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A while back my husband got the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, but we had yet to redeem the points from the card toward “free” travel. When the time came to buy a couple of airline tickets that weren’t available on miles, our thoughts turned to the points we had on the Barclaycard that can be used basically like cash toward any travel expense we wanted. I hadn’t ever gone through the process of redeeming those points, so I wasn’t sure how hard or easy that process would be. Turns out, it was pretty easy.
Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® 40,000 bonus miles if you make $3,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next trip!
Make any travel purchase you wish on the card:
To use these points you don’t have to go through their portal to shop for tickets or hotels the way you have to with some cards, you can simply use the card to pay for any travel expense that you wish, and then use points toward that charge later. This meant I was able to buy the tickets we needed directly from United with the Veteran’s Advantage discount to save a little bit of cash/points, and use a gift certificate that we had obtained from using the $200 annual airline fee credit via our Mercedes Benz American Express card to bring the cost down even further.
The card awards 2x points on all charges on the card, so you don’t have to worry about category bonuses or similar to get the most out of the card. I actually think for many traveling families, this is likely the best card to use for everyday spending that isn’t available as a bonus category on any of the other cards. The points earned are worth one cent each, but they are worth a bit more if you plan to redeem them for travel expenses.
Redeem points toward any travel expense:
Once our airline ticket charge posted to the account, we logged in to redeem points to cover some of the cost. We had about 44,000 points from getting the 40,000 point sign-up bonus plus the money we had spent on the card to trigger the sign-up bonus. We went to “Rewards” and then selected the option to “pay yourself back for travel”. The reason this option is better than just selecting the “cash back” option that you could use for any charge is because you will get 10% of your redeemed miles back when you pay yourself back for travel charges.
Once you select that option, you will see the eligible travel charges on your card that you can redeem points for. The eligible charges must have posted within the last 90 days. In our case, the two airline tickets we had recently charged showed up as eligible options.
Get 10% of redeemed miles back when used toward travel:
We redeemed points for the $398 airline ticket first, which left us with 4,562 points. However, since we redeemed our points toward a travel charge on the first ticket we got 10% of those redeemed points back instantly. That meant that we got 3,980 points back to bring our total to 8,540 points to use toward the other ticket we charged on the card.
Redeem points to cover a portion of a travel charge:
We didn’t have enough points left to cover the full $298 of the second airline ticket, but with this card you don’t have to have enough points in your account to cover the full amount. You can just use what you have in increments of $25 (2,500 points) toward the charge. This is really handy as not every card works in this way.
This meant we were able to use 7,500 points ($75) toward our second ticket, which brought our out-of-pocket cost for that ticket down to $223. Of course we also earned 10% back on those 7,500 points redeemed to use in the future. The statement credits for the redemptions posted to our account about two business days after we made the redemption.
We bought two round trip airline tickets that cost about $418 each, for a total of $223 out of pocket by stacking the 5% Veteran’s Advantage discount, using $100 of our annual Amex Platinum airline fee credit, and using the points we had on our Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. I can stomach paying $223 for the two tickets much more than the $836 we would have had to pay if we weren’t in the miles and points world. We will also earn elite qualifying and redeemable United miles when we fly on these tickets (and they also will count toward the Premier Qualifying Dollars elite requirement).
I plan to start using this card more on non-bonused spending as earning points that are effectively worth 2.2 cents toward any travel expense can be a very useful tool to have in your back pocket. Do you use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® to help cover some of your family’s travel costs?
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