It has been almost 6 months since my last round of applications and I've been itching to get a new card in the door. I took a look at what was out there and settled with the Barclays Arrival Mastercard-- jusssst days before they raised the minimum spending from $1000 to $3000 to get the bonus.
There are some nifty features of this card
-Spend $3000 in 3 months and get 40,000 miles (equivalent to $400 in travel or $200 cash back)
-2x "miles" on all purchases
-10% miles rebates on all travel redemptions
-Free FICO scores monitoring
-Tripit Pro membership
-Barclays Travel Community
-$89 annual fee, waived first year
-No foreign transaction fee
The card itself is lukewarm at best without any transfer partners. The value of your miles is topped out at 2.2 cents per $ when used for travel. I thought the FICO score monitoring was interesting and 2 miles on all purchases was useful for non-bonus category spend on other cards. The feature that really got my attention was the Barclays Travel Community.
As a member of the Barclays Travel Community (free), you can link your Barclays card (also free) and earn participation miles for posting travel stories. The points you earn on the Travel Community transfer to your Barclays Arrival account at a 1:1 ratio. SWEET!
-500 miles for completing a profile
-200 miles for each unique travel story with a photo (50 words min)
-10 miles when you receive a kudos for your story (similar to a Facebook like)
50 words is not a lot, and there are no real guidelines about what you can write about--- so this is very very easy to do! In the three days that I've been a member, I've managed to rack up more than 3300 miles. That's the equivalent of $1600 of spend! I can easily see myself topping 100k miles this year (500 stories or 1.4 stories a day), if not more-- making this a top candidate for top rewarding cards of the decade! Definitely jump on this feature while it's still around!