Barclaycard’s Arrival+ card is one of the most flexible when it comes to redeeming points for travel one has already spent money on. The redeeming process is BC2fairly straightforward. When one logs into the Barclaycards account and goes to the rewards page, one sees as one of the options – ‘Travel statement credits’. This option allows one to get statement credits for travel one has already booked. The redemption rate is $1 for every 100 points, or at $0.01/point.

BC1Once one clicks on the ‘Redeem now’ button, it brings up a list of travel charges from ones statement. I have found that this is not always a complete list. If one has a charge that does not get ‘tagged’ as travel related, one can always call their customer service department to have it fixed.

BA4The redemption process is then exceedingly simple. Select the charge(s) you want credit(s) against and the page will show the amount of points required. If one has the required points, hit confirm and you are good to go. A confirmation page shows the statement credit that will be applied.

One of the special promotions Barclaycard Arrival+ has is getting a 10% points back every time one does a redemption. So, in reality, the redemption rate become $1 for 90 points redeemed.

BC3

 

Current offer for the Barclaycard Arrival+ card is 40,000 points after spending $3,000 within 90 days of getting the card.

Apply here: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Posted by unroadwarrior | 3 Comments

I got a pleasant surprise on my last flight. I got a card from the Gate Agent. Apparently I have been flying United as a MileagePlus member for 20 years. Now I was ‘pleasantly’ surprised because I had no idea. Once I boarded the flight and looked at the card, I went – that’s it? A card? A GPU would have been nice (and useful, as I am all out for the year already).

Hopefully I will get something more significant at the 25 year mark. Can anyone who has hit the 25 year share if they got anything worth it?

IMG_2670 IMG_2671

Posted by unroadwarrior | 7 Comments

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!

Redeeming Points

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’.

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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.

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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.

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Last set of options are for Gift cards and merchandise.

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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.

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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.

Apply Here:Barclaycard Arrivalô World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases

 

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Posted by unroadwarrior | One Comment

I have been looking at which credit card to get next. I have not applied for a card for several months and am getting withdrawal symptoms… Of all the cards that I have not applied for in the recent past, one stands out as very promising – the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – $89 Annual Fee Card. The card actually comes in two flavors – one with a $89 annual fee (waived the first year) and one with no annual fee ever. The difference between the two:

  • The no annual fee card offer 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. The $89 fee card offers 40,000 bonus miles after spending the same. Each 10,000 bonus miles is worth $100 towards award travel.
  • The no annual fee card ears 2x bonus miles per $1 spent on travel and dining and 1x bonus miles for all other purchases The $89 fee card earns 2x bonus miles on all purchases.

Rest of the benefits are the same for both cards:

  • 40,000 (or 20,000) bonus miles after spending $1000 in the first 90 days
  • 2x (or 1x) miles earned on all purchases
  • Easy redemption on any travel – airline or hotel – at any time. No blackout dates ever
  • TripIt Pro membership included
  • 10% miles back when you redeem

Given all these features I just applied for it as my next card.

APPLY HERE: Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – $89 Annual Fee Card

 

 

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

Posted by unroadwarrior | 5 Comments

I logged into United.com this morning and saw my lifetimes miles total – 500,024. I am half-way to become a Million Miler! For United MileagePlus, One Million Miles is a significant milestone (no pun intended). It gives you and a significant other Gold Status for life! No matter how many miles you fly in a year henceforth!Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 10.15.14 AM.png

Most airlines and some hotel programs have a Lifetime Miles reward. It is their way of rewarding customers who have been loyal over an extended period of time. For airlines, it is typically at a Million Miles. How they measure a Million Miles may differ. For United only miles flown on United, United Express and Copa operated flights count. Partner flights, even if code shared or flown on a United ticket, do not count!. For American Airlines, on the other hand, all miles, even miles earned via the credit card, used to count count towards the Lifetime Mile status (AA dropped this policy in 2012 and now only flight miles flown count)! If that had been the case for United, given all the Star Alliance flights I have taken and all the miles I have earned via other sources – Credit Card included – I would have already been a Million Miler. There are also rewards at the Two Million Mile and Three Million mile marks for United.

Lifetime miles for hotels vary significantly by hotel program. Some hotels, like Hilton do not even have a lifetime status program. For Marriott, lifetime status starts at 250 qualified nights (I am at a distant 61 nights).

Anyone achieved lifetime status on any program? Are the rewards worth anything? Do share by leaving a comment below.

