UPDATE: Please note that the Arrival card is discontinued
There is a credit card out there everyone knows about. It is called Barclaycard Arrival.
Barclaycard Arrival is a great card, although it is a little overrated. Their major selling points are the 40,000-mile sign up bonus, 2.2222-something miles back after the rebate, and its flexibility. You can redeem the miles on most travel providers out there, and then some, like NYC Metrocard, Yellow Cabs, or Uber. Flyertalk maintains a very good Wiki on Barclaycar as to where you can redeem.
There is another benefit of Barclaycard Arrival, which is a free subscription to TripIt Pro. I have never used it, but most people who do, tend to like it. Maybe, I will figure out how it works one day.
The membership in TripIt Pro, in turn, gives you another benefit that can be extremely valuable or useless, depending on your lifestyle: the Preferred membership in Regus Business Lounge program. That includes 15 free visits annually, and Regus has some lounges at the airports around the world, including London.
There is, however, two major grievances against Barclaycard Arrival. One is that you can’t redeem points for charges less than $25. You’ll be amazed how many travel charges fall into that category. The second is the $89 annual fee after the first free year. Many bloggers recommend dumping the card after the first year for that reason.
I do not. Not only there are ways to negate the annual fee, there are also ways to make money. Here is how
Barclaycard Travel Community
They are running the Barclaycard Travel Community where you can post your travel stories and earn points. There are two ways to earn miles. If you do not hold the Arrival card, you get a $5 Amazon gift card after you reach 2,500 miles. This payout is so pathetic, though, that I don’t even want to waste your and my time to talk about it.
If you are a member things get more interesting. You get paid 150 miles for every 50+ word story you publish. You’ll get another 10 miles for every map detail along with your story. And you get 10 miles for every Kudo you receive. These Kudos are basically the Likes.
If you are rolling your eyes right now, I don’t blame you. 150 miles amount to $1.50. Let’s say you add a few details on the map and a few people kudo you. That will amount to, perhaps, 230-250 points. That’s better, but it’s still only $2.50. However, you need to keep in mind that your workload will be very low, too. If you look at the bolded paragraph above, that’s your minimum 50-word story, although I recommend something slightly longer. It normally takes me less than a minute to write it.
Of course, if you enjoy writing travel stories, reviewing things, and helping others, no one is holding you to the bare minimum. Look at all the tripadvisor reviews–no one is getting paid for writing those (except the folks who are trying to game the system, LOL). But my point is that if you are thinking about it from the MS angle, you need to think about being efficient.
Writing it is not all it takes. You also need to upload your stories, the photo or two (I recommend two), and take the time to map a few details. There is no batch uploader, so you do it one by one. You must have at least 10 and preferably more stories ready and upload them at once, otherwise you will be wasting a lot of time going back and forth. Then we can talk about efficiency.
Think about it this way. In order to get 250 Arrival miles, you need to spend around $120. Or, with your writing that takes about 3 minutes of your work (if you do everything right). This number is not a theory. This is the result, I have recently begun achieving, although it has taken some time to get there.
Can We Do Better?
Yes! This $2.50 number can be improved considerably, and I’ll talk in details about it in my next newsletter and FB group. For now, please trust me that unless you are in that elusive 1% of the population, this will be worth your while. Suffice it to say, it is possible to earn dozens of thousands of Barclays miles every month for very little work in addition to whatever MS you are doing right now.
Now imagine that your significant other has this card too. And/or you parents, siblings, or cousins. Now we are talking something we all like: volume and the ability to scale.
Which brings me to this. Those of you who hate doing Walmart rounds will love this. You can do it anytime, and from anywhere. Those of you who love doing Walmart rounds and/or have a Walmart in your backyard will have a completely different avenue to add to their coffers. To you, it can be just another great and easy way to diversify.
In any case, sign up to Barclaycard Travel Community, fill your profile and get your first 500 miles. There is no harm in that. And make sure you get my newsletter that explains how to take this thing to the next level.
Some T&C language from the horse’s mouth.
Members will earn Miles for the following activities:
- Members will earn 150 miles for each travel story that is posted on the Site. The description must contain at least 50 words and at least 1 unique photo related to the story.
- Up to five (5) travel stories can be posted for an individual City, State, Country
- Each detail added to a travel story using the map will earn 10 miles per detail
- Every time the story that is authored by a member is kudoed by another member, the member will receive 10 miles
- Completing a profile will earn each Member 500 miles; a profile is considered complete when the following information is added: 1) the City and State in which the member lives 2) At least one travel interest is selected 3) at least one travel companion is selected 4) at least 1 travel style is selected 5) at least 5 cities are added to the “My travels” map
- Barclaycard, at its sole discretion, may also provide members miles for other activities
- Barclaycard, at its sole discretion, can change or remove these miles values and activities at any time, without warning
- Barclaycard, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to pull down travel stories that do not adhere to the community guidelines or are not good faith efforts to provide quality content for Users of the Site.
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