Barclays has added a new transfer partner for the Arrival Premier: Aeroplan. This is an interesting addition, and probably not in the way that Barclays would have hoped. Considering the fact that Aeroplan will cease to be the loyalty program of Air Canada in 2020, and there are cards that earn more Aeroplan miles with a lower fee on the market, adding Aeroplan as a transfer partner isn’t much of an improvement. However, on the bright side, it’s at least great to see Barclays adding to the stable of transfer partners pretty early on.
- Barclays has added Aeroplan as a transfer partner of the Arrival Plus. The transfer ratio is 1.7 Arrival “miles” to 1 Aeroplan mile (same as JAL)
As a reminder, here are the current airline transfer partners/ratios:
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- China Eastern
- EVA Air
- Japan Airlines (JAL)
- Jet Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- + Aeroplan
Transfer ratio (for all except JAL & Aeroplan): 1.4 Arrival miles to 1 airline mile
- At 2X earnings, this means earning 1.43 airline miles per dollar
- At 3X earnings (spend exactly $15K or $25K per year), this means earning 2.14 airline miles per dollar
Transfer ratio for Japan Airlines (JAL) and Aeroplan: 1.7 Arrival miles to 1 airline mile
- At 2X earnings, this means earning 1.17 JAL / Aeroplan miles per dollar
- At 3X earnings (spend exactly $15K or $25K per year), this means earning 1.76 JAL / Aeroplan miles per dollar
That’s not as bad as it sounds since you’re earning between 1.17-1.76 airline miles per dollar everywhere if you spend at least $15K per year on the card. I’ve done a post before on how the Arrival Premier is actually the best card on the market for earning JAL miles (despite the fact that you might initially think the SPG card is better, at least before August, it’s not better for earning JAL miles). See: Was I crazy in saying that the Arrival Premier can be interesting?
However, it’s not good, either. Since unlike JAL, Aeroplan is also a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, there are a lot more cards on the market that can earn Aeroplan miles. In fact, you could earn 2x Membership Rewards points everywhere on your first $50K in purchases each year with the Blue Business Plus card (which has no annual fee) and those points transfer 1:1 to Aeroplan. There are even occasional 25-35% transfer bonuses from Membership Rewards that would bump up your earnings. Using the Arrival Premier with an aim toward earning Aeroplan miles just doesn’t make sense in comparison unless you will max out the $50K spend on the Blue Business Plus.
Also keep in mind that as noted above, Air Canada’s agreement with Aeroplan will end in 2020. At that point, the value of Aeroplan miles is expected to plummet. If you’re interested in Aeroplan miles, they aren’t really a long game at this point, rather you would want them now or in the near future — whereas the Arrival Premier’s structure (no welcome bonus, instead rewarding ongoing use) is designed for the long game.
It’s great to see Barclays trying to add some value to the Arrival Premier, I just wish they’d have done it with a transfer partner with more long-term potential and/or a more favorable transfer ratio. As it stands, it’s not bad to have one more option — but it’s not a partucularly good option when you can earn more miles (for less of a fee) with other cards.