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BB&T Spectrum Rewards Cards Review

BB&T Spectrum Rewards Cards Review

*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Dec 19, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

If you’re looking for a new credit card with lower interest rates, perks, and no annual fee, you should check out what your local community banks have on offer.

BB&T is a community bank headquartered in North Carolina, with locations scattered across the U.S., and offers a wide range of financial services including an array of rewards, business, secured and low-interest credit cards. For this review, we’re going to focus on BB&T’s consumer rewards cards, the BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card and the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card. These two cards offer travel and cashback rewards for cardholders as well as some noteworthy perks, such as statement credits for eligible travel expenses and introductory interest-free financing.

Know that these cards are only available to consumers who live within BB&T’s service areas:  Alabama, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia.

If that includes you, then read on for a comparison of the BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card and the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card, in addition to alternative cards to consider. However, if you don’t live in a BB&T service area, compare other cashback and rewards cards.

BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card vs. BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card

The BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card is best suited for consumers looking for a travel centric card. Rewards you earn are tailored around common travel expenses — earn 2x miles on air, hotel, and car rentals, 1x miles on all other eligible purchases. Plus, there’s no foreign transaction fee, so you can avoid the 3% fee the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card charges purchases made abroad. This card also comes with a fantastic perk — miles are worth 75% more in value when redeemed for hotel stays. That’s a great way to maximize the value of your rewards.

The BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good option for consumers who prefer to earn cash back on common everyday purchases — Earn 3% cash back on gas, 2% cash back on utilities and groceries, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. Monthly spending amount over $1,000 in the 3% and 2% bonus combined categories earns a flat cashback rate of 1%. The combined monthly spending limit of $1,000 on gas, utilities, and groceries purchases is reasonable compared to other gas rewards credit cards and grocery rewards credit cards that may set a quarterly or yearly maximum on the amount of spending that qualifies for the higher cashback rate. If you want to take advantage of intro 0% APR financing, the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card has an intro 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (after, 15.24% - 24.24% variable APR). The BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card doesn’t offer introductory 0% APR financing.

Here are the main features of each card:

  BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card
Annual fee $89, waived first year $0
Regular purchase APR 15.24% - 24.24% variable 15.24% - 24.24% variable
Intro purchase APR N/A 0% for 12 months
Intro balance transfer APR N/A 0% for 12 months
Rewards earn 2x miles on air, hotel, and car rentals, 1x miles on all other eligible purchases Earn 3% cash back on gas, 2% cash back on utilities and groceries, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. Monthly spending amount over $1,000 in the 3% and 2% bonus combined categories earns a flat cashback rate of 1%.
New cardmember offer earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $2,000 in the first 90 days from account opening None
Foreign transaction fee None 3%

Additional BB&T Spectrum Rewards Cards’ benefits

BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card

  • Get an $85 statement credit per account every four years for TSA Precheck or Global Entry
  • Receive a statement credit of up to $50 each calendar year on qualifying airline incidental transactions such as checked bag fees and in-flight purchases
  • Miles are worth 75% more in value when redeemed for hotel stays
  • earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $2,000 in the first 90 days from account opening

BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Get 10% bonus cash when you redeem rewards into your BB&T checking or savings account

Alternatives

If you often spend on travel, consider the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card as an alternative travel card that offers more perks and the ability to earn rewards quicker than the BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card.

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is a $0 annual fee travel card that offers a more robust rewards program compared to the BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card: Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in, 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit, and 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases. So, if you’re looking to maximize travel rewards, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is a better option.

Plus, you can use the card’s intro 0% for 12 months on purchases to finance large purchases, or use the intro 0% for 12 months on balance transfers to transfer debt from a non-Amex card. After the intro period expires, a 14.74%-27.24% (Variable)* APR applies. Other travel-centric perks provided by the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card include lost luggage reimbursement, car rental loss and damage insurance, and 24/7 travel and emergency assistance.

  • Earn 3X points for eating out & ordering in, 3X points for gas stations, rideshares & transit, 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals.

  • 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers

  • 14.74%-27.24% (Variable)*

Highlights
  • Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $300 cash redemption value
  • Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 14.74%-27.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee

See additional details for Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

More Info


If you want a wide range of cardmember benefits and a cashback program that benefits frequent U.S. supermarket shoppers more than the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card, consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a fantastic rewards program for U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases. Compared to the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card’s cashback program (Earn 3% cash back on gas, 2% cash back on utilities and groceries, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. Monthly spending amount over $1,000 in the 3% and 2% bonus combined categories earns a flat cashback rate of 1%.), the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express will earn the same amount of cash back on gas purchases, but a higher cashback rate on U.S. supermarket spending.

However, unlike the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card’s $0 annual fee, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $95 annual fee. But, if you primarily spend at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, it can be worthwhile. This card also comes with a wide variety of perks including car rental loss and damage insurance, travel accident insurance, and extended warranty protection. And, if you have a debt on a non-Amex card or need to finance new purchases, take advantage of the intro 0% for 12 months on balance transfers or intro 0% for 12 months on purchases (after 15.24%-26.24% Variable APR).

  • $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.*

  • 6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases*

  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% back on other purchases*

Highlights
  • $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) - that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

More Info

Bottom line

The BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards Credit Card and the BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards Credit Card are decent credit cards for travel and gas purchases, but you’ll need to live in select states to be able to apply. If you live in one of those 15 states or Washington D.C., you’re in luck — otherwise you should consider credit cards from major banks that don’t restrict applicants to certain locations.


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