I love to travel. It’s so much fun to see new destinations and experience different cultures with someone you care about. We were married for over 12 years before we had a kid and that gave us a lot of time to travel. Well, we only had 3 weeks of vacation per year, but we made the best of it. I have been to over 20 countries and enjoyed all the memorable moments in each location. We haven’t traveled much since we had a baby, but now he is old enough to fly so I’m itching to travel once again.
However, I don’t have a well compensated full time job anymore and it can be difficult to splurge on an international trip. Luckily, I learned about travel hacking over the last few years and we should now be able to travel without busting our budget. If you like to travel, then it pays to take advantage of the generous signup bonuses from various credit card companies. (If you have a lot of consumer debt, then you should take care of that first before even thinking about spending money on travel.)
One of the best travel cards out there is the Barclay Arrival™ World MasterCard. It’s named “Best Travel Reward” card by Money Magazine and you’ll see why.
Generous Signup Bonus
The Barclay Arrival™ World MasterCard has one of the most generous signup bonuses right now. Once you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months, you’ll receive 40,000 miles credited to your account. This can be redeemed for $400 worth of travel related expenses charged on the card. This is a huge bonus and it will reduce your travel costs by quite a bit.
Extra 10% Bonus On All Redemption
Actually, that 40,000 bonus miles is worth $440. When you redeem the miles, you will get 10% back as a bonus in 1-2 weeks. That means you’ll have 4,000 miles once you redeem the original 40,000 bonus miles. That’s another $40 toward your travel for a total of $440 bonus. Score!
Easy Redemption Process
In my experience, bonus miles can be difficult to redeem. You have to deal with blackout dates and limited number of airline partners. The Barclay Arrival™ World MasterCard made the redemption process very easy and you don’t have to worry about any of that. You just charge your travel related expenses on the card and redeem your miles online. When you go to the redemption page, you’ll see all your eligible travel charges. Then you can redeem your charges for miles in increments of 2,500 ($25). Here is a list of the eligible charges.
- Travel Agencies and Tour Operators
- Airlines Tickets
- Car Rentals
- Rail Travel
You do have to redeem your travel purchases in 90 days so don’t put it off for too long
2.2% Reward With No Mileage Cap
You’ll get 2 miles for each dollar you charge on the card. That’s a 2.2% reward once you count the 10% redemption bonus. There is no mileage cap so if you use the card a lot, you can accumulate as many miles as you’d like. It’s a great value for anyone who travels.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
I always hated paying foreign transaction fees. It’s not a huge amount at around 3%, but it can definitely add up. If you spend $3,000 on a trip, you’ll pay almost $100 in foreign transaction fees.
First Year Annual Fee Waived
The Arrival World MasterCard does have a $89 annual fee. This is waived for the first year so if you don’t like it, you can cancel it. They also have a no annual fee version, but you only get 1 mile back per $1 spent. I think the $89 is worth it if you travel and can take advantage of the bonus and reward.
If you really hate the $89 annual fee, then you can switch to the no annual fee version after the year is up. You get only 1 miles per $1 spent so the reward is much less.
0% APR for The First Year
We always pay off our credit card in full every month so I don’t worry too much about the APR. It’s nice to have 0% APR for the first year, but it’s best to avoid building up any credit card debt because the rate will increase to 14.99% or 18.99% later. Like any credit card, the APR is quite high so don’t charge it if you can’t pay it off right away.
As you can see, the Barclay Arrival™ World MasterCard is a great card for travelers. I normally avoid credit cards with annual fees, but this one is worth it. Travel hacking is quite fascinating and I’m learning as much as I can. We don’t use the credit card much so it will take a lot of time to build up the bonus miles, but here is a trick I just found.
Travel Hacking Trick for Travel Cards
Amazon Payments is a way to send and receive money online. Amazon started this to compete with PayPal a couple of years ago. You can sign on with your regular Amazon account, add your bank account, and you’ll be ready to send and receive. You can use your credit card to send money to your spouse* and earn the bonus that way. The monthly limit is $1,000 so this makes it very easy to hit the Bonus threshold and accumulate more miles.
*You could also send money back and forth to other people you trust, but there might be tax implications if you go over the $14,000 annual gift exclusion.
- Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness
- Earn 2X miles on all purchases
- No mileage caps or foreign transaction fees
- Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
- Use your card to book through any airline, hotel or discount travel engine with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
- Easily redeem your miles for statement credits towards all or a portion of your travel purchases within the last 90 days
- Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Arrival cardmembers