Selecting a Credit Card: Citi Simplicity® Card vs. BB&T Bright® Card vs. BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards® vs. Discover it® Miles Card
Applying for a new credit can have long-term implications for your financial future. It can determine how quickly you can rebuild or establish credit, how fast you can pay down debt or how easy it is to earn discounts and rewards. No matter what your reason is for adding a new credit card to your wallet, there are a few things you should be aware of first.
Each credit card is going to be unique in the programs that it offers. Just as every hotel isn’t the same when you travel for vacation, you’ll find some credit cards that suit your needs better than others.
Before we begin, it’s important to evaluate exactly what you want in a new credit card. Low rates, minimal annual fees, and generous cashback rewards programs are top criteria for consumers.
Image source: Business Diary
Once you’ve narrowed down the list of which features are the most important to you, it’s time to take a closer look at our top contenders: The Citi Simplicity® card, BB&T Bright® card, BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards® card, and Discover it® Miles card.
Which of these credit cards is going to be the best one for you?
AdvisoryHQ knows how important it is to find the credit card that works best for your lifestyle. That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to take a closer look at the BBT credit card, Discover it® Miles card, Bank of America Better Balance Rewards, and Citi Simplicity® card. If you want to see where each of these cards shines, take a more detailed look below.
Comparison Review List
The list below is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section):
High-Level Comparison Table
BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards®
BB&T Bright® Card
Citi Simplicity® Card
No late fees or penalty APRs
Discover it® Miles Card
Table: The above list is sorted alphabetically
BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards® Review
Best Credit Card for Balance Transfers: BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards®
Do you already owe a large balance on another high-interest credit card? If so, the minimum monthly payment is likely more than it needs to be, dragging out the length of time that you’ll remain in debt. Do yourself a favor and consider transferring the balance off of your old credit card and onto a new one: the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards.
The BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards® card gives consumers the opportunity to transfer balances onto their new card and enjoy 0% APR for the first twelve months. Act quickly because this offer only applies to transfers made in the first sixty days of opening your account.
You’ll still face balance transfer fees of 3% (or a minimum of $10). These fees are equivalent to what you would find on the Citi Simplicity® card, the BBT credit card, and the Discover it® Miles card.
Likewise, the Citi Simplicity® credit card and the BBT credit card feature introductory offers starring 0% APR for various lengths of time (21 months and 15 months, respectively). These offers last for a longer time period than the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards, but they’re still missing one of the more critical features that makes the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards the better card for balance transfers.
For every month that you make more than the minimum payment, the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards takes notice. Doing so consistently allows the BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards® card to grant you $25 per quarter to help pay down debt faster.
Even better, you receive an additional $5 per quarter when simultaneously maintaining a Bank of America Better Balance Rewards card and a Bank of America checking or savings account.
Opting for the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards card can grant you some flexibility in paying down debt and help you to do so even faster. The Citi Simplicity® credit card and the BBT credit card can both help as well with their introductory offers, but the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards is the only one that rewards consumers for actively working towards paying down debt.
BB&T Bright® Card Review
Best Credit Card for Low Rates: BB&T Bright® Card
Interest rates and APRs may not make much difference to savvy shoppers who prefer to pay their balance in full at the end of the month. When the balance is paid up front, no interest rates will apply (except to cash advances, depending on your credit card). Consumers who prefer to allow their balance to revolve from month to month will want to keep a close eye on what that might ultimately cost them.
Source: BB&T Bright®
It isn’t uncommon to find credit cards that feature rates reaching into the 20% range. However, the BB&T Bright® card easily blows those options out of the water.
This BBT credit card allows its biggest draw to be the low interest rates, claiming to be the lowest APR of any BBT credit card available. It features variable APRs that range from an extremely low 8.40% to a still reasonable 17.40%, based on your creditworthiness.
Interest rates for its competitors are significantly higher, even though all four options have relatively low APRs:
- Bank of America Better Balance Rewards: 12.24% to 22.24%
- Citi Simplicity® credit card: 13.24% to 23.24%
- Discover it® Miles card: 11.24% to 23.24%
Its closest competitor, the Discover it® Miles card, has a minimum interest rate at a whopping 3 percentage points higher than the BBT credit card. The others fall pretty closely in line with the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards and City Simplicity card, with each coming in one point higher than the last, respectively.
Consumers who want to pay the least amount possible in pesky interest fees will want to opt for the BBT credit card over the other possible solutions. The potential cost is significantly lower than its counterparts.
Discover it® Miles Card Review
Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards: Discover it® Miles Card
Frequent fliers can always use a way to save money on their next set of travel arrangements or to travel in a more luxurious manner. Why not opt for a travel rewards credit card that allows you to contribute toward that end while you shop for your everyday purchases?
Source: Discover it® Miles
With the Discover it® Miles card, you’ll earn generous rewards just for shopping with your Discover Miles card. Every dollar you spend earns you an unlimited 1.5 miles with no maximum earning limit. Even better, at the end of your first year, the Discover Miles card will match all of the points you earn as a new cardholder.
