Can You Use Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Miles Towards Parking?

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Million Mile Secrets reader Raymond commented:

I was wondering, for the Arrival Plus card:  I need to park my car long term.  Would that be considered a travel expense?  What suggestions might you have for parking?

Raymond is referring to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® , which has a sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles (~$440) after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months.

You Can Redeem Barclays Arrival Plus Miles for Travel Expenses…but Does That Include Parking?

Redeeming Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Miles for Travel Expenses

Link:   Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Link:   My review of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

The 40,000 mile sign-up bonus is worth $400 if you redeem for travel expenses.

But you get an extra 10% of your miles back after every travel redemption.  So you’ll get another 4,000 points ($40) back after you redeem your 40,000 miles for travel.

You earn 2 miles per $1 for ALL purchases and you can redeem 1 point for 1 cent towards travel expenses.  You also get an extra 10% of your miles back for travel redemptions.  So you’re actually getting ~2.2 cents per mile, when you redeem for travel expenses.

However, if you use your miles for non-travel expenses, you’ll only get 0.5 cents per mile, which isn’t very good.

Is Parking a Travel Expense?

Barclays defines travel as:

Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways and Car Rental Agencies as defined by the merchant category code.  Purchases made at merchants that do not process transactions under these terms or that use incorrect MasterCard merchant category codes will not qualify.

Parking is NOT on the list.

So if Raymond wants to use his Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® miles towards parking expenses, he’ll only get statement credits equal to 0.5 cents per mile.

Raymond could double the value of the 40,000 mile Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® sign-up bonus if he redeems for travel.  But that doesn’t matter if Raymond doesn’t plan on having travel expenses and would rather save money on parking.  That said, using long-term parking usually means that you’re traveling, so it would be better to redeem miles from the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® card for travel expenses.

Earning Miles on Parking

Raymond will earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® card, including parking.  He could use those miles later for a statement credit towards travel.

That way he is getting ~2.2 cents towards other travel expenses, per $1 spent on parking.

Can You Use Barclays Arrival Miles Towards Parking

The Barclays Arrival Plus Earns 2 Miles per $1 on ALL Spending, Even Parking Your Dream Car!

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is another good choice for earning extra points on parking expenses.

You get 2 Ultimate Rewards points for every $1 you spend on travel, which includes parking.

Can You Use Barclays Arrival Miles Towards Parking

Emily and I Like Earning 2 Points per $1 Spent on Travel With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent per point if you redeem them for statement credits.  And 1.25 cents if they are redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.  

So he’s getting ~2 cents if he uses his Ultimate Rewards points towards statement credits.  And he’s getting 2.5 cents (2 Ultimate Rewards points X 1.25 cents towards travel redemptions) towards travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

For example, a flight from Austin to San Francisco on United, booked through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, is $278 if you pay cash.  But only 22,240 Ultimate Rewards points.

Can You Use Barclays Arrival Miles Towards Parking

You’ll Get More From Your Points Through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal Instead of Statement Credits

If you’d transferred Ultimate Rewards points to United first, then booked an award ticket, it would cost 25,000 points for a low-level domestic round-trip flight.  So this is a better deal.

And sometimes your points are worth even more if you transfer them to airline and hotel partners.

For example, if you transferred Ultimate Rewards points to IHG Hotels, you could get a PointBreaks room at the Holiday Inn Prague Airport for 5,000 points ($50 if you used those 5,000 points for a statement credit).  But if you paid cash, it would cost 93 Euro (~$129).

Can You Use Barclays Arrival Miles Towards Parking

You’ll Spend 5,000 Points ($50) Instead of 93 Euro (~$129)!

Bottom Line

Raymond could use the miles he’s earned on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® for parking expenses, but he’ll only get 0.5 cents per mile.  This is half of what he’d get if he redeemed for an expense which Barclays considered a “travel” expense (Barclays doesn’t consider parking as a travel expense).

He’s better off using his Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® card to pay for parking.  He’ll earn ~2.2 cents per $1 he spends towards future travel.

Or Raymond could use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to pay for parking and earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 he spends.

He could use the points for:

  • Statement credits(~2 cents per $1 spent)
  • Travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal (~2.5 cents per $1 spent) or
  • Big Travel with Small Money by transferring to hotels and airlines

Raymond will get ~1 cent per point if he uses either his Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® miles or the Chase Sapphire Preferred for statement credits.  You can usually get more out of your points than 1 cent.  But it is fine to use your points however YOU want to use them and if they will save you cash and if you won’t be traveling.

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27 responses to “Can You Use Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Miles Towards Parking?

  1. If i buy hilton gift cards from hilton.com, would that be considered a travel expense?

  2. Hi, I signed up for the Chase Sapphire through your link and wait for approval.
    My question with the Chase card is about the 7% extra paid at year end. Is this 7% bonus paid on the sign up bonus also, or only on my points earned through spend?
    Thanks for the great info you provide, from this newbie in the process of…”why pay for travel when you can get there free”

  3. We are using our Barclays for hotel park and stay this Friday night in ChiTown! So we stay, park, and get shuttled all on Barclay ;) We went through Hilton and will get the points for the stay, too! Correct?

  4. What about a water park? Could we use Barclays miles/points for that?

  5. Wow I don’t believe you use my questions as your post!! I am so honor.

    @KT – I don’t think you can do that because gift card are coded as other, NOT travel.

  6. Bald Army Guy

    OK,the million dollar question is…will the Arrival card reimburse Uber taxi fares? I’ve seen people day or should work, but according to Google, nobody had actually seen a real transaction/ reimbursement.

