Barclay Arrival credit card

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rjbraun
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Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by rjbraun »

Two questions for fellow BHs who have a Barclay Arrival credit card. I got mine only recently and am still trying to understand the best way to use it

1. Is there any reason not to automatically use my points against my travel-related charges? I'm inclined to use them immediately, as this would enable me to get the 10% extra credit to my account as soon as possible, in addition to not being able to think of any good reason to wait.

2. It seems that charges categorized as "travel" depend entirely on how the merchant categorizes themselves and completes relevant paperwork. In that case, it's conceivable that, let's say, hotel classifies themselves as "leisure" or "entertainment" or something, and I am I just out of luck in terms of using my points towards the travel category - is that right? I guess I can still maybe apply the points, but at the lower redemption rate, which doesn't seem like a wise approach unless it's a lose it or use it situation.
stlutz
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by stlutz »

One thing to keep in mind is that you can only apply a credit against an expense once. So, if you buy a $300 airline ticket, and you apply $25 credit against it, you can't apply any future credits against that airline ticket.
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ogd
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by ogd »

1. No need to wait if you can cover a purchase completely. Otherwise, if your travel expenses are rare you might want to wait a bit so as to redeem more of it. It's one redemption per purchase. But eventually you get your points anyway.

2. This is theoretically possible, but it's never happened to me. Travel expenses are always there, without fail. Even some nice little surprises, like subway cards. This is based on one year of Arrival and two more of my (sunsetting) Capital One Venture, which has the exact same system. Don't use the points for less than the max, it's after all why you pay that annual fee.
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Rainier
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by Rainier »

I apply points to my oldest travel charges.

Some odd items count as travel too, like NYC subway metro cards
Louis Winthorpe III
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by Louis Winthorpe III »

I echo the post above which says you shouldn't worry about how a hotel is coded. If it looks like travel, it will be. On that note, if you eat at a hotel restaurant and have the charge billed to your room, I believe that will appear as a travel expense (hotel) rather than as a restaurant expense.

For what it's worth, I got this card earlier in the year, and after using it for about six months I am less happy with it than with my Fidelity Amex. What good is it to have cash back that I can only spend on travel vs cash back that I can spend on anything I want? The extra 10% bonus on redemptions isn't worth the annual fee for my spending pattern. For places that don't take Amex, the 1.5% Cap One Quicksilver is a good fallback.
Rainier wrote:I apply points to my oldest travel charges.
You can only go back 120 days, correct?
marielake
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by marielake »

I don't understand your question, so just went back and looked at the points I redeemed in the last year. I always chose the redeem for travel option. You have 120 days to redeem from the day of purchase and I see no reason not to redeem as soon as you are ready. I wait until I accrue enough points to get $50 and apply to the charge with the fewest remaining days. I think the 10% credit is on the points redeemed and accrues to remaining points.

I have been surprised by what appears in the travel category. I recently bought 4-5 day tix to Disney and that came through as travel. Hotels have come thru as travel, but I've never seen a restaurant come through as travel.
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ogd
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by ogd »

Louis Winthorpe III wrote:What good is it to have cash back that I can only spend on travel vs cash back that I can spend on anything I want?
If this is your main card, it ends up being just as good as cash in your hand. All that matters is that $XYZ gets credited to your statement and you can spend it on anything you want afterwards.

The annual fee is worth it for me. Besides the 10%, I also like Tripit, Fico score and, oh, the chip - did I mention the chip?
Louis Winthorpe III
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by Louis Winthorpe III »

ogd wrote:
Louis Winthorpe III wrote:What good is it to have cash back that I can only spend on travel vs cash back that I can spend on anything I want?
If this is your main card, it ends up being just as good as cash in your hand. All that matters is that $XYZ gets credited to your statement and you can spend it on anything you want afterwards.

The annual fee is worth it for me. Besides the 10%, I also like Tripit, Fico score and, oh, the chip - did I mention the chip?
Credit cards aren't one-size-fits-all. If the Barclays card works best for you, that's good, and I'm not suggesting you're making a bad move for yourself. But I don't see the chip being a big deal, and to the extent it is, lots of no-fee cards have them already and almost all cards will have them soon. Getting a free FICO score is nice, but I've got two other cards without annual fees that give me that benefit.
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Rainier
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by Rainier »

I got the $400 bonus and no fee for first year. I will likely cancel after one year and move onto the next card.

