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The Sam’s Club MasterCard vs. Other Cash Back Cards

Everyone loves a cash back card, which is why so many banks and stores offer them to customers. It used to be just the big banks that gave cash back rewards based on spending. Now it is common for stores to get in on this market and get more customer loyalty in the quest for cash being returned to them.

Some stores have even begun to offer cards that come in MasterCard or Visa versions that they can be used for other purchases, like gas, dining, groceries, travel, and other big categories. The Sam’s Club MasterCard is one of these cards. They are offering a nice tiered cash back program to cardholders.

If you are a frequent shopper at Sam’s Club warehouse stores, this might be a good choice for you. Let’s take a look at the benefits that they are offering to customers.

New Sam’s Club MasterCard

Highlighted Cash Back Features

The Sam’s Club MasterCard offers simple yet substantial cash back rewards for their customers. First, you will earn 5% cash back for all spending at gas stations, up to $6,000 per year. After you spend the first $6,000, you will continue to earn 1% cash back on gas station purchases. Here’s one catch—you will earn 5% cash back at Sam’s Club gas stations and other major gas retailers, but there are no cash back rewards for spending at other warehouse store gas stations.

You can earn 3% cash back on all dining purchases and any travel purchases that you make, with no spending cap. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases using the Sam’s Club MasterCard.

With the Sam’s Club MasterCard, you can earn up to $5,000 cash back per year. The cash back rewards are paid to you in the form of a check, delivered to you once per year. The only place that you can cash the check is at a Sam’s Club store (but you don’t have to spend the entire reward there).

Great Security Options

With so many credit card breaches in the news lately, people are paying more attention to getting credit cards with higher level security features. The Sam’s Club MasterCard is chip-enabled, which gives you a better layer of security. Plus, they offer quick and simple identity theft solutions through their customer service center.

Sam’s Club MasterCard is the first major retail card to offer this level of technology. Since many of the credit card breaches have come from major retailers, this is something that may make customers more comfortable and secure when using the credit card. Also, extended warranty coverage is available, so you can be more confident in protecting your purchases.

No Annual Fee

The Sam’s Club MasterCard does not have an annual fee, but you do have to be a Sam’s Club member to apply. Membership to Sam’s Club is $45 per year.

More Benefits for Sam’s Plus Members

For those cardholders who are also members of the Sam’s Plus program, you can receive several additional benefits. These include early morning admission to the store, discounts on pharmacy and optical services, and exclusive offers within the store. Sam’s Plus members will earn an additional $10 every time they spend $500 in the store on qualifying purchases and earn up to $500 cash back annually. These rewards can be combined with the other cash back rewards to boost your annual return, or used separately throughout the year.

The Nitty Gritty

Again, the Sam’s Club MasterCard has no annual fee, but you must be a member of Sam’s Club to apply ($45 yearly membership fee). The APR is 14.99% or 22.90%, depending on your credit history. If you make a single purchase of $50 or more on the first day you use the card, you will get a $20 statement credit within the next two billing cycles. Foreign transaction fees are 3%.

Any Downsides?

Although the Sam’s Club MasterCard offers some great cash back options, you will only receive that cash back reward once per year. If you are the kind of person who likes to get one lump sum, this might be great for you, but the redemption options are not very flexible otherwise. Remember, you can only cash this check at Sam’s Club. If you regularly shop at the store, this may be convenient.

You must be a Sam’s Club member to cash the check, so don’t consider closing this account if you have any cash back rewards due to you. There is a small sign up bonus of $20 if you spend $50 on your first purchase. Other cards offer greater cash back rewards for sign up bonuses.

Other Options

While the Sam’s Club MasterCard can compete on some levels, especially with Sam’s Club devotees, there are other great cards out there that offer significant rewards for those who spend a lot of money on gas, dining, and travel. Other cards offer much more convenient redemption options when it comes to getting the cash back.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is a great option for those travelers who like to earn big cash back rewards on every purchase, and have flexible redemption options available to them. With the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, you will earn 2 points for every dollar spent, on all purchases. You will earn 40,000 points as a sign-up bonus when you spend $3,000 within the first three months.

