Barclay’s Best Offers and How They Can Be Improved

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The 50k mile bonus offer is back on the Lufthansa card mentioned in this post until 6/30/14. Get it now!

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchases or balance transfer
  • Earn an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Cardholders receive a companion ticket after first use of the account and annually after each account anniversary
  • No Foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Redeem miles for flight awards and upgrades on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Star Alliance member airlines and on other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee. Please see Terms and Conditions for complete details

Application Link: The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard

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Barclay’s currently has four credit cards that I have or want–up from one last year. That’s a big improvement by Barclay’s in the travel rewards card arena.

The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard with 50,000 Miles & More miles after spending $5k in three months.

The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with 40,000 miles ($400 toward travel) after spending $1k in three months.

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard with 40,000 EarlyReturns miles after spending $500 in three months.

The US Airways Premier World MasterCard with 30,000 Dividend Miles after first purchase.

Continue reading about Barclay’s best offers, how you can make the most of them, and how Barclay’s can improve.

For most of the last year, Barclay’s had one card worth getting, in my opinion, the US Airways MasterCard. To that measly offering, Barclay’s has added three offers that have gotten me excited.

The best current Barclay’s offer for people who want to fly to Europe or on premium transcontinental routes is the Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard.

Because most people aren’t familiar with the Lufthansa Miles & More program–I wasn’t until recently–I wrote a primer about the program and the six best uses for the sign up bonus.

The sign up bonus is big enough for a roundtrip to Europe or a one way in business class. Lufthansa miles are also the best way to book Swiss and Lufthansa First Class more than two weeks out and the cheapest way to get on United’s transcontinental beds.

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase
  • Earn an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • 50,000 bonus miles total
  • Cardholders receive a companion ticket annually.
  • Enjoy 2 award miles per $1 on Miles & More integrated airline ticket purchases
  • Earn 1 award mile per $1 spent everywhere else
  • $79 annual fee

The best current Barclay’s offer for people who want to fly domestically or who want a card to defray miscellaneous trip expenses like car rentals and independent hotels is the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard.

Not only does the Arrival card give you $444 in free travel on any airline, hotel, or car rental any time without the pain (I would say “fun”) of award searching, but the card earns 2.22% back towards travel on all purchases. In my opinion, that is the second best earning rate for non-bonused spending behind the SPG card.

The best uses of this card are domestic economy flights, which are normally a poor value at 25,000 miles roundtrip and other travel expenses that you can’t make disappear with your other miles and points. I could pay my hostel bill with these miles!

  • Named ‘Best for Travel Rewards’ MONEY Magazine, October 2013
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles if you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next trip!
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • No mileage caps
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Exclusive Carry-on Miles – earn 10% of your miles back when you redeem for travel
  • Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits toward flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels and more
  • Complimentary subscription to TripIt Pro mobile travel organizer – a $49 annual value!

The most urgent card to get from Barclay’s is the US Airways Premier World MasterCard. US Airways and American Airlines are merging with the US Airways name disappearing. That makes it likely this card is disappearing too. If that happens, I want to make sure I get it again.

Currently the card comes with 30,000 US Airways miles after first purchase. The other big benefit is a 5,000 mile discount on US Airways awards booked on US Airways flights. The current best use for US Airways miles is off peak awards–which I most recently discussed here–to South America or Europe for 30,000 miles roundtrip for US Airways cardholders. One card, one dream vacation.

  • Earn up to 40,000 bonus miles on qualifying transactions
  • EXCLUSIVE: Redeem flights for 5,000 fewer miles
  • Zone 2 boarding on every flight
  • Enjoy 2 miles per $1 spent on US Airways purchases
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent everywhere else
  • Annual companion certificate good for round-trip travel for up to 2 companions at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
  • First Class check-in
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete details

The last Barclay’s card that excites me is the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard. Frontier has an incredibly generous award chart in its narrow footprint–the US, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. The 35,000 miles after spending $750 in the first three months is enough for a roundtrip anywhere Frontier flies, and availability is the best I’ve seen of any airline.

I discussed the award chart here, and the Frontier EarlyReturns program here.

What’s Missing

I think two major things are missing from Barclay’s if it really wants to take the next step in its battle against Chase, American Express, and Citi.

  1. Better business cards
  2. Transferable points

Barclay’s has one business card of note, kind of. The US Airways Business MasterCard with 25,000 US Airways miles after first purchase is a possible card to consider. But this one offer doesn’t compare favorably to the multiple better Chase, AMEX, and Citi business cards.

At a minimum I would hope that Barclay’s would create a business version of all its cards, so we small-business owners have more options. I would love the option to earn 2.22% percent toward travel on all my business purchases with a business version of the Arrival card. I would also hope that Barclay’s would offer more competitive sign up bonuses on business cards that match the personal card offers.

The other big improvement that could be made would be to have a transferable points card to compete with Chase Ultimate Rewards and AMEX Membership Rewards. This could be an awesome new card or an added benefit of the Arrival card’s miles.

One problem is that Barclay’s doesn’t have the airline and hotel partners that Chase and AMEX do. Barclay’s hotel and air partners are:

Airlines: Frontier Airlines, US Airways, Virgin America, Aer Lingus, China Airlines, Iceland Air, Lufthansa

Hotels: Best Western, Choice, Wyndham

Usually transferable points are transferable to existing partners like how Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Chase’s co-branded partners like Southwest, United, Hyatt, British Airways, and more.

