Category Archives: Barclay’s

Top Ten Credit Card Offers for Travel, April 2014

Whether you’re looking for free luxury hotel stays, first class flights, flights home to see family over the holidays, or big rewards on gas or groceries, there are some fantastic credit card bonuses out there.

I’m writing this post from home in Hawaii having arrived yesterday from a six-week world tour that would have been completely impossible without miles and points earned from credit cards.

I saw Angkor Wat, continued my love affair with the Balkans, saw old classmates spread around the world, had some home cooking from Mom, and followed my favorite basketball team for six games across seven countries.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.19.02 PM

My trip took advantage of American Airlines miles, Starpoints, Ultimate Rewards, Lufthansa miles, and Arrival miles, all of which I got from credit cards.

How can you earn rewards for the trip of your dreams? What are the best credit card offers for April 2014? Continue reading

How to Get Two Completely Free Flights from Europe to the US in Five Steps

An active duty military member emailed me:

This December I am getting out of the Military. When I initially get out I get 2 (one for my spouse and one for me) one-way airplane tickets to anywhere in the world. We want to use this to start our trip around Indo China and Europe. We want to go to Vietnam, Thailand, India, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, and England. After visiting these places we will fly to Dayton, Ohio. What is most important to me is flying from London to Dayton, Ohio for hopefully free.

She was writing to me because she didn’t currently have any major frequent flyer mile balances.

My first thought is: don’t fly home from London. Departing the United Kingdom–not transiting it or arriving there–incurs a massive tax called the Air Passenger Duty. While Dayton to London one way would have $5 in taxes, the direction she needs–London to Dayton–has $206 in taxes.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 3.21.51 AM

Not only does she have the London departure tax problem, but she currently has no miles and puts only $1,500 per month on credit cards, which makes it hard to quickly accrue miles.

Still I was able to offer a really easy strategy to get two one way tickets from London to Dayton completely free.

Which two cards did I recommend she open? How did I recommend she book the award?

Continue reading

Three Steps to Get $500 in Free Flights, Hotels, and Car Rentals from the Arrival Card

I’ve used the rewards from my Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases to get $450 worth of free flights, award booking fees, and motels in the last few weeks.

You can do even better. You can get $500 in free flights, accommodations, car rentals, and other travel expenses in three easy steps:

  1. Get the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases.
  2. Spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months. Make sure at least $500 of this is made up of travel expenses that you want to be free!
  3. Redeem your Arrival miles online in a few minutes. You’ll see $500 worth of travel expenses you put on the card disappear as soon as the next day.

1. Get the Arrival World MasterCard

The first step is to apply for the Arrival World MasterCard.

Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases

I got the card last month for the sign up bonus worth $456 in free travel, the double miles on all purchases, the free subscription to TripIt Pro, and the ability to redeem miles for any flight on any airline without searching for award space.

For more information on my thinking, see Why I Got the Arrival World MasterCard.

I was instantly approved with a credit line of $5,000, and my card came in the mail in just a few days.

What are steps two and three?

Continue reading

Top Ten Credit Card Offers for Travel, March 2014

Whether you’re looking for free luxury hotel stays, first class flights, flights home to see family, or big rewards on gas or groceries, there are some fantastic credit card bonuses out there.

I’m writing this post from Raleigh, North Carolina near the end of a six-week world tour that would have been completely impossible without miles and points earned from credit cards.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 6.53.53 PM

My trip is taking advantage of American Airlines miles, Starpoints, Ultimate Rewards, Lufthansa miles, and Arrival miles, all of which I got from credit cards.

How can you earn rewards for the trip of your dreams? What are the best credit card offers for March 2014?

Continue reading

Hawaiian Airlines 35,000 Bonus Miles Means Free Roundtrip to Hawaii

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard comes with 35,000 bonus Hawaiian Miles after spending $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days. That’s enough bonus miles for a roundtrip on Hawaiian Airlines from the mainland to anywhere in Hawaii.

