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BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card: A Good Value for International Travelers

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, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

Image of BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
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"Decent card if you are looking to have no foreign transaction fees, and an EMV chip for no annual fee"

Contents

The BankAmericard 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 BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card generally falls flat when compared to stronger competitors, such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. However, consumers who have an existing account with Bank of America can see higher rewards rates, depending on the average balance they maintain in their accounts. Those holding $50k+ will receive a point bonus that will put their rewards rates up to 2.25% to 2.625% - much better than the top travel rewards cards.

Features we like best about the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card:

  • No annual fee for a fair everyday spending credit card
  • No foreign transaction fees and EMV chip make the card great for international travel
  • Great rewards rates for existing Bank of America customers

Where we think the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card falls short:

  • Subpar rewards rate of just 1.5% when compared to stronger competitors (can be made up for, provided you have a BofA account)

Review: Is the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card 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. The Barclaycard, for example, gives back a value of 2.1% on every $1 spent, compared to the 1.5% of the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card. Consumers who have a savings, checking or other deposit account with Bank of America can qualify for a point bonus, which can make this credit card competitive with the Arrival Plus and other top rewards cards. Just having an open account qualifies consumers for a 10% point increase, putting them at 1.65 points per $1. The best value kicks in once you have an average of $50,000 put away with BofA — then you begin earning 2.25 points per $1, and eventually can go as high as 2.625. We explain these relationship bonuses in greater detail below.

The welcome offer on the BankAmericard Travel Rewards is among the best for 'no-annual fee' travel rewards cards. Coming in at just $200 (when used as statement credit towards travel purchases), it is higher than virtually all cash back credit card bonus offers. For the biggest bonus offers, however, you will need to look at cards like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. Even if you are taking advantage of the abovementioned relationship bonus at its peak, you will have to spend around $57,000 with the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card before it starts making up the difference in bonuses between it and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. If you only hold between $50k to $99k with the bank, you will need to spend $200,000 before you start seeing profits greater than that of the Arrival Plus.

This credit card has no annual fee, an EMV chip, AND no foreign transaction fees. This sort of combination is rare among most credit cards, which is why we think the BankAmericard Travel Rewards 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 BankAmericard Travel Rewards, for this exact reason.

One other noteworthy aspect of the card is the ShopSafe® feature, which helps protect users from having their credit card information stolen when shopping online. If taken advantage of, this card benefit can help in creating a sense of security to any virtual shopper who worries about such a thing happening. We explain how this, and other features, work in the sections below.

What are the Benefits & Features of the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card?

Image of BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
Annual Fee $0.00
Purchase APR 15.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases
Card Details
  • 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
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 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 15.99% - 23.99% 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%

Every purchase you make with the BankAmericard 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 BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card works similarly to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus (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. In order to redeem your rewards, you must accumulate at least 2,500 points – that translates to approximately $1,667 in purchases.

There are 20,000 bonus rewards points up for grabs within the first 90 days of opening a BankAmericard Travel Rewards 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 20,000 point bonus. Also, the bonus is entirely based on spending (cash advances, fees, and balance transfers do not count).

The value of a single BankAmericard reward point is $0.01. We get this by examining the card’s signing offer. You receive 20,000 points, which BoA claims is worth $200 in travel statement credit. $200 / 20,000 points = $0.01. Since you are earning 1.5 points with each dollar you spend, the card has an effective rewards rate of 1.5%. This is a fairly unimpressive showing, since the best travel rewards cards will get you rewards rates of 2%+. There is an opportunity to increase the amount of points you earn with each purchase, if you are a Bank of America account holder. We break down this in more detail, in the section below.

Rewards Bonus for Bank of America Savings & Checking Account Holders

If you currently do business with Bank of America, you will earn anywhere between 10% and 75% more rewards points with every purchase. Just by having an active BoA account, you will earn 1.65 points on every $1 spent using the card. The more money you hold with the bank, the greater your point bonus becomes.

Average BoA Balance Point Bonus Rewards Rate
<$20k 10% 1.65%
$20K - $50K 25% 1.88%
$50K to $100K 50% 2.25%
$100K+ 75% 2.63%

To qualify, these must be your 3-month average combined balances. The money can be held in either a Bank of America banking, or Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment account.

What are the Additional Perks of the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card?

EMV Chip: The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is ideal for those who travel abroad, due to it having an EMV chip installed. Most other countries have done away with the standard magnetic strip credit cards that we’re used to. As a matter of fact, even the United States is slowly transitioning to using EMV technology. As such, more and more credit cards come equipped with this onboard chip. The BankAmericard Travel Rewards is one of the few early adapters in that regard.

No FX Fee: Consumers can use the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card outside of the United States, without paying fees. While most other credit cards tack on a 3% fee to each transaction made in foreign currency, this credit card does away with such fees. We've found that it the Bank of America Travel rewards credit card is one of the few to not charge a foreign transaction fee in conjunction with no annual fees.

ShopSafe®: The BankAmericard Travel Rewards card also helps protect users from having their credit card information stolen online, with ShopSafe®. When you use this service to make any purchase online, Bank of America will generate a temporary credit card number for you, which you may use in the transaction. This number will still link to your account, but will become void after a certain time has passed. This way, if somebody on the other end grabs the credit card information you entered into your computer, it will be useless to them, since they will not have access to your real card number.

How does the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card compare to other credit cards?