Redeem your miles for travel credits or statement credits, at any time. Earn an additional 10% bonus miles when you redeem your miles for travel rewards. There is an $89 annual fee, but this is waived for the first year. Barclaycard Arrival Plus offers great security, with EMV-chip technology.

There is also a 0% introductory APR on all purchases made during the first 12 months. Frequent travelers may find this option very appealing because of the high earning power and flexible redemption opportunities.

Discover it

For those shoppers who like to earn great cash back rewards and have very flexible redemption options, the Discover it has some terrific perks. Earn 1% cash back on all purchases, in all categories. Earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories, which change quarterly and are generally the most popular shopping options. Currently, Discover it is offering 5% cash back on online shopping and department store purchases for this quarter.

There is no annual fee for the Discover it card, so you have nothing to lose. Redeem your cash back rewards at any time, either earning a check, using the cash at the online shopping portal, getting gift cards, or getting statement credits.

Final Thoughts

For those who really love shopping at Sam’s Club and spend most of their money at gas stations, the Sam’s Club MasterCard is a good option. But, if you want a little more flexibility in terms of cash back earnings and redemption options, you might want to consider either the Barclaycard Arrival Plus or the Discover it as alternatives.

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Barclaycard Announces New AAdvantage Aviator Cards

chase unlimited

As the US Airways and American Airlines merger becomes more of a reality, many customers are wondering what will happen to their miles, whether a new frequent flyer program will arise from the merger or how it might change. The details are not yet finalized, and the timing is not completely pinpointed, but there are certainly some new developments to announce, particularly with some co-branded cards to be offered by Citibank.

For now, Barclays still has these accounts, and will keep them until the merger occurs. This is the reason why Barclaycard is marketing tough these days, trying to gain as many new cardholders while they still can offer great bonuses. Let’s take a look at the new AAdvantage Aviator cards you can still get.

Barclays Introduces AAdvantage Aviator Silver Card

Available in two different versions, the AAdvantage Aviator Silver Card offers some great rewards. Until the merger, Barclays cannot accept new applications for American Airlines cobranded cards, so they are offering the AAdvantage Aviator Silver Card to existing cardholders as an upgrade. The Premium version of the card has an $89 annual fee.

You earn 40,000 bonus points after your first purchase. You will get a free checked bag for yourself and up to four travel companions when you fly US Airways. Earn one companion certificate for up to two companions for $99 each, on a US Airways flight. Get Priority 2 boarding on US Airways. Earn two miles for every dollar spent on US Airways, and American Airlines, and one mile for every dollar spent on any other purchases. Get 25% off of all in-flight purchases on US Airways and American Airlines. There is a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases, the APR will be 15.99-19.99% after that.

The second version of the card, the AAdvantage Aviator World Elite Mastercard, comes with an annual fee of $195, which is waived for the first year. You can earn 3 miles for every dollar spent on US Airways and American Airlines purchases, 2 miles for every dollar spent on hotels and car rentals, and one mile for every dollar spent on the rest of your purchases.

You can earn elite mileage in the form of EQM, earning 5,000 for each $20,000 you spend annually, with a maximum of 10,000 EQMs earned per year. You will get your first bag checked, for yourself and up to 8 travel companions.  You will be refunded 10% of your redeemed miles each year, up to 10,000 miles (this can basically cover the cost of the annual fee). You will earn a companion certificate good for two guests at $99 each, for a US Airways flight. Get priority boarding, in-flight discounts and more. There are no foreign transaction fees, and the card comes with chip technology for increased security.

US Airways Mastercard to Become AAdvantage Aviator Red

The AAdvantage Aviator Red card will be the replacement for the US Airways Mastercard holders once the merger becomes official in 2015. The card has an annual fee of $89. You earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on US Airways and American Airlines purchases, and one mile for every dollar spent on other purchases. Get your first bag checked free, for yourself and 4 travel companions.

