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Last updated on November 2nd, 2021
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At a Glance
Featuring 1.5% cash back rewards on all qualified purchases, exclusive benefits, and no fees, the BB&T Vantage® Visa Signature® Credit Card is a premium-level credit card with lots of promise.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Are an existing BB&T Wealth customer
- Want to earn cash back to funnel into their Wealth account
- Want a versatile rewards card without the fuss of rotating categories
- Like having multiple redemption options for their rewards
- Hate fees and want a credit card that’s useful worldwide
- Want seamless integration with existing BB&T services and accounts
BB&T Vantage® Visa Signature® Card Review
Featuring 1.5% cash back rewards on all qualified purchases, exclusive benefits, and no fees, the BB&T Vantage® Visa Signature® Credit Card is a premium-level credit card with lots of promise. The card earns a flat-rate of cash rewards with every purchase – rewards that are redeemable for a multitude of options, including travel, entertainment, cash back, and more. The card also boasts no additional fees of any kind, including no annual fee (for BB&T Wealth customers), no foreign transaction fees, no late payment fees, and more.
How to Earn Rewards with the Vantage®
Like other cash back cards, the BB&T Vantage® Visa Signature® Card earns cash back with every net qualifying purchase. The Vantage® earns 1.5% cash back on every net purchase, which is a solid, flat rate. There is no limit to the total amount of cash back you can earn.
“Qualifying purchases” is a term that confuses many people, as it leaves room to doubt whether the card issuer will try to deny you cash back on certain purchases. Fortunately, BB&T are honest about what they consider a “qualifying net purchase.”
- Any signature-based purchase
- Internet, phone, or mail order purchases
- Any automated bill payment
Of course, if these are “qualified net purchases,” what aren’t considered qualified purchases? The following transactions don’t earn 1.5% back with the Vantage® Card:
- Cash advances
- Balance transfers
- Traveler’s checks
- Access checks
- Credits and returns
Earning 1.5% back with every qualifying purchase isn’t as enticing as earning 5% back in revolving categories, such as with the Discover It Cash Back. But without revolving categories to worry about, you don’t have to risk confusing categories – instead earning a great rate every day.
How to Redeem Rewards with the BB&T Vantage® Card
One of the great things about BB&T Rewards is that members can redeem their rewards for nearly anything they may choose. Cash back rewards with BB&T are easily redeemable through a number of avenues via the BB&T Rewards portal and app.
The easiest way to redeem cash back rewards with BB&T Vantage® Visa Signature® is by – you guessed it – receiving cash back. BB&T issues cash back rewards as statement credits to BB&T credit cards or as a direct deposit into an affiliated BB&T account. This is a great option for redeeming rewards for BB&T Wealth customers, as it can be applied towards existing securities, annuities, or funds, or as a cash fund towards future investments.
Cash back is also redeemable towards goods and services through the BB&T portal. The portal features a wide variety of options, including gift cards for major retailers, cool merchandise from leading brands, beauty and skincare products, fashion accessories, and more. Cash back can also be used for savings at the fuel pump, charitable donations, or towards travel packages.
Under the Hood with the BB&T Vantage® Visa Signature® Card
The card’s lack of fees further bolsters the impressive earning and redemption potential of the Vantage® Visa Signature®. Cardholders don’t have to worry about fees through BB&T, including an annual fee, though this is dependent on their current BB&T banking status (more on this later). The card also lacks fees for cash advances, balance transfers, exceeding credit limits, and late payments.
One of the great features of the Vantage® Card is the fact that it does not charge foreign transaction fees. These surcharges are a pain for anyone who plans to use their card for purchases outside the U.S. The lack of foreign transaction fees with the Vantage® makes it a potent tool for those who frequently travel abroad – something which is strengthened further by Visa’s global acceptance rate.
The Vantage® Card also features an extremely competitive APR. While the precise APR varies depending upon the Prime Rate, successful applicants can expect interest rates that are tough to beat – and well below the national average.
(For an up-to-date listing of the current APR, check the Rates & Fees section at the top of our review)
BB&T Vantage® Security Features
The BB&T Vantage® card benefits from a selection of security features, both from BB&T and Visa. This includes EMV chip technology, which provides an additional layer of security with in-store purchases. This extra layer helps prevent fraud and circumvent anyone attempting to steal your PIN during transactions.
