Y’all know that Kyle and I are not much for credit card sign-up bonuses – we’re more about the long-term rewards or perks. I do keep an eye out for high sign-up bonuses by following some credit card churning blogs, but usually the minimum spend requirements are out of the range of our normal spending. (That is, until we realized that we can now put rent on a credit card, but that has its own set of issues). Many of our bills come directly from checking and most of our grocery spending is at Costco, where we can’t use these types of credit cards. So just month to month we don’t put more than a few hundred dollars on credit cards, and then occasionally we spend a bunch of money out of our targeted savings accounts, such as for travel. We were thinking we wouldn’t sign up for a new credit card for a sign-up bonus until we were about to book a vacation – we thought that, until we saw the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard.
I recently found out about a credit card with an awesomely high sign-up bonus and a totally achievable minimum spend requirement! The card is the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®. The minimum spending is $1,000 over three months and the bonus is $400 in statement credits when used for travel (and actually you can get even more out of it by applying it properly). That’s a 40%+ bonus on the minimum spend! We jumped on the chance to sign up for this card because you never know how long these offers will be available. (Update May 14, 2014: This card has been relaunched as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. The minimum spend on this card to achieve the 40,000 point sign-up bonus is now $3,000. Still a good deal, but not as amazing for us low-spenders.)
The Minimum Spending Requirement
I did have to verify that we would be able to put $1,000 on this card over these particular next three months (starting in mid-September when I found out about this offer). I encourage you to do this as well if you are a lower spender. I mapped out the parts of our budget that we could switch to using this credit card for (Kyle’s cell, internet, water, non-Costco groceries, non-Costco gas, restaurants) as well as the big expenses we have coming out of our targeted savings accounts over that time period (dental checkup, 6 months of car insurance). I was positive that we would spend $1,250 and potentially up to around $2,000.
That buffer over $1,000 was satisfactory to me that we would be sure to reach the minimum spend by mid-December so I signed up for the card. I’m now carefully tracking our spending on that card to make sure we hit right at or above $1,000. As soon as we reach the minimum spend on this card, we actually want to sign Kyle up for his own to repeat the process if it’s still available! (Our Christmas spending will go quite a long way toward reaching that next minimum spend.)
The Sign-Up Bonus and Rewards
For us, and probably for most people who use credit cards, this $1,000 over three months minimum spending is safely reachable, so the World Arrival card is a great one to add to your rewards card mix, even if you’re not a hard-core churner. And what exactly is the bonus that we will get?
1) For spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, we’ll get 40,000 miles, which becomes $400 when used as a statement credit for travel within the last three months. That’s still amazing to me – 40% of the minimum spend in rewards! (Note that if you take a statement credit without having qualified travel to apply it to, it halves in value – 40,000 miles is worth $200.)
2) You’re earning 2 miles for every $1 you spend, so that’s 2,000 more miles just from the minimum spend.
3) If you apply your miles as a statement credit for qualifying travel from the last three months, you get another 10% back.
That means that if you apply your miles as statement credits for qualifying travel, you can get $462 in rewards out of just the $1,000 minimum spend!
Even beyond the signup bonus, this card was recently rated one of the best for travel rewards because of the high ongoing rewards structure and how many kinds of transactions qualify as “travel” expenses. They count flights, rental cars, hotels, travel agencies, cruises, and trains. So keeping it as a rewards card long-term isn’t a bad plan if you don’t mind the $89 annual fee. (We do – we don’t pay fees or interest for anything banking-related. The fee is waived for the first year. We’ll be canceling after the first year unless they waive it again. There is also a Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – No Annual Fee Card, which has a $200 sign-up bonus and a slightly less attractive rewards structure – not bad for the long-term!) (Update May 16, 2014: The no-fee card has been relaunched as the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®.)
I haven’t thought much yet about how we’ll use the bonus. I doubt we’ll take an extra trip – we’re way overdue for a summer vacation already. I’m sure we’ll do some traveling between now and next September to celebrate Kyle’s graduation. So we’ll be able to free up the $450 or so to add to a fun targeted savings account – the frontrunner right now being our DSLR fund!
I’m sharing this post because 1) I’m personally excited about this bonus showing up in our account soon and 2) I really think this is an unusual offer that lower-spenders like us can take advantage of (or higher spenders, of course – it’s still a good option). If you decide to sign up for this card, please consider using one of the links in the post or banners below to do so. It’s the same deal for you and EPF will receive an affiliate commission – in fact, I signed up for my card using another blogger’s affiliate link to give him/her that commission. But please only sign up if you are in the habit of paying off your credit cards every month. You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned the APR on this card at all, and that’s because it doesn’t matter if you never pay interest. Don’t sign up if you think there is a possibility you will get into credit card debt.
If you use rewards credit cards, are you swayed most by sign-up bonuses or long-term rewards potential? Can you typically reach the minimum spends on cards with big sign-up bonuses? Do you know of any other great credit card deals being offered right now?