Truist Business Travel Rewards Review

I take a deep dive into a promising new points-earning business card from a new bank that, from the looks of it, doesn’t appear on personal credit reports.

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Rough Transcript:

You’re listening to the Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast. I’m your host, Justin Vacula, here to help you travel the world at next to no cost through credit card points, miles, benefits, and rewards. Make money, save money, and take advantage of great deals!

Thanks for joining me for episode 60 – Truist Business Travel Rewards Credit Card Review. I will take a deep dive into a promising new points-earning business card from a new bank that, from the looks of it, doesn’t appear on personal credit reports. 

Truist is a newly formed bank following a merger between BB&T and Suntrust banks. Truist now enters the scene, and even those who have had or have cards with BB&T and Suntrust can apply for new business credit cards with Truist. Those with SunTrust and BB&T accounts that haven’t yet transferred to Truist – either manually or automatically should be considered to be Truist customers. Personally, I’m really excited to hear about new credit cards, especially new business credit cards. 

The new Truist Business Travel Rewards credit card and other business credit cards with Truist don’t appear to report to personal credit reports. New Truist options are great for veterans of the credit card game or those with few options for new business credit cards. Maybe you’re waiting to be back under Chase’s 5/24 rule or want to keep personal credit clearer to leverage 0% apr offers or position for cards with banks having stricter underwriting, including US Bank and Barclays.

Currently, recording in December of 2021, I’m waiting until April of 2022 to apply for business cards with Barclays and US Bank because a denial letter about eight months ago said I had opened too many accounts in the last 12 months. Following those applications, I’ll have to wait another eight months to get more credit cards with Chase. I’m out of business credit card options with other banks, including Wells Fargo, Citi, American Express. Therefore, it makes sense to wait for Barclays, Chase, and US Bank, and I can weave in another business credit card with Truist rather than waiting and getting no new cards. 

I also don’t want to get more personal credit cards at the moment because decent business credit card options remain, and I can get back in with Chase in late 2022. I also don’t see super-appealing personal credit cards I haven’t yet had except for Venture X, which I probably won’t approved for due to my thick credit file, including 28 active cards and several canceled. US Bank and Barclays have good personal cards I haven’t yet had, but the business offerings are also good. The Truist Business Cash Rewards card, then, can be an excellent addition to my portfolio on the same day after my applications with US Bank and Barclays.

Truist Business Travel Rewards won’t necessarily be your first business card. It won’t be my first option, but this card may be better as a later option or even an early option if you’ve been declined by other banks and have a relationship with Truist, including a business checking account. I reviewed the Truist Business Cash Rewards Credit Card in my previous episode. Most people, I imagine, would favor the cash rewards card over the travel rewards card. I found the cash rewards card to be stronger than the travel rewards card, which is rare in this miles and points game. However, both cards are strongly worth considering especially if you have a business checking account with Truist.

Months ago, I opened a business checking account with Truist to gain a few hundred dollars as a welcome bonus. I likely now have a better chance of being approved for a business card with Truist since I have a banking relationship with them and because they recognize my business. Without a relationship, approval chances may be slimmer, so it can be a great idea to start with a business checking account, including a bonus when that moment comes.

Let’s get into details about the Truist Business Travel Rewards card. You’ll gain 20,000 bonus miles for spending $2000 within 90 days of account opening. Unfortunately, this is a really low welcome bonus compared to other business credit cards, including Chase, American Express, Barclays, US Bank, and other issuers. However, as I mentioned, one would most likely be getting this card because they are low on other options, so 20,000 points is better than zero or continuing to use existing cards only getting 2% back on unbonused spending.

Diving into terms and conditions, the classic fine print, miles can be redeemed for statement credits, but this comes with some exclusions: miles redemptions for statement credits cannot be used to result in a negative balance or a credit balance. Miles redemptions can’t be used to satisfy minimum payments. Miles cannot be used to pay for credit card fees. These exclusions aren’t a big deal in my eyes, but it’s something to know. Points also have a long life – they expire at the end of the month five years after they are issued – strong! One must call Truist or visit a designated rewards website to redeem miles. I can’t imagine many people will want to call in, so an online redemption is an excellent option. Hopefully, this designated rewards website will be easy to use and linked on the same site one would use to make credit card payments.

I really like this flexibility of points rather than being restricted to a travel portal or transfer partners. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a situation for uplift or increased value of points since they will just offset qualifying travel charges. But, of course, I’m not going to suggest you only have one credit card. The Truist points can be great, especially for smaller charges, assuming they work, like award booking fees and checked bags when you don’t have free checked bags. 

I wouldn’t recommend using Truist points for Hilton or Hyatt stays, especially if you have a card like American Express Aspire or World of Hyatt that provides a high multiplier for those charges. Truist points may also be well-used for off-brand hotel stays or rental car expenses. Terms and conditions, and I’ve read through them several times, don’t stipulate how much points are worth, so I’m going to assume that 20,000 points are worth at least $200, and hopefully, I’m not wrong about that!

Personally, I really like the flexibility of using points with my US Bank Altitude Reserve credit card. The ease of using rewards is great: typing the word redeem after making a travel purchase and getting 1.5 cents per point value. Truist points, unfortunately, have an extra step of going to a website to redeem points, but to be fair, this is common when considering most credit cards. I could definitely see parallels between points redeemed with the Altitude Reserve real-time mobile rewards feature. Since I like the flexibility of Altitude Reserve points for certain purchases, I’ll also like the flexibility of Truist points.

