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Saying Goodbye to the Arrival Plus
As many of you know, Barclay’s decided to gut their flagship product the Arrival Plus about a month ago. Some will argue that they only made minor tweaks, but to me, they ripped out the few small details that put this product over the top as an everyday spend card.
We now live in a world of Discover Double Cashback promotions, products that pay up to 2.625% back and amazing retention offers from Citi. There is just no reason for anyone to pay an $89 annual fee for an Arrival Plus card anymore.
No Fee Waiver & A Forced Breakage
The annual fee on my Arrival Plus hit early in July and I did give them a ring to see if they were willing to do anything about it given the recent devaluation. As has been the case for a lot of people lately, I was denied a credit. After one more attempt, I began coming up with a strategy as to how to best liquidate my Arrival points.
The truth is, the redemption system is a weakness of Barclay’s program, especially given the recent changes. It is complicated and designed to force you to leave money on the table (breakage). While I was able to get most of money out under the old rules, once the new minimum redemption guidelines are in effect, it will become much more difficult.
Closing the Card
After making my “travel redemptions” (including a redemption against the annual fee), I called Barclay’s and told the agent that I wanted to close my Arrival Plus card. The agent was more than happy to do that for me and didn’t once attempt to save my business other than a brief mention of a downgrade option. There would be no downgrade of course and she closed my card as requested.
Is This the End
The truth is my title is a little misleading since I do still have an AAdvantage Aviator Red card with Barclay’s, although I think I will be cancelling that when the annual fee comes due as well. With that said, there is one thing I still love about the Arrival Plus card and I don’t think that thing is a secret. I’m sure it will lure me back eventually, you know with that first year waived annual fee and all.
Honestly this is all part of my overall strategy when it comes to Barclay’s. They have tightened up on approvals for a lot of people lately, so it is best to cool my relationship for awhile. Since they don’t have a restriction on getting the same product again, perhaps I’ll look into getting something else around the time my Aviator card comes due.
As a miles & points blogger, I often put my opinions and thoughts out there in a genuine way. When I trashed Barclay’s for the changes to the Arrival Plus, I meant it. Now I have put my money where my mouth is. If you are thinking about paying the annual fee on your Arrival Plus then please back slowly away from the ledge and try to explain why. Why would you do that?
Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.