Are you using a travel agent to book your family vacation?
If so you’re way ahead of the game as you’re likely already saving big off of a trip you could book on your own.
But if you think that locks you out of the additional huge savings from using rewards points, we’re here to show you how easy it can be to save even more. Follow the four quick steps below to save $480+ on your vacation!
A Travel Rewards Credit Card to the Rescue
The most flexible of all travel rewards credit cards are known as the “fixed value” credit cards where you use these cards to pay for your travel expense and then you log into your card account after the fact to redeem your “miles” for a statement credit reducing your credit card bill.
It could not be easier to do this and “travel agencies and tour operators” are considered travel expenses for our favorite ‘fixed value’ credit card:
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® for Travel Agent Savings:
Let’s use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus as an example.
- Open a Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®. It should arrive in the mail in a few business days.
- Visit or call your travel agent and pay for your vacation with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
- Reach the $3,000 total minimum spending requirement on the credit card (be sure to pay your credit card off on time and in full every month). The vacation you booked can be part of this minimum spending requirement, so this will likely get you most or all of the way to the $3,000 spending requirement to trigger your bonus.
- Log into your credit card online account and you should see a minimum of 5,000 Arrival Miles (bonus details below). You have up to 120 after the fact to redeem these miles against the “travel expense” for at least $483 off your credit card bill.
That’s like getting an 18% discount on your $3,000 vacation just by being smart and using this one credit card to simply pay for your vacation!
Simple as can be.
Since you have up to 120 days after the travel purchase to redeem your miles back against the travel expense, so that gives you time to accumulate even more points.
One Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® will save you at least $483 on your vacation.
Keep in mind that each adult can open up a credit card in their name and SSN to further increase the savings. If you each open one of these cards, you would need to split the travel expense across the two credit cards, but that shouldn’t be a problem since you likely will pay for your vacation in installments, or your friendly travel agent would almost certainly let you pay for the trip with two credit cards.
That will net you at least $1,120 off this vacation through your travel agent!
- Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
- Earn 2X miles on all purchases
- Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
- Annual fee: $89 – waived the first year
Our review of this card actually yields a larger value than Barclaycard mentions in their language. Each point is worth 1 cent towards a travel statement credit, so the total value equals:
- $400 for 40,000 bonus points
- $60 for the 6,000 miles you earn on your $3,000 spending ($3,000 x 2 = 6,000 miles)
- $23 for the 5% miles Barclaycard gives you back towards your next redemption (every time you redeem)
- $483 Total Value
“Travel Statement Credit Defined”
The FAQ page says:
“How do you define travel? A travel redemption is defined as: airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, purchase and travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, and ferries as defined by the merchant category code.”
In the merchant category code listing, “Travel Agencies and Tour Operators” are listed as code 4722; I’ve spoken with numerous travel agencies and I have yet to find one that isn’t coded as 4722.
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