Category Archives: Barclay’s

Top Ten Credit Cards for Travel, September 2014

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

There are a lot of reasons to collect miles and points.

  • For free luxury hotel stays and first class flights
  • To travel to more countries than you could otherwise afford
  • To take your family on vacation
  • To visit home for the holidays
  • To earn big rewards for everyday spending

Whatever your reason for being here, there is a rewards card or cards that suit your needs.

Want Bed Head at 35k Feet? There's a Card for That

Want Bed Head at 35k Feet? There’s a Card for That

Since the start of last year, I’ve been to 26 countries, travel that would have been completely impossible without miles and points earned from credit cards. This has been my life thanks to miles:

  • Eating more steak than anyone should in Brazil and Argentina
  • Cliff jumping in Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Leading an “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” cheer in Rod Laver Arena during the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia
  • Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Eating Thai-hot Thai curry in Thailand at Thai prices
  • Biking in the Lake District of Patagonia in Bariloche, Argentina
  • Spending three days at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
  • Seeing Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Getting some home cooking from my mom who lives 5,000 miles away
Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 2.14.12 AM

2013 Flights

If you don’t have the money to take your dream trips, the good news is that you don’t need much money. By maximizing the sign up bonuses on rewards cards, anyone with good credit can take a dream trip anywhere in the world.

  • How can you earn rewards for the trips of your dreams?
  • What are the best credit card offers for September 2014?
  • Which of the cards on the list expire in the next few days?

Continue reading

JetBlue Cross-Country Suites for 26,250 Points until Tomorrow

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Two amazing JetBlue promotions are stackable today and tomorrow that allow you to fly JetBlue Mint Class, the best Business Class Suite in the United States for only 26,250 points Membership Rewards.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.31.19 PM

Enclosed Suite, Live TV, Free WiFi

  • What are the two stackable promotions?
  • How good of a deal is this?
  • How can you ensure that you get an enclosed suite (not all Mint seats are)?

Continue reading

Can You Get the Annual Fee Waived on Your US Airways Card?

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

Reader Joanna emailed me to let me know the results of calling Barclaycard:

“My US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® annual fee was due August 29. I called and got 5,000 miles for $1,000 spend over 90 days and annual fee waived for a year.”

Barclaycard is really going all out to get people to get this card, keep this card, and use this card, and Joanna’s email is another example. (Your mileage may vary.)

We know that the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® will no longer be offered as soon as the US Airways and American Airlines frequent flyer programs integrate, some time in early 2015. That means that the chance to earn 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase will disappear soon. Check out all the places you can go with just the sign up bonus.

We know that Barclaycard offers many cardholders big bonuses for ongoing spending like Drew who was offered 15,000 bonus US Airways miles for spending $500 per month for three consecutive months.

And now we know that Barclaycard will waive the annual fee for some folks who call and ask like Joanne did.

By the way, Joanne asked me about her other carrot, whether she should spend $1,000 in the next 90 days for 5,000 bonus miles. I gave her a resounding “YES!” That means she’ll get six miles per dollar on those purchases, 1,000 for the normal purchases and 5,000 bonus miles for $1,000 in spending.

Six miles per dollar is a fantastic deal, especially when we’re talking about US Airways miles, which are the highest value miles in the world in my opinion.

Have you had success getting the annual fee waived on the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®? Share your story in the comments or by sending me an email.

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Top Ten Credit Cards for Travel, August 2014

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

There are a lot of reasons to collect miles and points.

  • For free luxury hotel stays and first class flights
  • To travel to more countries than you could otherwise afford
  • To take your family on vacation
  • To visit home for the holidays
  • To earn big rewards for everyday spending

Whatever your reason for being here, there is a rewards card or cards that suit your needs.

Want Bed Head at 35k Feet? There's a Card for That

Want Bed Head at 35k Feet? There’s a Card for That

Since the start of last year, I’ve been to 26 countries, travel that would have been completely impossible without miles and points earned from credit cards. This has been my life thanks to miles:

  • Eating more steak than anyone should in Brazil and Argentina
  • Cliff jumping in Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Leading an “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” cheer in Rod Laver Arena during the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia
  • Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Eating Thai-hot Thai curry in Thailand at Thai prices
  • Biking in the Lake District of Patagonia in Bariloche, Argentina
  • Spending three days at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
  • Seeing Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Getting some home cooking from my mom who lives 5,000 miles away
Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 2.14.12 AM

2013 Flights

If you don’t have the money to take your dream trips, the good news is that you don’t need much money. By maximizing the sign up bonuses on rewards cards, anyone with good credit can take a dream trip anywhere in the world.

