Earning travel rewards is a great way to earn free travel, but many cards charge a premium for access to points and miles programs. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is an excellent vehicle to earn bonus points for travel statement credits without the hassle of an annual fee. Moreover, if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards Member, the pathway to building up points quickly is even easier. But is the simple bonus rewards program structure and sign-up bonus enough to make the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card worth having?
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Review
Keep reading to learn more about the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, its benefits and drawbacks and how it compares to other travel rewards credit cards.
Bonus: 25,000 Points
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card comes with a one-time 25,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $1,000 on your card in the first 90 days from account opening. Each point is valued at one cent; so the 25,000-point bonus is the equivalent of a $250 statement credit towards travel purchases.
One of the best benefits of the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is the fact that you can easily redeem your points for different travel experiences. You don’t have to worry about blackout dates or special conditions. There’s no need to worry about loyalty to a particular brand, either.
Your points are used for a statement credit to pay for travel expenses, including hotels, flights, cruises, vacation packages and rental cars. You can even redeem your points to pay for baggage fees.
Unlike many travel rewards credit cards that earn varying rates depending on the spending category, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card earns an unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases. There’s no cap on how many points you earn through your spending.
Additionally, you can earn 25%-75% more points on spending if you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member. That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 spent.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card carries no annual fee. Having to pay an annual fee each year can cut into your rewards. Although many travel rewards credit cards with annual fees offer enough value to justify the cost. With no annual fee, though, nothing is getting in the way of rewards earning with the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card.
Introductory 0% APR
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card comes with an introductory APR offer of 0% interest on purchases for the first 15 billing cycles from account opening. Intro offers are perfect for individuals who have upcoming large purchases they want to pay off over time without paying costly interest fees. After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR that’s currently 13.99% to 23.99% will apply. There is no introductory APR offer on balance transfers with this travel credit card.
Credit card issuers don’t typically post credit requirements online. We recommend that you have a good to excellent FICO credit score (670 – 850) if you plan to apply for the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card.
Beyond earning points you can use towards travel, the only other travel benefit that comes with the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is no foreign transaction fees. Here are a few of the travel card’s benefits.
Free credit score
Cardmembers can opt-in to receive free monthly FICO scores. The service is available through online access and the Bank of America mobile app.
You are protected against fraudulent charges if your card is lost or stolen.
Customers can connect their card to a Bank of America checking account to prevent overdrafts, declined purchases and returned checks.
Set up account alerts to make sure you’re on top of due dates and your balance.
The Bank of America Travel card is a contactless card, which combines the security of a chip card with the convenience of contactless payment. On top of that, Bank of America is compatible with digital wallet technology. You can add your Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card to your phone and use it to shop at the store or even buy things in-app using Apple Pay or Google Pay. This card is also compatible with Samsung Pay.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Because this card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, it’s ideal for use when you travel overseas. Other credit cards might charge 3% on foreign transaction fees, but you won’t have to worry about it.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card has two primary options when you want to redeem your bonus points. First, you can cash in your points towards statement credit for travel purchases. The minimum redemption amount is 2,500 points, which — with each point worth one cent — is the equivalent of $25.
Because points are redeemed as statement credits, you can book travel anywhere. Rather than trying to earn points through a hotel or loyalty program, you can instead earn points for each purchase and then redeem them to pay for any travel purchase — without worrying about restrictions or blackouts.
You can also redeem your Bank of America points for gift cards. Gift card redemptions start at 3,125 points.
Bank of America bonus points never expire as long as your card is open and in good standing. You can redeem your points for statement credits or gift cards when you hit the minimum requirement or you can save them up and use them at a later time.
You can further your rewards earning with the Bank of America Travel Rewards card through the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. The program has three tiers: Gold, Platinum and Platinum Honors. Your tier is based on your combined balances in Bank of America® deposit and/or Merrill® investment accounts.
To qualify to become a BOA Preferred Rewards member, you must have:
- An eligible Bank of America checking account
- A three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill® investment accounts
As mentioned earlier, Preferred Rewards members earn up to 75% more points, up to 2.62 points per dollar spent, on all spending.
Also, Preferred members enjoy other benefits like no fees at non-BOA ATMs, interest rate discounts on select loans and other relationship benefits.
Unfortunately, the large balance requirements could keep many cardholders from enjoying increased bonus points earning. Plus, other travel cards offer a higher rewards rate in certain spending categories.
One of the best benefits of the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is that it carries no annual fee. Many travel rewards credit cards come with annual fees of around $95 or more. The card charges fees for balance transfers, but it does not charge foreign transaction fees. That means you can use your Bank of America Travel Rewards card anywhere in the world without having to pay transaction fees on spending.
Here are some other fees you could see when using your Bank of America Travel Rewards Card:
- Annual fee: No
- Balance transfer fee: Yes
- Foreign transaction fee: No
- Cash advance fees: Yes
- Late payment fees: Yes
- Returned payment fees: Yes
Always read the terms and conditions for any credit card you are thinking about applying for so you’re familiar with its fees.
While there’s a lot to like about the Bank of America Travel Rewards card, it’s not without its faults. Here are some of the drawbacks to consider when weighing if this is the right choice for you.
Limited travel perks: Besides no foreign transaction fees, the card doesn’t offer much value for travelers. Because it’s a Visa Signature card, you may have access to some perks like travel protections and hotel benefits. Bank of America travel rewards leave a lot to be desired.
