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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, one of my favorite credit cards both for those newer to miles and points and as a secondary card for those integrated into miles and points world was the Barclays Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard. I loved that it was simple on the earning side, earning 2x points on purchases, and the points were worth a fixed amount when redeemed towards travel. Best of all, you could book your travel however you wanted (ie directly with the hotels and airlines), and then essentially pay yourself back with an offsetting statement credit using your points. This allowed you to get the best deals and also use your points to offset the charge.
Then other players entered the space, the card underwent some tweaks, and was ultimately pulled off the market for new customers all-together. The great news is the card is now back…and with a big sign-up bonus that very much has my attention.
Flexible credit card with 60,000 mile bonus returns
To put context to this, the 60,000 bonus miles are worth $600 towards travel. What is great about these points is that you aren’t limited to just booking flights and hotels with them, but you can use them towards all sorts of travel charges including: airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, trains, buses, taxis, and travel agencies. This means you can cover some elements of your trip with points that would otherwise normally require cash.
To redeem the points for travel your redemption must for at least 10,000 miles towards a $100+ travel purchase made within the last 120 days. If you redeem the points for travel you also get 5% of them back. This means that on a 10,000 mile redemption to offset $100 in travel charges you will get 500 miles back to get you that much closer to your next award.
How to use points for Disney tickets
One popular way for families to use the miles from the Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card is to secure discounted Disney tickets from Undercover Tourist. While purchasing Disney theme park tickets by themselves directly from Disney doesn’t seem to count as a travel charge, they do typically code as a travel purchase from Undercover Tourist! As an added bonus, Undercover Tourist prices are often better than directly from Disney for multi-day park tickets.
Chip + PIN functionality
A final element of this card that is very valuable to international travelers is that it has Chip + PIN functionality. This means that it can be used in self-service PIN kiosks internationally. This is essential when traveling to countries where subway, train stations, and more largely rely on self-service kiosks for purchases. If your card doesn’t have Chip + PIN functionality, it won’t work in those machines and you may be left in a jam, or at least a long line.
I’m very glad that the Barclays Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is back and with a big sign-up bonus. Does your family have this card in your rewards credit card line-up?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.