015.
  • If you got your card before Sept. 30, 2014: You’ll get a 10% bonus until November 2015, then get a 5% bonus on all redemptions.
  • If you got your card between Oct. 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015: You’ll get a 10% bonus on travel until August 2016, then get a 5% bonus on all redemptions.

For example, if you redeem 40,000 miles on travel and you qualify for a 5% bonus, you’ll get 2,000 miles deposited into your account.

How to redeem Barclaycard Arrival Miles

Good redemption options

The best way to redeem your miles is with a statement credit for travel-related purchases. Simply use your card to make your purchase, then request a statement credit. Your miles are worth 1 cent apiece, and redemption starts at 10,000 miles for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® and 2,500 miles for the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®. Plus, you’ll get a 5% miles bonus whether you’re redeeming for travel or for anything else. You can redeem your miles for travel-related purchases made within the preceding 120 days.

Bad redemption options

You can also redeem your miles for non-travel-related statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Starting November 2015, you’ll earn the miles bonus when redeeming, but these options aren’t as valuable overall. For example, gift cards and non-travel statement credits are redeemed at 0.5 cent per mile. If you’re redeeming for merchandise, the value of your miles varies depending on what you purchase, but it’s unlikely that you’ll get the same value as if you were to redeem for travel.

Fine print

According to Barclaycard’s site, “A travel redemption is defined as: airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, and ferries as defined by the merchant category code.”

Because the eligibility depends on the merchant category code, there may be some travel-related purchases that don’t qualify for a statement credit. Barclaycard also points out specific merchants that do not qualify, including “real estate agents, websites or owners that rent properties, in-flight goods and services, merchants within airports, and merchants that rent trailers, trucks, and other vehicles for the purpose of hauling.”

As long as your account is active and in good standing, your Arrival Miles will not expire. You might not be able to earn miles if your account is not in good standing (you miss a payment, for example, or your account is delinquent). Furthermore, you may be forced to forfeit your earned miles if your account is seriously delinquent or you close your account.

Methodology

The calculated value of these points is based on an estimated redemption rate, not a credit card rewards earn rate. Therefore, you may notice that these numbers don’t match the rewards rates on our credit card finder tool.

Barclaycard states on its site that cards that earn Arrival Miles, one mile is worth 1 cent for travel purchases:

$500 plane ticket X 100 = 50,000 miles needed

$500/50,000 = $.01 (one cent per mile)

For gift cards, Barclaycard states that you can redeem for them starting at 5,000 miles for a $25 gift card. We divided the value of a gift card by the miles needed to get it:

$25 / 5,000 = $.005 (half a cent per mile)

We used a similar methodology for cash-back statement credits. Barclaycard states on its site that you can redeem your miles for non-travel-related statement credits starting at 2,500 miles for $12.50:

$12.50 / 2,500 = $.005 (half a cent per mile)

Last updated on Nov. 18, 2015.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email:bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.


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