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Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Review: Simple Rewards for Travel

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Review: Simple Rewards for Travel

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a good option for those who prefer simple travel rewards with $0 annual fee — especially Bank of America Preferred Rewards program members.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Quick facts

  • Welcome offer: Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earning rate: 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. Also earn 3 points per dollar on travel bookings made through Bank of America's Travel Center
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Introductory offer: New cardholders qualify for a 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, followed by 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases

Pros:

  • Simple flat rewards rate on every purchase. Earn 3 points per dollar on travel bookings through Bank of America
  • Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn 25% to 75% more rewards
  • $0 annual fee
  • Introductory APR offer for purchases
  • Rewards are simple to redeem
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • Best rewards rate is reserved for Bank of America's Preferred Rewards customers
  • No everyday spending bonus categories (other than travel through Bank of America)
  • No way to increase the value of rewards — rewards are always 1 cent each
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Is the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card worth it?

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card can be worth it for those who want to earn generous, simple rewards for travel with no annual fee. After all, this card lets members earn the same rewards on every purchase. Rewards are also easy to use whether you travel far away or stick closer to home. Cardholders can redeem their rewards for any travel or dining purchase at a rate of 1 cent per point. Eligible purchases include flights, hotel stays, vacation rentals, baggage fees, dining and more.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards members have an even bigger incentive to sign up since they can earn 25% to 75% more rewards for each dollar spent. However, joining this program requires a minimum average daily balance of $20,000 in an eligible Bank of America account, so most people won't qualify.

Earn 25,000 bonus points

With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you can earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening – which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel and dining purchases.

Since points earned with this card are worth one cent each when redeemed for travel or dining purchases, these points are worth $250 in restaurant bills, hotels, rental car charges or flights.

This bonus is not as high as many other travel credit cards on the market today, especially since some top travel credit cards are offering initial bonuses of $600 or more right now. However, it's pretty standard among travel credit cards with no annual fee.

money icon

What it's worth: $250

Who's eligible to earn this offer?: Customers opening a new account in response to this offer — the offer does not apply to existing accounts. The fine print also states that "your account must be open with active charging privileges in order to receive this offer."

Bank of America also has some unpublished rules regarding sign-up bonuses and how many cards you can have:

  • According to user reports, you can be approved for two new cards within two months of account opening, three new cards in a 12-month period and four new cards every 24 months.
  • You may also be limited to seven new cards from Bank of America every 12 months if you're a checking or savings account customer, or three new cards every 12 months if you're not.
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Earn 1.5X points for every $1 you spend

With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you can 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.

Cardholders who spend a lot on travel can also earn 3 points per dollar spent on travel bookings made through the Bank of America Travel Center.

While this is a decent rate for a no-annual-fee card, you can do much better with a premium travel card, many of which justify their annual fees with better rewards and more valuable redemption options.

The chart below shows how the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card stacks up in rewards earned per $1 spent for the average consumer:

Average rewards earned per $1 spent

$0.044
American Express® Gold Card
$0.025
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
$0.02
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
$0.019
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
$0.018
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
$0.016
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
$0.015
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
$0.013
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

We estimate an earning rate for the average consumer based on U.S. Bureau of Labor data and multiply that by the value of each card’s points or miles.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards bonus

You can earn considerably more in rewards if you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer. The minimum average daily balance requirements are very high for this program, but you may be able to qualify if you move your emergency savings or other accounts you have to this bank.

The chart below shows how individuals who are eligible for this program can earn 25% to 75% more in rewards with their card, or up to 2.62 points per dollar on everyday purchases.

