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BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards credit card review

BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards credit card review

Published: February 13, 2019
Published: February 13, 2019
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Introductory Offer: 3.4
Net Value: 3.6
Features: 2.0
Customer Experience 2.2

In a Nutshell:

The balance transfer fee on the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards card is nothing special, but it is still a decent option for cardholders who don’t want to sacrifice rewards while they work down their debt.

View similar balance transfer cards

0% Introductory Period
12 months

Transfer Fee
$10 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR
0%

APR
15.24-24.24% (variable)

Annual Fee
$0

Customer Experience

  • J. D. Power 2018 customer satisfaction rating: average of 811 (53% of issuers ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: No
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.5/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.8/5

Other Notable Features: Travel and emergency assistance, fraud coverage, warranty manager service and purchase security

Cash Back Rating:
2.3 rating
2.3 rating
2.3 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.2
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 1.4
Customer Experience 2.2

In a Nutshell:

The BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards card does not offer the highest rewards rate, but it can help cardholders looking to save on fees since it comes with no annual fee and a 12-month intro APR.

View similar rewards cards

Rewards Rate

  • 3% cash back on gas
  • 2% cash back on groceries and utilities
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
  • 10% bonus on cash deposited into a BB&T checking or savings account

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$255

APR
15.24-24.24% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No point limits
  • Redeem rewards for cash, travel, gift cards or merchandise
  • Redeem partial rewards for travel
  • No advance notice required for travel

Cons

  • Rewards expire after 60 months
  • You must book travel through BB&T
  • Minimum rewards value for airline travel is $150
  • Points don’t transfer to other loyalty programs

Customer Experience

  • J. D. Power 2018 customer satisfaction rating: average of 811 (53% of issuers ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: No
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.5/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.8/5

Other Notable Features: Travel and emergency assistance, fraud coverage, warranty manager service and purchase security

Low Interest Rating:
2.7 rating
2.7 rating
2.7 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 2.6
Rewards: 3.4
Features: 1.0
Customer Experience 2.2

In a Nutshell:

While the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards card has a good 0 percent introductory offer, it’s regular APR is not the lowest you’ll find and not the best choice for cardholders who need to carry a balance.

View similar low interest cards

Regular APR
15.24-24.24% (variable)

Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 12 months

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0% for 12 months

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • 3% balance transfer fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 3% cash advance fee

Penalties

  • $38 late payment fee
  • No penalty APR
  • No returned payment fee

Customer Experience

  • J. D. Power 2018 customer satisfaction rating: average of 811 (53% of issuers ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: No
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.5/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.8/5

Other Notable Features: Travel and emergency assistance, fraud coverage, warranty manager service and purchase security

For a rewards card, BB&T’s Spectrum card is a rare breed. It offers a decently low interest rate along with a 0 percent intro APR on both new purchases and balance transfers. Cardholders looking to pay down debt without sacrificing rewards can enjoy the first 12 months interest free.

This card’s audience is relatively limited. Only cardholders who live in one of 15 states – including Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida – can apply. But for cardholders who already have an account with BB&T, the Spectrum Rewards card could be just what they need to earn some value from their spending without paying a hefty annual fee.

Average promotional offer

The BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards card gives cardholders just 12 months to pay off a balance before the card’s standard interest rate applies. This makes it a poor choice for cardholders who have a considerable amount of debt to clear. If you have a large balance, you’re better off looking for a balance transfer offer that lasts at least 15 to 18 months. This card is best for borrowers who have just a small amount of debt to repay and plan to use the card for regular spending from the day they activate the card. Cardholders are given 12 months to make interest-free purchases, so you can continue using the card while paying down your balance.

Affordable balance transfer fee

The balance transfer fee is also set at just 3 percent or $10 (whichever is higher), making it relatively inexpensive to transfer a balance. Some balance transfer cards charge as much as 5 percent to transfer a balance. BB&T also makes it easy to transfer a balance from another card. Unlike some balance transfer credit cards, the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards card doesn’t set restrictions on when and how much you can transfer.

Decent regular interest rates

While the Spectrum Cash Rewards card doesn’t have the lowest interest rate you’ll find, it is still on the lower end for card with no annual fee. Cardholders with excellent credit can qualify for an APR as low as 15.24 percent. Even on the high end at 24.24 percent, the rate is relatively low for a rewards card. This makes it a good deal for cardholders looking to transfer debt from higher-rate cards. In addition, the Spectrum Cash Rewards card doesn’t charge a penalty APR, so if you accidentally miss a payment, you won’t be stuck with a sky-high APR.

Average rewards

The rewards offered by the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards card aren’t the most generous on the market, but for a card with such a low interest rate, they’re pretty good. BB&T Spectrum offers cardholders 3 percent cash back on gas purchases, 2 percent cash back on groceries and utilities and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. Customers of BB&T bank may find the card especially rewarding — you get a 10 percent bonus on your earnings when you deposit them into a BB&T savings or checking account.

No sign-up bonus

Unfortunately, the BB&T Spectrum card does not currently offer a sign-up bonus.

Why get the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards credit card?

  • You have a fairly small balance and only need a year to pay it off.
  • You still want to earn rewards with your spending and prefer cash back instead of points.
  • You want a safer card that doesn’t charge a penalty APR.

How to use the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards credit card:

  • Take advantage of the card’s three-month sign-up bonus by using your card for the majority of your purchases, but be careful not to overspend.
  • Be aggressive with payments so you can whittle down as much debt as possible before the card’s standard interest rate kicks in.
  • If you have multiple cards with higher rates, consider consolidating them onto your Spectrum Rewards card to save money on interest and simplify monthly payments.
  • Take advantage of the card’s automatic payments feature so you don’t forget any payments.

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