But clearly deals can be made for transferable points to go to entities beyond existing partners. For instance, look at the list of airlines where SPG points can be transferred. Perhaps a better example is that AMEX Membership Rewards can be transferred to Frontier even though the airline is a Barclay’s co-branded partner.

If Barclay’s could get a transferable point with some solid partners, it would really be a big player in the travel rewards space. But for now, we can content ourselves with the improvements in the last year–namely going from one to four good rewards cards.

Link: The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard with 20,000 miles

 

Link: Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with 40,000 miles

 

Link: Frontier Airlines World MasterCard with 45,000 miles

 

Link: US Airways Premier World MasterCard with 30,000 miles

16 Responses to Barclay’s Best Offers and How They Can Be Improved

  1. Not a huge bonus factor, but of note for the Barclays US Airways card -they pay 3 miles for every $1 spent on their Dividend Rewards Dining. Seemingly, in most areas, many restaurants that take MC are enrolled in their dining program.

  2. Michael H.(oldfox)

    I have had 2 US Airways cards form Barclays for several years. Love the cards because I can go to Kyrgyzstan for only 60,000 miles, a great sweet spot on US Airways awards chart. I have super clean credit. My FICO is high 700′s, but I have gotten/closed about 10 cards in the last year. I was denied for the US Air business card in January and then denied for the Arrival World MasterCard in May. Barclays told me …..” You really know how to handle credit well.But, …..you have sufficient credit with us……..DENIED!”
    I would like to see Barclays make it easier to get multiple cards. I have 5 from Chase and 2 from AMEX. Barclays needs to do this in order to play with the “big boys!”

    • Call Barclays again. I got the same response the first time, but a quick approval after 2nd call. Analyst suggested moving some credit line from my other card, but I felt she would have approved me anyway.

    • OLDFOX
      Me too I got turned down (2 out of 8 in 1 year) also .But I got 5 cards from Chase and 3 from Amex ..Try Citi just canceled 2 cards will reply in 2 years .Hoping Amex will upgrade my new card to 75k points will find out in days . Found out Delta not so bad CAN go from ord to nce for 60k points in Oct.

      Cj

      Homeless person..

  3. There is a better 35k miles offer for us airways. I got it last week. Link is in flyertalk-> miles buzz forum -> “special credit cards offers” post. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit-card-programs/1177334-special-credit-card-offers-master-thread.html

  4. “Barclay’s has one business card of note, kind of.” That is not true.

    There’s a business version of the Frontier card, too (whether or not it’s “of note” is in the eye of the beholder). Its sign-up bonus is only 25 (versus 35k for the personal), but it has its uses.

    Can you provide any guidance about how Barclays treats applications for business versus personal cards, and how they treat different products? I ask because…

    I have 2 barclay cards: the US Air (personal) MC, which I got in December 2012, and the Frontier (personal) MC, which I got in March 2013. I’m trying to accumulate Frontier miles as rapidly as possible (I have a specific need for this, long story), so am interested in getting my “next” Frontier card ASAP. I’m planning to wait 90 days from my last Barclay app (last was in March, next will be in June). When that date comes, I’m trying to choose between applying for the Frontier business card (would be my first business card of any kind with Barclay) or a second Frontier personal card. I’d rather get a second personal card (10k more miles) but was thinking that they might be more willing to approve a business card (as it would not be a second copy of something I already have). But that’s just speculation on my part, based on previous experience with other card issuers (and I know Barclay isn’t always like the others) – I have no knowledge of how Barclay regards business cards (whether they see them as any different from personal cards). If they (personal and business cards) are both viewed as essentially the same product, and I would be no more likely to be approved if I apply for the business version, then I might as well apply for the personal card (for 10k more miles).

    Do you have any idea?

    Thanks for whatever insight you can offer.

  5. I just got my arrival card in the mail today. I’m going to the “miles” for shore excursions on my cruise to Alaska. Can’t wait!

  6. They could waive the rip off foreign transaction fee…

  7. Was there a post deleted about Rookie Alli getting robbed in Buenos Aires?

  8. I’m still a little confused about how the Barclay Arrivals card works. With the Miles and More Card, I know what the reward charts look like in terms of how many miles you need for certain flights. How does this work with the arrivals card? If I am reading this right, you’re saying the points get converted into cash for travel?

    • Here’s how the Arrival card works:

      1) You earn 40k miles after spending $1k in three months.
      2) You earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases.
      3) When you want to redeem your miles, you purchase travel with the Arrival card. Then you log into your account, and click redeem miles. Then you find the purchase that you want to redeem miles for and redeem your miles at a rate of 1 cent per mile. (Example: You want to redeem for a $150 flight. You redeem 15,000 miles.) The charge for the travel that you redeemed for disappears from your statement.
      4) You get a 10% rebate of the miles you just redeemed for travel credited to your account.

      It is a card that earns 2.22% back on all spending that can be redeemed for any travel any time.

  9. Pingback: How I Got Approved for the Lufthansa Miles & More Card After Two Calls to Reconsideration | milevalue.com

  10. Pingback: Are Lufthansa Miles More Valuable than United Miles? | milevalue.com

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