The Points Guy mentioned yesterday that he has information the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® will be increasing the minimum spend required to receive the sign-up bonus. He doesn’t know when, only that it’s soon.
You really shouldn’t care. Don’t move up your next round of applications. Don’t rush out to apply. Don’t do anything differently than you would have the day before.
As I touched on during my comparison of three Alaska Airlines credit card offers last week, most people fall into two extremes: they spend just enough on regular expenses ($1,000 to $3,000 a month) to meet most credit card minimum spends without serious effort, or they utilize manufactured spend to amplify that capacity by an order of magnitude. The Barclaycard Arrival
currently has a minimum spend of only $1,000 over three months in order to unlock a bonus worth as much as $440 toward free travel. Update: The new minimum spend requirement is $3,000 over three months.
Even if the minimum spend increases to $3,000 in three months as The Points Guy claims, that can still be easily accomplished — for free — using Amazon Payments. And you’ll still have all your regular expenses to continue helping you on your way toward the minimum spend requirements on other cards.
What would cause me to worry? News about a lower sign-up bonus. The Lufthansa Miles & More card typically offers only 20,000 bonus miles but has a couple bumps during the year when it reaches 50,000 for a short time. The British Airways Visa card typically offers 50,000 miles and may occasionally offer 100,000 with a higher minimum spend requirement. And the various Southwest Airlines cards rotate through 25,000 and 50,000 offers much more quickly (or maybe it just seems that way because there are four of them).
These are cards where I would jump in quickly when the offer goes up. The recent 100K offer from British Airways lasted less than a day. But the Barclaycard Arrival has been at 40,000 points for many months, and even with the rumors now circulating appears likely to stay there. I don’t see any logic in raising the minimum spend AND lowering the sign-up bonus.
Because the Barclaycard Arrival is such a great card, a lower bonus would worry me quite a bit. Those 40,000 points are worth $400 as a statement credit for any ticket you purchase, through almost any merchant. You can even use it to reimburse the fuel surcharges on an award ticket! And then it gets better because you get 10% of your points back to use again, for another $40. And if you use your card beyond the sign-up bonus, you’ll continue to get 2 points for every dollar — the equivalent of a 2.2% cash back card if you remember to always redeem your points for travel.