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

15,000 Bonus US Airways Miles for Spending $1,500

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

Loyal reader Drew sent along an amazing targeted offer he received to continue spending on his US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®.

If he spends $500 per month on his card in August, September, and October, he’ll get 15,000 bonus miles!

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 4.29.40 PM

That means for a total of $1,500 in spending, he will earn 16,500 miles, which is 11 US Airways miles per dollar!

The email came to Drew with the subject “Earn 15,000 miles with your card!” Check your email for a similar offer if you have a US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®.

Most of us got the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® for its 40,000 bonus miles with no minimum spending requirement. Check out all the places you can go with just that sign up bonus.

Barclaycard seems to recognize that fact and offers frequent promotions to encourage us to get in the habit of regular spending on the card. These offers are targeted, but it seems like everyone eventually gets targeted for one or more:

  • Earn 20% bonus miles (1.2 miles per dollar) on all purchases between July 1 and August 31, 2014.
  • Earn 2x-10x US Airways miles in select categories from January 1 – March 31, 2014. I was offered 5x in grocery stores, movie theaters, and utility bills.
  • Frequent offers to spend $750 per month for three consecutive months and earn 15,000 bonus miles. (The same offer Drew got, but Drew’s spending requirement is smaller.)

It looks like Barclaycard is pulling out all the stops to keep people engaged with the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®, which will only be open to new customers until the US Airways and American Airlines loyalty programs combine early next year. Don’t miss out on getting the card and its 40,000 bonus miles.

  • Should Drew take advantage of his bonus offer?
  • How can you get targeted for the same offer?

Continue reading

Top Ten Credit Cards for Travel, July 2014

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

There are a lot of reasons to collect miles and points.

  • For free luxury hotel stays and first class flights
  • To travel to more countries than you could otherwise afford
  • To take your family on vacation
  • To visit home for the holidays
  • To earn big rewards for everyday spending

Whatever your reason for being here, there is a rewards card or cards that suit your needs.

Since the start of last year, I’ve been to 26 countries, travel that would have been completely impossible without miles and points earned from credit cards. This has been my life thanks to miles:

  • Eating more steak than anyone should in Brazil and Argentina
  • Cliff jumping in Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Leading an “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” cheer in Rod Laver Arena during the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia
  • Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Eating Thai-hot Thai curry in Thailand at Thai prices
  • Biking in the Lake District of Patagonia in Bariloche, Argentina
  • Spending three days at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
  • Seeing Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Getting some home cooking from my mom who lives 5,000 miles away
Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 2.14.12 AM

2013 Flights

If you don’t have the money to take your dream trips, the good news is that you don’t need much money. By maximizing the sign up bonuses on rewards cards, anyone with good credit can take a dream trip anywhere in the world.

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

Hurry: Lufthansa Card’s 50,000 Bonus Miles Disappear Today

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

Update July 1, 2014:

The current offer on the Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard® is 20,000 miles after first purchase and payment of $79 annual fee.

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Annual Companion Ticket after first purchase
  • 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 airlines and other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members

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Today (June 30, 2014) is the last day to get 50,000 bonus Lufthansa miles from the Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard® after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 12.49.52 AM

See my Miles & More Program Primer for more information on the Lufthansa frequent flyer program and six great uses for the mega sign up bonus.

The cliff notes? Lufthansa is a major member of the Star Alliance, which also includes United, Air New Zealand, Thai, South African, and 20+ others. Lufthansa Miles & More miles can be used on any Star Alliance partner.

55,000 Lufthansa miles–the sign up bonus plus normal spending needed to unlock it–will get you:

This is a card I got for myself last year, and I’ve been using the miles to fly United flights between the mainland and Hawaii, a trip that costs fewer Lufthansa miles than United miles for the exact same flights.

  • How can you use your Lufthansa miles?
  • When does the 50,000 mile offer end?
  • Who is this offer right for?

Continue reading

When Do Arrival Miles Expire?

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

Arrival miles never expire as long as you hold your Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®. They do disappear the second you cancel the card though.

Arrival Plus Card Image

Other than cancelling the card, the only time constraint on using Arrival miles is that you have 120 days after any travel purchase to redeem miles for an offsetting statement credit.

If you forget to use your Arrival miles to offset a travel purchase within 120 days though, it’s usually not a big deal, since all travel redemptions get the same value per Arrival mile. You can just use your Arrival miles to offset the next travel purchase.

