How to Redeem Barclaycard Arrival Miles

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The card offer described in this post has expired. To see the latest top travel credit cards with big bonuses that will save you tons, check out our Top 10 List for Consumers and Top 10 List for Small Businesses.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is a tool every frequent flyer should have in their wallet, especially big spenders and families. In essence, the card earns 2.1% back toward travel on all purchases. (Not to mention the sign up bonus worth $400 toward travel after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days 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 a complete breakdown and analysis of the Arrival Plus, make sure to check out my comprehensive review 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 5% rebate?
  • Can you use Arrival miles as partial payment towards a charge?
  • Is the redemption process simple?
  • How do you avoid lower value redemptions?

When I got the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, I met the $3,000 minimum spend quickly, and the bonus miles posted.

I then used the card to pay for the taxes and fees associated with two United awards I booked. You absolutely have to use your Arrival Plus to charge whatever travel expense you want to redeem your miles for.

The first step in redeeming is to log into your Barclaycard account and to click on the “Rewards & Benefits Center.” Then click “Start using my miles.”

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-9-46-48-pm Next select “Redeem now” under “Travel statement credits.”screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-9-47-07-pmThere you’ll find any qualifying travel purchases you’ve made in the last 120 days.screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-9-47-20-pm

When you have eligible purchases, you see how many days you have left to redeem them, and you see a button to “Redeem now.”

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-9-55-35-pm

New cardholders can redeem for the full amount or partial amounts down to 10,000 miles for $100 off. (Older cardholders may be grandfathered into redeeming as few as 2,500 miles for $25.)

Barclays Step 4

After you click the green “Checkout” button and was able to review my order before hitting the green “Place your order” button.

Barclays Step 5

Barclays Step 6

Immediately after placing the order, I received confirmation of the redemption. The best part is the 5% rebate happens automatically automatically, and the points are instantly credited back to your account!

A net redemption of 9,500 Arrival miles (10,000 – 500 rebate) saves you $100. That’s a rate of 1.05 cents per mile.

What about redeeming Arrival miles for cash back? Is that a good value?

I don’t recommend this redemption at all. You only receive 0.5 cents per point when requesting cash back, as opposed to getting 1.05 cents back when redeeming Arrival miles for travel related purchases.

Cash back diminishes the value of Arrival miles.
Cash back diminishes the value of Arrival miles.

Can you redeem Arrival miles for gift cards?

That’s also an ill-advised move, as you are again receiving 0.5 cents per mile in value. You would accrue Gold Passport points if using the Hyatt gift card for a hotel stay, but that’s a small consolation. Using Arrival miles on a Lowe’s or Outback Steakhouse gift card (two of the scarce available options) is a poor deal.

Hyatt Gift Card

Recap

Redeeming your Arrival miles for travel related purchases (hotels, flights) is a simple process and the absolute best use of your miles. You get 1.05 cents per mile in value since the 5% rebate credits to your Arrival mile balance instantaneously.

Arrival miles are a fantastic way to be reimbursed for the taxes on traditional awards or to pay for cash tickets that still earn miles and status with the legacy carriers.


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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176 COMMENTS

  1. Do you know if Barclaycard will strictly go by the merchant category? I need to pay the final amount on a VRBO rental through PayPal. When I made the initial deposit payment, it showed up as “advertising services” even though it is a small B&B business. I would love redeem for travel here, but won’t use this card unless I can get the rebate.

    • Lynn, I encountered something similar–A tour operator that I used listed themselves as a direct marketing company. I called in the rep told me that they could open a case for a manual travel credit so that might be worth an shot for you. I would avoid using PayPal as an intermediary for travel expenses you might want to redeem for. I know that a lot of cc companies won’t give you category bonuses if you go through PayPal e.g. if you use your Ink card at an office supply store but use it through PayPal. (I think, not 100%, that PayPal becomes the merchant listed). Not worth it to me to take that chance if I want to redeem/get a bonus.

    • I looked over some travel that we did while qualifying for the initial miles using the Barkclaycard arrival+ card. Their categories all seem relevant (TRAVEL AGENCIES, DAYS INN, and ECONO TRAVEL MOTOR HOTEL) yet these do not appear on the “travel statement credit” page.

      Has Barclay begun to disallow credit for travel done during the “initial spend” period?

      • Not that I’m aware of. Were the purchases you are looking at made within the last 120 days and for $100 or more? If not, then that’s your problem.

  2. Lynn, I second Gaurav here. Barclay’s will only consider it a redeemable travel expense if the merchant code considers your B&B payment a “Hotel” or “Motel & Resort.” It’s risky to gamble on it unless you’re very comfortable only receiving the Arrival miles for the purchase and not redeeming if the merchant code turns out to be in another category.

  3. My cc churn strategy is to:
    a. achieve sign-up-spend bonuses
    b. stop using cc start another cc
    c. quit cc after ~8 mos
    d. start (a) again after 1 yr if similar bonus

    So if I’m travel-spending-down $444+,
    & getting 10% added back each time,
    there will always be miles sacrificed
    at cc cancellation time, right?
    (but a new $444 cycle after 1 yr)
    Thanks!

    • Like all bank point cards, you lose the points if you cancel the card. Since you can redeem in 2,500 point increments, you should lose at most $25 worth of points.

  4. Hi there,

    I’m wondering if you could make a guide for newbies on how to plot (and plan) a round the world trip? I’ve seen posts on one world alliances/etc, but how does one actually go about planning it and actually figuring out the mile requirements/best ways to do it?

