Barclaycard Gives You Points for Your Travel Stories — Whether You are a Cardholder or Not

The Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® is one of the very most powerful travel rebate cards. It effectively earns a 2.2% rebate on your spending to redeem for travel.

  • 40,000 points after $3000 in spend within 90 days, and these points are worth a penny apiece towards.
  • Earns 2 points per dollar on all spend
  • 10% rebate on points redeemed for travel
  • Together you effectively earn $440 (well, really $444.44444444 if you always redeem your points for travel).
  • There’s a $0 annual fee the first year.

After the first year, where the rate of return on all spend is pretty unrivaled by a rebate card, you need to spend $44,500 on the card in a year for the extra 0.2% to cover the $89 fee compared to getting a straight 2% cards like Fidelity Investment Rewards.

That may be one reason Barclaycard has also included several value-added features:

Another is their new online travel community that awards points for participation.

  • 500 miles for completing a profile
  • 200 miles each time you “tell[..] a travel story including 1 image”
  • 10 miles every time your story is kudoed

You don’t have to be a cardholder to participate in the community and earn points. Non-cardholders are sent a $5 Amazon e-certificate every time they earn 2,500 miles.

Cardholders get better value out of their points, since those points get transferred to their card account (2500 miles would be worth five times as much towards a travel redemption).

(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I keep debating over whether to keep my Arrival card or ask Barclays to downgrade it to the free version when my first free year ends in May. I like getting 2% on everything when I’m not getting category bonuses on my other cards, but I know I can’t spend $44500 to make enough back to cover the $89 fee next year. My free year will also be expiring on my Chase Sapphire Preferred, Citi AAdvantage card, and Starwood cards next year. I currently also have a Delta gold AMEX (one of my longest held cards) and Southwest Airlines card that I pay annual fees on (though the recent SWA devaluation will hurt the 6000 annual miles I was counting to offset the $99 fee on that one).

    Obviously paying a ton of annual fees to keep cards negates what I earn in miles and points. What should I take into consideration when thinking about which cards to keep or dump?

  2. $54000 for a redemption worth $89? $54000 x 2% is $1080. Not sure if I’m doing my math wrong. For example, when I buy a $1000 giftcard, I get $22 back in points, considering 2.2 earn rate. Am I doing something wrong?

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