Barclaycard Arrival Miles Are Worth 1.075 Cents Each

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The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® comes with 40,000 bonus Arrival miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

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You also earn 2x miles on all purchases with the card. That means you’ll have at least 46,000 Arrival miles after meeting the minimum spending requirement.

Arrival miles are worth about 1.075 cents each toward travel, so meeting the minimum spending requirement is worth about $495 in free travel. Ongoing spending earns about 2.15% back toward travel on all purchases.

Why do I say Arrival miles are worth about 1.075 cents each?

To redeem Arrival miles, you first make a travel purchase with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. Doing this earns miles at the normal rate of 2x per dollar.

Then within 120 days of purchase, you enter your Barclaycard account online and remove the charge with miles. When removing the charge, you redeem 100 miles for every $1 of the purchase.

Immediately after the travel redemption, you get a 5% rebate of the miles redeemed.

That means for every $1 of free travel, you use a net of 93 Arrival miles. One hundred cents divided by 93 miles equals 1.075 cents per mile.

Example

You have 10,000 Arrival miles in your account.

You buy a flight for $100 with the card, earning 200 Arrival miles.

You redeem 10,000 Arrival miles to remove the charge from your online account.

You get back an instant rebate of 500 Arrival miles (5%).

Your account ends up with 700 miles–the 200 you earned on the purchase and the 500 rebated at redemption. That means you end up with 9,300 Arrival miles fewer than when you started, and you saved $100.

That means you got 1.075 cents of value from each of the 9,300 Arrival miles you lost.

Bonus

That $100 flight you booked is a cash ticket, meaning you earn miles and status on the flight. This makes Arrival miles particularly useful for someone chasing status.

Caveats

It’s fair to value Arrival miles at less than 1.075 cents each if you expect to have a problem with “breakage.”

The minimum redemption of Arrival miles for travel purchases is $100 or 10,000 miles. If you have less than 10,000 miles, you are stuck with far inferior redemptions like statement credits, which get only 0.5 cents of value per Arrival mile.

To minimize breakage, your last redemption before closing a Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® would be a 10,000 Arrival mile travel redemption, leaving you only 500 orphaned miles (from the 5% rebate.) Those orphaned miles would represent, at most, 1.1% of the Arrival miles earned on your card (since the minimum is 46,000 if you meet the minimum spending requirement), so you could drop your valuation of Arrival miles by at most 1.1% for this type of breakage. That would make your valuation 1.063 cents per Arrival mile. The more miles you earn and redeem over the lifetime of the card, the smaller the percentage of orphaned miles is and the closer to 1.075 cents of value you’ll get for each Arrival mile.

Recap

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is one of the best travel credit cards, especially for big spenders. You earn 2x miles on all purchases, and you receive a 5% rebate when your miles are redeemed for travel expenses.

One more benefit that folks sometimes miss is that you earn Arrival miles on all purchases, including travel purchases that you remove from your statement by redeeming Arrival miles.

After factoring in these rebates and earnings, it only costs a net of 93 Arrival miles dollar to book a free flight, meaning Arrival miles are worth 1.075 cents per mile on travel redemptions.

Don’t forget that airlines treat Arrival awards as normal cash tickets, so you are receiving standard frequent flyer miles and elite qualifying miles for the flight. That makes the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® a mileage runner’s dream. You earn lots of miles towards airline elite status for minimal out of pocket costs.

Offer Details:

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, currently 16.24% or 20.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are 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.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a 2.105% card, not a 2.15% card.
    Your math is flawed since you’re leveraging the 5% of the existing points.

    Spend $4750, get 9,500 points, redeem 10,000 points for $100, get 500 points back. Net change in points: zero.
    Now 100/4750 = 0.021052631578947

    • I stand by my math. Just look at a single travel purchase that you get for free. You get 1.075 cents per point.

      • No.

        The following sentence is utterly wrong: “Ongoing spending earns about 2.15% back toward travel on all purchases.”
        Your calculation is only valid for the first purchase since in the example you reduced 10,000 miles to 700, so you ‘stole’ value from the 5% redemption these get.

  2. I’ll use round numbers to explain why I think this is a horrible card to keep after the first year. With the annual fee, you have to spend about $5,000 just to get back to zero. To get to where this becomes even a 1% cashback card, you need to spend around $10,000. You’ll have to spend $19,000 to make it even a 1.5% cashback card. And even after that kind of spend the points can only be redeemed at full value to offset travel expenses that are individually at least $100 each. I’d say for 99% of readers, this card is worthwhile only for the enrollment bonus and should be canceled after a year.

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