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The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® (See Terms) has long provided one of the best avenues for covering travel expenses that aren't hotels or airline tickets. The card earns Arrival miles which can be utilized to erase any travel purchase greater than $100 charged to your Arrival Plus card. Train tickets, ferries, cruise charges — all can be wiped with your Arrival miles.
Today, Barclay's announced the largest ever sign up bonus for the Arrival Plus — 70,000 miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. The bonus alone is worth $700 in free travel charged to your card. Let's look at the other benefits you need to know about the card and how to use Arrival miles.
Add on what you earn from meeting the spend requirement at you're at $800+ in free travel charged to your card!
Earn 2X Miles On All Purchases
There's no bonus categories to remember or annual spend required to trigger bonus miles. The Arrival Plus earns 2X miles on all purchases all day. That's equivalent to 2% cash back towards travel all day, on all purchases.
Annual Fee Waived First Year
The cards annual fee is $89 (waived first year). That means a 70,000-mile sign up bonus and all travel benefits the card offers can be all yours for nothing out of pocket. You can use your Arrival miles beginning in the second year to cover the fee.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Many US-issued credit cards will charge your account a ~3% fee for using your card overseas. This has been a nasty surprise for many of my friends and family who return from overseas trips. The Arrival Plus charges no foreign transaction fees when using the card internationally.
The only thing you need to be aware of is Dynamic Currency Conversion, so be sure to always select the local currency instead of US Dollars for your charges if given an option.
Chip + PIN Capability
If you've traveled to Europe or some Asian countries, you know the frustration that can be alleviated with a chip + PIN-enabled card. Many merchant terminals overseas request a PIN after inserting the card and very few US-issued credit cards have this capability. I've specifically run into hurdles trying to pay for gas in Europe or buying train tickets at automated kiosks in Asia, both of which typically require a chip + PIN card. This card has you covered.
How to Use Your Arrival Miles
According to the card terms and conditions, the following charges are officially eligible to be erased using Arrival miles:
“airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, purchase and travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries and the account annual fee as defined by the merchant category code.”
In the end, the merchant category code of the business whose charges you place on the card will determine if a charge is eligible to be erased. Take Disney tickets for example: if they are bought directly from Disney, they do not code as travel and cannot be erased with Arrival miles. However, if you buy them from a broker like Undercover Tourist, they can code as travel and can be covered with your miles.
To redeem miles, you log in to your online Barclays account and head to the Rewards and Benefits center. There, you can select “Travel Statement Credits” which will bring you to the following screen:
Any eligible travel charges over $100 from the last 120 days will show as redemption eligible. Select that charge and confirm using your miles to cover the charges. Free travel couldn't be any simpler.
If you're already thinking this card is excellent, there's an additional benefit which makes it even better. Any time you redeem your Arrival miles, you'll receive 5% of the redeemed miles back in your account. This makes the card effectively earn 2.1% cash back on all purchases, every day.
If you travel enough, you know things can go south from time to time. The Arrival Plus has built-in travel protections which can help you ease the financial and mental strain when tough situations happen. The card offers baggage delay protection, trip cancellation/interruption protection, trip delay protection and secondary rental car collision damage waivers.
If you're an international traveler, you're going to run into expenses beyond your lodging and plane tickets. The Arrival Plus gives you the perfect avenue to prevent these charges from coming out of your pocket by redeeming Arrival miles. Starting with 70,000 miles and no annual fee means now is the time to pick up this card along with all of its travel benefits for the international jet-setter.
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