Travel Credit Card Tips for Bank of America Members

Travel Credit Card Tips for Bank of America Members

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If you’re looking to earn more travel points, the Bank of America Travel Rewards program is worth considering for its simplicity. Bank of America issues three credit cards that could be great for beginner and expert travelers alike, with two personal and one business card options. With low (or no) annual fees, these travel credit cards could help you redeem your points to offset the cost of any travel-related purchases.

Which Bank of America travel credit card should I get?

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Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit cardBank of America® Premium Rewards® credit cardBank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card
Annual fee$0$95$0
Sign-up bonus25,000 online bonus points after at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account openingEarn 50,000 online bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days
Rewards rate1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases1.5 rewards points for every $1 on all purchases, 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center.
Foreign transaction fees?NoneNoneNone
Benefits and features
  • EMV Contactless Chip and PIN Number for added card security
  • Annual $100 credit that can be used towards ancillary travel fees.
  • $100 application fee reimbursement when you apply for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.
  • Premium travel protections and benefits
  • Travel and emergency services
  • Cash flow management tools

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card could work as a great starter travel credit card. It offers a sign-up bonus where you can earn 25,000 online bonus points after at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. These bonus points are worth $250, so it’s a solid offer considering it’s a no-annual-fee card. It’s equipped with EMV contactless chip technology and an option to add a PIN for added security, as well as no foreign transaction fees catered for international travel. You can earn points quickly and with relatively little effort, as you’ll earn an 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.

For a reasonable $95 annual fee, you could apply for the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card for exclusive travel benefits. With this card, you can earn 50,000 online bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. These points are worth $500 — although other travel cards have better sign-up bonuses, the card does come with other potentially key advantages.

With the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, you’ll earn two credits:

  • Annual $100 credit that can be used toward any ancillary travel purchase, such as baggage fees or airline lounge fees
  • $100 in airport security statement credits toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fees every four years

The first credit could make up for the $95 annual fee. Still, there are other premium travel protections, including assistance with trip delays, cancellations and interruptions, baggage delay inconvenience, lost luggage and emergency evacuation and transportation. This card could offer great value for both amateur and experienced travelers, thanks to its sign-up bonus, travel statement credits and complimentary trip warranties.

Finally, Bank of America provides a no-annual-fee business card option, the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card. You’ll Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days — worth $300. When booking travel through the Bank of America Travel Center, you’ll receive 1.5 rewards points for every $1 on all purchases, 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center. Other benefits include travel and emergency services and cash flow management tools, ideal for your small business.

Earn bonus points when booking through the Bank of America Travel Center

With any of these cards, you can earn an additional 1.5 points per $1 spent when booking travel through the Bank of America Travel Center. There is no limit to the bonus points you can earn through the Travel Center, although you won’t earn points on insurance purchases.

Credit cardTraditional earnings rateWith travel bonus
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire3 points per $1 spent on travel purchases through Bank of America Travel Center
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases3.5 points per $1 spent on travel purchases through Bank of America Travel Center
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card1.5 rewards points for every $1 on all purchases, 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center.4.5 points per $1 spent on travel purchases through Bank of America Travel Center

Since you can book flights, hotels and car rentals (among other possible travel needs and wants), you’ll want to be sure to utilize the Bank of America Travel Center to get anywhere from 3% to 4.5% in returns.

How to redeem Bank of America Travel Rewards

To get started, you’ll need to learn how to navigate the Bank of America Travel Rewards Center. First, go to BankofAmerica.com and log in to your account. Then, visit the “Rewards & Deals” tab to launch the Travel Rewards portal. Bank of America will inform you of how many points you have to redeem (in dollars) and any BankAmeriDeals offered at the moment. Click “View Details/Redeem” to launch the Bank of America Travel Rewards Center.

How to redeem Bank of America Travel Rewards

You’ll see three options for redeeming points — travel statement credit, gift card or cash. Once you click “Redeem” on any of these choices, you can then redeem all or part of your points. When selecting the travel statement credit, you’ll see all of your purchases eligible for reimbursement. Or, you can convert your travel points for gift cards and cash in just one step.

