Arcobacter species have a widespread distribution with a broad range of animal hosts and environmental reservoirs, and are increasingly associated with human illness. To elucidate the routes of infection, several characterization methods such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), amplified fragment-length polymorphism, and enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC)-PCR have already been applied, but without proper validation or comparison. At present, no criterion standard typing method or strategy has been proposed. Therefore, after the validation of PFGE, those commonly applied typing methods were compared for the characterization of six human- and animal-associated Arcobacter species. With a limited number of isolates to be characterized, PFGE with restriction by KpnI is proposed as the first method of choice. However, ERIC-PCR represents a more convenient genomic fingerprinting technique when a large number of isolates is involved. Therefore, a first clustering of similar patterns obtained after ERIC-PCR, with a subsequent typing of some representatives per ERIC cluster by PFGE, is recommended. As multiple genotypes are commonly isolated from the same host and food, genomic plasticity has been suggested. The in vitro genomic stability of Arcobacter butzleri and A. cryaerophilus was assessed under two temperatures and two oxygen concentrations. Variability in the genomic profile of A. cryaerophilus was observed after different passages for different strains at 37°C under microaerobic conditions. The bias due to these genomic changes must be taken into account in the evaluation of the relationship of strains.