BARCLAY ARRIVAL PLUS
TOTAL RATING: 5
POINT VALUE: The Barclaycard offers a 40,000 point bonus that we value at $420. Barclay points are worth a flat 1 cent per point but you get a 5% bonus when you use your points so the total value comes up to $420.
BONUS VALUE LESS ANNUAL FEE: This card has a $89 annual fee which is waived the first year making the actual bonus value $331.
REDEMPTION FLEXABILITY: The true power of this card is the flexibility of the redemption program. Barclaycard Arrival Plus loyalty points are redeemed by statement credits which means that you pay for the travel product and then at a later date the cost of the travel is wiped from your statement at the rate of ~1 cent (don’t forget that +5% bonus). This statement credit can be used on ANY travel expense which means you can really shop for bargains. An example would be the $250 round trip available on Norwegian Air from Boston to Dublin we mentioned in our Fast Deals earlier this week.. Because you are paying a penny a point this flight would only cost you 23,750 Barclay points (25,000 points less 5%). This is a perfect example of the power of flexibility, by booking super cheap flights like the one above you could stretch your 40,000 points into free flight to Europe. One problem with this card’s flexibility is your purchase has to be over $100 so you can’t take advantage of the points to pay for travel costs under $100.
POINT VALUE: With this card you get 2 points per dollar spent on everything you buy plus the 5% bonus so your return on each dollar is 2.1%. In the big scheme of things that sucks as a return on your dollar of spend.
FRINGE BENEFITS: The only fringe benefit offered with this card is free foreign transaction fees.
Barclaycard does have a shopping portal that could be used to generate more Barclay points. The portal is at https://arrival.barclaycardrewardsboost.com.
ANNUAL FEE: $89
FINAL ANALAYSIS: This cards only real redeeming quality is it’s flexibility. I love this cards redemption system but the low return on your spend and the low value of the bonus make it just an average travel credit card.
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