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 3.28.02 PM

The six main reasons I love this offer:

  1. Hawaiian Airlines has amazing award availability from the western United States to all the major Hawaiian islands.
  2. Cardholders receive a discount on Hawaiian Airlines awards, so instead of paying 20k miles each way between the mainland and Hawaii, cardholders pay only 17,500 miles each way. That means the sign up bonus is enough for a free roundtrip to Hawaii.
  3. Cardholders can receive miles freely from other Hawaiian Miles accounts, so combining miles is easy.
  4. One way awards are bookable for half the price of roundtrips, which adds tons of flexibility and chances for island hopping.
  5. Hawaiian Airlines is my favorite airline to fly between the mainland and Hawaii in economy.
  6. You get a free checked bag on Hawaiian Airlines flights purchased with the Hawaiian Airlines card. That’s $50 off if you want to fly to Hawaii with your golf clubs.

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard is a new product just released this month by Barclaycard. Even if you had a Hawaiian Airlines card from Bank of America or Bank of Hawaii, this is a new card. If you’ve canceled those cards, this one should be available to you with full bonus.

Why is Hawaiian my favorite carrier between the mainland and Hawaii? How good is Hawaiian’s award space? How would I maximize a Hawaiian Airlines award to my home state? How does the free Share Miles program?

Continue reading

The Four Frontier Airlines Awards You Can’t Ignore

Frontier Airlines is a Denver-based airline with flights throughout the continental US, Alaska, Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 7.48.33 AM

Frontier Destinations

Right now The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® is offering 40,000 bonus miles after spending only $500 in the first 90 days.

That’s a huge sign up bonus for such a tiny minimum spending requirement. Making it even better is the fact that Frontier charges only 10k miles each way for a Standard award within the United States including Alaska. The sign up bonus is enough for two roundtrips within the US.

Frontier charges 15k miles each way to Central America and the Caribbean at the Standard level, so the sign up bonus is enough for one international roundtrip plus one domestic one way.

I think there are four types of Frontier awards that everyone should take a close look at:

  1. Alaska: Flights to Alaska in the summer are very expensive. If you can snag a Frontier award for 20k miles roundtrip, you are coming out way ahead! Frontier flies seasonally from Denver to Anchorage and Fairbanks.
  2. Small city pairs: Unlike most major US-based airlines, Frontier flies a lot of flights between non-hub cities like Cleveland to Orlando. If you can get a direct flight on a route that only Frontier serves, you can save a lot of time and a lot of miles by booking a Frontier award.
  3. To/from Denver: Frontier’s hub in Denver has flights to the rest of the country. Frontier miles are great if you want to go to/from Denver for only 10k miles each way.
  4. International: How does 30k miles roundtrip to go to the Caribbean or Central America sound? Pretty good to me.

What is the award space picture for these types of awards? What is my one big trick when using flyfrontier.com? How else can you get Frontier miles?

Continue reading

The Differences Between the Arrival Card and Venture Card

I write a lot about the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases and very little about the Capital One Venture Card.

Superficially the two cards are similar. Both offer miles that can be redeemed for any flight, hotel, car rental, or other travel expense.

Plus the Venture Card has had a sustained TV advertisement blitz for several years that seems to have gotten through to most people. So a lot of people assume the two cards are identical or just as good as each other. They’re actually very different though.

Sign Up Bonus

The Arrival card offers 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

The Venture card offers 20,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months.

That means the Arrival card offers a better headline bonus and a better rebate on the minimum spending requirement. But the difference is even larger than it appears.

Value of One Mile

Arrival miles are worth 14% more at 1.14 cents each than Venture miles, which are worth 1 cent each.

The reason Arrival miles are worth so much more is that you get an instant 10% rebate on all redemptions of Arrival miles for travel. Plus you earn Arrival miles on the travel purchase that you later eliminate with your redemption.

