Bank of America®’s New Travel Cards – Your Best Option?
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Bank of America® just rolled out three new travel credit cards for the 2012 summer season. Competing against such greats as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, these newcomers enter a market rife with fierce competition and seasoned rewards veterans. So how do these travel card neophytes stack up against the revered old-timers of the rewards realm? Here we review the new arsenal of Bank ofAmerica® travel cards and compare them to a few of our favorite standbys.
Bank of America Privileges® with Travel Rewards
The Bank of America Privileges® with Travel Rewards credit card offers 2% back on every dollar spent. Double points are always awesome. The card also boasts flexible travel redemption options. You can redeem for statement credits to offset virtually any travel expense without restrictions or blackout dates. Points do not have earning caps or expiration dates. You also won’t have to pay a foreign transaction fee, saving you 3% on every out-of-country purchase.
The annual fee is waived the first year and $75 every year thereafter. In addition to a decent rewards rate and flexible redemption options, that buys you a few additional services, including travel and emergency assistance, a concierge service and purchase replacement.
All in all, the Bank of America Privileges® with Travel Rewards credit card is a pretty solid travel card. That said, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is just a bit better. First off, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card costs less. The annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $59 after that. You’ll earn double miles with this card, too, and it comes with a great bonus for new cardholders: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel.
Similar to the Bank of America Privileges® with Travel Rewards credit card, miles earned with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card can be redeemed for any travel expense without blackout dates or restrictions. Again, you won’t have to worry about a foreign transaction fee. And like its competitor, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card grants access to an array of additional perks, including a concierge service, roadside assistance, preferred seating at events and more.
You may want to consider the Bank of America Privileges® with Travel Rewards credit card if you’re a Bank of America® customer and maintain a combined balance of $50,000 or more of average daily balances for the month, or month-end balances in deposit accounts and/or eligible investment balances.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card is essentially the same as the Bank of America Privileges® with Travel Rewards credit card, but with a lower rewards rate and a $0.00 annual fee. TheBankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card yields 1.5% back on every dollar spent. Like its big brother, it does not currently offer a signing bonus.
Once again, there are no spending caps, expiration dates, blackout dates or travel restrictions. There is also no foreign transaction fee. The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card comes equipped with the same perks as the other card, namely emergency assistance, a concierge and purchase replacement.
Capital One offers a similar card — in fact, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is almost identical to the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card. There are only two minor differences we find noteworthy. The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card’s reward rate stands at 1.25% on every purchase — slightly less than the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card’s 1.5%. It’s a bit of a toss-up. For a better rewards rate, go Bank of America®. For a signing bonus, we suggest Capital One.
Bank of America WorldPoints Travel Rewards for Business Visa
The Bank of America WorldPoints Travel Rewards for Business Visa is less than impressive. The sign-up bonus is weak: 5,000 WorldPoints Bonus - after first purchase. The rewards rate is 3 points per dollar spent on travel booked through the Bank of America® travel center and 1.5 points per dollar spent everywhere else. The annual fee is $0, and there are no foreign transaction fees, no caps or expirations and no blackout dates. It has an introductory APR of 0% for 9 months on purchases, and then the ongoing APR of 11.24% - 21.24% Variable — so you do get a little time to spend before insurring interest. It’s an OK card, but certainly not the best option.
A similar (but better) card is the Ink℠ Classic Business. The annual fee is $0, and you’ll earn 5% back on office supplies and phone/cable services, 2% back on fuel and lodging and 1% back on everything else. The Ink℠ Classic Business comes with an APR of: 0% for 6 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% Variable . However, it does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee. You’re not going to want to make this your primary overseas card. But if your business needs are primarily domestic, you can’t go wrong with the Ink℠ Classic Business.