BankAmericard Travel Rewards® vs. Capital One Venture Rewards

May 26, 2016, Written By Jason Steele

One of the most exciting ways to use a reward credit card is to earn award travel. Travel reward credit cards allow cardholders to use the points and miles earned from their everyday spending to visit family over the holidays or to take a much needed vacation.

Unfortunately, rewards earned with airline and hotel loyalty programs have become less valuable as these companies have increased the number of points or miles needed for most awards, and drastically reduced the availability of awards at the lowest levels. As a result, some rewards credit card users have grown disenchanted with these co-branded travel reward cards and turned to rewards that can be redeemed for travel reservations with any airline or hotel, with no blackout dates or capacity controls.

Let’s look at two of the top travel reward credit cards, and see which one is right for you.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards®

bankamericard-travelThe BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card® offers 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases with no caps or expiration of rewards. Each point is worth one cent as a statement credit towards travel purchases such as flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars and baggage fees. Bank of America customers also receive a 10% bonus on their rewards just by having a Bank of America savings or checking account.

New applicants can earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on their card within 90 days of account opening, which is worth $200 in travel statement credits. In addition, new cardholders receive 12 billing cycles of 0% APR promotional financing on new purchases.

All cardholders receive access to online banking, account alerts, and Digital Wallet technology that allows you to use your mobile device, then shop in-store or in-app using Apple Pay™, Android Pay® or Samsung® Pay. Optional overdraft protection is also available to help you prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America checking account to your credit card, although transfer fees may apply. In addition, Bank of America also offers cardholders their monthly FICO credit score when they enroll in online banking. This card has no annual fee, and travelers will appreciate that there are no foreign transaction fees imposed on charges processed outside of the United States.

Capital One Venture Rewards

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The Capital One Venture Rewards card offers double miles on all purchases, and miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel purchases including airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises. To use your miles, simply book travel just like you normally would, using your Venture Rewards card. You then have 90 days from the date of purchase to go online and redeem your miles and erase the cost of your travel reservations.

New applicants receive 40,000 bonus miles, worth $400 in travel statement credits, after using their card to spend at least $3,000 within three months of account opening.  This card offers extended warranty coverage that covers your eligible purchases for an additional year beyond manufacturer’s warranties. As a Visa Signature card, you are also eligible to receive access to special events, travel and shopping discounts, and have access to the 24 hour Visa Signature Concierge service.

The standard interest rate for this card is 14.24% - 24.24% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness at the time you applied. There is a $59 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and like all Capital One credit cards, there are never any foreign transaction fees for purchases made outside of the United States.

Which card is right for you?

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card® is very competitive for a card with no annual fee. Cardholders who also have a Bank of America checking or savings account can receive an effective 1.65 points per dollar when they redeem their rewards directly to their bank account, closing the gap significantly between this offer and the Capital One Venture Reward’s card’s double miles. It also offers 12 billing cycles of interest-free promotional financing, while the Venture card has no introductory APR offer.

Nevertheless, the offer for the Capital One Venture Rewards card does have several other advantages beyond the higher rate of returns. It offers double the sign-up bonus and as a Visa Signature card, it features more benefits than the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card®.

In the end, potential new applicants will have to weigh the cost of the Capital One Venture Reward card’s $59 annual fee against the greater rate of return for spending and increased benefits it offers. It’s never been easier to earn travel rewards, and either of these credit cards will allow you to go further with your award travel than you might have thought possible.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of May 26, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

About Jason Steele

Jason Steele is freelance journalist and an expert on the credit card industry. He contributes to several of the top personal finance sites, and his work is syndicated to mainstream outlets such as MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, and Business Insider.
View all posts by Jason Steele