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Established Contributor
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Registered: ‎05-26-2013
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Amex BSky vs. Barclay Arrival

You guys/gals are awesome...reading a lot of post for weeks, joined today (it's raining here anyway!! LOL) Question, applied for a Capital One ventureone card and was denied, not loving cap1 (and I already have the more cash card) wanted a "travel card" for any airline/hotel etc. other than my amex paltinum......so looking now at the Sky amex or the Barclay arrival (free version, I already pay a AF on amex) so which one is better? or subjectively which one has the edge? Any help from you all would be appreciated.....Thanks


Contributor
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎08-13-2008
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Re: Amex BSky vs. Barclay Arrival

hands down barclays wins from a pure rewards aspect. 1.1 general spend/2.2 dining and travel vs. 1.33 per dollar spent.  If you will be spending on travel, it will fall under the 2.2 from barclays. additionally barclays has a better signup bonus.  Some may say barclays has poor custimer service, but ive not had an issue yet and i like their website better than amex's site.  For a pure travel and dining card, barclays arrival no fee version is solid.  i know blue sky has a forex fee and i dont know about barclays arrival, so at worst its a wash or the arrival will come out ahead again.  Since u have a plat, id imagine u value a MR point >1.33, so you really have no need for sky at all.

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Established Contributor
Posts: 692
Registered: ‎05-26-2013
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Re: Amex BSky vs. Barclay Arrival

cool thanks for the comparison...I thought of amex because they like me (credit wise) and although I have two cards already with Barclay (NFL and iTunes) figured they might not approve yet another account....


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Posts: 288
Registered: ‎08-24-2010
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Re: Amex Blue Sky vs. Barclay Arrival

VentureOne is a so-so card, so don't feel bummed that you didn't get it.  The Venture (blue card) would have been a better card even with the annual fee of $59.

 

Don't even bother with either version of the Amex Blue Sky's. The only real reward to those cards is just the plan old backdating. The blue sky preferred almost got me to bite on it with its annual $100 allowance for travel incidental but then I noticed that you only get 2x when you purchase directly from airline, hotels, and car rental agencies. That means the priceline, travelocity, Hotwire, etc don't get 2x. So for me that was a nail in the coffin for that. Other poster is right that you were are essentially already earning that 1.33 with the platinum so the blue sky makes not sense. 

 

I'd say go for the Barclay Arrival World MC w/annual fee (Free for the first year and get 2x on all purchases) get the 40K sign up bonus and downgrade at the end of the year before annual fee hits. What I like most is that even when you downgrade to the no annual free card you're still going to get 2x on all travel and 1x on every thing else. I also like that Barclays doesn't stipulate that you have to purchase directly from carriers, rental agencies, or hotels.

 

BofA Travel Rewards is an okay card too if you bank with. EMV chip, no FTF, Earns 1.5X on all purchases including travel and 3X for travel purchases through BofA's portal. If you bank with BofA you get a 10% bonus on your miles earned every year too. This one also charges no annual fee. If you don't bank with BofA then I would take the INQ hit for Barclay Arrival. 

 

Let us know know your outcome!


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Established Contributor
Posts: 692
Registered: ‎05-26-2013
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Re: Amex Blue Sky vs. Barclay Arrival

thanks mauwow0682, i have a hate hate relationship with BoA so would not even consider them, bad customer service to me, after years of being a customer...the blue backdating thing (which I am new here but think it has something to do with member since date (?) ) I could care less about. BUT they did say 7500 points gets $100 award so figured that wasnt bad...I use the MR from plat. for non travel stuff  - so this card would be my travel points card. Arrival gives you a "rebate" when you cash in on a reward so I was figuring they are kinda the same (was totally not sure about the cash in, I saw somewhere that you have to use 7500 points even if the "reward"  is under $100 so you could lose points...not sure about arrival, was not looking to have another card with a AF BUT you logic about downgrading in a year is kinda cool...I will think about it more now, just still not sure how Barclay is about multiple accounts....again love the info and insight thanks!


Frequent Contributor
Posts: 288
Registered: ‎08-24-2010
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Re: Amex Blue Sky vs. Barclay Arrival

Haha, I totally understand your feelings about BofA. I take the approach with them that less is more. I strictly only have an ebanking account with them and all my bills payout of that account so I don't really have to deal with them in person or over the phone at all. All other banking is done at my local credit union here in Portland, OR. 

 

This is directly from AMEX blue sky sight. 

 

**** Redemption requests must be made within 60 days from the closing date shown on the billing statement on which the travel purchase first appears. Points may be redeemed for eligible travel purchases only in increments of 7,500 points. Each 7,500-point increment is equal to a statement credit of up to the amount of the eligible travel purchase capped at $100. You will not receive a point refund or credit for any excess points redeemed. Redemption for eligible travel purchases typically appears as a statement credit 6-8 weeks after your redemption request is processed.*****

 

Barclays allows you to redeem at 2500 or $25 increments so more flexible than Amex.  Both cards do statement credit reimbursement for travel charges. You don't get acutal rebates back to you. 

 

Like I said before the annual fee card does not charge the annual fee the first year. Nothing to lose and $400 in travel credits to earn after 1k spending. This card is mentioned on Flyertalk message boad and they break down the card pretty good as far as value. 


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Registered: ‎02-07-2013
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Re: Amex Blue Sky vs. Barclay Arrival

Barclay arrival with out a second look Smiley Wink

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