All this means that the Arrival card’s 40,000 bonus miles are worth $456 in free travel, while the Venture card’s 20,000 bonus miles are worth $200 in free travel.

While the Venture’s sign up bonus has never tempted me, I opened the Arrival card and cleared its bonus last month. Here’s why.

Big Advantage: Arrival Card

How do the Arrival card and Venture card compare on earnings, annual fee, foreign transaction fee, and other benefits?

Continue reading

How Long Does It Take Me to Manage My Credit Cards?

When you get deeper into the world of opening rewards cards to get free or luxury travel, there is an inevitable amount of bookkeeping that comes with managing your credit cards.

You have to track:

  • when you opened each card
  • when the annual fee is due on each card
  • how much you’ve spent toward the minimum spending requirement associated with the sign up bonus
  • when each statement closes
  • when payments are due on each card
  • category bonuses

While that looks like a lot to track, and may seem daunting, I estimate that I spend about 30 minutes per month on everything credit card related.

I think about a credit card’s life cycle as having four stages:

  1. Application
  2. Getting the bonus (minimum spending)
  3. Regular use (category bonuses)
  4. Renewal/Cancellation

Here’s what I do at each step to keep track of my cards and minimize my headaches.

What are the steps you need to take to put your credit card tracking on auto-pilot?

Continue reading

Top Five Cards for Economy Travel (Start Thinking About the Holidays Now)

What are the top credit cards for economy travel?

It’s a question I get asked a lot in November and December as friends scramble to purchase tickets home to see family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. But it’s better to ask the question now and have the rewards in hand for free economy travel whenever you want to visit family or just take a quick trip.

To me, there are a clear best five cards for domestic economy travel, with each card better for different spending and flying patterns.

1. The Arrival Card

The most versatile card when you want to take an economy trip is the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases, which comes with 40,000 bonus miles (worth $456 in free travel) after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

The miles earned on the card can be used toward any flight, any time, on any airline without needing to search for award space. Redemption couldn’t be easier.

In addition to flights, Arrival miles can be used for lodging–any hotel, B&B, hostel, etc–and car rental if you need those when traveling.

It’s not just the redemption side where Arrival miles shine. The Arrival card earns 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, so it’s not a card that requires you to memorize ever-changing category bonuses.

Each Arrival mile is worth 1.14 cents on travel redemptions, so the card earns 2.28% back toward travel on all purchases, which no other card matches.

Add in free access to your FICO credit score and a free subscription to TripIt Pro (worth $49) and the Arrival card is a clear #1 in my mind.

The Arrival card has no annual fee the first 12 months then $89 thereafter.

What are the other Top Five Cards for Economy Travel?

Continue reading

Top Ten Credit Card Offers for Travel, February 2014

Whether you’re looking for free luxury hotel stays, first class flights, flights home to see family, or big rewards on gas or groceries, there are some fantastic credit card bonuses out there.

I’m writing this post from Singapore in the middle of a six-week world tour that would have been completely impossible without miles and points earned from credit cards.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 6.53.53 PM

My trip is taking advantage of American Airlines miles, Starpoints, Ultimate Rewards, Lufthansa miles, and Arrival miles, all of which I got from credit cards.

How can you earn rewards for the trip of your dreams? What are the best credit card offers for February 2014?

Continue reading

My Answer to the Frequent Miler

A naive person might think that the miles earned on the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases are worth 1 cent each. After all, you can use 2,500 Arrival miles to knock $25 off the cost of any travel purchase.

Conventional wisdom has long held that the points are worth 1.1… cents with the last 1 repeating forever. After all, you get an instant 10% rebate when you redeem Arrival miles online for any travel expense. (This is often stated as the points being worth 1.1 or 1.11 cents.)

Last week, Bill said on this blog that Arrival miles are worth 1.14 cents each. After all, you earn 2 miles per dollar on all Arrival card purchases, even the ones that you later remove from your statement after an Arrival-miles redemption.