But if Truist points are only worth one cent per point when used for travel, using the card for unbonused spending past the spend required for the welcome bonus gives a terrible return. Airfare, hotel, and car rental spending only gives 2x points or miles, so I can’t see using this card for those types of spending when cards like Altitude Reserve, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or even American Express Blue Business Plus are better options. 2x has more appeal if points are worth more than one cent per point, but, again, that’s not clear.

Sadly, the Truist Business Travel Rewards credit card lacks a 0% APR introductory offer – many business credit cards offer 0% intro APR including other Truist business credit cards, so I’m not sure why this card lacks a 0% APR offer. I prefer business credit cards like US Bank Triple Cash, offering a $500 welcome offer and 0% intro APR. A 20,000 point welcome bonus is so weak that I’d first prefer the 0% intro APR Truist Business Cash Rewards card with no cash welcome bonus. 

The Truist Business Travel Rewards credit card has no annual fee for the first year, but then an odd $49 annual fee is charged past year one. I’m unsure why Truist charges an annual fee considering that the card offers little to no value in years two and beyond and many other business credit cards with annual fees provide ongoing value. The second year annual fee is another reason why I prefer to get the Truist Cash Rewards business card before the Truist Travel Rewards card.

Might year two be a strange situation of hoping for a retention offer to justify keeping the card? At least other business credit cards with small annual fees like the Wyndham Business card and Jet Blue Business cards offer anniversary points and ongoing benefits to justify keeping. However, not every credit card will be a long-term keeper card. That Truist Travel Rewards probably won’t be a keeper card is another reason I wouldn’t suggest this early on in a credit card journey. A $49 annual fee isn’t terrible, though, only about $4 a month to keep a line of credit and options. Maybe Truist will later add benefits to the card, including limited-time bonus categories or the ability to transfer points to travel partners to help offset this annual fee.

The Truist Travel Rewards card also offers a statement credit of up to $85 for a qualifying TSA Pre or Global Entry application fee, but so do many other credit cards. This benefit is a dime a dozen! Maybe someone with many friends and family members can gift this, but I’m sure that many listeners deep in the credit card game will value this benefit at zero dollars. Even those not deep in the game will likely get other credit cards offering this benefit before getting the Truist Travel Rewards card.  

Like the Truist Business Cash Rewards Card, Truist offers a somewhat generous 10% points or miles bonus on rewards for Truist business checking account holders. As always, America loves math, getting 1.1% or 2.2% on spending. One can then consider the welcome bonus to be worth slightly more since you’ll be spending to get there, but, again, spending should dramatically plummet after the minimum spend bonus requirement unless Truist improves this card or points are worth more than a cent per point or the effective 1.1%

The 10% bonus is interesting but doesn’t move the needle much. One can also get a 25% or 50% cash bonus with a large amount of money with Truist, but I can’t see doing this because the opportunity cost is too high. 

Overall, the Truist Travel Rewards card is a somewhat appealing later-game play for a welcome bonus. Twenty thousand points and another line of credit is better than 0 points and no more credit. Once one has exhausted options for other business cards and is looking to either get or stay under Chase’s 5/24 rule, Truist cards are a gamechanger in the sense that they are new options for a free loan and some rewards, but it isn’t a fist pump and certainly isn’t something I would recommend for people who haven’t yet acquired many other business credit cards. 

Truist also has a third business card named Truist Business Credit Card. This no annual fee card offers no welcome offer and no rewards, not even 1% cashback, but does offer 0% intro APR for 12 months after account opening. I can’t imagine any listener of this show preferring this card to the Travel Rewards or Cash Rewards card. 

The Cash Rewards card should be better than the Truist Business Credit Card because the Cash Rewards card offers 0% APR for nine months and rewards for spending, including bonused spending categories. I can’t see giving up a lifetime of rewards, even a minimum of $1100 – that’s 1.1% back from spending on a $10,000 credit line utilizing nine months of 0% APR. I can’t see essentially losing or paying $1100 for a three-month loan…and that $1100 figure is a lowball estimate. One may spend in bonused categories and continue to use the Truist Business Cash Rewards card after spending for a 0% APR offer. However, one may get the 12-month 0% APR card as a third option as a super late-game play if Truist allows one to have three different business cards.

One other interesting point about Truist, according to a trusted source, is that they pull from Equifax personal credit reports. Suppose your Transunion and Experian reports have had heavy activity in the last six months. In that case, your valuation of Truist business cards may increase as, of course, it should be better than just sitting around waiting for time to pass before getting new credit cards.

Ladies and gentlemen, Romans, Countrymen, we have a possible win in the war on happiness with a new business credit card many listening may consider a freebie. This card, though, is new to me and not much information about it is available. I have said that this card probably won’t appear on personal credit and should do this and that. I’ll do more research before applying, and so should you, but this does seem to be a great start. If you have any Truist information, please leave comments on YouTube and elsewhere!

We also don’t know how many credit cards Truist may allow, if the welcome offer is only once per lifetime, if one can have multiple business credit cards with Truist (and how long one should wait in between business credit cards), and if Truist wants detailed business information for a line of credit. I had to go in-branch to open my Truist business checking account, and the banker was satisfied with conversation, an EIN letter, and articles of organization for my business. Truist pulls from Experian personal credit, but does it report to business credit card bureaus? I don’t know.

Hopefully, Truist credit cards don’t have strict underwriting or scrutiny. Either way, I often suggest that people have a real business, not just a business in quotes or an alleged sole proprietor business not registered with a state. Eventually, you will run into roadblocks with a not-so-business business, so just play it straight and have more success…even if your business is just a small side gig.

Thanks for listening, and stay tuned for future episodes.

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