Get priority boarding for your travel party. You will also get a refund of 10%  of the miles you redeem on US Airways and American Airlines, up to 10,000 miles per year. Earn $100 flight discount when you spend $30,000 per year. Cardholders get a 25% discount on in-flight purchases. The card has chip technology to protect your personal information.

Act Now for Great Deals!

Because you won’t be able to apply once the merger between US Airways and American Airlines formally takes place, you want to take advantage of these deals from Barclays now if you are interested.  If you received an invitation to upgrade to the AAdvantage Aviator Silver card, you will only have until December 1, 2014 to apply. Beginning in January, accounts will be converted. The bonuses for the AAdvantage Silver card are significant, and you should take advantage of them now.


There are some significant benefits to consider for each of these cards, and if you are interested, then you should not wait to apply. There will still be great options after the US Airways and American Airlines merger, but you never know exactly what will be offered. If you are a frequent flyer on US Airways or American, then now is the time!

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A Comparison of the Top 3 Fixed Value Travel Rewards Cards

Travel credit cards offer some of the best rewards in the business. Usually you can earn tons of points, and, in some cases, these points can be redeemed for travel rewards worth more than $1 per point. Let’s take a closer look at the top three fixed value travel reward cards that you can choose from right now.


BankAmericard Travel Rewards

The BankAmericard Travel rewards card has great earning potential and very nice bonus opportunities. There is no annual fee for this card. You will earn 1.5 point for every dollar spent, with no limit to the amount of miles that you can earn.  They offer a 10,000 point bonus to new cardholders after spending $500 in the first three months that you have the card, if you apply online; this corresponds to a $100 statement credit! There is a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months. After the introductory period, the APR will range from 14.99-22.99%, depending on your credit. There are no foreign transaction fees.

Redeeming your points earned using the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card is simple. There are no blackout dates, and no restrictions. BankAmerica checking and savings customers will receive a bonus of 10% of their annual points each year, based on their total spending for the year. Chip technology makes this card very safe to use, and helps reduce fraud and unauthorized transactions.


Barclaycard Arrival Plus

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is one of the most popular travel rewards cards, and it is not hard to see why. Cardholders pay an $89 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. You will earn double miles on all purchases, with no limit to the miles you can earn. New cardholders will receive a bonus of 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. This is the equivalent of a $400 travel credit! Barclaycard Arrival Plus offers a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months for purchases and balance transfers, with an APR of 14.99-18.99% at the end of that period.

Booking your travel is simple with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. There are no blackout dates or restrictions that apply. For each travel booking, you earn 10% bonus miles, based on the travel spending, making each mile you redeem worth even more. The card is EMV chip enabled, giving you confidence that fraud is unlikely and your personal information is safe. There are also no foreign transaction fees.

Apply Now: Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®

For those who do not want to pay an annual fee, there is another version of the Barclaycard Arrival that offers no annual fee with smaller, yet still substantial travel rewards available. Link: Barclaycard ArrivalTM World MasterCard®



Capital One Venture

Capital One has an excellent option for those who love to travel. The Capital One Venture Rewards card offers two points for every dollar spent on all purchases. Earn an additional 40,000 bonus points by spending $3,000 in the first three months you have the card. There is no limit to the number of points that you can earn. There is no annual fee for the first year, after that you will pay an annual fee of $59. There is no introductory APR rate, the APR is 13.9-20.9%, depending on your credit.

Redeem your Capital One Venture rewards with the No Hassle guarantee for flights, hotels, rental cars, gift cards and more, with no blackout dates or restrictions. Capital One will help you book your travel, or you can use the Purchase Eraser to pay for the cost of booking the travel through an agent. There are no foreign transaction fees to use this card abroad and it comes with smart chip technology. Capital One offers free credit tracking for customers, too, making it easy to stay on top of your credit score.

For those who wish to earn travel rewards without having to pay any annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne card has no annual fee, offers 1.25 points for every dollar spent, and a bonus of 20,000 points for spending only $1,000 in the first three months.



