BoA Bank AmeriCard Travel Rewards (Plat. Honors) vs Sapphire

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af21
 
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BoA Bank AmeriCard Travel Rewards (Plat. Honors) vs Sapphire

Postby af21 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:54 pm

Hi! I'm in the market for a new credit card and was hoping to get some advice. I'm a current Bank of America customer with sufficient balances to qualify me for "Platinum Honors" rewards, meaning a 75% rewards bonus. Thus, I'm looking at the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card, which would allow me to get 2.625% travel rewards (1.5 base x 75% multiplier). I'm comparing the Bank AmericaCard option to Chase Sapphire Preferred. I know the Sapphire has slightly lower rewards (2X) in my case, but that it's an overall strong card. I'm not a huge spender (and will soon be a graduate student) and I don't travel with any significant frequency. Any thoughts/suggestions? Much appreciated!


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: BoA Bank AmeriCard Travel Rewards (Plat. Honors) vs Sapphire

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:15 pm

1. CSP has a better bonus, but you need to travel to make the most of the perks and rewards program. The AF after the first year should be a consideration.

2. To be PH at BofA, you need to put up with low interest rates on cash, high fees with a full service brokerage, or IT problems with Merrill Edge. I wouldn't want any of that.
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kdm31091
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Re: BoA Bank AmeriCard Travel Rewards (Plat. Honors) vs Sapphire

Postby kdm31091 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:14 am

If you're not a big spender and/or traveling frequently, neither of these cards are great options IMO. The only reason to get a CSP in that case would be for the signup bonus, but if you're truly not a big spender, you may find it difficult to even meet the spending requirements.

As for Platinum Honors and the Travel Rewards, the 2.625% reward rate is impressive, but you can only redeem against travel purchases. They are pretty generous with it -- tons of things count as "travel" and you have an entire year from the date of purchase -- but there's not much if any advantage over cash back cards that offer similar returns in plain old cash. You won't find 2.625% in cash, but some cards offer 2%, and then you don't have to tie up money in BOA to get Preferred Rewards.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: BoA Bank AmeriCard Travel Rewards (Plat. Honors) vs Sapphire

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:19 am

Yeah, BofA's bonus is nothing special.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

af21
 
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Re: BoA Bank AmeriCard Travel Rewards (Plat. Honors) vs Sapphire

Postby af21 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:57 am

kdm31091 wrote:If you're not a big spender and/or traveling frequently, neither of these cards are great options IMO. The only reason to get a CSP in that case would be for the signup bonus, but if you're truly not a big spender, you may find it difficult to even meet the spending requirements.


I suppose it depends how you'd define "big spender." I'd say my monthly credit card bills are currently around $1,500-2,500/month on average, though I'm about to be a grad student, so I imagine that might drop a bit. I'll probably be flying 3-4 times/year over the next few years, plus any potential train travel.

And I certainly get your point about travel vs. cash rewards. I'm actually considering replacing my current Capital One Quicksilver cash rewards card with BoA's cash rewards card, but that card has foreign transaction fees (and I'm traveling internationally this summer). So I figured the BoA cash card and BoA travel card might complement each other nicely.

takeshi
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Re: BoA Bank AmeriCard Travel Rewards (Plat. Honors) vs Sapphire

Postby takeshi » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:35 am

af21 wrote:I know the Sapphire has slightly lower rewards (2X)

You need to consider more than just the earn rate for programs like Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, etc. The redemption method(s) you use can have a significant impact on reward value. Never conflate X and %.

af21 wrote:but that it's an overall strong card.

It is not just about the card itself. It is about your requirements and how well a given card suits you.

af21 wrote:I'm not a huge spender

While "huge" is subjective, generally speaking, programs like UR, MR, etc require a large amount of spend for one to benefit. If you aren't going to run a lot of spend through the card then consider cash back cards.

af21 wrote:and I don't travel with any significant frequency.

Then why are you looking at cards with rewards on travel?

Rewards are going to be a small percentage of your spend. Start with your spend. Find where the majority of your spend is going. Find cards that maximize rewards on that spend.

af21 wrote:I suppose it depends how you'd define "big spender." I'd say my monthly credit card bills are currently around $1,500-2,500/month on average, though I'm about to be a grad student, so I imagine that might drop a bit.

You really just have to run the numbers for your spend to help you sort this stuff out. What categories is that spend in? What's the biggest category (including noncategory)?



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