Yesterday the Frequent Miler asked What is the Barclay Arrival card’s rebate really worth?, noting Bill’s post and a reader email as the catalysts. The Frequent Miler’s conclusion was that Arrival miles are worth 1.1 cents.

This is important because the Arrival card is a card that can get you any of the following travel expenses completely for free:

  • any flight on any airline
  • award ticket fees
  • trains
  • bed and breakfasts
  • hostels
  • car rentals
  • cruises

What’s my take? How much are Arrival miles really worth?

Continue reading

Hurry? Rumor is That Arrival World MasterCard Minimum Spending Requirement Set to Triple

Update 2/21/14: This post was about a rumor that the spending requirement on the Arrival card would go to $3,000. It has gone to $3,000. The minimum spending requirement is now $3,000 in the first 90 days to unlock the 40,000 bonus miles. Full offer details:

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers 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 or foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • Use your card to book through any airline, hotel or discount travel engine with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits towards all or a portion of your travel purchases within the last 90 days
  • Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Arrival cardmembers

Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases

——————————————————————————————–

One of my favorite travel credit cards is the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases.

I just got the card for myself for the reasons explained in this post. And my brother got the card at my suggestion this weekend.

Since April 2013, the Arrival card had offered 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days, though the spending requirement is now $3,000.

That offer looks like it will end soon. According to The Points Guy: “my contacts at Barclaycard have confirmed that the minimum spending requirement is going to increase to $3,000 within 90 days very soon (exact date TBD).”

If minimum spending requirements are an issue for you, don’t wait to get the Arrival card.

The Arrival card has three big pluses for points collectors:

  • A sign up bonus worth $456 in free travel.
  • 2x miles on all purchases, so it’s a great card for spending where none of your cards have a category bonus
  • Miles redeemable for any travel expense including any flight on any airline, award ticket fees, trains, bed and breakfasts, hostels, car rentals, and cruises

Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases

Let’s look at the three big reasons to get the card:

1. $456 Sign Up Bonus

Spend $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days and get 40,000 bonus miles. Arrival miles can be used for 1 cent off any travel expense including:

  • any flight on any airline
  • award ticket fees
  • trains
  • bed and breakfasts
  • hostels
  • car rentals
  • cruises

The way to redeem for any of those expenses is to pay for the expense on your Arrival card, then sign into your account, select the charge, and remove it completely or in $25 increments.

After the card’s famous 10% rebate on all travel redemptions and the 2 miles per dollar you get for the original purchase, redemptions cost a net of 88 miles per dollar for a value of 1.14 cents per mile.

2. 2.28% Back Toward Travel on All Purchases

I just covered how Arrival miles are worth 1.14 cents each. You get 2 Arrival miles per dollar on all purchases. That means you get 2.28% back toward travel on all purchases.

That makes the Arrival card one of the three best cards for spending in non-bonus categories.

3. Miles Redeemable for Any Travel Expense (Not Just Flights with Saver Award Space)

All serious miles collectors need to diversify their miles collection strategies. I collect American Airlines miles and United miles for luxury trips. I collect Arrival miles for the less glamorous costs that add up when I travel like trains, independent hotels, and cheap economy flights.

For further info on the Arrival card:

The rumor is that the Arrival card’s generous sign up bonus will soon have a higher minimum spending requirement attached. If you’re thinking about getting the card, getting it now may be your best move.

Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases

————————————————————————————————————

Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

 

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Are Worth 1.14 Cents Each Because of This One Quirk

Update 2/21/14: The minimum spending requirement is now $3,000 in the first 90 days to unlock the 40,000 bonus miles. Full offer details:

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers 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 or foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • Use your card to book through any airline, hotel or discount travel engine with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits towards all or a portion of your travel purchases within the last 90 days
  • Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Arrival cardmembers

Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases

——————————————————————————————–

Everyone knows that the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases comes with a sign up bonus worth $444 in free travel after spending $1,000 in the first three months, and that the card earns 2.22% back toward travel on all purchases. Scott’s first post about the card was even called “Barclaycard Arrvial World MasterCard: 2.22% Cash Back Card with $444 Sign Up Bonus.”

