Get $500 Worth of Free Travel With Barclay's Arrival Credit Card
Barclay's Arrival Card
The Barclay's Arrival Card is one of the best travel credit cards currently on the market.
They are offering 50,000 miles which equals $500 in travel if you sign up and spend $3,000 within 90 days of opening the account. You will also earn 2 miles per $1 spend on any and all transactions using your Arrivals card.
In addition, they waive the $89 annual fee for the first year.
I recently signed up for this offer, cleared the $3000 spending requirement and earned over 50,000 miles which I used for a free cross country flight to Florida.
Using the $500 Credit
Once you meet the requirement of $3,000 in transactions 50,000 miles will be added to your account. In addition you will also have earned 2 miles for the $3,000 in transactions, which will bring your total miles bonus to 56,000 miles.
10,000 miles equals $100 in travel credit. And using the credit is easy, there are not black out date or special websites you need to use to redeem the credit. Simply purchase a plane ticket using any method you would normally use, Expedia, the Airline's site or whatever you prefer. As long as you use the Arrival card to make your purchase and it is coded as travel you are good to go.
Once the purchase has been made you have 120 days to apply your miles to it.
For example, you buy a plane ticket for $245, you can then apply 24,500 miles to this transaction which will zero it out. You pay zero out of pocket for this ticket. It's that easy!
Beware the Annual Fee
This card does come with a $89 Annual Fee. In reality, based on the benefits this card offers $89 may be worth it to you.
The good news is, Barclay waves the annual fee the first year, so if you want, you can get the card, use the 50,000 plus miles and simply cancel if before the end of the year.
The annual fee will not be charged until a year after you open the account giving you plenty of time to earn and use the 50,000 mile reward bonus.
How to Clear the $3,000
In order to earn the bonus you must run $3,000 in transaction through the Arrivals card within 90 days. Depending on your income and level of monthly spending this may be very easy or quite challenging. Make sure to take this into consideration when applying for the card. If you don't think you can get $3,000 in transaction you not be able to earn the 50,000 free miles and the offer isn't going to do you much good.
That said, if you plan correctly, for many people clearing the $3,000 requirement should be quite easy.
- Purchase Groceries
- Buy your gas
- Pay your cell phone bill
- Pay utilities
- Purchase gift cards
- Do some early Christmas Shopping
If you're desperate, you can also consider using the card to make a person to person payment using Paypal. The person can then pay you back but you will have cleared the bonus requirement. This will cost you a fee of 2.7%, so to run $3,000 it will cost $81, but considering you're earning 56,000 in miles or $560 in travel credit you would still be up $479 using this plan.
The easiest way to track you spending to make sure you receive the credit is to simply us excel or Google spreadsheet.
List the date the account opened, not the date you receive the card which is different. You need to know the date the account opened as this starts the clock on your 90 days to clear the $3,000 spending requirement. The pay off the balance at least monthly and record the date and the amount of the payment. Once you hit $3,000 you are done and the 50,000 mile bonus will be added to your account and available to spend within days.
Wait There's More!
Barclay's has a travel community site where you can post stories about your travels.
For each story you post you receive an additional 150 miles. The only requirement is the story must be 100 words or more and must include at least one original picture from your trip.
Even if posting stories is not your thing, at least log in and create a profile as you will receive 500 miles just for doing that. And it will literally only take minutes.
Also consider writing the stories of your travels as it's an easy way to get some free miles. 150 miles per story doesn't sound like a lot, but it only takes about 5 minutes to write and post a 100 word story. Do that once per week and you can earn 7800 miles per year which will almost pay the annual fee of $89. In addition, it's a good way to track and memorialize your trips. You can write up to 5 stories for each place you visit, including place your visited years ago or event he city or town you currently live in.
How I Cleared the Bonus
I signed up to receive the Barclay's Arrival Card on-line, was approved within minutes and had the card in hand about 10 days later.
I set up a Google sheet which I used to list the date the account opened, the date I needed to clear the $3,000 spending requirement by and tracked my spending each time I made a payment every two weeks.
I then switched over all my automatic payments including my cell phone bill, $207 per month, Netflix Account $10, Blue Apron Account $56 and my YMCA membership $99 to run through the card. That automatically started running $372 through the account right off the bat. Then I simply used the card for all my remaining purchases, gas, food etc.
One snafu in the process was the card limit was low, only $1500; I think because I have opened too many cards lately churning out rewards. I tried calling and increasing the limit, but it was a no go. So to make sure I didn't go over the limit I simply paid off the balance every two weeks when I got paid and recorded the amount of the payment on the Google Sheet. It only took me a bit over two months to hit the $3000 requirement and within a day the 50,000 miles were added to my account.
In addition, I signed up for the Barclay's Travel Community, created a profile and quickly posted 5 stories which added another 1250 miles to my account.
I used my miles for a free flight to Florida. I purchased the flight on Priceline for $465 using the Arrivals card. Once it posted to the account I was able to use 46,500 miles to credit against the charge and zero it out; easy money! I didn't do anything other than run my normal expenses through the card.
I was planning on canceling the card and moving on to another one to avoid the annual fee but I may keep it a bit longer to see if I can clear another couple of hundred dollar's worth of miles to use before the year's up. I also have a sneaking suspicion that when I call to cancel they may be willing to waive the annual fee for another year. Worth a shot at least to ask!
Even after the reward and including the Annual fee it's still a pretty good deal to get 2 miles per dollar spent.
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