Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Churning the Barclaycard Arrival Plus MasterCard


Over 2 years ago, my wife and I both signed up for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus MasterCard.  We redeemed many of our Arrival miles towards a free cruise vacation!  At the time, the sign up bonus was 40,000 miles, now the sign up bonus is 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within 3 months.  We closed our previous Arrival+ cards over 2 years ago since we did not want to pay for the $89 annual fee.  With this new increased sign up bonus, the Arrival+ card is worth another look.

All purchases made with the Arrival+ automatically earn 2x miles per dollar spent.  Barclaycard uses the term “miles” loosely since redeeming the Arrival miles earned is different from other points and miles earning credit cards.  Arrival miles can be used to pay for all travel purchases made within the last 120 days.  Pretty much any purchase that is travel related qualifies for redemption of miles(airfare, hotel, motel, cruises, airbnb, travel agencies, railways, car rentals, tour operators, taxis, limos, buses, ferries, theme parks, museums, and tourist attractions).  Miles are redeemed as a statement credit at a rate of 1 mile = 1 cent.

Over the last year, there have been some big (mostly negative) changes to the Arrival+ features.  Barclaycard increased the minimum redemption of miles to offset a travel expense to $100 or more, when it used to be a minimum of $25.  The Arrival Plus card used to refund 10% miles back per redemption, but Barclaycard has lowered it to 5%.  This turns the card into a 2.1% cash back card for all travel expenses (over $100).  To offset these negatives, the sign up bonus for the Arrival+ card has been increased to 50,000 miles up from 40,000 miles.  For our travel redemption needs, $100 travel charges should be just fine.  This card has an $89 annual fee, however it is waived the first year.

For our upcoming trip to Japan, we are looking into Airbnb stays.  This is because my father, sister, brother-in-law, and niece will be traveling with us (7 total).  Airbnb stays for larger groups can offer tremendous value and include niceties such as laundry washer and dryer.  According to various reports from users on Reddit and Flyertalk, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus MasterCard is churnable, meaning you can sign up for the same card and get the sign up bonus again.  The only rule is that you can’t currently hold the Arrival+ credit card, nor the no annual fee regular Arrival card.

Since I did not have an active Barclaycard Arrival credit card, I was eligible to churn the sign up bonus again.  I went to apply for my own Arrival+ card here.  It took less than a minute to fill out my application and within 30 seconds I found out that I was approved!  
The Arrival+ is my first new credit card for 2017 and I’m looking forward to redeeming my bonus miles towards our upcoming trip!
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