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Posted by unroadwarrior | 10 Comments

For all of us who are mileage junkies, getting the best value for the hard earned miles/points is of premium importance. I am of that camp too. But, when it comes to spending money, I work much harder to make a living than I do to earn miles. So, when I posted my recent article describing how to redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for airline tickets, the backlash I got was surprising. I gave my own example of how I redeemed 35,000 Membership Rewards Points for a $350 airline ticket. I was slaughtered by some of my readers who left comments! I was told that this was sacrilege and I was doing a disservice to my readers. Wow!

My Money – My Points. I choose how I spend them. I decide which I value more. I worked hard to make the $350 (I make good money, but it is still hard earned). I filled out a credit card application form and spent a few thousand dollars that I would have spent anyways, to get the points. Which should I be able to part with more easily? My choice!

Yes, I did not get the best value for my points. But I earn miles and points to redeem them when I need them, not to have them sit around waiting for the best deal to come around. I do that with my money though. I have to fly when I have to. I cannot take a cheaper flight – none available. I cannot redeem airline miles – no award seats available. I chose to redeem my points, even if it was a bad redemption rate. You should decide based on what you need too. Decide what you believe is the best value for YOU! Not what some blogger tells you is the best value.

Ready to receive comments. Leave one below…

(Note to self: Remember to put on your flak jacket this time)

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Posted by unroadwarrior | 9 Comments

Just as I posted my last post comparing Chase Ink offers, Chase has changed the offers and eliminated the offers that gave half the points after the first purchase and half when you hit the higher spending requirements. Now all links available have the lower spending requirements of $5,000 in three months to get the full 50,000 points.

You can apply here:

** OFFER BEING REVISED **

Check it out!

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Disclosure:

Please note that UnRoadWarrior has financial relationships with some of the merchants mentioned here. UnRoadWarrior may be compensated if consumers choose to utilize the links located throughout the content on this site and generate sales for the said merchant.

Posted by unroadwarrior | 6 Comments

** Chase are announced new links and the older offers in this post are now obsolete. Please visit my updated post on Chase Ink Offers **

There have been multiple offers for the Chase Ink cards floating around. Some thru affiliate links and some directly from Chase. (I wish these credit card companies would keep thing simple and run only one offer at a time. Life is complex without having to check out and compare every credit card offer out there!) Anyways, for the Chase Ink cards, I am consolidating the offers here and letting you figure out which one would be the best for you.

To make things simple, there are really two categories of offers there currently from Chase:

  • Low spending requirement – with no sign up bonus
  • Higher spending requirement – with a sign up bonus (Disclosure: These are the ones I get a referral payment on, not on the other)

Low spending requirement offer:

The offer here is that the spending requirement for the Chase Ink Plus Business Card and the Chase Ink Bold Charge card is only $5,000 in the first three months. The points earned are 50,000 points – all when you make the spending requirement. None for the sign up or first purchase.

You can apply for these cards directly here on the Chase site.

Higher spending requirement offer:

For this offer the spending requirement is double – $10,000 within the first three months, BUT 25,000 points are awarded after the first purchase and the rest of the 25,000 points after completing the spending requirements. The advantage here is that even if you miss the spend requirement for any reason, you still get 25,000 points! Both the options have pros and cons – I will let you decide for yourself which is suitable for your situation.

You can apply for there cards via my affiliate links here ** DEAL GONE** Check back for updated links:

  • Ink Plus℠ Business Card
  • Ink Bold® Charge Card

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Disclosure:

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

Posted by unroadwarrior | One Comment

Today is the last day of the Hyatt Gold Passport 44,000 point giveaway. The contest ends Midnight EST, tonight, Sunday, March 4th. As I described in the original, you can enter as many times as you want. You just need to make sure the comment you leave is a real Hyatt property, and no two of your comments are consecutive – let someone else comment before you do. So, go forth and enter to win!

Note: Comments to this post will not be considered as entries. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Other contests in progress: Star Alliance Picture your Upgrade contest (requires their App)

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Posted by unroadwarrior | 18 Comments

Here at UnRoadWarrior we are always looking for ways to better serve our readers. Our mission is to provide the best information and expertise on Airline Miles and Hotel Points to the un-roadwarriors. Travellers, who are not experts, don’t have the knowledge and certainly don’t have the time to search thru hundreds of forum threads, blog posts and news articles to get the latest and greatest information. We do that for you, while also providing you with the expert advise from our writers.

To further focus our efforts in 2012 (we had a banner 2011), we are going to gradually introduce several enhancements to our site over the next few weeks and months. These are based on user feedback and our own observations of what we see people struggling with as they travel. We are still sending out emails to several loyal readers soliciting their feedback. If you would like to give us suggestions on new features and changes, please leave a comment below or send us an email.