No complaints though,card is nice and website is good.
Topic Author
rjbraun
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by rjbraun »

stlutz wrote:One thing to keep in mind is that you can only apply a credit against an expense once. So, if you buy a $300 airline ticket, and you apply $25 credit against it, you can't apply any future credits against that airline ticket.
Good to know -- thank you!
Topic Author
rjbraun
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by rjbraun »

ogd wrote:1. No need to wait if you can cover a purchase completely. Otherwise, if your travel expenses are rare you might want to wait a bit so as to redeem more of it. It's one redemption per purchase. But eventually you get your points anyway.
Okay, so it seems that if I have travel charges of, say, $26 and $31, and a Barclay Arrival points award balance of 40,000, I should go ahead and apply 2600 and 3100 points, respectively, to the charges now -- no reason to wait. Then my account will be depleted by 5700 points, but I'll actually get 570 "refunded" so it will only be depleted by 90% (i.e., 5130 points withdrawn from my account), in essence.
ogd wrote:2. This is theoretically possible, but it's never happened to me. Travel expenses are always there, without fail. Even some nice little surprises, like subway cards. This is based on one year of Arrival and two more of my (sunsetting) Capital One Venture, which has the exact same system. Don't use the points for less than the max, it's after all why you pay that annual fee.
Have you decided to "sunset" your Capital One Venture card in favor of Barclay Arrival or is it independent of the Barclay Card? I have a Capital One card (not Venture), but I think I keep getting offers from Cap One to switch. I haven't bothered, but as I recently learned that the Venture card seems to have some of the same features as the Barclay Arrival card, I'm starting to wonder if I should get the Venture card, that is, assuming Cap One gives me a bunch of bonus points to make the switch.
Code Commit
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by Code Commit »

I know that Barclays Arrival and Fidelity Amex is all the rage around here (and may be, Chase Sapphire too), but one card that gets no respect is Bank of America Travel Rewards (Visa Signature).

Ok. It has only 1.5 points on all purchases (no limits), but wait till you hear the whole story. It has no annual fee (better than Barclay), it has no foreign transaction fee (better than Fidelity), Visa is more widely accepted than Amex, my wife got some excellent FX rates in Europe and Asia. It also has EMV chip (with signature) if you need it.

Points are redeemable for travel purchases, and the definition of travel purchase seems liberal. (e.g. I am able to redeem for flights, hotels, taxi/uber, bus/train passes, zoo pass, museum tickets, my kids' skating class (don't know why) among others). Also, you are able to apply points to partial purchases (unlike Barclays). e.g. if I have 5000 points that I want to apply to $110 bus/train pass, then I can get a $50 credit and I am still able to apply more points for the other $60 (110-50) in the future.

But 1.5% is still less than 2.22%, you say. The trick is https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred ... details.go (available in most states). If you have $50k or $100k assets in BofA or Merrill Edge, then you get a 50% or 75% bonus. i.e. 2.25% or 2.625% on all purchases (no limits or categories).

I know Merrill name is frowned upon, but you can simply hold Vanguard ETFs here (30+ commission-free trades per month, if you need it). Also, if you plan to move assets to them just to boost your CC rewards, don't forget to get their transfer bonuses. http://www.merrilledge.com/cmaoffer

Disclaimer: I did get Barclays Arrival for the bonus ($444), but once BofA released the Preferred Rewards program in my state, my existing Travel Rewards card simply trumped it. No reason for me to pay the annual fee for Barclays next year.
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rjbraun
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by rjbraun »

Code Commit wrote:But 1.5% is still less than 2.22%, you say. The trick is https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred ... details.go (available in most states). If you have $50k or $100k assets in BofA or Merrill Edge, then you get a 50% or 75% bonus. i.e. 2.25% or 2.625% on all purchases (no limits or categories).

I know Merrill name is frowned upon, but you can simply hold Vanguard ETFs here (30+ commission-free trades per month, if you need it). Also, if you plan to move assets to them just to boost your CC rewards, don't forget to get their transfer bonuses. http://www.merrilledge.com/cmaoffer
So, to take advantage of this offer, assuming I have no Merrill Lynch account (I did at one point, but I've long since closed it out), I would need to open an account and transfer $50k or $100k in assets from, say, Vanguard and I would reap a bunch of benefits. As there is no annual fee, I would potentially leave the assets with Merrill indefinitely. But, let's say in two years I decide I no longer want the B of A credit card and go to close out the account. Similarly, I would like to move the positions back to Vanguard. Will B of A not charge me some account close-out fee as I believe is the typical case when one seeks to sever a brokerage relationship?
Code Commit
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by Code Commit »

rjbraun wrote:Will B of A not charge me some account close-out fee as I believe is the typical case when one seeks to sever a brokerage relationship?
Instead of taking my word, you should read the details at http://www.merrilledge.com/pricing . There is a $50 full account transfer or closeout fee. It is less than the bonus you would receive while transferring to them ($150 or $250).
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rjbraun
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by rjbraun »

Code Commit wrote:
rjbraun wrote:Will B of A not charge me some account close-out fee as I believe is the typical case when one seeks to sever a brokerage relationship?
Instead of taking my word, you should read the details at http://www.merrilledge.com/pricing . There is a $50 full account transfer or closeout fee. It is less than the bonus you would receive while transferring to them ($150 or $250).
Ok, thank you for the link and information!
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Ketawa
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by Ketawa »

I don't think this card is worth holding beyond the signup bonus. I was lucky enough to get the bonus when the spending requirement was only $1000.

