Barclays Adds Aeroplan as Points Transfer Partner

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When Barclays launched the Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard as the bank’s first card with points that transfer to miles back in April I wrote “additional transfer partners are expected to follow.”

At the time I expected the first new partner to be Air Canada’s Aeroplan, which is also an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner and which allows most Star Alliance awards to be redeemed online.

That’s happened. They’ve brought on Aeroplan, and that brings their stable of partners to:

Program Name Conversion Ratio
(Premier Points : Points)
Air France and KLM Flying Blue 1.4 : 1
Aeromexico Club Premier 1.4 : 1
Air Canada Aeroplan 1.7 : 1
China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles 1.4 : 1
Etihad Guest 1.4 : 1
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands 1.4 : 1
JAL Mileage Bank 1.7 : 1
Jet Airways JetPrivilege 1.4 : 1
Malaysia Airlines Enrich 1.4 : 1
Qantas Frequent Flyer 1.4 : 1

Most often I use Aeroplan for business class between North America and Europe for 55,000 (or 57,500 miles depending on destination) each way in business class, 70,000 (or 80,000) in first class. They do add fuel surcharges on some partners like Lufthansa and Austrian, however they do not add fuel surcharges to awards on Brussels Airlines, Swiss, or United.

Bear in mind of course that Air Canada and Aeroplan will sever ties in two years. I’m trying to spend down my Aeroplan balance. Only transfer what you plan to use.

I believe that Barclays makes a mistake in offering double points on all spend plus threshold bonuses while then offering transfer rates that are less than one-to-one. It obscures how strong earning of transferable points is with this card.

If you spend $25,000 in a year on this card you’ll earn 75,000 points which are transferable to over 50,000 miles with 1.4:1 partners or 44,000 with 1.7:1 partners. That’s a really strong earning rate. The marketing of the product undersells that.

To be sure, it’s not the most lucrative earn in the market, and at a $150 annual fee (Update 7/6/18: annual fee is now $0 the first year), making this a good card – especially for those interested in Japan Airlines miles – but I haven’t gotten it myself yet (Here are the terms and conditions for the card). Since Barclays is still in test mode with the new card I’m waiting to see what else they add and am maintaining an open mind about signing up.

Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. I’m still in shock people hate this card so much. It’s really a great card. I want it after I get my Chase cards.

  2. For better or worse I have three million points on my Arrival Plus. I understand these points can not convert to the currency of this newer card (and then on to miles). Realizing you don’t have a crystal ball, Gary, do you foresee any time in the future where those 3 million points might be convertible to airline miles somehow? This is a lot of points to be banking with this card. If you were me, and say you preferred airline miles if eventually possible, what would you do? Spend these now? Keep waiting with hope?

  3. I still say it’s a terrible card for all but a few who fit into tiny niches. Aeroplan’s transfer rstio will be 1.7 to 1. I think the marketing of offering “triple miles” to people willing to put tons of spend on the card but then establishing bad transfer ratios is intended to make people think they’re getting more out of this card than they are. And how much will an Aeroplan point be worth in a couple of years? I see bloggers trying to find some upside to this card, due no doubt to affiliate links, Without a welcome bonus it is a bad product for most.

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