With three simple redemption options, the Bank of America Travel Rewards program could help beginners ease into the world of travel rewards. While other programs offer opportunities to transfer your points to airline and hotel loyalty programs, you can simply redeem your Bank of America points to erase any travel-related charges on your card.

Bank of America Travel Rewards

What’s the best way to use Bank of America travel points?

As travel rewards cards, the best way to use your Bank of America points is for travel statement credits. Although there are three redemption options available, you’ll always get the most value from travel — even if you’re not traveling at the moment, we don’t recommend the latter options.

Here’s a rundown on the value of each option:

Pay yourself back with a travel statement credit

To redeem your points for the travel statement credit, you can select any travel purchases from the last 12 months. You’ll need a minimum of 2,500 points to redeem, equating to $25 — this means that each point is worth 1 cent each.

And you won’t even have to cover the entire cost of the travel purchase — instead, you can pay with a partial amount of points. There also isn’t a limit on the number of points you can redeem, making this travel redemption option incredibly flexible and easy to understand.

Travel purchases encompass a broad range of categories, including:

Airlines and air carriersHotels, motels and resortsCar rental agenciesCruise lines
Taxis and limosTravel agencies and tour operatorsPassenger railwaysTravel-related arrangement services
Toll and bridge feesCar parking lots and garagesSuburban and local commuter passenger transportation, including ferriesBus lines
Airport, airport terminals and flying fieldsPackage tour operators (for use in Germany only)Real estate agents and managers rentalsTimeshares
Campgrounds and trailer parksMotorhome and recreational vehicle rentalTourist attractions and exhibitsArt dealers and galleries
Amusement parks, carnivals, circuses and fortune tellersAquariums, dolphinariums, zoos and seaquariumsBoat leases and boat rentalsOther recreation services

As you can see, travel isn’t limited to airfare and lodging accommodations. Instead, you can use your Bank of America Travel Rewards points to pay yourself back in numerous ways. To complete this transaction, simply select the charge you’d like to redeem your points for and enter the number of points you want to use, then send the travel credit request. If approved, you’ll receive a statement credit within three business days.

Redeem your points for gift cards

Bank of America also allows you to redeem your points for over 60 gift cards, and you can choose from Amazon to Nordstrom. Gift card amounts range from $25 to $500. However, when redeeming for gift cards, your points are only worth 0.8 cents each.

Redeem your points for a direct deposit or personal check

Finally, you can redeem your Bank of America points for a direct deposit or personal check. However, we don’t recommend this, as it provides the worst redemption value. You’ll need a minimum of 4,166 points to redeem, which will give you $25 in a direct deposit to your checking or savings account or in a personal check. Your points are worth a meager 0.6 cents each, so you should only consider this option if you’re in a pinch.

ValuePenguin’s verdict

The Bank of America Travel Rewards program comes with no frills, but still provides incredible value. While other travel rewards programs let you transfer points to hotel and airline loyalty programs, the Bank of America Travel Rewards program keeps things simple by allowing you to use points to offset any travel purchase. This provides you with the utmost flexibility, and you’re not limited to one airline or hotel. And while Bank of America’s three travel cards don’t offer you ultra-luxurious travel benefits, they do come equipped with necessary features for travel such as no foreign transaction fees and top-notch card security.

The information related to Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Stella Shon

Stella Shon is a travel credit cards writer with ValuePenguin. After studying abroad in Paris three years ago, she became determined to keep traveling. That’s when she discovered the world of points and miles, which enabled her to travel on a student budget. Since then, she’s flown over 150,000 miles and earned more than 500,000 points and miles with eight different credit cards. While in college, she even co-founded her own travel agency, helping her peers plan and book trips on a budget. As a recent journalism graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, her goal is to write about travel to make it simpler and achievable for everyone. Her work has also appeared on JetBlue, The Points Guy, Travel + Leisure and CNBC.

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).