Except that those numbers are wrong! The card’s sign up bonus is actually worth $456 and the card actually earns 2.28% back on all purchases.

Until we both got the card, we didn’t realize that you actually earn miles on the purchase that you redeem miles to remove from your statement. This quirk takes the value of Arrival miles from 1.11 to 1.14 cents.

The Arrival card’s unique earning and redemption methods make it even more valuable than it appears at first glance for people who are trying to earn elite status with an airline while minimizing out-of-pocket costs.

With the Arrival card:

  1. Pay for your flight with the Arrival World MasterCard and earn 2 Arrival miles per dollar for the purchase.
  2. Once the flight purchase posts to your account, use your Arrival miles to remove the flight charge. After the 10% rebate on redeemed Arrival miles, you redeem only 90 miles per dollar of the flight’s cost. Since you earned 2 miles per dollar and spent 90 miles per dollar, you are only out 88 miles per dollar total.
  3. Fly your itinerary and earn airline miles and elite qualifying miles (EQM, or MQM if flying Delta).

Scott already wrote a comprehensive post Why I Got the BarclayCard World Arrival MasterCard, but there is actually more value to those chasing the perks of airline elite status. And you can do even better than the 1 and 1.11 cent values normally assigned to Arrival miles.

How can you maximize the value of your Arrival miles? What’s the best way to earn elite status with the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard?

Continue reading

Why I Got the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

Update 2/21/14: The minimum spending requirement is now $3,000 in the first 90 days to unlock the 40,000 bonus miles. Full offer details:

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers 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 or foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • Use your card to book through any airline, hotel or discount travel engine with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits towards all or a portion of your travel purchases within the last 90 days
  • Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Arrival cardmembers

Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases

——————————————————————————————–

This week I opened the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases with 40,000 bonus miles after spending $1k in the first three month.

Beyond the sign up bonus, the card comes with:

  • 2.22% back on all purchases toward any travel expense (including any flight on any airline with no blackouts)
  • the easiest redemption process imaginable
  • Complimentary TripIt Pro subscription ($49 value)

A lot of people ask me what cards I get and why, so I wanted to share my decision making process, my experience getting the Arrival card, and my strategy with the card.

For a full review of the Arrival card, see Barclaycard Arrvial World MasterCard: 2.22% Cash Back Card with $444 Sign Up Bonus.

Why did I get the card? What was the application process? How will I use the card? How will I use the rewards?

Continue reading

How to Redeem Barclaycard Arrival Miles

Update 2/21/14: The minimum spending requirement is now $3,000 in the first 90 days to unlock the 40,000 bonus miles. Full offer details:

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers 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 or foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • Use your card to book through any airline, hotel or discount travel engine with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits towards all or a portion of your travel purchases within the last 90 days
  • Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Arrival cardmembers

Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases

——————————————————————————-

The Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases is a tool every frequent flyer should have in their wallet, especially big spenders and families. In essence, the card earns 2.22% back toward travel on all purchases. (Not to mention the sign up bonus worth $444 toward travel after spending $1k in the first three months on the card.)

With Arrival miles, you can book any flight on any airline with no blackouts and no need to search for award availability. You can even use the rewards to pay for the taxes and fees on other airlines’ award redemptions.

 

For Scott’s complete breakdown and analysis of the Arrival Card, make sure to check out his comprehensive review here, and his ways to leverage the lucrative signup bonus here.

This post is a simple walk through of how to redeem your Arrival miles for travel purchases, as well as some pitfalls to avoid when doing so.

How do you redeem Barclaycard Arrival Miles on travel? When do you receive your 10% rebate? Can you use Arrival miles as partial payment towards a charge? Is the redemption process simple? How do you avoid lower value redemptions?

Continue reading