Preferred Reward Status
Bank of America account minimum
Preferred Rewards bonus
Points earned per dollar spent
Points earned per dollar spent at the Bank of America travel center
NoneNo accounts or less than $20,00001.53
Gold$20,000 to $49,99925%1.873.75
Platinum$50,000 to $99,99950%2.254.5
Platinum Honors$100,000 and up75%2.625.25
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The minimum average daily balance requirements are very high for this program, but you may be able to qualify if you move your emergency savings or other accounts you have to this bank.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThe chart below shows how individuals who are eligible for this program can earn 25% to 75% more in rewards with their card, or up to 2.62 points per dollar on everyday purchases.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-SortableTable\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"StyledRootWrapper-sc-3qeib4 jYHfZo\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableWrapper-sc-5nmmx9 fesmOM\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableOverflowWrapper-sc-hixhp9 gVbnK\"\u003E\u003Ctable class=\"StyledTable-sc-ujzn9t jVpJxq\"\u003E\u003Cthead class=\"StyledHeaderRow-sc-1m1b8dn hCELBb\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd OqbC\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EPreferred Reward Status\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd OqbC\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EBank of America account minimum\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd OqbC\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EPreferred Rewards bonus\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd OqbC\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EPoints earned per dollar spent\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd OqbC\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EPoints earned per dollar spent at the Bank of America travel center\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003ENone\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003ENo accounts or less than $20,000\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E0\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E1.5\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E3\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EGold\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E$20,000 to $49,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E25%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E1.87\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E3.75\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EPlatinum\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E$50,000 to $99,999\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E50%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E2.25\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E4.5\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EPlatinum Honors\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003E$100,000 and up\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E75%\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E2.62\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E5.25\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/tbody\u003E\u003C\/table\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript 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Redeeming points

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card makes redeeming points simple and flexible. You have several ways to redeem rewards, though your best bet is cash rewards or travel statement credits, which give you a value of 1 cent per point.

Redemption category
Value per point
Minimum redemption amount
Travel1 cent2,500 points
Cash reward1 cent2,500 points
Gift cardsVaries3,125 points

The travel category is extremely flexible, covering a wide variety of categories, such as:

  • Airlines
  • Timeshares,
  • Campgrounds
  • Car rental agencies,
  • Tour operators
  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Tolls and bridge fees
  • Tourist attractions and exhibits like zoos and art galleries
  • Restaurants

Cardholders can redeem their rewards for travel or dining statement credits for up to 12 months past the date of purchases. Also, rewards won't expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.

If you prefer straight cash back, you also have the option to get your rewards in the form of a check in the mail or a deposit into an eligible Bank of America checking or savings account or a Cash Management Account with Merrill.
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Other benefits

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card may not have as many perks as some other credit cards for travel, but it does have some benefits you should know about.

Like the vast majority of credit cards, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card comes with $0 liability protection that protects cardholders against fraud. If a thief uses your card or credit card number to make unauthorized purchases, you won't be liable for them.

To make payments more convenient, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card works with mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

This card also comes with contactless chip technology, which lets you simply "tap" your card to pay when the contactless symbol is displayed.

Qualify for a 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, after which you'll pay a 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases. This perk can be immensely helpful if you need to make a large purchase and pay it down over time.

As a cardholder, you can access your FICO score for free through Bank of America mobile banking or the Bank of America mobile app. Opt-in required.

Bank of America customers can use the Bank of America website or the helpful mobile app to monitor their purchases, pay their bill and more. Note that the Bank of America mobile app boasts a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars in Google Play and 4.8 out of 5 stars in the App Store.

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees when you use it for purchases outside the United States. This benefit is standard among travel credit cards.

Finally, this card's lack of annual fee is definitely worth noting. This means you can keep the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for the long haul without paying for the privilege.

Drawbacks

  • Rewards redemptions start at $25. Cardholders can only redeem their rewards if they have a minimum of 2,500 points. This minimum threshold can create a scenario where you have to spend more money on your card in order to cash in your points.
  • Best rewards rates aren't for everyone. This card's best earning rates are for Bank of America Preferred Rewards members with at least $20,000 on deposit with the bank.
  • Some flexible travel credit cards offer a higher flat rate of rewards. Some travel credit cards offer a higher rewards rate on everyday purchases.
  • No major travel benefits. Plenty of travel credit cards offer some travel perks for cardholders, although annual fees are typically charged as a result.
  • No way to maximize rewards. Unlike some rewards cards, you can't increase your point earnings by spending more in certain categories. You also can't transfer Bank of America points to increase their value. Your points are worth 1 cent each at most.

