Arrival+

After a Year of Travel Hacking…

First off, this post is a bit late!  I’ve been running around a lot September and October, and haven’t had the time to get this post together until today.

I consider the day I applied for the Barclaycard Arrival+ to be the true beginning of my travel hacking journey.  That means as of September 24th, 2016, I’ve been addicted for exactly one year.  So, this post is a month overdue.

It just so happens that I’m wrapping up my year of travel hacking coming from last weekend at the Chicago Seminars.  I’ll write up a bit more about this event soon, but it’s basically a conference for travel hacking, run by some great FlyerTalk folks.  What better way to commemorate one year in the game?

If you remember, I was spurred into this new hobby by my trip to Peru last year.  It was nothing short of eye-opening.  I knew I wanted to travel more.

I had caught the travel bug.

I also knew I didn’t want to pay big money for travel, like everyone else seems to think you have to.  Travel hacking enabled me to meet both of those goals:  travel and frugality.  Using the miles gained from the sign up bonus on that first card, and a bit more everyday spending, I cashed in those Arrival+ miles for $500 towards flights to Florida to see some of the family, and enjoy a few days at Disney World.

Let’s see where I’m at now, shall we?

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Florida & Disney 2016

As I mentioned a last week, I planned a little trip to Florida for the end of February!  The main idea was to visit some family that lives outside of Orlando, but it kind of fused with some more family staying at Walt Disney World the same week.  Since they live out in South Dakota, I jumped at the opportunity to get everyone together.  One of the first times we’ve had the South Dakota family, Florida family, and Boston family together in a long time, and only the second time in my son’s life!

Obviously, we couldn’t leave without spending a bit of time at Disney World with them…

We’ve also benefited hugely from the South Dakotans on this trip.  They do Disney (in part to visit the Floridians) almost every year, so they know the all the ropes.  I do not.  And Disney has a whole mess of ropes to learn.

Give me a timeframe, location (read:  not Disney), and budget and I’ll plan you a great trip!  But Disney?  Kind of complicated…and expensive.

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How I Didn’t Pay for Disney

I just got back from a short trip, surprise!  I flew out of Providence last week to spend some time with family in the Orlando area.  We also spent a few days at Disney World!

Of course, there are some other places I would have liked to check off my list first, but it was great to see everyone.  Some family from South Dakota made the trek as well, so I was excited to go!

That’s the good news.

The bad news?  I started booking this trip before I really got into travel hacking.  This means I spent, ahem, a less than ideal amount of money on the trip.  I could have absolutely maximized my value from points and miles, and then gotten to Disney for much less.  There are plenty of people out there saving buckets of money on Disney trips, and I wanted to brainstorm a bit on how to spend less at Disney too.  Who knows, maybe I’ll go again one of these days!

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How to Pay for Delta Flights

Hey everyone!

So remember a few days ago, when my brother decided to go to Hawaii next month?  I took on the responsibility, nay, honor, of booking and planning the flights.  Part of the deal included getting to charge the purchase to one of my cards.  My first reaction was “Oh no!  I don’t have a Delta credit card!”

I wanted to make sure I got the most “mileage” out of the purchase though, so I evaluated the cards in my wallet.

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UPDATE: RadPad

Hi everyone!  I have exciting news for those of you looking to increase your ability for monthly spend.  You know how I just posted about RadPad?  You already forgot?!  Sheesh, it was only last night..

Well, I should have waited another day, because I just heard news about RadPad, explaining some new information:

Using a MasterCard credit card now only incurs a 1.99% fee.

I know it doesn’t sound like much, but this is a big deal!  Hear me out:

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Redeeming Barclaycard Arrival+ Miles

After I hit my first official churn on my Barclaycard Arrival+, I decided to put all those points to good use.  I had previously charged some Southwest flights and a down payment on a Disney vacation to my Arrival+, and both of these transactions were eligible for redemption.  In reality, all transactions are eligible for redemption, but you should really only use your points for travel related statement credits, as these offer the best value.  Both the Southwest and the Disney purchase qualified.

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My First Official Churn!

This is just a small post to commemorate my first official credit card churn!

As you might have seen, I recently opened a Barclaycard Arrival+, and was aiming to hit the $3,000 spend much sooner than the obligatory 90 day period.  Well, I just did!  Over 42,000 Barclay miles posted to my account today, only 33 days after I received my card, and 39 days after I opened the account.  40,000 miles were from the promotion, and the rest was from regular spending.  I should mention that the miles were added to my account the day before the transaction even posted to my account.  I hit the spend so early in part due to a new job, where I’m able to purchase things for work personally, and then get reimbursed.

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First Impressions: Barclaycard Arrival+ World Mastercard

Application Process

The Barclaycard Arrival+ application process was the same as any other online credit card application.  I was approved instantly upon completion of the application for a $5,000 credit line.  Not bad I thought, but definitely not as high as a few other cards I’ve had.

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