The lack of pictures has me concerned as well. I am hoping that we will hear something from the moderators on Monday. I really like my arrival plus and I really like this website. The existence of this website keeps me using my arrival plus for the great majority of my travel (and everyday) expenses.
Barclays wants loyalty, and they are going to get loyalty from me as long as they have the arrival plus and this website. I even recommended the card to friends and family before it was closed to new users.
One thing that is puzzling to me is: why would Barclays boost the sign up bonus to 70,000 points only to cancel the card a few months later? It seems to me that this would cause Barclays to pay for a whole bunch of airplane trips without acquiring long-term customers.
If this website and the arrival plus are discontinued, hopefully Barclays will give us some guidance about how our points will be handled. Again, it seems strange that Barclays would pull the card after that nice sign up bonus they were running for a while.
Of course, hopefully it's just a glitch and this website will be back to its former glory soon enough. Fingers crossed...
Of course, keep in mind that credit card companies rarely throw their customers out into the cold. Sometimes, customers have the option to keep their old card for a few months (or even a couple years) even if it is not open to new applicants. Being grandfathered in can be very nice if you are happy with the old card. Likewise, companies often give customers the option to convert their old card to a new card.
Good points as always, @BelfryBat. I too wondered about the 70k mega sign up bonus issue. You wouldn't think such an investment to acquire new cardholders would precede an end of the product line.
Still, if I have a product line that I believe will make me money, I wouldn't withhold it from new customers for 1/6 of a year. And if I have a website which is in existence to drive business to said product, I would keep it working or minimally assure folks that fixes are coming. All the signs that I see point to neglect of a product. It's sad for us because we love the product. But Barclay's is smart and doesn't look at anything in a vacuum. They want to optimize their investment and it could be that their data says this isn't the winner that they once thought it would be. Again, I hope I'm wrong. But it could be that last 70k push had some metrics behind it which weren't met. It could have been one final salvo in a battle based upon which the general would determine whether to continue attacking or to retreat.
Very true regarding grandfathering, @belfrybat. In fact I have a grandfathered US Airways Dividend Miles turned AA Aviator Red card (both Barclay's) which offers better bennies than if I were to sign up for the same card today.
While allowing the card to continue on is fully possible, this site could be a different story. If it is viewed as primarily to drive new card apps, then we're in trouble. If it is viewed more as a retention and spend generation tool, then we may be good.
I'm not really sure that driving business to a product is the most profitable aspect of this site. I would expect that the data collected could be monetized in some way. It's how internet users generate "free" things...
Stormtroopin2: good points about the final attempt to win customers would that big sign up bonus. It makes me wonder if the card will be closed to new applicants permanently. That being said, I doubt that it would cost Barclays a lot of money to maintain the card for current users. If Barclays is not spending money on marketing the card or handing out signup bonuses they can simply keep collecting their cut of the transaction fees as all credit card companies do.
I would just hate to lose this website.
More good points from stormtroopin2 and teebeetoo.
I agree that if the main purpose of this site is to generate new applicants for the card, that we probably will be in danger of losing the site unless Barclays is planning to relaunch the arrival premiere and do a completely upgraded travel community to drive customers to the hypothetical new card.
If it the website is to be used for retention purposes, then yes it might continue for a while. (On an unrelated note,I'm hoping to visit Scotland in about a year to see the area where I think my family might possibly have came from and to see why my last name seems to be so common on the Isle of Skye. I was really looking forward to posting about my trip on here so I hope the community will still be in existence a year from now).
Teebeetoo also has a good point that users are creating content for Barclays in the form of photographs and travel stories. Hopefully the website will be fixed and we can continue to provide such content.
I think the site is a little bit about retention but ultimately, it is (was?) about driving new customers. I'm sure the basis behind its creation was to have a unique benefit for the Arrival family that pretty much no one else had. With all of the other card companies, you either earn points through sign up bonuses or actual spend. Barclays came up with a great marketing tool to draw people in right as the CC game was blowing up.
But everyone is 100% correct that with no non-cobranded cards currently left in Barclay's suite, the future of the site is not looking good. Let's hope that they are working diligently behind the scenes and are planning to launch something great at the end of the summer so people can start earning miles for next year's trips :)
I have noticed that the mods tend to be on here less and less as time goes by. They semeed to be on a few times a week responding to a various thread or two, but it has been almost radio silent for about a month. Directing employees' workload and bandwidth away from this site is also a troubling sign.
Good points all around. It seems to me the Barclays tried to play the retention game with the now-defunct arrival premiere. That card did not have a sign-up bonus, but it did have a spending bonus. By going simply to a loyalty bonus, instead of a sign-up bonus, Barclays was probably hoping to encourage customers to get the arrival premier and hang on to it for years to come - and then put all of their spending on it for years to come. This could have generated huge transaction fee revenue for Barclays.
This website, in turn, could have been used to drive traffic to the arrival premiere because Barclays would then have two great points in its favor - loyalty bonuses and a travel community. Both of these two perks could have easily kept and held a large number of card holders if Barclays could have marketed them properly.
I truly believe the Barclays' biggest mistake in all of this was not allowing arrival plus card holders to upgrade. My plan was to upgrade and then put all of my spending on the arrival premier while still using this website. Sadly, no upgrade was available. With an annual loyalty bonus and access to this travel community, there would have been very little need for me to chase after other travel cards.
I want to stay with Barclays as a loyal customer, and this website is a large part of the reason why I want to stay.
BelfryBat, I totally forgot about the Arrival Premiere (probably because it was so short lived!). That loyalty bonus was interesting and definitely meant to keep the Arrival card at the front of people's wallets.
I also thought that their decision not to let people upgrade was very strange. I have the fee free version of the Arrival card and I've had it since 2013. Many times, I wanted to upgrade to the Arrival+, but I could never do so because I was always earning points here and I had points on my account that would have disappeared if I had closed my Arrival. They were missing out on an AF that I would have gladly paid, but that option didn't exist. An odd business model for sure.