The Barclay Arrival Plus card just announced an increased sign-up bonus: 70,000 miles after $5,000 spent in 90 days. For the longest time, the sign-up bonus has been capped at 60,000. While that extra 10,000 miles may not seem like much, it’s actually worth $100 towards travel. The card also offers a 5% redemption bonus when you use miles for travel, so in total, you’re looking at $735 worth of travel rewards with this sign-up bonus. Plus the $100 in rewards you’ll earn from meeting the $5,000 spending requirement (at a rate of 2 miles per $1).
Common Criticism of the Barclay Arrival Plus Card
A common criticism of the Barclay Arrival Plus card is that it’s essentially a 2% cash back card, with an $89 annual fee. Why is this a problem? Because there are plenty of 2% cash back cards on the market that don’t charge annual fees. The Fidelity Rewards card is one option, as well as the Citi Double Cash Card. For a lot of people, these $0 fee 2% cash back cards will suffice. If you’re a big spender (manufactured or otherwise), the Barclay Arrival Plus card might be a better option for you.
Barclay Arrival Plus card 5% Redemption Bonus
Barclay Arrival Plus cardholders get a 5% rebate when they redeem miles for travel. A $100 minimum applies for travel redemptions. If you’re earning and redeeming enough miles, that 5% redemption bonus could very well off-set the $89 annual fee. You’d have to earn and redeem 178,000 Arrival miles a year in order to get at least $89 in value out of the 5% bonus. That’s $89,000 a year. For some, that’s completely unachievable. For me, it’s what I can easily generate in a month with about 15 hours of work.
Barclay Arrival Plus vs. 2% Cash Back Cards
One major advantage that the Barclay Arrival Plus card has over 2% cash back cards is that the miles are credited as soon as the transaction posts. That’s usually within a day or two. So if you’re about to hit the end of your 120 day redemption period and need some miles fast, you can head to your local Simon Mall, pick up a $9500 batch of gift cards and you’ll have 19,000 miles in your account a day or two later. No need to wait until your statement closes and your payment has been received. You earn as you go.
Nothing beats the high of seeing your mileage account balances jump several thousand points every month. Except seeing an increase like this every other day. You may be wondering if that’s realistic, considering the recent changes implemented by Walmart. I think it still is. It’s still possible to earn points and miles via gift card churning – just in smaller batches. As I’ve said before, it may be time to move on to less tedious ways to earn miles anyway. Reselling is a great way to not only meet spending requirements and generate miles after a sign-up bonus has posted, but it’s also a good way to generate some extra cash. With the holiday shopping season already in full force, this is as good a time as ever to get into reselling.
Barclay Arrival Plus Card 70,000 Mile Bonus: Final Thoughts
The 70,000 mile sign-up bonus from the Barclay Arrival Plus card is a solid offer. And worth looking into if you’ve had this card on your to-get list. The sign-up bonus can be used for $735 worth of travel redemptions and that can be used for anything: Hotel bookings, airfare, cruise bookings, tour packages, and everything that Barclay codes as travel. I also like this card for long-term use, since it’s great for big spenders who like getting their points right away. If gift card churning and reselling are out of the question, you may want to look into Kickfurther and Kiva for ways to meet the $5,000 spending requirement.
What are your thoughts on the Barclay Arrival Plus card’s 70,000-mile sign-up bonus?
Note: I will earn a commission if you sign up for the Barclay Arrival Plus card with my referral link. As one reader pointed out, I did get my Barclay Arrival Plus card shut down for using Walmart Bill Pay. Since I’ve mentioned this virtually any time the card came up over the last two years, I didn’t think it was necessary to keep bringing it up. Apparently it is. 🙂