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The Barclaycard sign up bonus is for 40,000 miles, which you can redeem for $400 cash back on travel. You’ll get an extra bonus on the travel redemption, so it’s really a $440 sign up bonus.
Earning 2% Cash Back. The Barclaycard Arrival will earn 2x miles per dollar on all purchases. Another words, it’s a 2% cash back card!
Redeeming Miles. The redemption options make this card appealing since the sign up bonus will work for either travel or cash back (although your cash back will stretch further with a travel redemption). You need at least 2,500 miles to make redemptions. You can use your miles to pay for travel purchases (greater than $25), or you can redeem the miles as cash back, gift cards, or merchandise.
10% Bonus. The math on the bonus is very bizarre, as a reader Dan pointed out last time Barclaycard offered a sign up bonus, but if you redeem for travel, you’ll get a 10% bonus. They call it “carry on miles”, but it’s really a way to increase your cash back with the card. For example, if you make a $400 travel purchase, you can redeem a $400 travel statement credit by redeeming your 40,000 miles and you’ll earn an additional 4000 miles to redeem later (worth another $40). You purchases will then stretch to your overall earnings to 2.2% cash back. If you consider that you could earn another 10% bonus when you redeem the 4000 miles later, the cycle will continue to repeat.
Update on Statement Credits. The sign up language was a bit confusing when I applied. After I received my miles, I logged into my account, and in order to get the $400 bonus, you must select “Pay yourself back for travel” and not “Cash back” to receive the full value of the offer.
In addition to the regular card there’s another version of the card, the Barclaycard with 20,000 miles, which will give you a $200 sign up bonus (plus the extra 10% if you redeem it for travel). This card has no annual fee. You’ll earn 2 miles for each dollar on travel and dining. Travel and dining include: Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways, Car Rental Agencies, Restaurants and Fast Food Restaurants. You’ll earn 1 mile for each dollar on all other purchases.
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