BB&T has been in the banking business since 1872. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the company operates 2,249 financial centers in 15 states and Washington, D.C., and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services. To date, BB&T is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $221.9 billion in assets and market capitalization of $29.0 billion.
BB&T’s credit cards offer an 0% Introductory APR ranging from 12-15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period ends, their APRs range from 8.40% to 19.40%. These APRs may be the lowest on the market (at least out of all the companies we reviewed). For instance, average credit card APRs range from 13.24% to 23.24%. Compared to the average, BB&T is more competitive.
Annual fee range
Annual fees for both of BB&T’s credit cards are $0. This is stellar except for the fine print. (After a closer look, we found that the annual fees were indeed zero). When compared to some companies who offer cards with $0 introductory annual fees for the first 6 months to 15 months (depending on the specific card) with the annual fee typically ballooning up to $59, $79, $95 or more, BB&T came out ahead. We did review a few companies’ cards, all with zero annual fees, but these were rare.
Foreign Transaction Fees
BB&T’s foreign transaction fee is 3% on purchases and other transactions when traveling abroad. This fee is what almost every other credit card company charges on their transaction fees. There are, however, some exceptions. Several companies offer one or two credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. Even fewer had foreign transaction fees ranging from 0-2.7% but overall, 3% is the industry standard at this time.
BB&T offers customers a total of 2 cards. These are:
- BB&T Bright® Card
- BB&T Spectrum Rewards® Card
At BB&T, customer’s security is their highest priority. They offer credit card customers a variety of protective measures:
- VISA Zero Liability® to guard against unauthorized card use
- Visa CheckoutTM option where customers get additional protection when making online purchases by linking your card to it
- Warranty manager service and purchase security
- Quick delivery of replacement card or emergency cash if your card is lost or stolen
- BB&T chip card that lets you click to open for purchases at chip-enabled terminals to receive enhanced fraud protection
We did find some companies offering identity theft protection, which would, in our opinion, make BB&T’s security measures complete.
When it comes to customer support, BB&T has limited phone hours for credit card customers: Monday through Saturday, 6 am to midnight ET. They do not offer Sunday hours. We found most credit card companies offer phone hours 24 hours a day, all 7 days a week.
BB&T does offer 24/7 automated phone service to their banking customers, but not for the credit cards. We also did not find a number to report lost or stolen credit cards to. Usually, credit card companies offer a special 24/7 number for fraud, lost or stolen cards. (You will have to contact BB&T’s 24/7 automated phone line). We also found some companies that offer a live chat feature, where you can talk with a live representative online 24/7. With BB&T, this is not the case.
Making a late payment on one of BB&T’s credit cards will cost you up to $37. Unfortunately, we found this to be the most common late fee among most credit card companies. A few were slightly more competitive with fees up to $35 and a rare company or two with fees ranging from $15 to $25. BB&T is on par with the credit card industry in this regard.
Options for Rewards
While the BB&T Bright Card only focuses on letting customers paying less interest, the BB&T Spectrum Rewards® Card offers rewards. Here are the rewards we were most impressed with:
The Spectrum Rewards® Card lets you earn:
- 3% cash on all net qualified purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
- 5% anniversary bonus on cash earned every year
- Additional 30% bonus on cash earned when spending $50,000 or more annually
When compared with other companies, we found that these companies offer customers more cards with a much wider variation of benefits. Some companies we reviewed offered a lower percentage on purchases but offer bonus offers with at least one of their cards, which BB&T does not offer.
Overall, BB&T does not offer what we find to be any standout features or benefits compared to other credit card companies. All of their advantages come from Visa, not BB&T.
Building Credit/Student Cards
Unfortunately, BB&T does not offer any kind of secured credit cards or student “starter” cards to help build or repair your credit. This is contrary to many credit card companies who offer at least one secured card. A few companies we found offer prepaid cards, which is different than secured cards but do serve a similar purpose. Not offering secured cards or student cards alienates those who can make payments on time, but do not have good credit on paper.