The Barclay Arrival Plus recently upped its signup bonus to 70,000 miles if you spend $5,000 in three months. Now right off the bat, this card is worth getting at least for a year. Those 70,000 miles are worth $700 in statement credits toward travel purchases. The annual fee of $89 is waived for the first year.
But let’s look a deeper. Is this a card worth keeping for the long haul?
- You get 2x miles on every purchase. You also get 5% of your miles back whenever you redeem miles toward a travel purchase so it’s basically a 2.1% cash back card. That’s pretty damn good.
- You can use your miles toward any travel purchase. You don’t need to transfer them to airline or hotel programs to try to get the best value for your points. These miles are cut and dry. Say you book a $700 flight on Expedia. Once that purchase hits your Arrival card, you can go in and redeem 70,000 points to wipe out the $700. You will then get 3,500 miles back in your account as the redemption bonus.
- You can only redeem miles toward purchases of $100 or more. So if you book at hotel that’s $95 a night, sorry you are out of luck. This limitation is annoying to say the least. The Capital One Venture, for example, lets you redeem miles for any travel purchase regardless of the amount.
- $89 annual fee
- The Barclay website is awful
Verdict: Cancel it after a year and stick with the Venture or the Fidelity Visa, both of which offer 2 percent cash back as your everyday card. But certainly get that big 70,000 miles bonus and then cancel before the annual fee hits in year 2. Apply here for the Arrival. Note that Barclay is a bit credit sensitive, i.e. if you plan on applying for a bunch of cards over the next year, this is one you want to apply to first.