  7. I am with Bald Army Guy…do car services (Uber, Groundlink, etc) count as “travel” per Barclays terms? Until Groundlink comes out with a credit card, I am stuck paying out of pocket for those expenses…fyi, Groundlink counts as “travel” for Chase Sapphire 2x earnings, in my experience

  8. I got my Barclays Arrival card a month ago and I have been using that card to test their definition of travel in many areas (“Barclays defines travel as: Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways and Car Rental Agencies as defined by the merchant category code. Purchases made at merchants that do not process transactions under these terms or that use incorrect MasterCard merchant category codes will not qualify. . ).

    Here is my results regarding the way they reward “TRAVEL”:

    * Book a round trip flight through my company’s corporate travel agency – The money spent on the flight itself can be redeemed for reward miles. But the travel agency’s processing fees charged on my Barclay Arrival card can not be redeemed for the award mile.

    * Book a Southwest award flight using my Southwest points, the award booking fee Southwest charged on my Barclay Arrival card can not be redeemed either for award mile.

    * Stayed at Hyatt hotel and having meals and drinks at Hyatt’s restaurant and bar by using Barclay Arrival card for those hotel incidental charges. Once again, those charges can not be redeemed for Barclay’s award miles.

    * Pay the parking fee with Barclay Arrival card, same results – those parking fee can not be redeemed.

    Now I am getting frustrated by all the people claiming how good this Barclay card can be utilized for travel expense. But the only travel expense I can redeem is the money I spent on the flight itself. I haven’t tried to use Barclay Arrival card for hotel night charge (I used the points), but giving all the things supposed to be travel related expense defined by Barclay Arrival card, I can’t redeem those Arrival Miles I earned at all.

    Am I the only one here that have this redemption issue with Barclay Arrival card ?? Would like to hear other travelers who actually use this card for all those “TRAVEL EXPENSE” defined by Barclay.

    Thanks.

  9. I recently had my first statement show up. I can tell you that SuperShuttle counts as “travel.”

  10. The one ‘bad’ thing about arrival points is that the travel expenses that are redeemable with the points have to be a minimum of $25, so it won’t even work for airline award ticket fees less than $25 (e.g., AA $5 or $10 fee, or BA $2.50 fee one way). Capital One Venture points however will work on parking or any travel expense. Even if it’s not coded correctly, you can just call them up and they’re glad to do it. I even redeem them for airport parking. I had a lot of points from the 100k match they did a couple of years ago, so I use those points for parking and award ticket fees that are under $25.

  11. @KT – Depends how they code it.

    @joe s – It used to be on the sign-up bonus, but is usually now only on points earned.

    @MF – If it is coded as a hotel purchases, you should be able to get the 2x redemption for travel. For the water park, it depends on how Barclays codes it. Which park do you have in mind>?

    @Raymond – You’re welcome!

    @Bald Army Guy @Brendan – That’s a good question!

    @PVKENL275 @Phil – Thanks for the details. Very nice to know.

  12. Does anyone know if expenses on a cruise will count towards travel category? Lets say I buy a spa treatment or a drink, as long as it is $25 or more, would that be coded travel? I am sure transaction will have to appear as Royal Carribean, but not sure if it’s going to be coded as entertainment & dining or travel…

  13. @Anna – in my experience, the only to pay for Individual drinks, spa treatments, etc. is having those charges go to your cabin. When you board the cruise ship, you will provide a credit card at that time for all expenses incurred during the cruise. There are no cash or credit card transactions on board the ship during the cruise itself.

  14. Just took a trip to Vegas.

    Long term parking was described as “Metro Airport Parking” by Barclays – cannot use miles to pay (the cost was over $25).

    At the Marriott, I put the breakfast charge on my room tab. Barclays coded it as Marriott hotel and I can pay with miles.

  15. I am frustrated with the redemptions on the Barclay card too…Here are my data points…Friendly limousine bus in Tokyo…no, Turbojet ferry between Hong Kong and Macau…yes. Southwest early bird no because under $25 for one ways. Southwest gift card over $25 yes…however you cannot use these for early bird…only the airfare itself or the $2.50 award fee. It is a hassle to use this card.

  16. Hi ,

    I wanted to know I just closed my barclays arrival card. How long do i need to wait before i can reapply to this one for the bonus ?

  17. dotti cahill

    we use aloft hotels for free parking esp if leaving an a 5 am flight it is included in room rate(good rates) for free 10 days they take u to airport and pick u up ..etc very nice for the price…

  18. I just wanted to follow up with my post, you were correct, the purchase of Hilton Gift cards on hilton.com are not considered travel. I bought a $25 gift card with my Barclay card and it doesn’t show up in the rewards section. I may try going to a hilton and buying some to try that.

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  24. Hi,

    1. Does anyone know super shuttle in Orange county (L.A) from SNA airport works with barclays arrival plus ? can i get the money back?

    2. Can i eat in the hotel restaurant and charge to my room and pay with barclays when i check out and get money back?

    please answer
    thank you,

  25. I am reading the comments regarding the Barclay and Chase cards and need clarification. It is my understanding that one has to actually use the Barclay card to pay for things and then get a statement credit and you will get extra points for those expenses that are coded as travel related. On the Chase Sapphire, one comes out ahead if you use the ultimate rewards portal for purchases and to book travel. You also have the option of transferring points in your account to their partners if you are trying to book award travel. Is there something I’m missing with these cards?

  26. @amy – No experience with Super Shuttle, but if the meal is on your hotel bill, it should count towards redemptions.

    @LLow – It depends on how you want to use the cards and your travel goals!

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