BofA’s New Travel Cards – Your Best Option?
Aw nerds! It looks like this page may be out of date. Check out our Rewards Credit Cards page for updated info.
Bank of America just rolled out 3 brand spanking 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 BofA’s new arsenal of 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 offers 2% back on every dollar spent. Double points are always awesome. The Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards 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 is a pretty solid travel card. BUT, 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. As with the Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards, you’ll earn double miles, and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card also comes with a great bonus: 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, miles 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 BofA 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 if you 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 at Bank of America.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card is essentially the same as the Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards but with a lower rewards rate an a $0 annual fee. The BankAmericard 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 credit card foreign transaction fee. The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card comes equipped with the same perks as the Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards, namely emergency assistance, a concierge and purchase replacement.
Capital One offers a similar card called the Ink℠ Classic Business. In fact, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card and the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Cards are virtually identical. There are only two minor differences we find noteworthy. The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card’s reward rate stands at 1.25% back on every purchase–slightly less than the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card’s 1.5%. The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, however, offers a signup bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel. It’s a bit of a toss up. For a better rewards rate, go BofA. For a signing bonus, we suggest Capital One.
Bank of America WorldPoints Travel Rewards for Business Visa
The BofA Business Travel card is less than impressive. The signup bonus is a pitiful 5,000 points. The rewards rate is 3 points per dollar spent on travel booked through BofA and 1.5 points per dollar spent everywhere else. There is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no caps or expirations and no blackout dates. It has a 9-month 0% introductory purchase APR to give you time to spend without accumulating interest. It’s an okay 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.