We’ve held onto our Barclays Arrival+ since 2018, when we earned a 70,000-point bonus for new members. At the time, the Arrival+ card was Barclays’ purest travel card available. You earned 2 “points” for everything charged to the card and could use your points to erase any “travel” expense charged to the card.
There was also no ability to gain oversized value, besides earning a 5% rebate with each redemption. Since then, many no-annual-fee cards have been offering 2% cashback so there’s a limited market for a $89 card that only allows you to use your points to pay for travel expenses. It’s no surprise that Barclays subsequently stopped new applications for the Arrival+ card in June 2019.
I’ve been reluctant to cancel the card and keep paying the $89 annual fee. I don’t need it to keep a good relationship with Barclays. since we have a JetBlue Plus card. That’s important when we want to apply for another card from the bank, as when we got a Wyndham Earner Business card.
I could easily charge a travel expense to the card and “cash out” the remaining points. However, I choose to keep the card open because Barclays occasionally sends offers that offset the annual fee.
The most recent offer I received is for an additional 2,000 miles when spending $300 or more in February, March and April.
For spending $900, I’ll get 1,800 miles at the usual 2X earning rate plus an additional 2,000 miles. That’s a 4.2% return on otherwise non-bonused expenses.
In this game, there are the mega-bonuses you get every once in a while and smaller offers, like this one, which seem insignificant. However, if you take advantage of these offers throughout the year, it’s another way to build balances that can be used to offset smaller travel expenses.
These mini-offers keep me from canceling the Arrival+ card. I secretly hope Barclays will start allowing point transfers to their co-brand partners, but I doubt it will ever happen.
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