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®
One of the most popular and versatile rewards credit cards on the market is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The Chase card does carry a $95 annual fee, but that fee is offset by an annual $50 hotel credit.
You can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on your card in the first three billing cycles. The bonus alone is worth $750 towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You’ll also earn points for common household spending such as select streaming services, dining and online grocery purchases.
Unlike the Bank of America Travel Rewards card, Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a ton of travel and other benefits like:
- $50 annual hotel credit
- 10% anniversary point boost
- Partner benefits with Lyft, DoorDash and Peloton
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Trip Delay Reimbursement
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
- Extended Warranty Protection
- Purchase Protection
- 1:1 point transfer to 13 travel partner programs
The number of benefits offered by the card issuer is astounding considering its relatively low annual fee compared to premium travel cards.
Capital One® VentureOne Rewards Card
Another top travel rewards card without an annual fee is the Capital One® VentureOne Rewards Card. You can earn 25,000 bonus miles with the Capital One card after you spend $500 on the card in the first three months of account opening. Your spending earns unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Like the Bank of America Travel Rewards card, VentureOne comes with an introductory 0% APR offer on purchases, albeit it only lasts for the first 12 months after account opening.
Where VentureOne outperforms the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is in the areas of card benefits and redemption options. It comes with auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance and extended warranty coverage. Cardholders can use bonus miles to book flights, hotels and more. There’s also an option to transfer miles to several travel partner loyalty programs.
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.
|Bank of America Travel Rewards Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred||Capital One VentureOne||Amex Green Card|
|Sign-Up Bonus||25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days||60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months||25,000 miles after spending $500 in the first three months||45,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first six months|
|Rewards Rate||Unlimited 1.5 points per dollar on all spending||
|Intro APR Offer||0% APR on purchases for the first 15 billing cycles||None||0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months||None|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||None||None||None||None|
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.