We examined how the BankAmericard Travel Rewards 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.

BankAmericard 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 to the flat 1.5% you get with the Bank of Americard Travel Rewards Card (without the relationship bonus). As long as more than half of your spending skews towards travel and dining, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card provides the higher value.

The BankAmericard bonus pales in comparison to that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The latter offers up a bonus worth up to $625 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. That is $425 more in value over the Bank of America Travel Rewards card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is meant for high spenders, and comes with an introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $95 every year after that. This means that if you are not a big travel spender, the Bank of Americard Travel Rewards card will be a better fit, due to it being completely free. As long as you grab the signup bonus for the Chase card, however, it covers the cost of the annual fee for 5 years.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card vs Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

We generally prefer the BankAmericard 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 BofA card. The Capital One® VentureOne® card gives users 1.25x miles on every $1 they spend. That is a rewards rate .25% lower than that of the BankAmericard Travel Rewards. We recommend users interested in long-term savings to prefer the Bank of America credit card for that reason. 

The VentureOne® and BankAmericard Travel Rewards bonuses are on par with each other, both being valued at around $200. Therefore, when it comes to short-term gains, neither card has the advantage.

In terms of international travel utility, both the Bank Americard Travel Rewards and the Capital One® Venture® One have an EMV chip, and no foreign transaction fees, making them ideal for the big travelers.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card vs Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

Those who spend a lot of time abroad using their credit card should check out the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. Like the BofA Travel Rewards card, the Barclaycard Arrival has no foreign exchange fee and no annual fee. If you don't have a Bank of America account with more than $50k deposited in it, the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard will produce superior rewards on dining & travel expenses - provided you redeem your miles on travel statement credit.

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, on the other hand, is the better general spending card, for those consumers with more varied spending. If 50% of your credit card purchases fall into dining and travel categories, the Barclaycard Arrival is the better long-term deal - otherwise opt for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card

The welcome bonus is one area where the Barclaycard Arrival doesn't lag far behind the BofA card. It gives consumers $200 for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of their account opening - just like the BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card vs Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Unless you bank with BofA, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a better credit card than the Bank of Americard Travel Rewards, due simply to its flexibility. Both cards come with a 1.5% rewards rate – the only difference being that with the Quicksilver®, users get to enjoy cash back instead of travel statement credits. Users are also free to redeem their rewards anytime they need to – unlike with the Travel Rewards card, which requires consumers to redeem a minimum of 2,500 points. 

One feature which separates the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card from the Bank of America card, is the free credit score monitoring option. While, Bank of America has promised to offer this feature to all cardmembers at some point this year, it is still missing, giving the edge to Capital One® cardholders. 

The Bank of Americard Travel Rewards card does have a slightly longer 0% intro APR period (by 3 billing cycles), though we advise against this being a decider, as consumers should strive to not pay any interest in the first place.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card vs BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card is better for individuals who are less focused on travel, and more on domestic spending - particularly at grocery stores and purchases of gas. With this card, you receive 3% cash back on gas, 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 BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card – it will charge you 3% of each transaction. We definitely prefer the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card as the superior value for those who travel abroad.

Compare The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card Based On Your Personal Expenditures

In order to help consumers see how the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card can perform for them, we built an interactive rewards calculator. Input your estimated monthly expenses, and you will see our estimates for each card’s 2-year value.

Edit Monthly Spend: $1,430
General:
Gas:
Groceries:
Airlines:
Hotel:
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Utilities:
Computing:
Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the Rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s sign-up bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards Value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any sign-up bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 2.86%
$625
50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$1,028
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
APR 16.99% - 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $498
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.013 = $625
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,028
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
$0.00 1.99%
$200
20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases
$715
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0.00
APR 15.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • 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
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 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 15.99% - 23.99% 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%

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
20,000 x $0.01 = $200
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 715
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
$0 1.85%
$150
Get $150 bonus after spending $500 within the first 3 months
$665
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your Quicksilver card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 515 x $1 = $515
Bonuses
0 x $1 = $150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 665
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
$0 1.75%
$200
Receive 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months
$629
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0
APR 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.99%-22.99% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 42,900 x $0.01 = $429
Bonuses
20,000 x $0.01 = $200
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 629
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
$0.00 1.23%
$100
$100 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
$443
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $0.00
APR 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • No annual fee
  • $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases AND for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Bonuses
0 x $1 = $100
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 443

Bottom Line: Is the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card a Good Value?

The spending rewards on this credit card are nothing to write home about - unless you are someone who already has an account open with Bank of America, with at least $50k deposited in it. In that case, you're looking at pretty high rewards rate of 2.25%+ on each dollar spent with the Travel Rewards card from Bank of America. This card is a standout for those looking for a cheap way to be able to use a credit card on their trips to Europe or Asia, where EMV chips are a must-have. This, coupled with it having no foreign transaction fees makes the BankAmericard Travel Rewards one of the cheaper credit cards for international travel. If you are a high spender, however, we recommend going with a better travel rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Barclaycard Arrival Plus instead.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card Resources

How do I apply? To apply for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card you can visit the BofA website, or call 1 (800) 932 - 2775. You can also apply in person by visiting a Bank of America branch near you.

Can I use my rewards points to book future travel? No. Unlike most other travel rewards credit cards, the points earned using the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card are used retroactively as statement credits to cover the cost of travel expenses.

Comments and Questions

* 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.

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 here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.