've written quite a bit recently about the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard because of its unusually lucrative signup bonus for a fixed-value rewards credit card, worth $444 when used for statement credits against travel purchases made with the card.
Back in February I explained how the card earns a "true" rate of 2.22% cash back because of the 10% rebate you get every time you redeem points against travel purchases, but cautioned that the $89 annual fee is only worth paying if you spend more than $40,050 on the card after the first, fee-free year. Then in March I gave some tips on maximizing fixed-value travel rewards points by redeeming for statement credits against hotel reservations made directly with the hotel, in order to earn hotel loyalty points and stay and night credits towards elite status. Finally last month I included the Arrival World MasterCard in my April credit card application cycle, when I was immediately approved for the card.
After paying $7.90 to meet the $1,000 minimum spending requirement to earn the 40,000 mile signup bonus and waiting for my first statement to close, was sitting on 42,016 Arrival World miles, and was itching to start redeeming them. Since the details vary between various fixed-value rewards currencies, I want to share with my readers the ins and outs of the redemption process.
When you log into your Barclaycard account, you'll see your rewards balance at the top of the page, on the right:
When you click on "Manage rewards," you'll see this page, showing the various points redemption options:
We're interested in the section "Pay yourself back for travel." If you click "Redeem now," you'll see a list of all your eligible purchases. In my experience purchases appear on this list one day after they clear from pending status:
When you select "Redeem" next to a purchase, you'll see a list of eligible redemption amounts. I was surprised by this since Barclaycard doesn't advertise that partial redemptions are possible. However, it appears that at least for larger purchases, it is possible to redeem your miles for part of the purchase price, if you choose:
After selecting your desired purchases and amounts, just click "Checkout:"
And then "Place your order:"
On the confirmation page you'll even see the 10% redemption rebate applied to travel redemptions. In my experience those points were immediately redeposited into my account, and available for the next redemption.
One thing to keep in mind when charging travel purchases to the Arrival World MasterCard is that the minimum redemption amount is 2,500 points for a statement credit of $25. I forgot this and charged a $7 in-flight drink to my card, which was ineligible for redemption!
I'll need to do more experimenting to determine what purchases allow partial redemptions, which will be a great way to redeem as many miles as possible, leaving as few as possible left over in your account when you cancel the card before the first annual fee is due.