Limited redemption options: With only two redemption options, the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is much more limited than other travel rewards credit cards on the market. Many loyalty rewards programs allow you to transfer your points to travel partner programs like airlines and hotels. Some cash-back credit cards offer more flexibility than the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card.
Small sign-up bonus: The card comes with a sign-up bonus worth $250 in statement credits for travel purchases. Although the spending requirement is relatively low, so is the bonus itself compared to other travel credit cards.
No bonus spending categories: Many travel rewards cards offer ways to earn higher rewards in specific categories like travel, dining and groceries. While you can earn unlimited points for spending with this card, it’s only at a rate of 1.5 points per dollar.
How Does It Compare to Other Travel Rewards Cards
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card isn’t the only travel rewards card around. Other popular credit cards may offer better rewards and higher rewards rates. Here’s a look at how the Bank of America Travel Rewards card compares to other top travel rewards credit cards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Secure application on issuer’s website.
Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 60,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-5X Points
Details: Full Review
Terms and restrictions apply
Annual Fee: $95
APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.
Rewards Rate: The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.
Sign-Up Bonus: New applicants can earn 60,000 bonus points after using their card to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That’s $750 when redeeming points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who are beginning with travel rewards cards.
Why We Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred actually works like having over a dozen different rewards credit cards. That’s because this credit card allows you to transfer your rewards points into miles with 11 airlines and points with three hotel programs.
Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred might not be ideal for the most frequent travelers and highest spenders, it’s part of a family of Chase cards that has a built-in upgrade path. So when it comes time to take your travel rewards game to the next level, you won’t have to start from scratch with an entirely different credit card and rewards program.
The card has a $95 annual fee, but the $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit effectively reduces that fee to $45. Plus, the credit card allows you to continue earning points through bonus categories and a 10% anniversary points boost. But when it comes time to redeem your rewards for travel, this card really shines. You can take advantage of some really strong transfer partners such as United, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. Similarly, you can just book any reservation you want through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card
Secure application on issuer’s website.
Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: 20,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1.25X-5X Miles
Details: Full Review
Terms and restrictions apply
Annual Fee: $0
Intro APR: The card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases. The VentureOne Rewards Card charges a 3% balance transfer fee for transferred balances during the 15-month promotion.
APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR will apply.
Rewards Rate: The card offers unlimited 1.25x miles per dollar on every purchase you make. You’ll also earn 5X miles on all hotel and rental car purchases that you make with the card through Capital One’s proprietary travel booking platform.
Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $500 with the card during the first three months of account opening.
Who Should Use This Credit Card? Travel rewards enthusiasts who want simplicity in credit card rewards and benefits without paying an annual fee.
Why We Like the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card features several standout benefits. The introductory, 15-month APR of 0% is notable, and so is the 20,000 bonus mile opportunity with a low $500 spending requirement.
But perhaps the most appealing feature of this travel credit card is the ability to transfer miles to Capital One travel partners—an uncommon feature on a card with no annual fee.Plus, the ability to transfer miles to travel partners—both airlines and hotels—is arguably the most attractive feature of this travel card.
American Express® Green Card
You can’t mention travel rewards credit cards without including an American Express card, the American Express Green Card. Right now, you can earn 45,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first six months of card membership. Earn 3X points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and on travel, which includes flights, hotels, transit, subway swipes, taxis and ridesharing services. This card also offers 1x point per dollar on all other purchases.
The Amex Green Card does have a higher annual fee, at $150, but it also features extensive perks like:
- $100 CLEAR® membership statement credit annually
- $100 statement credit for airport lounge access annually
- Trip delay insurance
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Baggage Insurance
- No foreign transaction fees
- Extended warranty protection
- Purchase protection
The Amex Green Card is geared more towards frequent travelers than the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card.
Check out the handy chart below for a side-by-side comparison of these four travel rewards credit cards.
Apply for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers simple rewards earning and a chance to earn free travel without paying fees. Redeeming your points is limited, so frequent travelers may be better offer finding a more versatile travel rewards credit card. Without the extra travel perks found with other cards, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is better as a starter travel rewards card or current Bank of America customers who want to maximize rewards earning.
Frequently Asked Questions:
You can use the rewards earned from your Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card to reimburse yourself for any travel or restaurant expenses at the rate of one cent per point. Additionally, you can redeem your points as cash back in the form of a statement credit. However, at one-half cent per point, the cash-back rate only offers half of the value. You can also redeem your rewards points for gift cards at varying values, depending on current promotions. Keep in mind that there is a minimum redemption of 2,500 points per transaction.
In terms of earning points for travel with a $0 annual fee, the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is a good credit card. However, if you’re interested in earning out-sized redemption value for your everyday spending, consider a travel rewards credit card with an issuer that offers a rewards-booking portal or 1:1 travel transfer partners like Capital One, Chase or American Express.
Bank of America defines eligible travel purchases broadly and includes spending on airfare, hotel stays and other lodgings, car and select vehicle rentals, and commuting expenses.
Points earned with the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card can be redeemed at a value of $0.01 per point (100 points is the equivalent of $1). The points-per-dollar value may be lower than other travel credit cards, but this card does not limit you to a specific airline, hotel, or vendor. Simply make eligible travel purchases with your credit card, and points can be used to reimburse you for those expenses. Plus, with a $0 annual fee, this card is a strong option for people who want to earn rewards travel without committing to the cost of an annual fee.