Barclays launches Arrival Premier card, Air New Zealand drops Virgin Australia, topbonus shows life after death

– Barclays is live now with The Arrival Premier card

The card earns 2x miles on everything but comes with no sign-up bonus but a spending bonus at $25,000 per year.

The 1.4:1 transfer partners are yet to be finalized but are likely:

Aeromexico
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
China Eastern
Etihad
EVA Air
Japan Airlines (JAL)
Jet Airways
Malaysia Airlines
Qantas

This is a solid new addition to the Barclay line-up – it works different than most other cards and will discourage churning and encourage spending (I have long argued that is what card issuers should be after). The effective rate of 1.55 miles for any purchase is pretty good though the transfer partners don’t have the best award charts and add fuel surcharges generally.

– Air New Zealand is dropping the Virgin Australia partnership (which was quite limited to begin with) effective Oct 28th 2018

For the past seven years Air New Zealand has been part of a trans-Tasman alliance with Virgin Australia. A lot has changed over that time so we recently undertook a review of this relationship which has resulted in a decision to end the alliance and return to operating independently in the Tasman market with effect from 28 October this year.

– topbonus (yes that loyalty program of bankrupt airberlin) is showing rumblings from the afterlife

Right from the start it has been the common goal of the management and the insolvency administration to secure a long-term future for topbonus with the help of a strategic partner. We are close to this goal and, in the next few days, hope to inform you of a new investor who has committed to rebuilding and enhancing the program.

However, with the opening of insolvency proceedings on April 1, 2018, the 1,800 award miles that you had in your topbonus account on that date now become insolvency claims for insolvency reasons, and your mileage balance has been set to zero. From 6 April, 2018, you can make an insolvency claim of the value of these miles at https://topbonus.insolvenz-solution.de. In order to secure the planned payments from the insolvency estate, these claims must be filed by April 24, 2018. Further information for topbonus creditors can be found here.

Classic good news/ bad news. It’s worth filing the claims I guess (I had quite a bunch of topbonus miles before their demise) and hope that Etihad is relaunching with decent flight redemption (hope dies last)….