If you want to earn rewards you can use to cover travel expenses, there are quite a few travel credit cards that should be on your radar. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card are two popular options thanks to their flat-rate rewards, welcome bonuses and cardholder perks.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card content was last updated on 03/08/2021.
If you’re on the fence about either of these travel credit cards or trying to choose between the two, you should take the time to compare all their benefits and their rewards potential. Keep reading to hear how the Capital One Venture and the Bank of America Travel Rewards stack up in the categories you care most about.
|Features||Capital One Venture||Bank of America Travel Rewards|
|Welcome bonus||100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||25,000-point bonus when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of your account opening|
|Rewards rate||Unlimited 2X miles on every purchase||Unlimited 1.5X points on every purchase|
|Intro APR||None; 17.24% to 24.49% variable APR||0% APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99%|
Capital One Venture vs. Bank of America Travel Rewards highlights
Welcome bonus winner: Capital One Venture
In most important categories, the Capital One Venture comes out ahead. However, there are some areas where the Bank of America Travel Rewards might still be the better choice.
Rewards rate winner: Capital One Venture
The Capital One Venture will definitely leave you ahead in terms of its rewards power. This card lets you earn a flat 2X miles for every dollar you charge to your credit card, whereas the Bank of America Travel Rewards only offers 1.5 points for each dollar you spend.
Annual Fee winner: Bank of America Travel Rewards
The Bank of America Travel Rewards wins in this category based on the fact that it doesn’t charge an annual fee at all. By contrast, the Capital One Venture comes with a $95 annual fee.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Neither of these rewards credit cards charges foreign fees on purchases you make outside the United States with your credit card. As a result, they tie in this category.
Which card earns the most?
Since the Capital One Venture offers 2X miles for each dollar you spend (versus 1.5 points), it’s pretty obvious it will lead to more rewards. However, the $95 annual fee this card charges can eat away at your rewards balance in a hurry. This is especially true for consumers who don’t spend a lot on their credit cards each year.
Capital One Venture vs. Bank of America Travel Rewards spending example
As an example, let’s say you only plan to spend $500 per month on your credit card, which would add up to $6,000 over the course of one year.
With the Capital One Venture, you would earn 12,000 miles worth $120 in travel by the end of the year, but you would also pay a $95 annual fee. In a generic sense, that’s a difference of $25 in rewards you would end up “ahead.”
On the other hand, the Bank of America Travel Rewards would leave you with 9,000 points worth $90 in travel, and you wouldn’t have an annual fee to pay.
With that being said, the sign-up bonus the Capital One Venture Rewards is offering could change the narrative in a hurry. Enjoy a one-time bonus of 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
With the Bank of America Travel Rewards, on the other hand, you would only have 34,000 points worth $340 by the end of the first year—9,000 points on spending and 25,000 in bonus points (when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of your account opening).
Why should you get the Capital One Venture?
There are plenty of reasons to choose the Capital One Venture, including its superior rewards rate. Here are some additional factors to keep in mind.
Once you’re a cardholder, you’ll qualify for up to $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership.
Other major benefits you’ll receive include no foreign transaction fees, 24-hour travel assistance, secondary auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance and extended warranties on eligible items.
The Capital One Venture gives you the option to cash in your miles at a rate of one cent each to cover travel purchases charged to your card within the last 90 days. This gives you a lot of flexibility since you can book any travel you want without blackout dates, then simply use your miles to cover the charges.
Conversely, you have the option to book travel with miles by calling Capital One’s Rewards Center. You can also use your miles to cover purchases made on Amazon.com.
Another interesting benefit of the Capital One Venture is the fact that you can transfer your miles to Capital One airline and hotel transfer partners. The list includes (but is not limited to):
- Air France-KLM
- Air Canada
- Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Emirates Skyward
- Etihad Airways
- EVA Air
- Singapore Airlines
Recommended credit score
You’ll typically need very good or excellent credit to qualify for this card, which usually entails a FICO credit score of 740 or higher. However, you may be able to qualify with “good credit,” or a score in the 670 to 739 range.
Why should you get the Bank of America Travel Rewards?
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card can be a good option if you really don’t want to pay an annual fee. However, there are additional considerations to keep in mind.
This card doesn’t have many benefits, but you will receive free access to your FICO score on your credit card statement, digital wallet technology, online banking options and contactless payment options. As an added bonus, you’ll qualify for 0 percent interest on purchases for 12 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent.
Also note that, if you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member with an eligible Bank of America credit card, you can earn 25 percent to 75 percent more rewards for each dollar you spend.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards lets you redeem points at a rate of one cent each to cover any travel purchases charged to your card. The fine print says you have the “flexibility to redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees.”
Recommended credit score
You’ll need good credit to qualify, or a FICO credit score of 670 or higher. For the best chances of approval, a FICO score of 740 or higher may be beneficial.
The bottom line
Both of these travel credit cards let you rack up rewards for each dollar you spend, and they both offer quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to cashing in your points. However, the Capital One Venture is likely a better deal despite its annual fee. You can earn a huge welcome bonus if you spend enough on your card, but you’ll also earn more miles on every purchase you make.
Which card should you sign up for? Take the time to compare these two options with the best credit cards on the market today before you decide.