For a limited time, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus comes with 50,000 bonus Arrival miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. The old bonus was 40,000 points.

The card earns 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. You can redeem the miles to offset any travel expense greater than $100 inside your Barclaycard account within 120 days of the purchase. Here is How to Redeem Arrival Miles.

Arrival miles can be redeemed for any travel expense like any flight (no blackouts), taxes and fees on award tickets, hotels, Airbnb, car rentals, cruises, and more. You also get a 5% miles rebate on all redemptions and earn miles on any flight redemption.

After meeting the minimum spending requirement on the card, you’ll have at least 56,000 Arrival miles, which you could redeem to offset a $560 charge.  And when you redeem the miles, you get the 5% rebate back instantly, so redeeming 56,000 would offer 2,800 miles back, worth another $28. It’s great for travel as it has no foreign transaction fees and is a Mastercard, which means you will probably pay less in currency conversion fees.

There are two reasons to get this card: 2% back on all purchases and a sign up bonus worth $500 in free travel. Let’s talk about them in turn.

2% Back on All Purchases

The rewards of the Arrival Plus are simple. You earn two miles per dollar on all purchases. Each mile is worth 1 cents when redeemed for travel.

The way to redeem these miles is to purchase any travel expense with the card, then request a statement credit with your miles.

See how to redeem Arrival miles.

Travel expenses are defined broadly and include:

  • any flight on any airline (no need to search for award space!)
  • taxes and fees on an airline award ticket
  • any hotel expense (including bed & breakfasts, hostels, and non-chain hotels)
  • cruises
  • car rentals
  • taxis
  • ferries
  • passenger trains
  • campgrounds
  • much more

Example: You have 20,000 miles in your account. You use the credit card to purchase a $150 roundtrip ticket from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on any airline you want.

You redeem 15,000 of your miles, and the $150 charge disappears. You got a free $150 flight for your 15,000 miles. In addition, of course, you will earn miles from flying a paid flight since the airline you are flying to Vegas was paid cash for your ticket!

Because of this redemption method, there are no blackout dates or capacity controls. You can redeem the miles for any seat, any time, on any airline, to anywhere.

What I’ve described so far is only 2% back, but you can do better:

  1. If you redeem Arrival miles for travel expenses you get 5% of the redeemed miles back instantly as a rebate. Let’s go back to the same example we just looked at.
    Example revisited: We redeemed 15,000 miles for a $150 flight. Since the redemption was for travel, we get 5% of the miles back. 750 miles will be redeposited into our account.
  2. You earn 2 miles per dollar even on purchases that you redeem miles to redeem from your statement.
    Example revisited again: When we purchased the $150 flight, we earned 300 Arrival miles.

That means the net result is we spend 13,950 Arrival miles [750 + 300 – 15,000] and get a $150 ticket, or 1.075 cents of value per mile!

How does 2% back on all purchases compare to other cards?

It is as good or better than any other cash back card I know of. I haven’t seen better than 2% back on all purchases.

It is better than almost all rewards cards. It’s a bit beyond the scope of this post, but the only cards that come close are the Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express and the United Club Card. See more on the best card for non-bonused spending here.

$500 in Free Travel

For a limited time, the Arrival Plus has increased its sign up bonus to 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of card membership.

Those 50,000 miles can be redeemed for $500 in free travel. And doing that will trigger a 5% rebate in points. You can use that 2,500 points for $25 more in free travel.

The 5% rebate is an interesting lock-in feature from Barclaycard. I think they’re betting it will keep you using the card since you will have a hard time zeroing out your balance with the constant miles rebates. Whatever Barclaycard’s reasoning, I just love that the 5% rebate on travel redemptions increases the value of a miles from 1 cent to 1.075 cents.

Who Should Not Get This Card

Do not get this card if you want to collect miles to fly international First Class. Paid international First Class is exorbitantly expensive–think $10,000. A $10,000 ticket would cost 1,000,000 Arrival miles, which is far more than the number of traditional airline miles that you’d need to book First Class.

It’s always sad to tell Award Booking Service clients who have accumulated miles on a card like the Arrival Plus and want to fly up front that they don’t have enough miles.

Who Should Get This Card

This card is ideal for people who fly economy, families, domestic flyers, and points omnivores.

  • Economy Flyers– If you mainly fly economy class, it’s hard to get even 1.5 cents of value per traditional mile. Most miles cards earn 1 mile per dollar, meaning they get economy flyers 1.5 cents of travel per dollar spent–if that! The Arrival Plus gets economy flyers (and everyone else) 2 cents of travel per dollar spent.
  • Families– Families have two things working against them. It’s tough to book four capacity-controlled award seats on the same flight, and they usually have little date flexibility since they want to travel over school breaks. The “miles” earned on the Arrival Plus don’t require you to find award seats. They can be redeemed toward any travel purchase. A family can book four tickets to Disneyland and use their miles from this card to make that flight–whatever flight they want–free.
  • Domestic Flyers- You’d have to spend $25,000 on a United, American, or Delta credit card AND find award space on the flights you want to get a domestic roundtrip. You’d have to spend far less on the Arrival Plus, and you can book any flight you want.
  • Points Omnivores- This is my category. I’ll collect any mile or point I can to get more travel. I collect other types to get into international First Class. I’ll collect this type to fly to more mundane places in economy class. A dollar saved is still a dollar saved.

Other Card Info

Here are the main things to know:

  • No annual fee for the first 12 months, then $89
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Redeem for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Redemption values vary
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers.

Recap

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is currently offering a sign up bonus worth $500 in free travel, plus the card earns 2% back toward travel on all spending!

This card is ideal for economy flyers, domestic flyers, families, and points omnivores. The card is also ideal for anyone who doesn’t like to search for award space. The miles earned from this card can be used on any airline for any flight. (And you’ll even earn miles on that flight!)

I predicted that the Arrival Plus would increase its sign up bonus to 50,000 miles by February 2016, so I was seven months off.

Get the Arrival Plus now during the increased sign up bonus!

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 spend in 3 months

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 80,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months and 2x points earned on dining and travel spend, this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

Learn More

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.