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Credit Card feedback please

I'm ready to apply for a new travel credit card. My trip is paid for so the card will only be used for non-covered meals and odds and ends. Here's my dilemma: As a Bank of America customer, I thought the BAC travel card looked good, plus the sign-up bonus is only $1000 within 3 months. Of course it's no foreign transaction fees, also it's a no fee card. Then I started looking around at other offers. Citi Thank You Premier gives points for gas purchases, plus no foreign fees and a lot more ways to redeem points. Draw back is $3000 needs to be spent in 3 months and it has a $95 annual fee waived the first year.
So here's my question: Has any one used the Citi card? And what are your experiences? Same questions with BAC. I've narrowed my choices down to those two. The card will mainly be used for occasional travel, not customary credit card purchases.
As always, thanks for your wonderful help.
Kathy, 44 days and counting down.

Posted by
123 posts

I would go with the BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card for your scenario. I personally use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card for everything, but got it at the 100k point sign up bonus.

go to www . thepointsguy.com to learn more about credit cards. They give great reviews on cards (i dont work for them, so i hope it is alright to put the hyperlink in here).

Posted by
2518 posts

If you're only going to use the card for "occasional travel" and not as your primary card, I would base it on two criteria: no fx charges, no annual fee. Unless you are going to try to maximize points with every purchase made and a card has some additional benefits, it makes no sense to pay an annual fee. I use two cards, one from Amex with no annual fee, the other a CapitalOne Visa. Amex is my primary card and I like the fact that I can use points for various airlines and the value of the points is better than Visa or MasterCard. (E.g. 60,000 points for a round trip to Europe vs. a 100 points for a $1 credit on the other cards.) CapitalOne allows you to take their points as a credit against your balance for any expense.

Posted by
3279 posts

I have the BofA Travel Visa. I got it when they were advertising it as a CHIP & PIN card (it is actually CHIP & Signature!). It has worked well everywhere I used it in Europe including to buy train tickets at unmanned kiosks. The rewards have been useful in paying for various travel expenses.

I just don't see any additional benefit to a card with an annual fee, especially if it is only going to be used for infrequent travel.

Posted by
6171 posts

The cards with points and bonuses (especially those with annual fees) that are based on certain spending levels work in precisely the opposite way of your goal of minor spending on "meals and odds and ends" during your travels. Those cards are best for people who will use them very generously from month to month, not occasionally, because the benefits are aligned with card usage/spending. The more you spend, the more benefit you get. Perfect for business travelers and consistent high spenders, or people who have a month or few of unusually high spending (airfares, large purchases, etc.) to meet the minimum required to get the perks.

I agree with the comment that it sounds like all you need is a card with no foreign exchange fees and no annual fees. If they give you "extras", like cash back or other goodies, then consider broadening your goals for this card since it will likely be more valuable for everyday spending (especially cash-back) as well as the occasional trip.

Bottom line - your objectives (primary and secondary) should directly align with the card you select. Since no card "has it all", it's helpful to use a site like www.bankrate.com to filter on your objectives since they compare cards across the whole spectrum.

Posted by
785 posts

Yep, occasional travel purchases are not going to accrue you enough benefits to really matter which card you use. You'd probably be better off with whichever card is free plus cash back.

We use two cards, a Delta AmEx that we use for everything we possibly can that offers SkyMiles. We live in Atlanta so Delta is the airline we use and the miles work for us. We have a secondary Visa through USAA that offers cold hard cash back. We've been working this angle for less than a year and I may be changing my mind and switching to the cash-back card as our primary. The amount of cash back on it recently increased and I haven't sat down to do the math yet.

Posted by
2525 posts

Chasing miles/points/other gimmicks have become less a game for me. I use a no foreign transaction fee credit card overseas and a cash-back card in country. "Free" flights to Europe and elsewhere are too often a pain not worth it compared to cash to buy flights.

Posted by
936 posts

Thank you everyone for your feedback. I applied for the BAC card. It really will fit my needs best.
Kathy