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?
The Bank of America content was last updated on March 8, 2021.
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
|Rewards rate||1.5 points per dollar on every purchase||2 miles per dollar on other purchases|
|Sign-up bonus||25,000 online points if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days||100,000 miles if you spend $20,000 in your first 12 months or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months|
|Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 spend)||$322||$447|
|Who should get this card?|
Let’s compare the 3 most important features:
Advantage: Capital One Venture
At 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, the rewards package of the Capital One Venture is above average.
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 (100,000 miles if you spend $20,000 in your first 12 months or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 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
If you are averse to budgeting for an annual fee, the Bank of America card is the way to go. The Venture card charges $95 per year to keep the card open.
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 or dining 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. 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 or Merrill, you can earn bonuses of 25% 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 100,000 miles if you spend $20,000 in your first 12 months (or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months) and a full menu of travel purchasing options, the Venture provides a lot of up-front value. Some additional benefits include up to $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 allows you to transfer points to a number of travel partners at a 2:1.5 ratio (for most partners). 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.