Barlcaycard added a temporary benefit to be able to redeem your Arrival points to offset grocery, gas, and restaurant purchases for travel statement credits. This is showing for both the Arrival Plus and the no-fee Arrival version.
When redeeming for cashback, you only get .5 cents per point whereas when redeeming for travel you get 1 cent per point. This temporary change allows redemptions for grocery, gas, and restaurants at the full 1-cent value. You can see it in your online login in the ‘using my miles’ section.
This is really awesome for people who have Arrival points sitting there with no travel on the horizon. It does seem a little strange that Barclay refused to add categories for many months, and now are adding it with just 5-6 weeks to use it, but we’ll take what we get. I believe Arrival redemptions become available immediately once the charge posts to your account, so we should have a full 5+ weeks of time to spend on these categories and use up your Arrival points. You can also buy gift cards at the grocery store to help increase your spend there.
Now through 1/31/2021, qualifying gas, grocery store and restaurant purchases made within the last 120 days can be redeemed for travel statement credits.
Qualifying gas purchases are defined as automated fuel dispensers and service stations, as identified by the merchant category codes. Qualifying restaurant purchases are defined as: Restaurants and Fast Food restaurants, as identified by the merchant category codes. Qualifying grocery store purchases are defined as grocery stores, as identified by the merchant category codes.
Purchases must be submitted by merchants using the merchant category codes for purchases in the above specified categories to qualify for the additional miles. Barclays is not responsible for incorrectly coded purchases. Additional miles may not be earned if the merchant submits the purchase using a mobile or wireless card reader or if you use a mobile or digital wallet to pay for the purchase. Additionally, purchases made through third parties, including online marketplaces and resellers, or using a third-party payment account will not earn additional miles.
Hat tip to Markr867