Showing posts with label Barclays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barclays. Show all posts

January 8, 2017

Churning the Barclaycard Arrival Plus MasterCard

I applied for the 50,000 point signup offer back in November.  I've completed the minimum spend requirement and received the 50,000 points in my account.  So that makes 3 signup bonuses in ~3 years.

Barclaycard offers the Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard in the US with a 50,000 point signup bonus.  This card is a great "cash replacement" for travel expenses as you'll get 2x miles on all purchases which can then be redeemed against travel purchases.  You also get 5% of the miles back in the form of a rebate on all redemptions.  The minimum redemption is a $100 purchase (used to be $25 and the rebate used to be 10%).

Effectively, this is a 2.10% cash back card on travel purchases with a $525 signup bonus.  The $89 annual fee is also waived for the first year.  Like the Alaska credit cards issued by Bank of America, Barclays will generally provide the signup bonus more than once.  Here's my experience:

  • January 2014 approved and received 40,000 mile bonus (cancelled prior to 12 months)
  • March 2015 approved and received 40,000 mile bonus (canceled prior to 12 months)
  • November 2016 approved and received 50,000 mile bonus

April 9, 2016

What's in My Wallet April 2016

Here's an overview of what cards are currently in my wallet as of April 2016.

1) Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom card offers "rotating" 5x spend categories by quarter.  For this quarter (ending 4/30/16) Freedom is offering 5x at grocery stores and warehouse clubs.  It seems the bonus will work at so I'll be working towards earning my 7,500 bonus points via some online shopping.

2) Chase Sapphire Preferred

All of my extra (not contributing to sign-up bonuses) travel and dining spend goes on the CSP.  I've had the card for almost 4 years and gladly pay the $95 annual fee given my credit history, limit, and the earning power of the card.  

3) Amex Platinum

I actually don't put spend on the card at all (other than to earn the sign-up bonus) but have kept it in my wallet strictly for the benefits.  I recently used the card for Centurion lounge visits in Las Vegas and New York as well as an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts booking.

4) Barclays Arrival Plus

This is actually the third time I've had this card from Barclays which will rebate $420 worth of travel expenses in the form of cash.  I've already used both of our Citi Prestige airline credits in 2016 so this card will provide additional cash back against future (hotel, airfare) out of pocket travel expenses.

5)  Starwood American Express

Any spend that isn't going towards reaching a signup bonus or isn't a category bonus goes on this card.  Despite the upcoming merger with Marriott, I am still valuing Starwood points at north of two cents.  So even at 1 point per dollar, I still feel like I'm getting a great return on spend.

December 24, 2015

An Easy Retention Offer from Barclays

Annual fees (waived for the firs year) on several credit cards in my "card box" were set to bill in January.  I was hoping for retention bonuses on all three but only lucked out on one.  I was able to cancel the other two cards via online chat in a combined 15 minutes.  I called in to Barclays regarding the upcoming $89 fee on my American Airlines Advantage Aviator Red (fka US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard).

I was transfered to a retention specialist who quickly gave me two options.  Downgrade to a no annual fee version of the card (far less benefits) or keep the card with another year fee-free. 

I chose option # 2 to take advantage of the card's offerings (10,000 mile rebate on awards, free checked bag, priority boarding, etc...) when flying/redeeming American Airlines miles.  The call took all of 7 minutes and saved me $89 - although I wasn't going to pay that anyway.

I was also targeted for a bonus that offers 2x additional miles on supermarket, movie theater, and utility payment purchases.  

I opted in and will absolutely be pre-paying my utility bill to take advantage of this offer.  I'm reading the offer as 2x additional miles up to 2,500.  So I believe I can put $1,250 in spend on the card to earn 3,750 total miles which I value at $75.  

Barclays seems to be generous with retention bonuses (as well as other targeted earning bonuses) even without much spend on the card.  It's always worth the 5-10 minutes to call in and ask about your options!

March 22, 2015

Barclays USAirways 50% Spend Bonus

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I picked up the Barclays USAirways Dividend Miles MasterCard for the 50,000 USAirways miles that will soon become AA miles.  All for only $89.

When activating my card, I noticed this awesome promotion.  I don't believe it's targeted (or else it's very widely targeted) as many others have received) it's possible that you might not receive the bonus on your account.

Barclays USAirways 50% spend bonus

You must agree to the terms to get the bonus and have until 6/30/15 to max out on the spend.  This offer is essentially providing 1.5x AA miles on up to $20,000 spend over a 4 month period.  Pretty good for a non bonus category promotion.

If you sign-up for the card today (remember it's going away in April) and spend $20,000 between now and 6/30/15, you'd earn a total of 80,000 AA miles for just $89 in fees.

March 20, 2015

What's in My Wallet - March 2015 Edition

It's been awhile since I've posted about what's in my wallet.  I'm going to try and keep this up quarterly.  You can check out other posts here:

What's in My Wallet?  October 2014

What's in My Wallet?  April 2014

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

1)  Amex Simply Cash Business Credit Card

I usually prefer to earn points and miles vs. cash back, but this offer is pretty hard to pass up given the strong bonus ($250 on $5,000 in spend so 5x cash back all with no annual fee) and bonus categories (5x on office supplies and cell/cable bills, 3x on a category of your choice - in my case restaurants).  This card is a keeper given the lack of an annual fee although I probably won't put a ton of spend on the card once receiving the signup bonus.

