If you only scan over basic details, the Discover it® Miles and the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card seem incredibly similar. Both come with no annual fee, and both let users earn a flat rate of 1.5X miles or points for each dollar spent. These two travel credit cards also come with their own 0 percent introductory APR offers, which is actually pretty unique among credit cards in this niche.
That said, there are some areas where these cards work differently, and some areas where one card stands out well ahead of the other. If you’re trying to decide between the Discover it Miles and the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, read on to learn how they compare in the most important categories.
|Discover it Miles||Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card|
|Welcome bonus||All miles earned within the first 12 months will be matched||25,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening|
|Rewards rate||1.5X miles on all purchases||1.5X points on all purchases|
|Intro APR||0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (followed by a variable APR of 12.24% to 23.24%)||0% APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles (followed by a variable APR of 14.24% to 24.24%)|
Discover it Miles vs. Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card
While these two travel credit cards have similar offers, there are some areas where one card comes out ahead of the other.
Welcome bonus winner: It depends
While the Discover it Miles will double all of the rewards you earn during the first year, this isn’t a traditional sign-up bonus since you’ll have to wait until the year is over before you receive the rewards. In comparison, the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card offers 25,000 points (worth $250) after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening.
To know which one of these welcome offers will be worth more in the long run, you’ll need to consider how much you’ll spend during the first year of card membership. For example, you’ll earn a much better welcome offer with the Discover it Miles if you charge more than $16,668 (25,002 miles) in purchases to your card during the first year. That works out to spending $1,389 per month. At the end of the year, your rewards (25,002 miles) would be doubled, so you world earn 50,004 miles.
Rewards rate winner: Tie
The Discover it Miles and the Bank of America Travel Rewards both offer 1.5X miles or points for each dollar spent, so they are equally suited to people who don’t want to deal with bonus categories. Plus, rewards with either card are worth one cent each, so these two cards tie in this category.
Introductory APR winner: Discover it Miles
Both of these cards have an introductory APR offer, but the Discover it Miles wins in this category handily. This is due to the fact that you’ll get 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, after which a variable APR of 12.24 percent to 23.24 percent applies.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card comes up short in this category since there’s no introductory APR for balance transfers. But you will get a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles, after which a variable APR of 14.24 percent to 24.24 percent applies.
Annual fee winner: Tie
Both cards come with no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and no hidden fees.
Which card earns the most the first year?
Since both cards have the same earning rate on all purchases, you’ll earn the same amount of rewards after the first year. However, both card’s first year rewards haul will vary due to the way the bonus offers work.
Discover it Miles vs. Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card spending example
To come up with a first-year rewards example for both cards, let’s say you have a family of four with two adults under the age of 50 and two kids (a boy and a girl) ages 12 and 13. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), your average food spending would work out to $1,224.70 per month (or $14,696.40 per year) on a moderate plan.
Let’s also imagine you spend $300 per month ($3,600 per year) dining out, $500 per month ($6,000 per year) on travel and $1,000 per month ($12,000 per year) on miscellaneous purchases. This adds up to $36,296 in total spending on your card during the first year, which would net you 54,444 points or miles with either of these rewards cards.
However, the first-year rewards change when you add in each card’s bonus offer:
With the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, you would earn a total of 79,444 points (worth $794) the first year.
With the Discover it Miles, you would earn a total of 108,888 miles (worth $1,088) the first year.
Why should you get the Discover it Miles?
If you use your card for a considerable amount in spending and bills each year, the Discover it Miles can leave you with a heftier rewards haul after the first year. However, there are plenty of reasons to consider this card.
The Discover it Miles comes with free FICO credit score access, 24/7 customer service, $0 fraud liability, account alerts, Social Security monitoring and overnight U.S. shipping for replacement cards. You can also freeze and unfreeze your card if it’s lost or stolen.
Cardholders can redeem their miles (in the form of statement credits) to cover any travel purchases charged to their account. Rewards can also be used to cover the minimum monthly payment on Discover cards or for purchases made on Amazon.com or PayPal.com.
Recommended credit score
The Discover it Miles is targeted to consumers with good credit or better, so you may be eligible if you have a FICO score of 670 or higher.
Why should you get the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card?
If you’re a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you can earn 25 percent to 75 percent more in rewards for each dollar you spend.
Besides the Preferred Rewards program and the introductory APR offer for purchases, this card comes with free FICO score access, account alerts, Visa Signature benefits, BankAmeriDeals offers and access to Bank of America’s Museums on Us program.
Points can be redeemed for a statement credit to cover travel and dining purchases, gift cards, or a check or direct deposit to an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account.
Recommended credit score
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is targeted to consumers with good credit or better, so you may be eligible with a FICO score of 670 or higher.
The bottom line
These two top travel credit cards have similar rewards and features, and either one can be a good option if you want to earn rewards and avoid paying interest on purchases for a limited time. The fact that both cards come with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees is another major bonus.
That said, you should compare credit cards from Bank of America, Discover and other major issuers before you decide. If you’re willing to pay an annual fee, you can find travel credit cards with better bonus offers and more perks in general.