Each of these travel rewards credit cards has something great to offer. If you’re looking for the most rewards possible, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus stands out from the crowd. It offers the highest fixed travel rewards rate in the industry right now, and the flexible process to redeem the points (as well as additional bonuses available when you redeem for travel rewards) makes this our first choice. Take a look for yourself to compare the options, and see if you agree!

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The 5 Best Airline and Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Credit cards for travel rewards are some of the most popular credit cards that are offered. Many people are enticed by the idea of earning a free or super-low-cost vacation, but with so many cards to choose from, how do you know which one is going to offer you the best value?

Luckily, we have reviewed tons of cards and can help you sort through them to find the great ones. Here is a list of what we consider to be the 5 best airline and travel rewards credit cards that are available right now.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard

If you are looking for a great everyday credit card that earns you terrific travel benefits, then this is one you should look at closely. One of the great things about the Barclaycard Arrival card is that you can redeem the points in a totally flexible way, meaning you are not tied to a specific airline or even a group of airlines.

After earning 2 points for every dollar spent, for all purchases, you can redeem the points for any kind of travel. At the end of the year, you get a 10% bonus for all of the travel you have redeemed, giving you a 2.2% rate for points earning.

Consider the 40,000 sign up bonus (worth $400 in travel cash) after spending $3,000 in the first three months, and this card really has a lot to offer someone looking for great travel rewards. You should be aware that there are two versions of this card, one with the $89 annual fee waived for the first year, which is certainly another attractive feature. There is a no-annual fee version, but the perks aren’t as nice.

Apply Now: Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers great potential when it comes to earning big rewards. First of all, you’ll receive 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. And if you play your cards right (pun intended), you can actually earn rewards at a rate of up to 3.75%, in some cases. This happens when you take full advantage of the Ultimate Rewards program for booking your travel, because you get a 20% discount on your travel, making your points worth 1.25 cents for every point you redeem.

Another way to redeem your valuable Ultimate Rewards points is by transferring them out to one of the many travel partners they have to offer, including Hyatt, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and many more.

When you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred for other travel expenses, like hotels and rental cars, you can earn 2 points per dollar spent. While the travel points are huge for this card, the regular spending points remain at a rate of one point per dollar spent, which is average for reward cards. However, for those of you who dine out frequently, you’ll also receive 2 points per dollar spent at restaurants.

Apply Now: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

British Airways Visa

This card makes our list for several reasons. There are some terrific perks, including a great sign up bonus of 50,000 Avios (this is the British Airways currency for rewards points) when you spend only $2,000 in the first three months that you have the card. Plus, you earn 1.25 Avios for every dollar spent, on all purchases. This is increased to 2.25 Avios per dollar as a bonus for all spending on British Airways purchases.

If that’s not enough for you, then take a look at the fact that you can earn a companion ticket each year that you spend $30,000 in a calendar year (this is not a huge amount for those using the card for everyday spending, making $2,500 in purchases per month). Get 10% off for all British Airways purchases. Top security features with chip-and-PIN technology, and no foreign transaction fees round out the package nicely. There is an annual fee of $95, but this is well worth it, especially if you can earn a companion ticket each year.

US Airways Premier World MasterCard

With the US Airways card, you’ll earn 40,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of the $89 annual fee. You can redeem your miles on US Airways or American Airlines, since the airlines are merging. This card will eventually be going away because of the merger, so we recommend that you get it soon if you’re on the fence!

One of the best things about the US Airways Premier World MasterCard is that you get a free companion certificate each year. You can also purchase two additional companion certificates for $99, which you can use on any flight in the continental United States or Canada. Both tickets must be used on the same flight, at the same time. This is a huge discount, and a great option for a family vacation! There is no spending minimum to get this perk, either.

Apply Now: The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier

Earn lots of bonus points with the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card, especially when you get a bonus of 25,000 points after spending only $1,000 in the first 3 months that you have the card. This is enough points to get you a roundtrip ticket on Southwest Airlines, so it sure is a great perk. However, we recommend that you wait until the bonus is higher on this card, as Southwest has been known to double that bonus for a limited time.