The Discover it® Miles card also grants you the ability to flexibly spend the miles accrued from your day-to-day shopping. All airlines are available for redemption at any time with no black out dates. Alternatively, the Discover Miles card will also allow you to trade your miles in for cash at a rate of 100 miles per dollar.
Don’t forget the other big travel benefit with the Discover it® Miles card: reimbursement through statement credit for up to $30 of in-flight Wi-Fi purchases each year.
Unlike the City Simplicity card, the Better Balance Rewards or the BBT credit card, the Discover it® Miles card is the only option that features a cash back or travel rewards program at all. The others find no way to reward you for the spending that you do each day. Instead, they tend to focus more on daily costs of maintaining a card, including:
- Paying down debt
- Waiving late payments
- Low interest rates
If you wanted a card to make the most of your everyday purchases, the Discover it® Miles card should be a top contender for your next card application.
Citi Simplicity® Card Review
Best Credit Card for Late Payments: Citi Simplicity® Card
Are you in the habit of making late payments several times each year? Consumers who struggle to abide by payment due dates are likely racking up more debt with excessive late payment fees and penalty interest rates. Until you can make a habit of consistently making on-time payments, you need a credit card that can accommodate your lackadaisical payment habits.
Source: Citi Simplicity®
The Citi Simplicity® card should be one of the first considerations for consumers with this little habit. Every Citi Simplicity® review should stress their primary selling points: no late fees and no penalty rates, ever. For consumers who were previously paying an additional $30 or more each month in late payment fees, the City Simplicity card could mean a $360 savings over the course of the year.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Better Balance Rewards program features the highest cost for consumers who forget to make payments. With this Bank of America Better Balance Rewards card, you’ll face these costs for forgetting a payment:
Many credit cards will allow your penalty APR to last for a set period of time during which you must demonstrate consistent and responsible spending, usually somewhere around six months. With an indefinite penalty period, the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards doesn’t make this a very appealing policy.
The Discover it® Miles card and the BBT credit card, the BB&T Bright® card, are close competitors to mention in a Citi Simplicity® review. Like the Citi Simplicity® card, they feature no penalty APRs, but there are late payment fees of up to $37.
The Discover it® Miles card is the closest to the Citi Simplicity® card when it comes to flexibility with missed payments. It is willing to waive your first late payment fee and assess the potential $37 fee from that time on.
Clearly, the biggest advantage in a Citi Simplicity® review is the additional savings associated with the waived penalty fees and late fees. For consumers still learning to manage finances responsibly, the Citi Simplicity® card should be their top choice.
Average Costs of These Credit Cards
Bear in mind that while each credit card does have an area where it shines, there are other underlying costs and features that should still be noted with each option. The most significant of these costs that need to be considered is the annual fee. How much will it cost you to maintain annual membership with these cards?
The good news is that the annual fee on the Simplicity credit card, BBT credit card, Bank of America Better Balance Rewards card, and Discover it® Miles card will all be the same: $0.
You’ll pay no annual fees on these credit cards, making them all ideal candidates for consumers who didn’t have much to spend to open new credit card accounts. Annual fees are typically due up front upon opening the account which could be an additional cost that wasn’t planned for. By waiving the annual fees, the Better Balance Rewards, Simplicity credit card, BBT credit card, and Discover Miles card grant you access to the benefits of their cards without the cost.
You will also want to consider that some of the credit cards come with additional advantages to benefit cardholders. To give a few examples, the Discover it® Miles card allows consumers to check their FICO credit score for free on a monthly basis to view their progress on polishing their credit score. It also allows you to freeze your account with its Freeze It® app whenever you want to.
The Bank of America Better Balance Rewards features the most benefits out of the other cards on the list. Many of its advertised benefits are quickly becoming standard features on many credit cards though:
- Chip cards
- Online banking and text message or email alerts
- Overdraft protection when you maintain and link a Bank of America checking account to your BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards® card
- Paperless statements
- Online shopping security
Additionally, the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards, the Citi Simplicity® card, and the BBT credit card all advertise zero liability for fraudulent or unauthorized transactions. This should give you some peace of mind in the event that your credit card is lost or stolen.
Conclusion: Finding the Right Fit
As you can clearly see, finding the best credit card for you could be as simple as determining exactly what you will need it for. Understanding your primary goals and needs within a credit card program allows you to ultimately select a credit card that is the right fit for your wallet.
Consumers who need to pay down their debt may prefer the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards card while frequent fliers opt for the Discover it® Miles Card. Those concerned with keeping costs as low as possible may choose the BB&T Bright® card, and people who frequently miss payments may prefer the Simplicity credit card.
There is no wrong answer when it comes to selecting from this list of top credit card choices. In reality, you may even find that you fall into several categories that make all of these credit cards appealing. However, you’ll have to determine which label suits your financial needs the best at this point in time.
AdvisoryHQ wants you to be well-informed in regard to the various credit card options available on today’s market. Armed with this information about the Citi Simplicity® card, BBT credit card, Discover it® Miles card, and Bank of America Better Balance Rewards, we’re confident you can make an educated decision to find the right fit for you.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info. Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.