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Barclays Arrival Premier cardholders now have Aeroplan as their ninth points transfer partner. While this is exciting news, it might not be the best use of your rewards points. Find out when it makes sense to transfer your points to Aeroplan and how to maximize the Arrival Premier benefits.
The Arrival Premier card also waives its $150 annual fee for the first year now. Check out this post if you want a travel credit card with no annual fee.
About the Barclays Arrival Premier Aeroplan
As you already know, the Arrival Premier earns 2x points on every dollar spent. Plus, you have the opportunity to earn up 25,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $25,000 in a year when you reach these annual spending milestones:
- Spend $15,000 annually and get 15,000 bonus points
- Spend $25,000 annually to get an additional 10,000 points for 25,000 total bonus points
If you spend $25,000 a year to earn the maximum bonus, you will receive 75,000 rewards points that can be redeemed for the following awards:
- Travel statements credits
- Airline miles transfers
- Cash statement credits
- Gift cards
In addition to the flat-rate rewards program, Barclays also reimburses your Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee. You can gain discounted access to airport lounges with their Lounge Key benefits.
Should You Transfer Your Arrival Premier Miles to Aeroplan?
Currently, the Arrival Premier has nine airline transfer partners when you include Aeroplan.
Having nine transfer partners sounds impressive, but none of them are 1:1 transfer partners. With Aeroplan, the current transfer ratio is 1.7:1. You need to exchange 1.7 Arrival Premier miles for a single Aeroplan mile.
While it’s nice to have multiple redemption options, point transfers aren’t the best redemption option with your Arrival Premier. Until the transfer ratio equalizes to a 1:1 exchange, you’re almost always better off redeeming your miles for a travel statement credit.
When to Transfer Arrival Premier Miles to Aeroplan
When you redeem your miles for a statement credit, each mile is always worth one cent each. In other words, you can redeem 10,000 Arrival Premier miles for a $100 travel statement credit. This is your benchmark rate. You should only transfer your miles when they are worth more than one cent each.
Assuming your miles are only worth one cent each, you will need 17,000 Arrival Premier miles to book a $100 Aeroplan flight.
Thankfully, most airline miles are usually worth at least 2 cents each for award flights. When this is the case, you would only need 5,000 Aeroplan miles to book a $100 flight or 8,500 Barclays Arrival Premier miles.
A Better Way To Transfer Miles to Aeroplan
If you’re serious about transferring your credit card rewards to Aeroplan, you should get a credit card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points. Aeroplan is a 1:1 transfer partner, so you essentially get double the value from each point.
American Express might not have a flat-rate 2x travel rewards card yet, but you have plenty of other options:
- Platinum Card from American Express
- Premier Rewards Gold from American Express
- Amex EveryDay Card from American Express
All of these cards offer tiered rewards. You might even prefer these cards more if you can maximize the bonus categories and additional travel benefits. Even though the Barclays Arrival Premier comes with complimentary Global Entry application fee reimbursement, the Platinum Card offers airport lounge membership and a $200 air travel credit.
The Best Aeroplan Redemption Options
Until June 2020, your Aeroplan miles can be redeemed on Air Canada flights. After this date, Air Canada will become an independent frequent flyer program.
For now, you can redeem your miles with the following airlines:
- Air Canada
- Star Alliance members (United, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, etc.)
- Domestic Canadian airline partners
Roundtrip Flights in Canada and USA for 15,000 Miles
For short-haul flights in Canada and the continental United States, you can book a round-trip flight for 15,000 miles (7,500 miles each way). With a legacy carrier, you might spend 10,000 miles each way for a short-haul flight. If you can redeem your Aeroplan miles for a domestic flight and scoop up a bargain, it can be worth the transfer.
Book United Flights
Because United is a Star Alliance partner, you have a backdoor way of booking United Airlines award flights without owning a Chase Sapphire Preferred, which is a 1:1 United transfer partner.
Another advantage of booking United award flights is that you can avoid the fuel surcharges that are charged by most international airlines for long-haul flights. If you are in the process of planning a European vacation and either have the Barclays Arrival Premier or an Amex Membership Rewards card, consider booking partner flights to save some points. You’ll save some cash if you can go through United because they don’t charge a fuel surcharge on trans-Atlantic flights.
Roundtrip Business Flights to Europe for 110,000 Miles
If you prefer saving your award flights for business class flights, one of your best options is 110,000 miles roundtrip in business class. This can be more affordable than booking directly through United and other international airlines. Once again, you can skip the fuel surcharge by picking the right airline partner.
Stopover and Open Jaw Award Flights
Aeroplan has one of the most flexible policies for a stopover and open jaw award flights. When you fly across the Atlantic or the Pacific ocean, you can pursue one of these options:
- Two stopovers
- One stopover and one open jaw
You will have to return to the same country your award trip originates in, but this is one of the easiest ways to tour multiple cities or countries.
Infant Award Seats
You might decide to fly with an infant in arms to save some cash because you don’t want to buy another seat. Aeroplan actually has a very generous infant award seat program.
There’s a flat-rate fee regardless of which zones you’re traveling between:
- Economy class: $50 or 5,000 miles
- Premium economy class: $75 or 7,500 miles
- Business class: $100 or 10,000 Aeroplan miles
- First class: $125 or 12,500 Aeroplan miles
To book an infant award seat, call Aeroplan customer service at 1-800-361-5273.
Summary of the Barclays Arrival Premier Aeroplan Addition
Being able to transfer your Barclays Arrival Premier points to Aeroplan is an exciting possibility. Because of the 1.7:1 exchange ratio, you should only transfer your miles if they’re more valuable than the travel statement credit. If not, book the flight, earn the bonus miles, and redeem them for the travel statement credit to save more money.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.