Visa provides comprehensive protection, including Visa’s Zero Liability Policy, which guarantees you won’t be responsible for purchases or transactions if your Vantage® card is lost, stolen, or someone you don’t authorize uses it.
Other Visa protections include:
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Service – 24/7 access to Visa’s multilingual call center to protect you and help anywhere in the world.
- Roadside Dispatch – a pay-per-use roadside assistance service
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver – Use your Vantage® Card to pay the entire cost of a car rental and waive the additional insurance at the counter, and Visa will cover your rental for theft, damage, or any other reasonable expenses.
- Extended Warranty Protection: Use your Vantage® Card to make eligible purchases and Visa will double the warranty terms on U.S. manufacturer’s warranties for up to one additional year.
- Emergency Card Replacement and Cash Disbursement: Visa and BB&T will work together to get you a replacement card and emergency money as soon as possible after your card is lost or stolen.
Vantage® Travel Perks
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Reimbursement: Visa will reimburse the non-refundable portion of passenger fares for flights, ferries, trains, buses, or cruise ships. Trip interruption or cancellation reimbursement applies to both the primary cardholder and anyone else on the itinerary, provided it was paid for in full using the Vantage® Card.
- Travel Accident Insurance: Visa Signature® provides up to $1,000,000 in travel accident insurance coverage for trips paid for in full using the Visa Signature® card.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement: If your checked or carry-on luggage is lost or stolen, Visa will reimburse you.
Vantage® Bonus Perks
The Vantage® Visa Signature® Card also comes with several bonus perks which can help to enhance your BB&T cardholder experience. Cardholders, for instance, receive access to BB&T’s Access U, which provides a fully customizable online banking experience. This service makes it easy to track not only your Vantage® Card spending but also how many rewards you’ve earned.
BB&T also provides cardholders with access to BB&T Deals. BB&T Deals is an online portal that offers the opportunity to earn enhanced cash back with every purchase. While the deals are subject to change, this means you can receive well above the 1.5% back you’d typically expect with the Vantage®, allowing for more rewards even faster.
Things to Consider Before Applying:
Non-Wealth Customers Must Pay an Annual Fee
The BB&T Vantage® Card features no annual fee, though this comes with a catch. To receive the card with no additional yearly cost, you must also be an existing BB&T Wealth customer and be assigned to a BB&T Wealth advisor. While having a Wealth advisor isn’t a prerequisite for the card, those not currently members of the program can expect an annual fee of $125.
The annual fee with the BB&T Vantage® places it above many other cash back credit cards and roughly on par with cards like the Visa Signature® Black Plus from RBC, though that card has an annual fee $50 lower than the Vantage® while earning the same 1.5% back on every purchase.
While this may seem like a negative, however, the Vantage® Card is really aimed at those who already have a Wealth account with BB&T, meaning they will likely forego the annual fee.
Not Everyone Will Get the Vantage® Visa Signature® Card
While the BB&T Vantage® Visa Signature® Card is the one most people reading this review are considering applying for, not everyone approved will get that version of the card. Any account approved with a credit limit under $5,000 will receive a BB&T Vantage® Visa Card instead of the Visa Signature®. While many of the perks associated with BB&T Vantage® Visa Signature® will remain with the regular Visa card, some perks, such as Visa Signature® Concierge, won’t apply to BB&T Vantage® Visa cardholders.
Should You Apply for the BB&T Vantage® Visa Signature® Card?
Is the BB&T Vantage® Visa Signature® worth applying for? The answer depends on your current banking status with BB&T. Current Wealth customers who are already assigned to a BB&T Wealth advisor don’t have to worry about paying an annual fee, which makes this a solid cash back credit card to keep in their wallets.
For existing Wealth customers, the ability to use cash back to bolster existing investments is a nice feature, as is the near-seamless integration with other BB&T Banking and Wealth products and services through Access U.
For those who currently don’t bank with BB&T and hold a Wealth account, however, the answer is likely no. The $125 annual fee for non-wealth customers is far too high to justify – especially when there are plenty of other options available, such as the Discover It Cash Back and the Chase Freedom Unlimited, neither of which charge an annual fee.
While the additional benefit of no foreign transaction fees, no over the limit fees, and no fees for cash advances and balance transfers undoubtedly help, they don’t do enough to justify the $125 price point of the Vantage® Card.