What credit score do you need for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card?

Applicants will need Excellent/Good credit (a score of at least 680 to qualify for the card.

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

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card definitely has its share of pros, but how does it actually stack up to the competition? We answer that question by comparing it to three other popular travel and rewards credit cards below.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card vs. Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Verdict: More rewards and better travel perks for an annual fee

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card offers a higher bonus offer, and cardholders Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. Members also get up to $200 in travel credits for incidental airline purchases and Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership.

However, a $95 annual fee applies, so this card may only be worth it if you spend a lot on travel and dining and can take advantage of the perks.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $95 (Worse)
  • Welcome bonus: 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. (Better)
  • Rewards earned/$1 spent: $0.016 (Better)
  • Other benefits: $100 in airline incidental credits, $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck, no foreign transaction fees (Better)

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

On Chase's Secure Website

Verdict: A more rewarding travel rewards card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a much better welcome bonus, as well as better earning opportunities. Cardholders earn 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases and 1x points on everything else.

Another major benefit of this card is the fact that Chase Ultimate Rewards® points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners like British Airways, United MileagePlus, World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy. A $95 annual fee applies.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $95 (Worse)
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. (Better)
  • Rewards earned/$1 spent: $0.025 (Better)
  • Other benefits: $50 hotel statement credit each account anniversary year (Better)

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

On Capital One's Secure Website

Verdict: Lower rewards rate, but more flexible, transferable points

For those who want a simple travel rewards card, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is the less rewarding option. It offers a lower initial bonus offer and lower earning rate with the same $0 annual fee.

However, the card has one major advantage: It lets users transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to 15+ airline and hotel partners. Cardholders can leverage this option to get a higher value than 1 cent per point, and stretch their travel rewards much farther.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $0 (Same)
  • Welcome bonus: Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel (Worse)
  • Rewards earned/$1 spent: $0.0125 (Worse)
  • Other benefits: No foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, extended warranties (Better)

Should you apply for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card?

If you want to earn flexible rewards for travel without an annual fee, you should consider applying for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. If you want to be able to redeem your rewards for any travel you want without worrying over blackout dates or specific loyalty program rules, this may also be the card for you.

Of course, Bank of America Preferred Rewards members have an even greater incentive to sign up due to the elevated earning rates.

With that being said, it never hurts to compare other rewards credit cards, including other travel credit cards with no annual fee. Make sure to compare all the best options, including their rewards and perks, before you decide.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I use my Bank of America travel rewards?

This card lets you redeem your rewards for travel statement credits, a check in the mail, a transfer to an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account, or gift cards.

Do Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card points expire?

According to Bank of America, your points won't expire as long as your account is open with active charging privileges.

Is the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card a good card?

Considering the fact you can earn rewards with this card with a $0 annual fee, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a "good" credit card by most measures.

Does the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offer car insurance?

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card does not offer any auto insurance protection for cardholders. However, there are other credit cards that offer rental car insurance as a cardholder perk.

How much is 25,000 travel points?

With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, 25,000 points are worth $250 in travel statement credits.

What qualifies as travel with Bank of America?

According to Bank of America, travel purchases can include "airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, trailer parks, motorhome and recreational vehicle rentals, campgrounds, car rental agencies, truck and trailer rental, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators and real estate agents, operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, boat rentals, parking lots and garages, tolls and bridge fees, tourist attractions and exhibits like art galleries, amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, aquariums, zoos, eating places and restaurant, drinking places, bars, taverns, cocktail lounges, nightclubs, discotheques and fast food restaurants."

The information related to Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card and Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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).