October 3, 2013
In the recent post “The single best credit card and why my favorite cards didn’t make the list,” I made a mistake. I originally said that the Arrival card earns 2.2% towards travel and 2% towards everything else. Well, not so much. Readers promptly corrected me and I edited the post. Yes, when redeeming for travel, the card effectively gives you 2.2% rewards as follows:
- All purchases earn 2 points per dollar.
- Points can be redeemed for statement credit against travel expenses at a rate of 1 cent per point.
- When you redeem for travel expenses, you are given a 10% point rebate.
So, if you spend $10,000 on the card, you’ll earn 20,000 points. Those points can be used to pay for $200 worth of travel, and then you’ll get 2000 points back, which in turn can be used to pay for $20 worth of travel, and then you’ll get 200 points back, etc. So, this card really gives a 2.2222…% return towards travel.
What if you prefer cash? In that case, you can redeem points for half a cent each. If you do that, the card gives you only 1% cash back for your purchases. Given that there are no-fee cards that offer 1.5% cash back, that’s a really terrible redemption.
The morals of the story are:
- Always use the Arrival card points for travel redemptions.
- Always do research before writing a blog post. I’m not promising anything though…