Sign-Up Bonus and Earning Rate
Beginning with a sign up bonus after your standard purchase amount within the required months (see above), you’ll be well on your way with travel credit ready to be redeemed.
The rewards rate on this card is a solid 2 points per $1 spent, with no limits and no restricted categories.
Other cards cap out the rewards at a certain dollar amount per category, or restrict the categories in which you can earn the higher rewards rate. But here, you get a nice 2x deal everywhere!
Bottom Line: The Arrival Plus card earns 2x points for all purchases and costs $89 per year.
Card Benefits and Value
This is a travel rewards card, meaning you’ll earn the points as account credit you can apply towards travel related purchases.
Once you have enough, simply go into your account and apply the credit to your statement.
This card also gives you a 5% rebate for all redeemed points, making the value of the rewards rate equal out to 2.1 points per dollar.
Unlike some other cards, it allows you to earn miles while making your travel purchase and then apply those earned miles right back to your statement, while additionally earning a 5% rebate.
Value Compared to Other Cards
Contrast this to an airline or hotel card which deposits earned miles into the appropriate loyalty program account: when redeeming, you are taking points out but none are going back in.
Here, your redemptions are worth $0.01 per mile when redeeming for travel. This is a very standard evaluation that isn’t the worst you will find, but it also isn’t the best.
Great for Flexible Travelers
A world traveler likes flexibility, and you’ll get that with this card.
First, it has no foreign transaction fees and includes chip technology. So no matter where you are, your card will likely be accepted and continue to bring home points.
If you’re in Hong Kong and you want to travel to Thailand on a budget, you can look around for the best deals and book them all through your Arrival Plus card.
Then, redeem the miles back as statement credit, collect your rebate points, and keep going.
You won’t have to deal directly with specific airlines or hotels, but if you’re going to book through a third party it may be worth a call to confirm this will count as reimbursable.
Travel Reimbursement for Hotels, Airlines, and More…With a Caveat
Your redemption options don’t stop at airfare or hotels, either. There is a long list of items you can use your rewards for, including timeshares, cruises, discount travel sites, and most public transportation options.
Be warned though: you have to redeem for a minimum of $100 and can only apply against a purchase once, so we recommend applying your credit toward larger purchases. As always, planning is the key.
If you just aren’t traveling or using the card anymore, you do have the option to redeem for other statement credit or gift cards, but doing so cuts the value of the points in half (5000 points for $25), so we don’t recommend doing this.
Other Card Benefits
If you need a balance transfer, you can transfer to this card and enjoy 12 months of interest-free balance after the fee.
You won’t earn any points for this, so it’s not highly recommended unless you know you’ll be able to pay it off after the 12 months. Other low-interest credit cards also offer 0% APR on purchases, but no such luck with the Arrival Plus card.
Next, let’s talk about the Luxury Travel Benefits. These are actually MasterCard benefits made available to certain cardmembers.
They offer basic benefits, “World” benefits, and finally this card’s “World Elite” benefits. It basically includes all the other travel benefits in addition to some extras.
- Free business class upgrades on participating airlines with purchase of a full-price economy ticket
- Hotel room upgrades with SPG and other hotel partners
- Airline discounts up to 30%
- A complimentary companion ticket with a full-fare business class purchase
- Cruise discounts up to $500
- And many more!
Still Collect Your Loyalty Points From Your Travel Partners
It’s worth explicitly noting that you can still be a member of all the different loyalty programs and try to focus your travel on specific partners to further maximize your travel benefits.
You’ll continually be paying for everything with this card and earning card miles, but points earned through the loyalty programs still accrue into those accounts to be used later as well.
This can be an even more powerful strategy if you want to move past the beginner stage!