The awards that you get when redeeming your points can be as high as 1.4 cents per point earned, which is one of the higher rates in the industry. Each year on your anniversary, you will get a bonus of 6,000 points. The bonus points that you get with this card definitely make it an attractive option.

Shop Around for the Best Deals

There are a few important things to consider when you are looking for a travel rewards card. We have outlined some of the choices that we think are great, but each person may be a little different.

When you get a credit card that is affiliated with a specific airline, remember that you are limited to using your miles on that airline or the airlines in that specific alliance. In contrast, using a card like the Barclaycard Arrival or Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you immense flexibility when it comes to redeeming your travel points any way that you like.

So, consider how you are going to use the card before signing up or being lured by a great bonus offer. If you’re loyal to a specific airline and fly them regularly, then by all means, get their co-branded credit card! It’s all about your travel goals and preferences. As always, we recommend that you read full reviews of these cards before deciding which one is best for you.

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The New Hawaiian Airlines Business MasterCard Review

Who doesn’t like Hawaii?  Besides those afraid of islands and beautiful surroundings, Hawaii is a dream vacation for many on both sides of the Pacific.  With great water, beaches, pineapples, and great golf, it’s a major vacation destination for not only mainlanders but also Japanese tourists due to its ‘Middle of the Pacific’ location.

Hawaiian Airlines seems like a natural airline to fly to the Aloha state, doesn’t it?  But, how do you get the points necessary to fly on Hawaiian?  With a credit card, of course!  And, if you are a small business owner, you can apply for the New Hawaiian Airlines Business MasterCard, in addition to the personal version.  Let’s check out some of the benefits below!

Apply Now: The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®


The Benefits

Sign Up Bonus

Everyone loves a good sign up bonus.  Thankfully, Hawaiian’s business credit card delivers.  By meeting the spend requirement of $1,000 of purchases in 90 days, you will earn you 35,000 miles.  Not too shabby (and, if you pair it up with the personal credit card, that’s another 35,000 miles!).

Bonus Miles

You’ll earn lots of bonus miles with this card if you’re flying Hawaiian Airlines often.  Every dollar spent with the airline will earn two miles, and one mile will be earned for every other purchase.  In addition, special partners on their website can earn you ten points per dollar.  Furthermore, if you spend $50-99,000 in the year of your card, you’ll receive an extra 20,000 miles.  Spend over $100,000, and you’ll earn 40,000 bonus miles.  This is available every year that you own the card, so if you have a business that spends over $100,000 a year, you’ll have plenty of bonus points!

Other Benefits

Are you someone that takes their entire closet with them when they travel?  Well, you’re in luck.  With this credit card, you’ll receive a free checked bag when flying on Hawaiian.  For me flying to Hawaii, all I need is a backpack and a swimsuit, but for others, their entire wardrobe is necessary.

For one-time only, you’ll receive 50% off a companion ticket when you fly from North America in coach.  That’s pretty nice if you want to fly to Hawaii immediately after receiving the card, instead of waiting for the points to deposit into your account.  You’ll also receive 5,000 point discount on all Hawaiian Airlines award redemptions from North America to Hawaii.  Anything helps!


The Nitty Gritty

The card does levy an $89 fee per year, which is not waived.  However, the card does have ‘SmartChip’ technology, which is becoming more and more popular stateside.  Furthermore, if you use the card abroad, there are no foreign transaction fees.   And, the card includes the new “ChipCard” technology, making it easy to use the credit card in places like Europe and South America.



Earning miles in such a niche program may not seem to make a lot of sense to you, but with roundtrips running just 40,000 miles (and sometimes less with discounted awards), a signup bonus is essentially a flight to Hawaii.  Furthermore, with partners like Membership Rewards, which can help you top off your account, and the ability to book awards on ANA, Delta, Korean Air, JetBlue, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia makes this program make sense.  In addition, if you’re on a longer Hawaiian vacation and would like to island hop, intra-island flights run just 7,500 miles.  What do you think?  Is this card worth it?  Let us know in the comments!