New types of posts:

We are introducing several new types of regular posts:

News from around the web:

This will have a series of news items we see around the web that we feel are relevant to travelers or just interesting. We posted our first in this series last week.

The Business of Airlines:

There are changes happening in the airlines like never before – new aircraft, mergers and bankruptcies. This series of posts will take a look at the business end of things.

Expert Tips:

These will be short, to the point tips from us and other experts on how to handle specific situations regarding Airline Miles and Hotel Points. Think of it as ‘Cliff’s Notes’ for Miles and Points. Somethings you want to bookmark.

Trip Reports:

These will be reports on places we visit, with pictures and reviews. We are also going to open this up to readers! Readers who want to just share their trips or readers who one day want to start their own travel blogs can get some introductory posts out there. Existing bloggers are also welcome to contribute!

Current Promotions:

A dedicated promotions page. This will show all the current promotions that we have shared in the past in individual posts.

Apps:

Yes, apps. Apps for your mobile phones. This is a project we are working on, in stealth mode right now. More details coming soon!

Thoughts, suggestions, interested in contributing to the trip reports? Leave a comment below of Contact Me.

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Posted by unroadwarrior | 3 Comments

Now is a great time to start planning for next year, to ensure you hit your Mileage program goals in 2012. The first thing to do is decide upon a goal. What is it that you would like to achieve in 2012? Is it earning the miles needed to reach the miles you need to your next award trip or an upgrade on your next long haul trip? Is it reaching an Elite level? Check with your airline to find out what changes they have made for next year. In most cases, the changes are not good news. Read our post on what we think of United’s changes: Why the new changes to Mileage Plus are the work of an evil genius!

Getting to Elite on United is actually my goal. Pretty much every year on United I reach Premier Executive (1P) or the 50k EQM level. That gives me some great benefits, such as free unlimited domestic upgrades, Exit row seats when I do not get upgraded, automatic Economy+ for when I don’t get the exit row, free checked bags and most importantly, Star Gold level on Star Alliance, for all my non-United travel. Next year, my personal goal is to hit the new Premier Platinum (75k EQM) level. One actually needs to be at this level to retain all the benefits United offered at the old 1P level.

Your goals will determine what you should focus on and hence plan for. If your goal is to hit a certain redeemable mile (RDM) balance and don’t care about EQM, your strategy will be very different from mine, that is all focussed on maximizing earning EQMs. Getting or using credit cards, earning miles from hotel stays, merchandise purchases does not help an EQM goal much. (Unless you have a credit card that earns you EQM). Pretty much the only way to earn that many EQM is by putting my b*tt in a seat and flying.

So, set your goal and chart a course. Here is what you should do (this is what I do…):

  • Make a list of your pre-planned trips and the miles you will earn from them. I calculated, I have 24,030 miles of trips that are already planned (not yet booked). You may look at RDM instead of EQM, if that is your goal. Your status may earn you bonus RDM for every miles flown. Remember to include that in your math.

My Balance: 75,000 – 24,030 = 50,970 (EQM goal – calculated EQM)

  • Make a list of all other sources of miles. I know I will earn 5,000 EQM from my credit card. I have an old United card that earns me 5,000 EQM for $35,000 of annual spend. If your goal is RDM accumulation, look at what you expect to earn in RDM for sure from your card. Remember to check if your card has an annual cap on miles you can earn.

My Balance: 50,970 – 5,000 = 45,970

  • Make a list of all other sources that earn you miles and see how many will come in for sure. This will include hotel stays, car rentals, other free sources of miles. These almost never earn EQM.

My Balance: 45,970 – 0 = 45,970 (My goal is only EQM based)

  • Travel run rate. What is your typical travel run rate? Other than your already planned trips, how much do you travel in a typical year. Look at your last three years to get an average. If your life/job patterns have changed, do you expect to travel the same? How much more/less? My number is around 30,000 miles.

My Balance: 45,970 – 30,000 = 15,970

This folks, is your delta, your gap, your ‘may have to Mileage Run it’ number. Start thinking of ways to cover this gap.

I will give some tips to maximize the above sources of miles/EQM and hence minimize your delta in my next post. Subscribe to get an update via email or RSS when I post.

If you have any sources of miles one should track that I missed, do leave a comment. If you have tips of your own to maximize miles next year, do leave a comment. I promise to include all the good ones in my next post, with proper credit.

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Posted by unroadwarrior | 6 Comments

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