kiteman wrote:But the card calls out the points as miles. And when I hear miles, I think of an example like I buy an economy plane ticket from ATL to LAX, and then later I want to upgrade to business class with 100,000 MILES and then use the MILES I've earned from the Arrivals card to make that upgrade. Is that possible with this card?
That's not what miles means for all travel cards. Redemption options are listed on the Barclay site and what you're asking is not possible*. Don't just assume that miles means that you can use the miles just as with a frequent flier program. Always read the program's redemption details. In some cases miles and points are interchangeable terms. In some cases you're actually accruing miles in a frequent flier programs (generally with airline cobranded cards but, again, read the details).
* Though you could certainly pay for an upgrade and then use redeem miles to cover the cost of the upgrade.
The thing is that "travel" is a very vague term and encompasses a wide range of cards and they don't all behave the same way. People seem to assume that if they intend to travel that a "travel card" is a natural fit but it's not such a straightforward matter. A lot of travel cards require a significant amount of spend in other to realize the associated benefits. There are many cases where a person may be better suited with cash back cards. It's just a matter of crunching the numbers. However, what makes the comparison tricky is that it can be difficult to determine value per point/mile for comparison.
kiteman wrote:If that's the case then my Fidelity Amex 2% is a much better card rewards-speaking, since there is no fee or limitations on what you can use the 2% back on.
Better isn't a universal matter. Some would find plenty of use for the rewards even if they could only apply it towards travel expenses. For some the AmEx network is a concern due to acceptance. You have to make the call based on your own specific priorities.
kiteman wrote:If the Arrivals is more like a cashback card, are there any cards that can do what I mentioned earlier--allow you to use the MILES you've earned on that card to upgrade flights that are booked or to book flights altogether?
As I mentioned earlier it's typically the cobranded airline cards that fit the bill and they don't earn their own miles. Cardholders accrue miles in their frequent flier accounts. Check with airlines that you use.
MemberSince99 wrote:Anyway, I would not think of the Arrival as a cashback card as it's not that great when used that way.
It basically is cash back since redemptions have to be for statement credits.