Woman solo traveller watching a balloon festival
Melissa Tse/Getty Images

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on the website are from companies from which this site receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or available credit card offers.

Information about credit cards and card offers is accurate as of the date of publication.

Editor’s note: The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is no longer available through our site.

If you’re a frequent traveler and a rewards card holder, it pays to have options when it comes to your choice of airline and hotel.

Barclaycard Arrival Miles can be used toward a variety of travel-related expenses, gift card or merchandise purchases. Let’s take a closer look at how the program works, and why it could be a good fit for a world traveler looking for flexibility.

How do you earn Barclaycard Arrival Miles?

It’s simple: earn Arrival Miles at a rate of 2 Miles for every dollar spent whenever you make purchases with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard. You don’t have to worry about rotating categories, either. And with a 70,000-mile bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 90 days of account opening, you’ll be surprised how quickly the miles add up.

How do Barclaycard Arrival Miles redemptions work?

You can redeem your miles through your online account by selecting “Rewards & Benefits” on the Account Summary page. There aren’t many cards that pay you back for redeeming rewards. But with this card, you earn 5% back in Arrival Miles on that redemption.

There are no limits to the miles you can earn. And as long as your Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard account is in good standing, your miles will not expire.

What are Barclaycard Arrival Miles worth?

You get the most value for your miles when you redeem for travel purchases, statement credits on travel purchases, or to pay for your annual fee after the first year.

Redemptions for travel or to pay your annual fee are worth one cent each. Redemptions for travel statement credits or travel bookings start at 10,000 miles for $100. Redeeming Arrival Miles for travel statement credits doesn’t lock you in to a specific airline or hotel. You’re free to choose nearly any hotel, motel, resort, cruise line, airline, car rental agency or passenger train.

You can even redeem Barclaycard Arrival Miles to earn a statement credit on incidental travel expenses that aren’t typically part of many travel rewards or hotel loyalty programs. For instance, get a travel statement credit for meals, drinks, and incidentals in your hotel as long as the expense is coded as a hotel expense. Also, while you can’t get a travel credit for theme park tickets, if you’re staying at a theme park resort and have park expenses such as meals billed to your room, you can get a statement credit for these costs. Again, this is contingent upon the expense being coded by the merchant as a hotel expense.

You might choose to redeem for gift cards or a cash-back statement credit, but this only yields half a cent per mile, rather than one cent. But redemptions for gift cards and cash back begin at 5,000 miles for $25. So if you’re anxious to redeem your miles, you don’t have to wait long.

How to maximize your Barclaycard Arrival Miles

Barclaycard kickstarts your earnings with a generous sign-up bonus of 70,000 miles once you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of your account. That’s $700 in travel rewards or travel statement credits, which is a great bump for frequent travelers. Plus, you earn an additional 5% back – 3,500 Miles – when you redeem those rewards.

You can also earn additional miles by sharing your travel stories in Barclays Travel Community through Barclays’ mobile app.

What’s the best card to use when earning Barclaycard Arrival Miles?

The best card to earn Arrival Miles – and also one of the best travel rewards credit cards available today – is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.

In addition to the amazing sign-up bonus, the credit card has a 0% balance transfer APR for the first 12 billing cycles for all balance transfers that post within 45 days of account opening. There is a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater. After the introductory period, the regular APR of 18.24% – 25.24% variable will apply.

The $89 annual fee is waived the first year. After that, you can redeem miles at a rate of 1 mile per cent as a statement credit to cover the annual fee. Spend just $4,450 each year, and you’ve paid for the annual fee.

The card carries a fairly high variable APR for a top-tier travel rewards credit card. Expect to pay 18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% if you do not pay your balance in full when it’s due.

The good news? A late payment will not raise your APR.

How does the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard compare with similar cards?

As with all the best travel credit cards, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard comes with additional benefits such as:

· No foreign transaction fees

· Barclays SecurHold™, which lets you lock your cards, set transaction limits or block certain purchase categories for yourself or authorized users through the Barclays mobile app

· Access to the 24/7 World Elite Mastercard travel concierge service
How does this card compare to other rewards programs?

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus Mastercard has virtually no limits on the way you can earn or redeem miles. The points value is always the same if you spend your points on travel, so you can stay at a boutique hotel or book through your favorite travel agent and still earn 2X miles.

In comparison, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers 2X miles on all purchases, and through January 2020, if you book and pay for your hotel through hotels.com/venture, you can earn 10x miles.Opportunities to earn more miles in specific ways can be great. But if you can find a better deal elsewhere, you may feel pressured to purchase through hotels.com/venture just to get your bonus miles. Barclaycard offers more flexibility for the adventurous or frugal traveler.

Many of the best airline credit cards offer 2X miles on purchases made with the airlines; Barclaycard offers 2X miles on every purchase. We can’t help but say it – the Barclaycard Arrival Plus Mastercard is miles ahead of most competitors, especially airline credit cards, in its flexibility and points values.

And remember, you can still get points through your favorite hotel loyalty or frequent flyer programs when you pay with your Barclaycard and then redeem miles for a travel statement credit.

Use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard to complement a card like Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card when you travel. The Savor card offers 4% cash back in areas where Barclaycard won’t permit a travel statement credit, such as dining (outside of your hotel), theme park tickets, concerts, and movies. If you’re the type of traveler who barely unpacks before you’re planning your next adventure, using the two cards strategically during your next getaway can help fund future trips.

Read up on our other guides for points and rewards programs.

This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by any of the referenced financial institutions or companies. Opinions, analysis, reviews or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any financial institutions or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such entity. All products or services are presented without warranty. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. This post contains references to our partners, and Bankrate may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on certain links posted on this website.