The Barclay Arrival+ card used to award 2.2% on spend when points were redeemed for travel, and used to be an OK card mostly for that reason alone. They nerfed it a few years ago, but I slacked and redeemed outstanding points for the annual fee rather than closing it like I should have. Now, Barclay is helping procrastinators like me by allowing you to redeem your points to cover charges at gas and grocery stores, minimum $50. I’ll be doing that and closing the card ASAP, if you still have one — prolly do the same. Get the Citi DoubleCash as a no-fee, better alternative.

But more importantly, please internalize a tip that affiliate bloggers can’t write about: Call and ask for a retention offer on every premium card you have at least once a year. You’ll get one more often than not and often they can be quite large, like sign-up bonus large. The language I usually use is “I’m thinking of closing this card given its large annual fee, but before I make a decision, I was checking to see if there are any retention or spending offers available”.

My Barclays Arrival+ getting ready to leave the sea of my sock drawer.