This is my first post to the Barclay Travel Community Discussion Board. I read a few others before posting, and some of my questions/interests were already addressed. However, I haven't seen the topic of trading bonus points discussed.
I recently got my 40k points after meeting the minimum spend. I was surprised how quickly the points hit my account! (It took several weeks for me to obtain the 50k bonus miles with my Citi AA card.) So, I'm stoked to have them. Now, I could redeem them for some hotels I visited, but would prefer to trade them for frequent flyer miles, if possible.
I will need to travel back from Nicaragua to the USA this summer. I really like flyer miles, like American Airline miles, and wonder where/how I could swap my Barclay points for Airline miles.
Any input would be appreciated.
Impossible to transfer your Arrival miles into any other program. Chase offers several cards that earn points eligible for transfer to myriad partners like United and Hyatt. If Barclaycard ever allowed it, it would be limited to existing Barclay partners like Lufthansa, Choice, Best Western, Frontier and others. Your 40,000 miles is worth $400 towards travel purchases plus you will earn 10% back or 4,000 miles towards your next trip.
I don't know why Barclay's insists on referring to its Reward Points as "miles." They do not resemble frequent flyer miles in any way. They are points that can be used as a statement credit against expenses in the travel category. The redemption value is based on dollars spent, not on distance traveled or which airline you are using.
It's a completely different concept than using miles up front to pay for things. In this model you pay for something like an airline fare with your Barclay's card. When the charge appears on your statement you can cancel out the charge with Barclay points.
Once I finally got the idea I decided I like this model better. When you are working with frequent flyer miles, you have to earn all the miles needed for a trip before you book. With this model you can actually use the points that you earn making the purchase TO PAY FOR ITSELF. For instance, I recently booked some airfares that cost about $800 using my Barclay's card. At the time I made the purchase I did not have the 80,000 points in my account to pay for it. But the 1,600 points I got for making the purchase put me over the top to 80,000. When my current statement closes I intend to use those 80,000 points to "erase" that purchase.
Admittedly, I have not actually done a redemption yet, but this is my understanding of how it works. I hope I'm correct, as I'm looking forward to getting 2 free airfares.
I've seen a lot of travel card websites recommending the Barclay Arrival as one of the best travel cards, but I'm not sure anybody realizes just how good it is. In fact, it almost seems too good to be true, which is why I'm still wondering if I'm calculating this right.
To start with, I got 40K points for signing up and another 40K for spending on the card and posting on the travel forum. So there's $800 "free money" right there, which I planned to use for these 2 airline tickets. When I bought the tickets, I earned 2x points on the purchase, for another $16. But wait, there's more! I booked my airfare by going to Travelocity from Rewards Boost, which adds ANOTHER 2x for another $16. And, as @emeritus points out, I will get 8,000 points back when I do the "purchase erase" thing on the airfare charge. That's another $80! So at this point I will have earned $800+$16+$16+$80, or $912. And I've only had this card for 4 months!
I know that people love their Ultimate Rewards points for their trading potential, but you have to be pretty handy with miles trading to beat that.
Yes, that is how it works, but there is no need to wait for the statement to close right? Can't you pay yourself back immediately once the charge has posted?
Yes, this model definitely has some advantages over frequent flyer miles (although FF miles has a much higher potential value if you can use them optimally). I have used my arrival "miles" to pay for hotels I've stayed at in Africa and am really satisfied with the card and amazed by how even small guesthouses get classified correctly as travel expenses.
I am new to this, but I thought the offer was only 40K points. You mention that you earned another 40K points through spending. Was that due to you spending 40K dollars or because there was another offer that I may not be aware of.
Please let me know.
@agarwa24, I got 40,000 points intro offer, just like you did. I got the high-end Barclay card that returns 2 points per dollar spent and used it for just about everything, including some large intermittent household expenses (fuel oil, home and auto insurance). That very quickly added up to 30,000 more points ($15K spending). And I made another 10,000 points posting stories on this Travel Community (nice stories with multiple pictures and lots of info, not "power posting" ). So within 4 months I had 80,000 points.
I admit that I originally signed up for this card for the intro offer and planned to either cancel it or drop down to the no-annual fee version at the end of the year. But I think I'm going to keep the full fee version. It's not just that the points pile up so quickly with 2x on everything; I am also impressed with how much value you can get from your points if you make use of the Rewards Points portal to book travel. That was the point of my original post.
Also, I LOVE the fact that points post so quickly and are so easy to track on the website. I have some other rewards cards with TERRIBLE points management. Mentioning no names, but I have one card that I have been using since early January and have yet to see a single reward point posted to my account! The points are there, but they stay in "Pending" mode for 6-8 weeks!!! As far as I know, Barclay's is the only rewards card that credits your reward account the moment the charge is processed. So I'm willing to put up with the monthly "glitches" with posting BTC rewards - it still beats...oh, right, I said I wasn't going to mention names. That other card that I am so annoyed with. ;-)
I was thinking the exact same thing. It had to be too good to be true. It took me awhile to figure out I was not buying airline tickets with accumulated points but rather when my statements comes simply redeem for hundreds of dollars off my statement.
> I don't know why Barclay's insists on referring to its Reward Points as "miles." They do not resemble frequent flyer miles in any way.
Interesting, since every airline has switched to a revenue-based crediting model, even THOSE programs aren't really "miles" any more!