2)  Barclays US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard

Given the merger with American and the fact that this card is going away (likely in April) as the merger progresses, I figured I'd pick up this card again (I've had it before a couple years back).  The sign-up bonus is really strong - 50,000 USAir miles after first purchase for an $89 annual fee.  These miles will become AA miles in April so you should definitely get this card before it goes away.  The card is still in my wallet due to a promotion Barclays is running offering 1.5x miles for the next few months.  After that, I'll stick it in a drawer.

3)  Chase Sapphire Preferred

All of my travel spend goes on the CSP.  Once I've hit the sign-up bonus on my Simply Cash Business card, I'll move back to the CSP for restaurant spend.

4)  Amex Starwood Preferred Guest

This card is perpetually in my wallet.  In fact, I just paid my taxes with the card.  Even though there is a ~2% fee to pay taxes with a credit card, it's a no brainer for me.  I would buy Starwood points all day long at 2%.  I am staying at The Phoenician Resort in May for 12,000 points a night.  The cash rate is >$500 per night.  If I was to "buy points" at $.02 that would be $240 per night...a huge discount versus the $500 cash rate.

April 14, 2014

How to Reedem Barclays Arrival Points

Earlier in the year, I wrote about the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard.  Since then, a few readers have obtained the card and asked me how to go about redeeming their points.  While there are many redemption options (redeem for cash, merchandise, etc...) the best redemption option is to "pay yourself back for travel."  This will get you a 10% rebate back on your points (for each redemption) which is how the card generates a 2.22% cash back rebate on travel.

Redeeming is actually really simple.  Here are the steps:
  • Login to your account
  • Click on "Manage Rewards" on the right hand side of the page
  • Click on "Pay Yourself Back for Travel"
  • You will see a list of "Purchases available for redemption"
    • In order to be eligible, purchases must be coded as "travel" and be $25 or greater
  • Click on "Redeem Now"

That's it!  You'll receive a statement credit for the amount redeemed as well as a 10% rebate on your redemption.  So if you earn your 40,000 point bonus by spending $2,000 in the first 90 days (the current sign-up bonus offer) you'll have a total of 44,000 points.  If you bought an airline ticket for $440 you could redeem those points against the $440 charge.  You would also receive a rebate of 4,400 points back in your account.  You could then redeem those points against a $44 travel charge and receive 440 points back in your account.  This is a great new flexible card which guarantees you 2.22% back on travel purchases especially if you aren't fond of loyalty towards a specific airline or hotel chain.

January 23, 2014

My Latest Round of Credit Card Applications: Results

Over the weekend, I applied for the following cards (read this post first if you haven't already).  This was one of the easiest rounds of applications ever.  I was done in less than 30 minutes all all three cards were auto approved onscreen.  It's not always this easy - sometimes you have to fight for an approval by calling the issuer and explain why you want the card.  In some cases I've had to move credit lines around when I have multiple cards with the same issuer to obtain an approval.  But at the end of the day, the banks want to approve vs. decline and keep you as a customer.  Agents are typically super friendly, knowledgeable and genuinely want to find a way to earn/keep your business.

I managed to grab screen caps of 2 of the 3 but missed on the Amex Surpass upgrade.  I'm always shocked at the credit lines these companies doll out. 

Barclays Arrival Auto Approval
Alaska Airlines BofA Auto Approval

All in, I value the points/cashback earned on these cards at $1,190.  Not my best haul but after a couple years of doing this, there aren't unlimited earning opportunities.  I am looking forward to diversifying my point mix a bit and earning Alaska miles definitely plays into that strategy.  I hope to be riding on the Emirates A380 one day soon!!  Stay tuned for the next round of applications in 90 days or so.

January 22, 2014

My Latest Round of Credit Card Applications - January 2014

As I discussed in this post, I apply for a new round of credit cards every 90 days.  Remember, this is not for you if you are a) working on improving your credit b) planning on applying for a loan such as a mortgage in the near future or c) if you periodically carry a balance on your cards.  The rewards that you'll gain in these cases will be heavily offset by either not being able to qualify for the lowest lending rate (due to recent inquiries on your credit report) or actually paying interest if you carry a balance.  Each application will typically ding your credit 2-5 points (those inquiries fall off over time and your score will go back up) thus the reasoning for applying for cards every 90 days on the same day.  The inquiries fall off roughly at the same time and on the day you apply, the other banks don't see that you applied for a card earlier in the day.  My FICO score has only approved over two years of doing this every quarter.  Before this round of applications, my score ranged from 765 - 780.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way...My quarterly "churn" happened to be this past weekend so here's an overview of the cards I applied for and why.  I'll provide an update on the results later in the week.

1)  Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature(R) Card

This card offers 25,000 miles upon approval.  Meaning no minimum spend required.  The card does offer an annual fee of $75 which is not waived for the first year.  I've been meaning to start stocking up on Alaska Miles since they introduced their partnership and award chart with Emirates.  For 100,000 miles, you can fly (one-way) from the US to the Middle East in First Class on the Emirates A380.  Not a bad way to travel especially when you know you can shower on-board.  I value Alaska miles at $.02 each making the sign-up bonus worth $500.