These are great redemption rules for us:

  1. Since Arrival miles never expire, you don’t need to earn Arrival miles with a specific redemption in mind. Once you earn Arrival miles, they stay in your account until you’re ready to use them.
  2. With 120 days after any travel purchase to redeem miles, you have the ability to take a trip, then earn miles, then redeem the miles to make the trip free retroactively.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is the king of cash back cards without even being a cash back card. I got one myself in February and have included it as one of the June 2014 top ten credit card offers for travel. The Arrival Plus earns 2.28% back toward travel on all purchases, offers flexible redemption options, and just clearing the sign up bonus is worth $500 in free travel!

Since I got the card, Barclaycard has expanded its definition of a travel purchase, which increases redemption options, and now offers Chip & PIN technology, which means it can be used abroad more easily where it has no foreign transaction fees.

  • What are the best uses of Arrival miles?
  • How do you earn and redeem Arrival miles?
  • Who is the Arrival Plus card best for?

Continue reading

Comparison of Lufthansa and United Award Charts

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

Update July 1, 2014:

The current offer on the Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard® is 20,000 miles after first purchase and payment of $79 annual fee.

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Annual Companion Ticket after first purchase
  • 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 airlines and other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members

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There is one week left to get the Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard® with 50,000 bonus Lufthansa miles after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. The offer expires June 30, 2014.

The normal bonus on the card is for only 20,000 miles. I got the card last year and racked up 73,000 Lufthansa miles. I’ve booked myself a few awards between the mainland and Hawaii, since Lufthansa charges fewer miles for the exact same United flights than United charges.

Comparing United and Lufthansa miles is natural because both are Star Alliance members with (basically) equal access to award space on all Star Alliance partners.

Between Hawaii and the mainland isn’t the only route where the United and Lufthansa award charts differ. I’ve compiled three charts to show whether Lufthansa miles or United miles are cheaper to any given destination in economy, business, and first class.

  • For which destinations are United miles cheaper?
  • For which destinations are Lufthansa miles cheaper?
  • What about fuel surcharges?

Continue reading

How to Book Singapore Business Class to Europe This Summer

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

Update July 1, 2014:

The current offer on the Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard® is 20,000 miles after first purchase and payment of $79 annual fee.

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Annual Companion Ticket after first purchase
  • 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 airlines and other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members

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Lufthansa Miles & More Miles can be used to book longhaul Singapore Business Class awards to Europe!

Singapore Business Class

This is especially excellent because United miles cannot book longhaul business class awards on Singapore, and Singapore Business Class is widely considered one of the best products in the world.

The Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard® is currently offering 50,000 bonus Lufthansa miles after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. (This deal ends June 30, 2014.) Meeting the card’s spending requirement would earn you enough miles to book Singapore Business Class one way between the United States and Europe.

  • How do you search Singapore Business Class?
  • How do you book Singapore Business Class with Lufthansa miles?
  • Does Lufthansa collect fuel surcharges on Singapore Airlines flights?

Continue reading

Get the Hawaiian Miles Card and Take Your Friends Orphan Miles through Share Miles

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

I know a lot of people with around 5,000 Hawaiian miles. Until recently, I was one of them. That’s about what you’d have if you’ve flown one paid roundtrip on Hawaiian Airlines.

For a lot of people, those miles are headed to an unused expiration.

But if you have The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®, you can receive miles from other Hawaiian Miles accounts for free through the online share miles promotion. So get the Hawaiian card and relieve your friends of their orphaned miles.

Or combine all your Hawaiian Miles into one account before making a booking for you and travel companions.

  • How does the Hawaiian Share Miles work?
  • Who can send and receive Hawaiian Miles?
  • How can you use it to make family bookings easier?

Continue reading

Top Ten Credit Card Offers for Travel, June 2014

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

Why are you collecting miles and points?

  • For free luxury hotel stays and first class flights?
  • To travel to more countries than you’d otherwise be able to?
  • To take a family vacation?
  • For a free trip home for the holidays?
  • To earn big rewards for everyday spending?

Whatever your reason for being here, there is a rewards card that suits your needs.

Since the start of last year, I’ve been to 25 countries, travel that would have been completely impossible without miles and points earned from credit cards. This has been my life thanks to miles:

  • Playing bilingual basketball games with the expats and locals in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Cliff jumping in Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Bungee jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand and Soweto, Jo’burg, South Africa
  • Leading an “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” cheer in Rod Laver Arena during the Australian Open (tennis tournament) in Melbourne, Australia
  • Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Eating Thai-hot Thai curry in Thailand at Thai prices
  • Biking in the Lake District of Patagonia in Bariloche, Argentina
  • Spending three days at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
  • Getting to travel with my brother in Australia and using miles to make his dream of seeing the Australian Open a reality
  • Flying a friend to Thailand to spend a week together
  • Seeing Angkor Wat
  • Getting some home cooking from my mom who lives 5,000 miles away
  • Following my favorite basketball team for six games in three cities
Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 2.14.12 AM

2013 Flights

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

How to Get 1.52 LifeMiles Per Dollar on All Purchases

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

You can get 1.52 TACA/Avianca LifeMiles on all purchases by using your Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® for purchases and then using your Arrival miles to buy LifeMiles during their near-constant 2 x 1 sales.

