Barclaycard Arrival Plus Is a Great Travel Companion


While a lot of people tend to focus on a credit card’s ability to earn free flights and hotel stays, it’s best not to underestimate the costs once you actually arrive at your travel destination.

It’s great that the hotel is paid for in advance with those free night certificates, and it’s even better when you’re traveling in first class to get to your destination.

But what happens when the hotel bill comes? Those piña coladas were pretty good, actually they were really good (with the rum float), but they were also $15 a pop. And you drank 24 of them. Shoot.

Come check-out, the bitter reality sets in. Your supposed free vacation all of a sudden got really expensive, this despite the fact that your hotel and flight were “free!”

Don’t Leave Home without Barclaycard Arrival Plus?

Borrowing a famous line from American Express, it might actually be in your best interest to pack the Barclaycard Arrival in your suitcase before you leave for your trip.

Why? Because you can earn 50,000 points after spending $3,000, which can be redeemed for any travel purchase of $100 or more.

That means any in-hotel purchases, car rentals, trains, taxis, limos, cruises, etc. can be erased after the fact. And let’s face it, any trip is going to have a lot of these incidental costs, which often aren’t so incidental.

So, let’s use a real-world example to see where this card would benefit you. As mentioned, you’ve got your free flight to, let’s say, Hawaii, and your free hotel room at the Marriott Beach Resort in Wailea. That’s all good.

But now you’re drinking at the pool and ordering club sandwiches and having a ball. Again, all good, that is, until the bill comes.

A Card That Fills in the Gaps on Your Free Trip

There’s no miles card out there that will pay for incidentals at the hotel you’re staying at, except for one, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus.

Let’s assume you have a bill of $437 after all is said and done. You tell the hotel to put it on your Barclaycard Arrival+ and head back home.

If you hit your minimum spend of $3,000 in the first 90 days, you’d have at least 56,000 points waiting in your account, thanks to the 50k bonus and the miles earned for spending $3,000+.

You get 2X miles on every purchase, so that’s how you wind up with at least 56k. Did we mention you get 5% of your miles back when you redeem them?

Anyway, you get home and you’ve got that pesky $437 hotel charge. Boo. Your vacation wasn’t free. But wait, you paid for the hotel charges with your Barclaycard Arrival+.

That means you can erase the travel purchase with all those miles you accrued. You take 43,000 of your miles and you’re left with a $7 tab.

Yep, all those mai tais and piña coladas and club sandwiches you scarfed down at the hotel pool set you back just $7 when all was said and done.

Hang on. What about the resort fee and taxes that wound up costing $150? Well, you get 2,150 miles back for that 43k redemption, and you still had 13,000 miles leftover. That means you can redeem another 15,000 miles for those charges.

Sweet. All the hotel charges are GONE. And now your free vacation is starting to look and feel a lot more free. You can finally brag to people about your free trip…

Keep in mind that redemptions for travel statement credits start at a minimum of 10,000 miles ($100 value) toward all or a portion of your travel purchase of $100 or more made within the past 120 days.

That means the charge has to be at least $100 in order to erase it. Make sure you combine charges (like charging to your room) to ensure you don’t have a bunch of sub-$100 charges you can’t redeem. And the charges have to be redeemed within about four months.

Pro tip: If you have a spouse or significant other, they too can apply for the card and get the same bonus. Use the second card for other travel purchases, such as car rental, transportation, and so on.

In summary, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is the perfect filler card to cover all the stuff in between your big-ticket travel purchases to ensure you don’t wind up spending more than you’d like.

Just be sure to apply for the cards well before you leave for your trip…a month or so in advance is a safe play. It can take time to receive the card, especially as Barclaycard can sometimes make some pretty demanding paperwork requests in order to get approved for their credit cards.

And you’ve got to hit the spending requirement too to unlock those miles within 120 days of your travel purchases!

Read more: How Barclaycard Arrival travel redemptions work.

(photo: iaramburu)

Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve at a Branch to Get the 100K Bonus


In case you haven’t heard, the 100,000-point opening bonus attached to the wildly popular Chase Sapphire Reserve card was/is apparently a limited-time offer, something we all fretted about since it came out.

Per the Chase website (we like official sources), the 100k online offer requires you to apply by January 11th. It’s January 12th and that language in still on their website.

Perhaps the webmaster forgot to update the site, or a cached copy needs to be flushed. We don’t know. We just know the 100k online offer is supposed to be long gone by now.

It should have been slashed in half, to just 50k points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That’s quite a drop, as you know, making the card just so-so now when you factor in the massive $450 annual fee.

In-Branch CSR Offer Still Comes with 100,000 Points Until March

chase sapphire offer end

The good news is that the reduced offer is only applicable to the online application. You can apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve in-branch for another two months or so and get the 100k bonus points. The end date is expected to be a full two months later, on or around March 11th, 2017.

Put simply, you should NOT apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card online anymore. You’ll get 50,000 less bonus points if you do, at least, that’s what Chase would have us led to believe.

It should be noted that Chase is very accommodating when it comes to matching public offers, so even if you did flub up and apply online, they might honor the 100k bonus if you send them a secure message from within the Chase website.

Still, it’s probably not worth taking that chance if there’s a Chase branch nearby. For those nowhere close to a Chase branch, you might just have to take that leap of faith and hope for a match after the fact.

For those lucky enough to be close to one of their physical locations, there’s another plus to applying for the CSR at a Chase branch. The personal bankers there can see what cards you’re pre-approved for beforehand. That way you can save a credit inquiry if they let you know you don’t qualify.

No senses in running your credit when you know you won’t be approved. Just be warned that they can’t see (as far as we know) your 5/24 status, and this can sometimes be an impenetrable roadblock even if you’re supposedly good to go.

Some people also seem to think approval odds are higher when you deal directly with a Chase banker, as opposed to applying on some credit card blog that urges you to apply, despite your approval odds being low to nil.

Your chances of instant approval may also be higher when you’re at the branch in full physical glory, so you can get your new card with little delay.

Pro tip: Chase now has a 5/24 rule in place that bars you from getting approved for certain Chase credit cards if you’ve opened five or more credit cards in the past two years (from any company).

You can check your 5/24 status on a free site such as Credit Karma. Once logged in, simply navigate to the credit report tab and filter by date to check how many credit cards have been opened in the past two years. If there are five or more you might be out of luck.

(photo: zack Mccarthy)