Apply Now: The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®

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US Airways MasterCard Benefits to Change in 2015

If you follow the news, then you may already know about the merger between US Airways and American Airlines. This is going to affect the rewards credit cards offered by both of these airlines. Right now, there is still time to use the US Airways Premier World MasterCard, but this won’t last for much longer. There are big changes planned for the US Airways MasterCard, starting in 2015.

Let’s discuss the major changes, and how they may affect your points and travel miles, so that you can make the right decision about the best card for you!


 Apply Now: The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®


New Name, New Bonus Miles and Benefits

At the moment, Barclaycard offers US Airways MasterCard holders a huge bonus of 40,000 miles after their very first purchase. This is a level not often seen with rewards credit cards, and it is quite attractive. The US Airways MasterCard does have an annual fee that is $89, but those 40,000 bonus points are still very valuable, literally like cash in your pocket and will easily offset the annual fee. When you consider that you also get free baggage checking, one $99 companion pass each year, and many discounts on US Airways purchases, this is a great card to have in your wallet.

When the merger is completed, the current US Airways MasterCard will become the American Airlines AAdvantage MasterCard, still through Barclaycard, but with different benefits. You will gain a few benefits, such as a 10% bonus reward on any redemptions of miles, discounts of up to 25% on any in-flight purchases including food, drinks and entertainment, an annual flight discount of $100 if you spend at least $30,000 on the credit card in a year, and the ability to redeem points for upgraded reservations or even one-way tickets.

Despite these great additions, there are some losses to deal with, too. Gone will be the annual $99 companion pass, as well as the First Class check in privilege. You will no longer have any free club pass or discounted membership to the airline lounge. You will not be able to get any bonus for US Airways redemptions, and no preferred mileage for certain spending limits (e.g., 10,000 preferred miles after $25,000 in purchases).


What Are the Damages?

All in all, the changes are not huge, nor are they terrible. Most of the changes will actually be related to booking flights on different airlines, and the new benefits (10% bonus on flight bookings) will hopefully help to offset the other rebates you get currently. For some, the ability to upgrade or use redemptions for one-way tickets is a great change, and one that is well worth any change in check in procedures or exclusion from an airline lounge.

The biggest complaint that seems to be coming from cardholders is the loss of the annual $99 companion ticket. This is a perk that many will hold onto a card for, regardless of any other perks or even other charges. Conveniently, you can still get the companion ticket now, at least until the new changes take effect in 2015. Just keep track of the dates and use it before it expires!



Right now the US Airways MasterCard is a great card with tons of perks. If you do not already have this card and want it, now is the time to get it before the best perks begin to change. When the time does come and the changes happen, it will still be a great card, but perhaps there will be others you would prefer! Stay tuned!

Apply Now: The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®

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Barclays Makes Changes to Arrival Credit Cards

The Barclays Arrival credit cards have already been offering great benefits to card holders, and they have recently announced a few changes that are sure to impress current customers and lure plenty more people to the Barclays camp. Here are the changes that have been made to both versions of the Barclaycard Arrival.

Links to Apply:

Arrival Plus

New Name!

The first change that will be noticed is the name of the card. Barclaycard World Arrival MasterCard will now be known as Barclaycard Arrival Plus. There will be a new card introduced soon, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite, available to those cardholders with the highest level of creditworthiness. The Barclaycard World Arrival MasterCard—No Annual Fee will now simply be called the Barclaycard World Arrival MasterCard. Also, the cards will feature an updated, slick looking design!

New Technology

While the name change will not affect most people in any significant way, the added security features are very important and desirable. Chip technology will be added as a layer of security to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. This will be a chip-plus-pin technology, but can be used as pin-only if that is the available technology. This helps protect cardholders from unauthorized use of their card and will also help to prevent fraud and identity theft.

Longer Redemption Period

Currently, you have 90 days to submit any travel expenses for redemption against your mileage account. The new policies will allow you to redeem your miles for up to 120 days, extending the time frame by a full month. This allows you a little more time to get organized and take care of the necessary submissions. The process is still very simple and seamless, you just have more time to get the job done!