Compared to a boring 1.5% cash back card, you need to spend over $12k to make up the annual fee. Forget about beating the 2% Fidelity AMEX. I am also lucky enough to have a grandfathered Barclaycard Priceline.com 2% card.

The merchant has to be coded in the correct category to redeem points. I once charged exactly $25 of a taxi fare to the card since I had planned it out to have 2500 miles remaining. However, the merchant wasn't coded correctly. I protested to Barclays, pointing out that the charge had "Taxi" in the description, but they said there was nothing they could do. I ended up using the miles at the lower 1 mile = 50 cents rate to be rid of them.
Bfwolf
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by Bfwolf »

Code Commit wrote:I know that Barclays Arrival and Fidelity Amex is all the rage around here (and may be, Chase Sapphire too), but one card that gets no respect is Bank of America Travel Rewards (Visa Signature).

Ok. It has only 1.5 points on all purchases (no limits), but wait till you hear the whole story. It has no annual fee (better than Barclay), it has no foreign transaction fee (better than Fidelity), Visa is more widely accepted than Amex, my wife got some excellent FX rates in Europe and Asia. It also has EMV chip (with signature) if you need it.

Points are redeemable for travel purchases, and the definition of travel purchase seems liberal. (e.g. I am able to redeem for flights, hotels, taxi/uber, bus/train passes, zoo pass, museum tickets, my kids' skating class (don't know why) among others). Also, you are able to apply points to partial purchases (unlike Barclays). e.g. if I have 5000 points that I want to apply to $110 bus/train pass, then I can get a $50 credit and I am still able to apply more points for the other $60 (110-50) in the future.

But 1.5% is still less than 2.22%, you say. The trick is https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred ... details.go (available in most states). If you have $50k or $100k assets in BofA or Merrill Edge, then you get a 50% or 75% bonus. i.e. 2.25% or 2.625% on all purchases (no limits or categories).

I know Merrill name is frowned upon, but you can simply hold Vanguard ETFs here (30+ commission-free trades per month, if you need it). Also, if you plan to move assets to them just to boost your CC rewards, don't forget to get their transfer bonuses. http://www.merrilledge.com/cmaoffer

Disclaimer: I did get Barclays Arrival for the bonus ($444), but once BofA released the Preferred Rewards program in my state, my existing Travel Rewards card simply trumped it. No reason for me to pay the annual fee for Barclays next year.
Code Commit, this is an intriguing idea. But the link you provided suggests this bonus applies to a different (less favorable) BoA card than the Travel Rewards one?
Code Commit
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by Code Commit »

Bfwolf wrote:Code Commit, this is an intriguing idea. But the link you provided suggests this bonus applies to a different (less favorable) BoA card than the Travel Rewards one?
Click on the "Review card eligibility guidelines" link from the page linked above, which brings up a popup.
Most Bank of America® branded consumer credit cards (such as the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card and the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card) are eligible to receive the credit card rewards bonus
I only have the Travel Rewards card and do receive the bonus on it.
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ogd
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by ogd »

rjbraun wrote: Have you decided to "sunset" your Capital One Venture card in favor of Barclay Arrival or is it independent of the Barclay Card? I have a Capital One card (not Venture), but I think I keep getting offers from Cap One to switch. I haven't bothered, but as I recently learned that the Venture card seems to have some of the same features as the Barclay Arrival card, I'm starting to wonder if I should get the Venture card, that is, assuming Cap One gives me a bunch of bonus points to make the switch.
Yes. I think the Arrival is better in every way and the Venture would be redundant in the role of main card. It's also the case that Cap One have been inexplicably stingy with my credit limit and I'm no longer willing to event think about credit limit particularly when travelling.
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ogd
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Re: Barclay Arrival credit card

Post by ogd »

Louis Winthorpe III wrote:
ogd wrote:
Louis Winthorpe III wrote:What good is it to have cash back that I can only spend on travel vs cash back that I can spend on anything I want?
If this is your main card, it ends up being just as good as cash in your hand. All that matters is that $XYZ gets credited to your statement and you can spend it on anything you want afterwards.

The annual fee is worth it for me. Besides the 10%, I also like Tripit, Fico score and, oh, the chip - did I mention the chip?
Credit cards aren't one-size-fits-all. If the Barclays card works best for you, that's good, and I'm not suggesting you're making a bad move for yourself. But I don't see the chip being a big deal, and to the extent it is, lots of no-fee cards have them already and almost all cards will have them soon. Getting a free FICO score is nice, but I've got two other cards without annual fees that give me that benefit.
I wasn't saying it fits all either, hence the "for me". But I wanted to emphasize that the rewards are as good as cash if you travel at all, as opposed to cards where you have to spend it with the card sponsor. That I would find very limiting.
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