    Please and thank you 🙂

  5. I think it would have been appropriate to list the $89 non-waived annual fee somewhere in this lengthy description of the Barclay Arrival card.

  6. Scott, do OTA’s like Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com etc show up as travel and therefore can benefit from the redemption ?

        • Probably, but check Shock Shooter’s comment above:

          “Verbal evidence, via phone call explanation,
          overrides the wrong coding, IME with this card.”

          It looks like even if it doesn’t, you can call in and redeem miles for it as a travel expense since it is a legit travel expense.

  7. Do you know if there are any restrictions for getting statement credits back on the initial $1,000 spending requirement? For example, I’m interested in getting the card to book travel expenses for a trip this summer. I was planning on using those travel expenses to meet my $1,000 spending requirement and then pay myself back with the miles bonus.

    • That’s completely fine. Once you clear the $1,000, the 40K post to your account shortly thereafter. You can then use those miles to pay off the travel-related charges as normal.

    • I too want to know that. I just got my 40k bonus points and dont have any travel coming up soon. I was thinking of buying TRAVEL gift cards (From AA.com or United.com) and using them at a later time. However – will these be tagged as TRAVEL and can be reimbursed ? I guess someone must have tried this out ?

      • I tried this with Southwest and the purchase of a Southwest gift card was tagged as travel and qualified for the reimbursement.

  8. If you need to close your card but still have points left to redeem before closing then you can use your card to buy gift cards from an airline’s website (I used Southwest.com to buy a Southwest gift card) and then go to the Barclays website and redeem your points for the purchase since they are considered to be in the travel category.

  9. […] Redeem 24,200 Arrival miles to fully eliminate the charge from your credit card statement. Instantly receive a 10% rebate when using your Arrival miles towards travel purchases. The actual cost is only 21,780 Arrival miles (24200 – 2420) factoring in the 10% rebate. For more info on the simple redemption process, check out my post, How to Redeem BarclayCard Arrival Miles. […]

  10. You said that the statement credit does not count as a payment, so you must still make the minimum payment.
    If the only thing I charge for the month is $400 in travel expenses, then
    I Immediately apply a $400 credit, does this mean I must still make a payment even though my balance would be $0.00?

  11. Hi, Scott! Any idea if I could qualify to receive the bonus on this card second time? I currently have this card, but plan to close it, since the yearly fee approaches. How soon can I apply for it again? Many Thanks for your reply and for insightful articles!

  12. My 20K points were posted on account when I open this card; I woked hard to accumulate an additional points toward my June travel. Today, my account shows 36,400 points. I am need to redeeme them toward my account ballance, a what a surprize: I can only redeeme those poins that I accumulated have recently accumulated for previous travel to Arizona, or within 90 days for 10%, using 1,700 points which is less than required 2,500 for $25. Any advise?

    • So I can book a flight on Jetblue and pay for it with this credit card?
      If the charge on Jetblue is $500, I can cover it with 50,000 points?

  13. Could you explain how to know which travel award accounts require that you pay the entire amount of a travel purchase with points or whether you can redeem points even if you do not have enough to cover the entire amount of the travel amount? e.g. If I have enough points to cover $1500 of a $3000 purchase, can I apply the $1500 or do I have to wait until I would have enough points to cover the entire $3000 purchase? Thank you for all the help you provide to so many of us!

  14. […] Use your Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® to book the hotel stays. The card comes with 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3k in the first 90 days. Just meeting that minimum spending requirement means you’ll have 46,000 Arrival miles, which are worth more than $500 in free flights on any airline with no blackouts, any hotel stay, any car rental and more. Book your hotel stays with the Arrival Plus then redeem Arrival miles to remove the charge. […]

  15. […] Redeem 24,200 Arrival miles to fully eliminate the charge from your credit card statement. Instantly receive a 5% rebate when using your Arrival miles towards travel purchases. The actual cost is only 22,990 Arrival miles (24200 – 1210) factoring in the 10% rebate. For more info on the simple redemption process, check out my post, How to Redeem BarclayCard Arrival Miles. […]

  16. I wanted to buy disneyland entrance ticket using expedia.com/ orbitz.com. Has anyone done this before with theme park tickets? Will Barclay considered that as “travel” and hence get reimbursed for it? Thanks!

  17. […] After signing into your Barclaycard account, you’ll see Manage Rewards where your Arrival miles balance is shown. If you’ve met the minimum spending requirement, your balance should be 56,000+ Arrival miles. Read more about the specifics of redeeming Arrival miles.  […]

  18. If I buy true blue points or AA miles, will it count as TRAVEL so I can use my Barclay card miles to pay for it?
    Example: Buy 8000 AA miles for $300.
    I can use 3,000 Barclay card miles to “pay” for this purchase?

    • Yes, you can redeem Arrival miles on AA miles. I’ve seen data points that prove you can. As for JetBlue miles, I’m not sure. I can see on their website that TrueBlue miles purchases are processed by Points.com, a separate third party that is not JetBlue and will not show up as JetBlue on your Arrival Plus statement. That makes me second guess whether or not the charge would categorize as travel. It might, but I don’t see any evidence of it in the wiki of this Flyertalk thread.

  19. […] Buy this ticket with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. The card comes with 50,000 Arrival miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months. Arrival miles can be redeemed for 1 cent each toward any travel expense, so the bonus alone will more than cover this roundtrip to Oslo. Learn How to Redeem Arrival Miles. […]

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