The Bank of America Travel Rewards card and the Capital One Venture Rewards card are two of the more robust options when it comes to bonus offers and redemption flexibility — which is best for you?
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No matter the time of year, travel rewards cards are always in season. What’s important is identifying the right card that meets your business travel or personal travel needs. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards credit card are two of the more robust options when it comes to bonus offers and redemption flexibility. But which one has more gas in the tank? Let’s take a look:
Bank of America Travel Rewards vs. Capital One Venture
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
|Rewards rate||1.5 points per dollar on every purchase|
|Sign-up bonus||25,000 online points if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days|
50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 within 3 months of approval
|Annual fee||$0||$95, $0 first year|
|Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 spend)||$322||$447|
|Who should get this card?|
Let’s compare the 3 most important features:
At 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, the rewards package of the Capital One Venture is above average. And with an added 10 miles per dollar on hotel rooms paid for through hotels.com/venture, there’s a lot more added value. Especially if you book hotels frequently and aren’t committed to a particular loyalty program.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card sits at 1.5X points per dollar on all purchases but does offer 25,000 online points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of your account. This sign-up bonus offer seems a little more attainable than the Venture’s 50,000 points after $3,000 spent within the first three months. But when you compare total yearly rewards value, the Venture tips the scale at $447 (this amount includes the annual fee). The Bank of America Travel Rewards card has a yearly value of $322.
Advantage: Bank of America Travel Rewards
The good news is neither the Bank of America nor the Venture card will charge an annual fee during the first year of your account. The bad news is the Venture has a $95 annual fee after the first year. If you are averse to budgeting for an annual fee, the Bank of America card is the way to go.
Note, though, that if you tend to spend a moderate amount on credit cards, you should give the Venture card a second look – with the card’s 2X earning rate, the value of its rewards can easily outmatch the fee (our estimate is for a $15,900 yearly budget).
Rewards redemption flexibility
It’s a tie
While the rewards packages are different, the redemption options are fairly even. Both have no earning limits or points expiration. There are no blackout booking dates on either card, and you can redeem points for any purchase. One minor difference is that the Bank of America card lets you redeem points for a statement credit up to 12 months after making a travel purchase.
You want a travel card with simple rewards and no annual fee: Choose Bank of America Travel Rewards
It’s no surprise that Bank of America customers can benefit most from this card. With a Bank of America checking or savings account, you get a 10 percent bonus on every purchase, for a rate of 1.65X points per dollar. If you’re enrolled in the Bank of America® Preferred Rewards program and have at least $20,000 in combined accounts at Bank of America®, Merrill Edge® or Merrill Lynch®, you can earn bonuses of 25 percent or more.
But even for the non-Bank of America customer, the card is a solid choice. In addition to its regular 1.5X rewards, you can earn an additional 3 points per dollar when you book travel through the Bank of America Travel center. Topping it all off with no annual fee, it’s hard to not be satisfied.
You’re a frequent traveler who wants to earn rewards toward your next trip: Choose Capital One Venture
Talk about getting off to a fast start! With no annual fee during the first year, a 50K bonus offer, and a full menu of travel purchasing options, the Venture provides a lot of up-front value. Some additional benefits include $250,000 of travel accident insurance, travel discounts and upgrades. There’s also no foreign transaction fee – which could be a welcome site to balance out the $95 annual fee.
As an added benefit, the Venture card recently added on 12 airline partners that you can transfer points to at a 2:1.5 ratio. The option to transfer points makes an already flexible travel card even more flexible and valuable.
One drawback is the low cash back rate at 0.5 cents per mile. So, if you’re looking for cash back rewards, it’s not this card’s strength. But for the frequent travelers who spend a lot of time overseas, the Venture is an attractive rewards option.
What kind of traveler are you? Whether you like to take the occasional spur of the moment trip or make strategic plans for yearly travel, one of these cards should set you on the right path. You’ll have plenty of redemption flexibility with either option. But when making your decision, consider what’s most important to you regarding rewards rates and paying an annual fee.