One of my favorite cards that I started using last year is the Barclaycard Arrivalô World MasterCard®. It earns 2x points on ALL purchases – travel related or otherwise. Most there cards give 2x only on travel related purchases or on their own websites/portals. There is also an ongoing promotion to earn 40,000 points after spending $3,000 within 90 days of getting the card. That is certainly a good kick-start!
I recently made my first redemption of Braclaycard points. It was straightforward as it could get. I redeemed points to my for travel expense I had already made. There are other options too, that I shall discuss later.
For redeeming points for travel expenses already made, you need to pick the option that says ‘Pay yourself back for travel’.
When you go into this option, it takes you to a page that lists all the recent travel related expenses made on your Barclaycard card. All you have to do is select the expense you want to pay for with points and then follow the next steps to redeem. Barclaycard is currently giving 10% of any points you redeem back, for all travel expenses you redeem points for. That makes the redemptions even more attractive. The rate of redemption is a $1 for every 100 points redeemed, or at $0.01/point. This is not an excellent rate, which would be $0.015 or better, but is the best rate to get for such redemptions.
Another redemption option is for straight cash back. You get the cash back as a statement credit.
The redemption rate for this is horrible. You get $0.5 for every 100 points redeemed or a rate of $0.005. I would never pick this option, unless I am really strapped for cash and needed to pay my credit card bill. Or at the end, when I am closing my card and have no travel related expenses to redeem some left over points on. Remember, you don’t get a check in the mail by picking this option. You get a statement credit on your card.
Last set of options are for Gift cards and merchandise.
Again, not good rates for these at all. The only benefit of these options, especially the gift card option is that you can redeem points for gifts. These include travel related gift cards. I can hence help pay for someone else’s travel, without charging my card. The options are not great, but a good selection.
While Barclay Arrival card options for redemption are excellent, I would love to see one added – being able to redeem points for airline tickets directly. Just like I can do with SPG points. But the 2x earning on every kind of expense more than makes up for this limitation.
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