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, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire, 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 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 credit card has several features that make it worth considering.
Review: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is great for simplicity, not for maximizing rewards
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. The rewards from your purchases aren’t rewarded as highly as other cards, while some cards 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 credit card benefits and features
Generous welcome offer for a $0 annual fee card
The card lets new cardholders earn 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 credit card is a simple, flat-rate card that gives you 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire. 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.
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 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, car rentals, cruise lines, trains, buses, taxis, ferries, parking lots and garages, tolls and bridge fees and more.
Bank of America Preferred Rewards bonus tiers
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards 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 credit card could be one of your best bets.
First, the foreign transaction fees: None. 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.
0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases
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 a 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After that, you will have a 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.
Credit score and approval odds
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards 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 credit card compare to other credit cards?
More rewards on dining and travel
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers better rewards for consumers whose spending skews towards dining and travel. The card gives you 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 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 credit card bonus pales in comparison to that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — the latter offers a bonus worth $1,250 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 credit card will likely be a better fit, as it has $0 annual fee.
Good point transfer options
We generally prefer the Bank of America® Travel Rewards 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 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 credit card. Not to mention, travel purchases made through the Bank of America Travel Center with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards 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 credit card has no coverage at all.
Customizable cash back rewards
The Bank of America® Customized 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 in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), 1% cash back on all other purchases.
However, if you are someone who wants to use their card abroad, you should steer clear of the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card — it will charge you 3% of each foreign transaction. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is the superior card for those who travel abroad.