Enjoy a Wider Range of Travel Redemption Options

Why limit yourself to only airline and hotel exchanges for points? The Barclaycard now includes bus, taxi, timeshare, limo, campgrounds, and many tourist attractions in their category of “travel expenses,” which allows you greater flexibility when redeeming your miles!

Many Great Features Remain the Same!

These new features are just that—new features. Cardholders will still be enjoying the many great benefits of the Barclays cards, including huge sign on bonuses of 40,000 or 20,000 miles, depending on which version of the card you have (the Plus version or regular version). You will have easy access to your FICO score at any time when you access your online account. There are no foreign transaction fees.

And, you will get your annual 10% bonus of mileage points added to your account each year based on your yearly travel mileage accruals. Enjoy anytime access to an online shopping portal which offers you great deals and discounts, as well as even more bonus points.


The new additions to the Barclays card are great ones, particularly the security features like the chip and pin technology. With the easy access to self checkouts, credit card fraud is on the rise. No signature is verified at these kiosk stations, so requiring the use of a pin will help protect card holders on another level. Also, Barclays used to offer an introductory 0% APR, but this is not currently available.

The added features help to offset this little drawback. All in all, this card offers huge opportunities to accumulate and use mileage points, with a redemption rate of 2.22% after you figure in all of the bonuses you will receive for travel redemption. That is certainly one of the highest in the industry, currently. Even if you keep this card for the short term and pay no annual fee for the first year, the bonuses that you get can make it worth your while!

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Which Credit Cards Offer Your Credit Score for Free?

Getting your credit score often requires you to pay a fee, or apply for a loan or credit card without knowing exactly where you stand. But, that is all about to change! Some credit cards are now offering free credit scores, and they are printing them right on the credit card statements.

Because knowing your credit score, and monitoring it carefully should be so important, some banks are now making this one of the regular options for their customers. Barclays, Discover and First Bankcard are leading the way, letting their customers know what their credit score is—at no extra cost to the customer!

1. Discover 

Discover is the first credit card company to offer the credit score right on the statement, for Discover it® cardholders. Other Discover cards are expected to follow suit soon, and provide the same information for their customers. With a FICO score appearing on your credit card statement each month, it is incredibly easy to keep close tabs on the number.

Should it go up or down, you can quickly evaluate why this happened (e.g., if it goes down slightly when you get a new loan or incur large credit card debts, or go up after you pay off a loan or debt). Barclays and First Bankcard customers can get their credit score easily, just by logging into their website.

2. Barclays

Following in the footsteps of Discover, Barclays is now giving customers easy access to their credit scores. Customers can access their scores by logging into their online Barclays account. Not only are they providing credit scores, they are offering some great tools that help to monitor your spending and track patterns. This is a huge advantage for those trying to create or maintain a healthy budget and keep track of where their money goes each month. Information is available about spending habits for a full 12 months, which allows you to really make sure you are staying on track.

In addition, you can sign up for free credit alerts, and be notified when your credit score changes. With credit card fraud being at an all-time high, this provides a great layer of security.

3. First Bankcard

Another bank that is taking steps to help consumers keep better track of their credit scores and financial health is First National Bank. First Bankcard can now access their credit scores by logging into the website at any time. First National Bank offers tools to help customers understand what might be affecting their credit score, and gives some tips about how to raise it. By taking charge of your financial health, First National Bank realizes you will be a better customer and a better consumer. Information is power!

Why Knowing Your Score Matters

When it comes to your credit score, knowledge is power. Having information that includes your exact credit score means that you can really make some important changes and moves toward improving your credit score, perhaps even helping you move from “fair” to “good” or even “excellent.” It’s easy to ignore a bad credit score when you have to work hard to find out what it is, or pay money. When it appears right on your statement, or you can check it regularly by logging into a website, you are faced with the numbers—which can inspire you to improve it when necessary!

Your FICO score is calculated based on multiple factors, and ranges from 300-850, with higher being better. The higher your credit score, the better the credit card interest rates and loan rates you will be eligible for.

