How to Redeem Barclaycard Arrival Plus Points for Travel

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I’ve written about how the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is 1 of my favorite cards because you earn 2X miles on every purchase.

If you redeem miles for statement credits towards regular purchases, you get 1% cash back.  But when you redeem for travel expenses, you get 2.1% back when you consider the 5% rebate you get for travel redemptions.  That’s a very good deal.

What’s the Barclaycard Arrival Plus?

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 on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card is worth $400 if you redeem for travel expenses.

But you get an extra 5% of your miles back after every travel redemption.  So you’ll get another 2,000 points ($20) back after you redeem your 40,000 miles for travel.

Barclaycard defines travel as:

Airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, tourist attractions, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, and ferries as defined by the merchant category code.  Purchases made at merchants that do not process transactions under these terms or that use incorrect merchant category codes will not qualify.

 How To Redeem Barclaycard Arrival Plus Points For Travel

You Can Redeem Barclaycard Arrival Plus Miles for 2.1% Back on Travel, Like Car Rentals

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

Redeeming Miles for Travel Expenses

Million Mile Secrets readers have asked how to use Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles for travel expenses.  It’s actually quite straightforward.

1.   Log Into Your Barclaycard Account

Log in and select your Barclaycard Arrival Plus card (if you have more than 1 Barclaycard account).

Then click on the “Rewards” tab on the right side of the page.

Under “Pay Yourself Back For Travel”, click the “Redeem Now” button.

2.   Select Your Travel Expense 

The minimum number of miles you can use to reduce a travel expense is 2,500 miles or $25.   The minimum is travel expense is now $100.

Only purchases that Barclaycard considers travel will appear in the list of purchases available for redemption.

From the “Purchases Available For Redemption” list, select the travel expense you wish to use miles for.

You’ll be prompted to redeem either the minimum number of miles (2,500 or $25) $100 for the purchase, or the actual number of miles for the total cost of the purchase (in the example below, 2,800 miles or $28).

Select the redemption you want.  Once you click on redeem, you’ll get a statement credit for the amount you selected.  And you can’t come back and redeem more miles for that purchase again.

3.   Continue Redeeming or Save Your Miles for Later

If you have the miles, you can redeem for as many travel purchases as appear on your list.   However, you don’t have to use your miles right away (or even use them towards travel expenses).

That said, redeeming for non-travel expenses is not a very good value (0.5 cents per mile or 1% cash back).

Once you’ve made a travel purchase, you have 120 days to use your miles to pay for it.  The list of purchases available for redemption shows how many days you have left to redeem miles for each transaction.

Remember, once you’ve redeemed miles towards a travel purchase, you’ll get a 5% rebate on the miles you’ve used.  For example, if you redeem 10,000 miles ($100) you’ll get 500 miles ($5) deposited back to your account.

Bottom Line

It’s easy to redeem Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles towards travel expenses to get 2.1% back in statement credits.

You can select from a list of your travel purchases and redeem miles against them individually.  But they’ll only be on the list for 120 days after the transaction date, and you can only credit miles towards each transaction once.

Using Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles is a great way to pay yourself back for travel spending you can’t normally use miles and points for.

What expenses have you redeemed your Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles for?

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38 responses to “How to Redeem Barclaycard Arrival Plus Points for Travel

  1. My annual fee is coming up and I’m wavering on whether I should keep the card or pay the $89 fee. I’ve redeemed quite a bit on this card above the $400 bonus but having to spend approx $4,500 just to break even each year on the fee as opposed to spending on another card…what’s your take?

  2. The option I like, is that if you still do not have enough points to redeem the full amount of the charge (and the time is running out), you can do a one time partial redemption (rounding down to nearest 2500 points). Just wish that they allowed more than one redemption within the 120 day period.
    Unlike the Venture card where you cannot make a partial redemption.

  3. I talked about my problem a while ago when my stay at Lake Fork was not categorized as travel expense. The resort used their fishing equipment store as merchant code instead of accommodation. I wrote a letter to BBB ( a very polite one because the resort did use a wrong code) and Barclays Bank had a representative from Office of the President handled my complaint very promptly and professionally. His name is David Chapman. He resolved my problem and said he would talk to the Card Center to clearly define the redemption policy and try to avoid the same problem.
    Barclays now expanded the travel expenses redemption and gave more details about their policy. I think it was because of me 🙂 Also, I want to give credits to the Barclays Bank that takes care of the customers.

