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

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

Editor's Rating

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The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a great rewards credit card for consumers interested in simple travel rewards without any frills.

Good For

  • Earning simple travel rewards; 0% intro APR offer on purchases; No annual or foreign transaction fee

Bad For

  • Maximizing expenses to earn high rewards rates; Consumers with large expenses
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
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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.","showIcon":false,"tooltipLabel":"?"}

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a great rewards credit card for consumers interested in simple travel rewards without any frills.

Good For

  • Earning simple travel rewards; 0% intro APR offer on purchases; No annual or foreign transaction fee

Bad For

  • Maximizing expenses to earn high rewards rates; Consumers with large expenses
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® 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. Purchases made in the Bank of America Travel Center earn another 1.5 points per $1 to equal 3 points per $1.

We think that on its own, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card generally falls flat when compared to stronger competitors, such as the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. However, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card has several features that make it worth considering.

Review: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card is great for simplicity, not for maximizing rewards

Unless you are a BofA customer, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card is far from being one of the best rewards cards or even one of the best travel cards. The rewards from your purchases aren’t rewarded as highly as other cards, while options like the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card provide users with higher rewards rates and better bonuses.

If you are a current Bank of America customer, your points can be worth much more through the Preferred Rewards program. The program gives members a boost in the value of their points and discounts on other banking products determined by their banking relationship. The more money you have with Bank of America, the more your points will be worth.

Overall, the card has notable features that can be utilized to save consumers money.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card benefits and features

Generous welcome offer for a No Annual Fee card

The card offers 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Keep in mind that the bonus requirement is entirely based on spending (cash advances, fees and balance transfers do not count).

Earning Bank of America Premium Rewards points

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card is a simple, flat-rate card that gives you 1.5 points for every $1 you spend. Each point is worth 1 cent per point, so in essence, you will earn 1.5 cents per $1 spent in value.

The main benefit of a flat-rate card is not needing to track spending categories. However, the largest downside of a flat-rate credit card is not being able to maximize specific purchases for more rewards. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, on the other hand, has tiered cash back where you earn more for specific categories of purchases.

To find out whether a flat-rate card is best for you, take a look at your monthly statements. Are you spending primarily in one or two categories, such as supermarkets or gas? If so, a tiered card may earn you more rewards. If your spending varies between various categories, or you simply have no interest in tracking spending categories, a flat-rate credit card may be the better option for you.

Valuable rewards for Bank of America customers

The rewards you earn on the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card are extremely flexible. They can be redeemed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Off-setting travel purchases in the last 12 months (1 point = 1 cent in value; min. redemption of 2,500 points = $25)
  • Cash back (min. redemption of 2,500 points = $15)
  • Gift cards (min. redemption of 3,125 points; redemption value varies)

It’s best to hold your points to offset travel purchases to get the highest value, and Bank of America qualifies a wide variety of purchases as travel: airlines, hotels, campgrounds, car rentals, cruise lines, trains, buses, taxis, ferries, parking lots and garages, tolls and bridge fees, tourist attractions and more.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards bonus tiers

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card doesn’t provide the most valuable rewards compared to other programs. However, you can boost the value of the points you earn by enrolling in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program — up to 2.625 in value per $1 spent.

The program is based on a tiered system defined by your balance in your Bank of America accounts and or Merrill investment accounts. Here are the rewards that you earn with the card at each tier:

  • Gold ($20,000-$49,900) — 25% rewards bonus (1.875 cents per $1 spent)
  • Platinum ($50,000-$99,000) — 50% rewards bonus (2.25 cents per $1 spent)
  • Platinum Honors ($100,000-$250,000) — 75% rewards bonus (2.625 cents per $1 spent)

Good benefits for international travel

If you have international travel on your bucket list and don’t want to invest in a credit card with an annual fee, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card could be one of your best bets.

First, the card does not have foreign transaction fees. If you’re abroad, Bank of America will process your purchases without charging a foreign transaction fee, regardless of the currency.

Also, the card comes with an EMV chip and the option to add a PIN number. This feature provides an additional layer of security when used at a chip-enabled payment terminal, plus you can potentially use the card at unattended terminals where PIN numbers are required.

Introductory APR

If you have a large purchase or trip planned, an introductory APR offer can help you make payments over time on your expenses without accruing any interest. You will have an APR of 0% for first 12 months on new purchases. After that, your APR will be 17.24% - 25.24% Variable.

This card doesn’t offer an introductory APR on balance transfers, but there are many balance transfer credit cards to choose from to consolidate credit card debt.

Credit score and approval odds

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card requires a good-to-excellent credit score to be approved. Additionally, the sign-up bonus is available to new applicants only, so this offer will not be available if you are switching from another Bank of America card to this one.

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

More rewards on dining and travel

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 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.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers better rewards for consumers whose spending skews towards dining and travel. The card gives you 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. The card’s points are also more valuable, since you get a 25% boost in value on points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus, you can transfer points to a variety of travel partners, including United MileagePlus®, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® and IHG® Rewards Club.

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® 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.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is meant for consumers with larger expenses, as it comes with an annual fee of $95. If you’re not a big travel spender, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card will likely be a better fit, as it has No Annual Fee.

Good point transfer options

We generally prefer the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card over the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. 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 Visa® credit card.

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card gives users 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day — nearly 17% lower than that of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card. Not to mention, travel purchases made through the Bank of America Travel Center with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card will earn you 3 points per dollar, boosting your earnings even further.

However, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card does allow you to transfer miles to select travel partners, allowing you to potentially increase the value of the points that you earn. Also, this card comes with travel accident insurance and rental car insurance, while the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card has no coverage at all.

Customizable cash back rewards

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
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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/furnishings) 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.

However, 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 foreign transaction. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card is the superior card for those who travel abroad.

The information related to Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Brett Holzhauer

Brett Holzhauer is ValuePenguin’s travel rewards expert, focusing on credit card rewards maximization, consumer travel trends, and personal finance news. He has earned and burned over 5 million points and miles throughout his travels, saving him roughly $75,000 in travel expenses.

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.

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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.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred 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).

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
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