Posts Tagged With: Barclays

[Targeted] 2x Bonus Miles from AA Aviator

The AAdvantage Aviator MasterCard is offering a targeted bonus for the second quarter of 2017.  Normally this card only offer bonus miles on purchases from American Airlines but during this promotion cardholders may earn 2x bonus miles for every $1 spent at grocery stores, home improvement stores and restaurants between April 1 and June 30, 2017, up to 2500 bonus miles.  If you were targeted you should have received an email from Barclays providing a link to activate the offer.  Note that you must activate the offer by May 31 to be able to take advantage of it.

The phrase “2x bonus miles” had me stumped.  To me, that sounds like I should get 2 miles (the bonus) in addition to the 1 mile per dollar I’d normally get at these types of businesses, which would mean I’d only have to spend $834 to max out the offer.  I reached out to both the Twitter team (@AskBCUS) and using the secure message center on the Barclays US credit card website. The folks at the secure message center didn’t even take the time to understand my question.  They seemed to think I was having trouble registering.  Fortunately the Twitter team was on the ball.  They clarified the offer is for a total of 2 miles per dollar spent in these categories, meaning I’d need to spend $1250 to accumulate all 2500 miles.  That was what I had suspected but it was good to get clarification.

For me this is one of the easiest offers to use.  Grocery stores and home improvement stores each sell gift cards – both Visa and merchant – which makes it a piece of cake to meet the requirement.

Note that bonus miles will not be awarded until 6-8 weeks after the promotion ends.  While I hate that it takes that long to get the extra miles, that’s pretty standard for Barclays.

Categories: AAdvantage Aviator, American Airlines, Barclays, Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Changes Are Coming for Barclay’s Arrival Plus

While I’ve only played the points and miles game for about three years, one thing I’ve learned for sure is that things change – and usually NOT in the favor of those of us who try to maximize the value we get for our points and miles.Barclay Arrival Plus

Several weeks ago it was noticed that the Barclay’s Arrival Plus card had disappeared from the Barclaycard website. Speculation ran rampant as to what that meant. Some thought maybe the product was being discontinued while others thought perhaps the benefits were being changed. As it turns out, those in the second group are correct. As reported in several blogs, including by Amol on Travel Codex, the product is being devalued.

Current card benefits:

  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent
  • Each point is worth $1 for travel-related expenses
  • Redeem a minimum of 2500 points, which will cover expenses of $25 or more
  • When you redeem, you get a 10% rebate on points. So after redeeming 2500 points, you’d get 250 restored to your account
  • A TripIt Pro subscription

Future card benefits:

  • Still 2 points for every $1 spent
  • Each point is still worth $1 for travel-related expenses
  • Now you must redeem a minimum of 10,000 points, which only covers expenses of $100 or more
  • The rebate is reduced from 10% to 5%
  • TripIt Pro is no longer included

According to a letter received by a Travel Codex reader and shown in Amol’s post, these changes will become effective November 3, 2015. Even though I have the card I have not yet received notification from Barclay’s and the card is not currently available on the Barclaycard website.

Raising the minimum redemption to $100 really hurts. On my ski trips I check two pieces of luggage. The first piece is free thanks to holding an airline co-branded credit card but I always have to pay for the second piece (unless flying first class, of course) and that was a perfect opportunity to use my Arrival Plus card. Now I’ll either use the co-branded card or my Chase Sapphire Preferred, both of which will earn double points for the transaction.

I also hate the loss of TripIt Pro. I loved the free version of TripIt for a couple of years before gaining TripIt Pro. I now use it to track all my points across a multitude of airline, hotel and credit card programs. TripIt Pro also proactively notifies me of flight and gate changes. I’ve read anecdotal evidence of people being notified by TripIt Pro before being notified by their airline!
I’ve only had my card since December 2014, so hopefully the subscription is good at least a year. At that point I’ll have a decision to make whether or not to pay for it.

In the next couple of years I’m hoping to take a couple of group trips where I won’t be able to use the usual types of points to pay and I’d planned on using Arrival Plus points to help reduce the expenses but not I’m not sure that’s the way to go.

Buying $10,000 of gift cards at my local mall for a $79 fee earns me 20,158 points, which can cover $201.58 in travel expenses and then I’d get a 2015 point rebate (or 1007 after the changes). That’s a 39% discount – though there is that $95 annual fee.

By contrast the Capital One Venture card is free the first year and $59 thereafter. It also earns 2 points per $1 spent and allows a redemption rate of 100 points per $1. While I wouldn’t use the Venture card (or the Arrival Plus, for that matter) for premium cabin airline tickets, for cruises and tours they Capital One card may be the way to go.

Categories: Arrival Plus, Barclays, Credit Cards | Tags: , | Leave a comment

New Aviator Card Rollout

2015-04-02 Barclay Aviator RolloutNow that the US Airways Dividend Miles program has been rolled into the American AAdvantage program, we’ll start to see Barclay’s US Airways Dividend Miles® MasterCards® being rolled into AAdvantage® Aviator™ MasterCards®. There are several types of the Aviator cards and just which kind you will receive will depend on the Dividend Miles card you had.

In my case, I had previously received an email stating I’d get the AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red MasterCard® sometime this spring. Yesterday I received an email letting me know my new card would arrive in May.

The email also reminded me of new and existing benefits for this card:

  • First checked bag free for me and up to four companions on the same reservation. This is a carry-over benefit.
  • No foreign transaction fees. I don’t recall my USDM card having this benefit so if it’s new, it’s a great addition.
  • 25% off in-flight purchases. Again, I don’t recall this being a benefit but it’s nice to have.
  • 10% of redeemed miles back. This is definitely new and a terrific addition. I already had this benefit via the American Airlines Platinum AAdvantage card but for those who don’t have that card, this can save you up to 10,000 miles per year, depending on how many you redeem. I actually maxed it out in 2014 for the first time.

2015-04-02 Barclay Bonus PromotionThe email also reminded me to be sure I’d registered my card for the 50% bonus on eligible purchases from now through the end of June. If you haven’t registered your card yet, do so now by logging into your account and clicking on the promotional banner on the right side of the page.

Categories: AAdvantage Aviator, Credit Cards, US Airways MasterCard | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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