  4. I too couldn’t redeem points for a campground that we booked because it was processed as a government merchant code (state campground). One thing I really liked about the Venture card was that I could redeem points for the same purchase over and over again. When it was time to close out my account I was able to use that to get the full value out of all my left over points. Also being able to tell it that 1 airline purchase was multiple tickets allowed me to even get it down to less than 100 points left upon cancellation. Does the Barclay Arrival allow multiple redemptions on the same travel purchase, or just one and done.

  5. It seems that each travel expense item on your Arrival credit-card bill must be $25 or more, not the aggregate. My current Arrival bill shows four Southwest EarlyBird fees of $12.50 each, one right after the other, but none of them show up as being acceptable for reimbursement.

    If that were the only travel expenses that I expected to have, I imagine I could purchase some $25+ SWA gift cards and use those to pay for EarlyBirds…but finding other $25+ travel expenses won’t be a problem 🙂

  6. Can anyone confirm that I could spend $100 today on travel with 0 points in my account and still redeem points I earn after the purchase as long as it is within the 120 day window?

  7. Like John my annual fee is coming up very soon. I do spend a lot on the card but not for travel. I think you may have written about this before but I don’t know how to search for it. I’d like to know if I can downgrade the card and if so what are the consequences?

  8. @Seth: Yes, you can spend that $100 on applicable travel and wait until you spend enough on the card ($5k) in other charges to accumulate Arrival points to cover the applicable travel expense within 120 days. HTH.

  9. Thanks JLNB

  10. I used it for my cruise travel. It was more than $500

    If the cost is over $500.

    It will be better if you brick up the charge into $450 and $50 will be better.
    That way the 40k($400) bonus goes toward the $450 then the 10%($45) back from $450 could be use for the $50 charge.

    Better than the $500 charge I did and now waiting for another travel purchase to redeem the 10%($50)

  11. Sheila,
    Thanks for your write-up. Good Info!

    I would love to know the details behind Barclay’s expanded travel expense definitions.

  12. Can you still make multiple redemptions on the same travel item? Or once you make a redemption on a travel item, it gets removed from your list of available purchases for redemption?

  13. Question : if you buy miles from an airline (for example US Airways) with you Arrival card , those will qualify for this use of Points from the card ?
    Please let me know.
    Thanks !


  14. Thanks for the quick answer ! So if you use it didn’t count for the redeem travel expenses…mmmm I was wondering more like the option to get 3 times the mileage in US airways when you have a trip in the boarding procedure , after says “upgrade seats” , they ask you “you earn X miles for this trip” , triple it for $140.00 or something like that. Will “that” purchase qualify as travel expense for the Arrival card ?

  15. I’d like to know something before I apply for this card. Let’s say I got 160,000 miles and I decided to buy 3 plane tickets for an overall amount of $3,500. Tickets are for my kids and I , so I can’t buy them separately. Can I redeem my $1,600 credit for this expense or not? Thanks!

  16. Thanks. I read somewhere that miles have to cover the entire amount of the expense you’re using them for. For example you can NOT redeem 160,000 miles (or a $1,600 credit) for a $3,000 total expense. Can anyone confirm or deny this statement? Thank you!

  17. Several people have claimed you can make multiple redemptions against the same travel charge. I have just over 30,000 points to redeem and I have a recent $456 hotel charge. My hope was to redeem 30K points, get the 10% bonus (another 3K points) and redeem that against the $156 remaining hotel charges. However as I was redeeming the points I got a warning “Please note, you can only redeem against a transaction one time.” So I take it that the remaining balance of the charge can never be redeemed against.

    I was planning to cancel the card but perhaps I should try to see if they will let me downgrade it to the regular arrival card so I can work off the full amount of the charge.

  18. To redeem travel points do I have to keep that balance on the card? So, if I make a travel purchase this month, pay off the card in full, then rack up non-travels charges, can I redeem points on the trip I already paid credited to my account?

    Curious how I should go about redemption as I’ve just received this card but need to pay for a trip before I will receive my points.

  19. Above you say this:
    “It’s easy to redeem Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles towards travel expenses to get 2.2% cash back in statement credits.”
    I don’t get it!!! …isn’t either travel or cash credits?
    Please clarify.

  20. My husband and I are planning to take a trip to England this fall. We currently have 48,000 miles.

    How do we use those? Do we buy our plane tickets with the Barclay card then go to manage my rewards and redeem the 48,000 miles for about $480 back? Meaning having 48,000 miles = $480 towards travel?

    Sorry I’m just so confused!

  21. So I’m curious how long it took for you to receive the 10% credit after redeeming your travel points? It’s been two days for me and I see no credit. Is it not supposed to show up until the next statement?

  22. Hi,
    My family and I are going to Waikiki this summer and I’m wondering if we can use this card to redeem for tours that we plan to purchase there.



