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I already knew the answer to that question before I called Barclaycard last week. But I decided to call anyways for the sake of curiosity, and to possibly help out someone else that may be in the same position with their Barclaycard Arrival Plus that is actually considering keeping it open.

I want to be able to get the sign up bonus on the Arrival Plus again, and the general consensus is that you can, but your previous card must be closed for at least six months before applying again. Downgrading to the no annual fee Arrival card is not a loophole. If you have an Arrival card, Barclay’s won’t approve you for an Arrival Plus. Which is why I already had made up mind.

What’s the Arrival Plus?

For those of you not familiar with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, it’s a great card–in our Top 10 list— and is certainly worth consideration. Arrival miles are perfect for covering cheap economy flights when miles aren’t worth spending, or award taxes/fees, Airbnb’s, etc.

You’ll earn 56,000 Arrival miles after meeting the minimum spending requirement of $3,000 in 90 days for the sign up bonus (50K), as every dollar spent earns two Arrival miles. You can redeem the miles to offset any travel expense greater than $100 inside your Barclaycard account within 120 days of the purchase, like any flight (no blackouts). Examples of travel expenses are taxes and fees on award tickets, hotels, Airbnb, car rentals, cruises, etc. Here is How to Redeem Arrival Miles. 56,000 Arrival miles is worth $560 if you redeem on travel expenses.

I opened my Barclaycard Arrival Plus a little less than a year ago, back when the sign up bonus was 50,000 Arrival miles for spending $3,000 in 90 days. In between then and now, the bonus dropped to 40k and has now jumped back up to 50k for a limited time. The $89 annual fee is waived the first year, and is charged right after your cardmember anniversary–which is why it was time to consider my options.

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Retention Bonus Offers

Like said before, I wasn’t interested in keeping my Arrival Plus open. But in case you’re interested, there are the offers I was given by the Barclay’s representative:

  • $50 statement credit for spending $1,000 each month for 3 months, with 0% interest on payments through September 2017
  • Decrease annual percentage rate by 1%

I logged into my Arrival Plus account online before I called Barclays’, however, and noticed something that annoyed me. I still have a balance of unused Arrival miles.

Problem: Leftover Arrival Miles

I have a small amount of unredeemed Arrival miles leftover (under 5,000) that aren’t enough to redeem on travel expenses nor cash back. When you redeem Arrival miles on travel expenses, they are worth about 1 cent each (a little more when you consider the automatic 5% rebate). But the catch is the 10,000 minimum redemption amount. When you redeem Arrival miles for cash back, they are only worth .5 cents each, but the minimum redemption amount is 5,000. I don’t want to waste spend on such a nominal return, but I also cringe at the idea of my leftover Arrival miles evaporating into thin air. Which is what would happen if I cancel my Arrival Plus without redeeming them first. 

Best Solution

Write travel stories and earn Arrival miles via the Barclaycard Travel Community until I have enough (5,000) to redeem for cash back. I’ll earn at least 150 miles for every story I write, so I only need to write a handful of them to top me off. Then I’ll at least get $25 back!

Barclaycard Travel Community
Barclaycard Travel Community

Bottom Line

I’ve had my Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card for nearly a year, so the first annual fee of $89 will be charged soon if I don’t cancel. And if I want to be able to get it and its bonus again, I need to cancel it.

The one year anniversary of my Citi Prestige Card also came up recently. If you’re interested in reading about my course of action with that card, check out I’ve Had My Citi Prestige For Almost a Year. Now What?

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