This is an incredible way to turn Arrival miles, which are worth a fixed 1.11 to 1.14 cents each, into traditional airline miles that can be used for valuable international business and first class itineraries.

Now Get into Beds, like United Global First, with Arrival Miles

To me the technique in this post makes the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® much more valuable.

The Arrival Plus is already the most valuable card for economy redemptions since its 2 miles per dollar on all purchases and 10% rebate on all travel redemptions means you effectively get 2.28% back toward flights on any airline with no blackouts. This LifeMiles technique makes the Arrival Plus also the best all-around card for business and first class redemptions.

No other card earns 1.52 traditional airline miles on all purchases, and the LifeMiles award chart offers tons of great values in premium cabins like:

  • 72,500 miles each way in Lufthansa First Class between the United States and Europe. United charges 110k miles.
  • 52,500 miles each way in Austrian Business Class between the United States and Europe. United charges 70k miles.
  • 75,000 miles each way to North Asia in First Class. United wants 120k miles.
  • Tons of awards within the Western Hemisphere for the same price or cheaper on the LifeMiles award chart than on the United chart.

LifeMiles awards never contain fuel surcharges, just government taxes plus a $25 award booking fee.

Getting more than one-and-a-half miles per dollar on such a great award chart is quite a deal.

  • How can you get 1.52 LifeMiles per dollar on all Arrival Plus purchases?
  • How can you book LifeMiles awards?
  • What are the highest value LifeMiles awards?
  • Is earning 1.52 LifeMiles per dollar better than 2 Arrival miles per dollar?

Continue reading

Make This Two Minute Call Before Your Next International Trip

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

Two weeks ago, Barclaycard rebranded its flagship card as the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®.


The card still comes with the same 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days and double miles on all purchases, which adds up to over $500 in free flights after meeting the minimum spending requirement.

The new features are:

  • Longer time period to redeem miles for statement credits. You now have 120 days from the date of a travel purchase to use Arrival miles to remove the charge from your statement.
  • Expanded definition of travel purchases. You can still redeem miles for flights, hotels, and car rentals. You can now also redeem for amusement parks, trains, taxis, ferries, campgrounds, and more.
  • Chip and PIN capability. This is America’s first major card with the world’s standard account safety measures. Chip and PIN is sometimes the only way to purchase certain things abroad–for instance train tickets in Northern Europe.

I have a trip to Brazil coming up next month, so I want to test out the chip and PIN system on the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®.

Today I called Barclaycard at the number on the back of my card.

I told the agent I had heard the Arrival Plus now had chip and PIN capabilities, and I’d love to be sent a new card with a chip for an upcoming trip.

She told me my new card would arrive in 7-10 business days. There is no cost to receive a new card.

I then asked to set my PIN. She said a random PIN could be sent to me, or I could set one over the automated system.

The automated system warned that repeating or consecutively-numbered PINs like 1234, 1212, or 1111 would be rejected. I set my PIN in a few seconds, and hung up.

This two minute call might make my trip to Brazil easier and will certainly make my next European trip easier.

The Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® will be my go-to card abroad because it has no foreign transaction fees and earns an astounding 2 miles per dollar (which I value at 2.28 cents) on all purchases.

  • Have you asked for your new Arrival Plus yet?
  • Have you used its chip and PIN capabilities?

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This One Mistake on the US Airways Award Chart Can Save You 15k Miles

This blog contains links to our affiliates. Below are credit card products that we recommend from our advertising partners.

US Airways charges the same price for three-cabin First Class within the United States and Canada as it does for two-cabin First Class or Business Class.

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 7.08.12 AM

I consider this a mistake rooted in the fact that US Airways only operates two-cabin planes within the United States as did its former partner United (with a few exceptions.)

But US Airways’ new partners American Airlines and Cathay Pacific both operate three-cabin planes within the United States on a few routes:

  • New York-JFK to Los Angeles (American Airlines)
  • New York-JFK to San Francisco (American Airlines)
  • New York-JFK to Vancouver (Cathay Pacific)

I expect that at some point soon, US Airways will charge 65k miles for roundtrip awards on these three routes, so book them now for big savings.

If you’re short on US Airways miles, The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® offers 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase.

  • How is award space on these three routes?
  • How can you book the award space with US Airways miles?
  • How is Cathay Pacific First Class?

Continue reading