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Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: A Good Value for International Travelers

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: A Good Value for International Travelers

Editor's Rating: 4.0/5.0
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Editor's Rating

{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

4.0/5.0

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is one of the issuer’s top credit card offerings. Cardholders earn an unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, making this card good for everyday spending. We think that on its own, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card generally falls flat when compared to stronger competitors, such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®.

Review: Is the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Worth It?

Unless you are a BofA customer, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is far from being one of the best rewards cards or even one of the best travel cards. Other options, like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, provide users with higher rewards rates and better bonuses. For example, it gives back a value of 2.1% on every $1 spent (the card actually offers 2 miles for every $1 you spend, but we value each mile at $0.0105), compared to the 1.5% of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card.

The welcome offer on the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is among the best for 'no-annual fee' travel rewards cards. Coming in at $250 (when used as statement credit towards travel purchases), it is higher than a lot of competing cash back credit card bonus offers.

This credit card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. This sort of combination is rare among most credit cards, which is why we think the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card does stand out and offer consumers some value. Most other credit cards that offer EMV technology and no-foreign exchange fees tend to cost a lot in terms of annual fees - some upwards of $80 to $100. Consumers who don't have high enough spending to justify an annual fee card, but find themselves shopping abroad, have a lot to gain from a card like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, for this exact reason.

What are the Benefits & Features of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card?

On Bank of America's Secure Website

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

On Bank of America's Secure Website
25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
Annual Fee
$0
APR
17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR on purchases
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent/Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

Every purchase you make with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card earns you 1.5 points per $1. These points can later be redeemed as statement credit on travel expenses. In this way, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card works similarly to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® (in that rewards are used only retroactively). You use points to pay for past purchases - you may not use your rewards points to book future travel like you would with some other travel rewards credit cards.

There are 25,000 bonus rewards points up for grabs within the first 90 days of opening a Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card account. To qualify, a cardmember must spend at least $1,000 on purchases, within the allotted time. This does not mean you must carry a balance of $1,000 for 3 months. For example, if you make purchases totaling $1,000 in the first 7 days you get the card, then pay off your credit card bill in full, you will receive the 25,000 point bonus. Also, the bonus is entirely based on spending (cash advances, fees, and balance transfers do not count).

How does the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card compare to other credit cards?

We examined how the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card fared against the competition. To do so, we compared the value from spending, bonuses, and other utilities provided by each of the cards below.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers better rewards rates to those consumers whose spending skews towards dining and travel. With 2x points on every $1 spent in those categories, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a rewards rate of up to 2% (and 1% on all other spending). This is much better than the flat 1.5% you get with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (without the relationship bonus).

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card bonus pales in comparison to that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The latter offers up a bonus worth up to $750 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. That is $500 more in value over the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is meant for high spenders, and comes with an annual fee of $95. This means that if you are not a big travel spender, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card will be a better fit, due to it being completely free. As long as you grab the signup bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, however, it covers the cost of the annual fee for 7 years.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card vs Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

We generally prefer the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card to the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, due to the fact that the two cards are extremely similar, with one of the key differences being the better long-term earning potential of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card card gives users 1.25x miles on every $1 they spend. That is a rewards rate .25% lower than that of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card awards 10x miles on purchases made through hotels.com/Venture until January 31, 2020.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card vs Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is better for individuals who are less focused on travel, and more on domestic spending. With this card, you receive 3% cash back on a category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishing) and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter. Users earn 1% cash back on everything else.

Where do the two cards differ most? That would be in the foreign transaction fee! If you are someone who wants to use their card abroad, you should steer clear of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card – it will charge you 3% of each transaction. We definitely prefer the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card as the superior value for those who travel abroad.

Comments and Questions

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, Amazon Business American Express Card, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates are ValuePenguin's alone and for illustrative purposes only. The estimates are not a guarantee, agreement, or commitment to redemption amounts and may not have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).