  23. Here is a math challenge for you: Do you have the formulae to calculate how to maximize the last redemptions before closing the card? The variables include the number of travel transactions (I think you must have at least three), the amount of the those transactions, and the constraints that barclay only allows redemption in increments of $25, up to the maximum amount of the transaction if you have that many points.

    For example, if you have 30,000 points and three travel transactions of $210, $155, and $60 what do you do to make sure your last redemption leaves closest to the least amount on the table (300 points)?

    One scenario is redeem the full $210, which leaves you with $90+$21 = 111. Then redeem $75 out of the $155 transaction, which leaves you with (111-75) = $36+7.50. Finally, attempt to redeem that $43.50 worth of points on the final $60 transaction. That might still leave you with 435 points, which is not bad, but still leaves points on the table. Does anyone know if you can redeem for that last transaction if you have less credits than the transaction amount (and if so, is it only in increments of $25, meaning in this scenario, I can only redeem $25 out of the $43.50)?

  24. “Airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, tourist attractions, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, and ferries as defined by the merchant category code. Purchases made at merchants that do not process transactions under these terms or that use incorrect merchant category codes will not qualify.”

    Is there a way to know this information before we use the card to pay for it?


  25. The people that work for Barclays, I am sorry to say are DUMBBBBB I just spend 15 minutes with a manager who insisted that if you accrue your miles (which he insisted on calling “Points” even though their own website calls them miles) on purchases that are not travel related then you can’t use those miles (Excuse me… I mean “Points”) to redeem on future travel purchases. Nice people and all but customer service is more than just please and thank you. He basically told me that the only miles that qualify for travel redemption are the ones that are accrued using travel thereby creating two different classes of points as opposed to just different kinds of redemption (Statement credit, travel, gift cards etc)

    I simply asked that if I had 50,000 miles then I bough a plane ticket for $500 then I should be able to redeem my 50,000 miles for the $500 I purchased the ticket with and he said: “No. You can only get a statement credit” which of course comes at a lower redemption value (Half) Am I crazy? I know I am not but if I am please tell me because then that card is uselesssss.

    Talk about bad customer service.

  26. Your math is wrong. It is not 2.2% cash back.

    It is actually 1.1% cash back. Lets say you redeem 60000 miles valued at 1% cash back each, so .01*60000 = $600 travel credit, and you get an extra 10% of your redeemed back, so an additional 600 points at a value of .01 so $60. 660/60000 = .011.


    You could just do .01 * 1.1 (for the additional 10% back).

    2.2% cash back would give you $1320 on a 60000 mile redemption, and that is not the case.

  27. Hello,

    In the redemption example/graphics above, you show redeeming points/miles for Marriott gift cards and if I’m interpreting it correctly, you’re redeeming as a travel statement credit, thus providing a 1.1 redemption rate. I contacted Barclays to ask if I could purchase gift cards from Marriott, SPG or an airline and then redeem as a travel statement credit and was told for such a transaction, I had to redeem points under their gift certificate option, which of course has a much worse redemption rate. Not to mention, you can’t order gift cards for many providers from their “gift card” redemption/purchase option.

    Needless to say, I’d like to purchase travel related gift cards and then redeem as a travel statement credit due to the more advantageous redemption rate….guessing this is feasible, since you show it in your example, but wanted to verify. Thanks very much for any input and your time!!

  28. Do you know if Airbnb rental costs are considered travel expenses by Barclaycard? I will be living nomadic for a year or more while on a road trip around USA/Canada – staying at Airbnb rentals mostly so this card could be a good choice for me if Airbnb is counted as travel expense. Barclaycard does not specifically list Airbnb though.

  29. Wouldn’t it be 2.222222% if you actually end up spending just 0.9 miles for 1 cent of rewards? Last I checked, 1/0.9 is 1.11111111, not 1.1

  30. Does anybody know if I charge items to my room and then use the Arrival Card to pay for food/golf/and resort fees, can I redeem points for the final charge?

  31. It seems these are indeed POINTS and not MILES.
    Miles I can put on my account with a given airline and get a tickets with their MILES program. Can’t do that with this card. These are just POINTS you collect and redeem for travel expenses.

  32. Pingback: Review of The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® |

  33. Sounds like maybe I should have stuck to an airline card for points for air travel. I will probably cancel this one and go for one that is more straight forward in its definitions.

  34. Thanks for the info. Just wondering how long it takes for the transaction to show up after I have redeemed miles. I redeemed 60,000 miles for $600 back on flights. My points were gone right away but my balance has not changed. Should this take more than a business day or two? I’m out of the country and having a hard time contacting Barclay