Apply For Credit—Worry Free!

Knowing your credit score can take a lot of the worry and wonder out of applying for a new loan. For instance, if you are in the market for a new car, the salesman may ask you if you know your credit score. Although some people do keep tabs, having it reported to you each month means you will know the exact answer to the question. You will have a much better idea of whether or not you will qualify for the loan, or what kind of interest rate you can expect, when you are fully aware of your credit score. This is usually the number that your approval and interest rate is based on, and probably the most important deciding factor.

What it All Means

Don’t become too terribly obsessed with your credit score when it appears on your statement every month, but do pay some attention to make sure it doesn’t vary widely or change dramatically. Worrying about a few points here and there is not really worth your time or energy.

More importantly, customers should make sure that they are reviewing their entire credit report at least once per year to make certain that all of the information is correct and that there are no errors that need to be addressed. You can check it for free annually at Keep in mind, this will not provide your actual credit score. For an idea of your score, you’ll need to use a site like or, or hold one of the above mentioned credit cards.

The free credit score that is reported on your Discover statement or on the Barclays or First Bankcard websites is going to be a number that is based on the three different numbers, but derived in a slightly different manner through FICO, not the credit bureaus.

Bottom line: Responsible consumers stay on top of their credit, have a good sense of how much money they owe, and are aware of all loans and credit card accounts that are open in their name. Discover it continues to make it as easy as possible, by providing the FICO score right on the monthly statement, with no need to log into any account. But, with other banks providing this type of online access, more consumers are able to keep close tabs on their finances. Once it becomes difficult to keep track of the information, you probably have too much open credit and it is time to clean up that credit report!

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How to Redeem Barclaycard Arrival Miles

 The Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® has really taken the travel world by storm.  Its great benefits, easy points earning (at two points per dollar for every dollar spent, it makes it easy to know how much you’re earning), as well no foreign transaction fees makes it a great card.  However, when it comes time to use those hard-earned points, what do you do?  Let’s check out just how to do that below!


How This Differs from Other Credit Cards

Many other points-earning credit cards deal with redeeming points and miles a little differently than the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®.  They often require you to transfer points to their co-branded partner or list of partners, and then use a pre-determined redemption rate and find award availability to book your flight.  Not so with this card.  With Barclaycard, all you have to do is use your card to book any travel that you want.  You’ll even earn points on the purchase!

This way of purchasing your award travel is great, since you can use special discounts that you have, like travel vouchers, to reduce the final cost of your flight or hotel.


Redeeming Your Points

Once you’ve made your purchase, you’ll want to redeem your points on it!  You’ll probably have a lot of points lying around, with the 40,000 point sign-up bonus you received by spending $3,000 in three months.  This is good for a $400 travel purchase.  So, to redeem, you’ll go to the “Rewards” section of the site and then “pay yourself back for travel.”  You’ll see another option for cash back, but by redeeming for travel, you’ll receive 10% of the redeemed points back.  Those are refunded to you instantly.  Any travel purchase in the last 90 days will show up as eligible to redeem.

Another cool feature that this card offers is partial payment for a charge.  So, you’ll be able to use any leftover points (in 2,500 point increments, or $25) to pay for a larger charge.



The Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® is certainly a versatile and customer-friendly credit card.  In addition to the ease of redeeming for your travel above, you’ll receive free FICO scoring, a TripIt Pro subscription, and no foreign transaction fees.

I think the above post really speaks for itself, but in case it didn’t, this credit card is really, really customer friendly.  Having the flexibility to book any flight that you wish, no matter how expensive or how off-the-beaten track, and use your points in 2,500 point increments is a very nice perk.  In addition, having ten percent of your points refunded back to you instantly when redeeming for travel purchases allows you to use your points more efficiently and a lot faster!  This credit card is certainly in the 21st century!

So, what do you think?  Do you believe that the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® makes it easy for you to redeem your points, or do you believe other cards are more worthy?  Please let me know below in the comments!  I love a good debate!