Bank of America Travel Rewards Card Review

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The Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers solid value for a travel card with no annual fee, and unlike many of its competitors, it doesn’t make you work especially hard to get it. Every dollar you spend will earn at least 1.5 rewards points—and if you’re a Bank of America customer with a healthy savings account, you’ll earn even more, thanks to the card’s loyalty bonus.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

overall rating
4.4
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
  • Regular APR (%) 17.24% - 25.24% variable
  • Annual Fee No Annual Fee
  • Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere.
  • Intro Purchase APR 0%
  • Intro Purchase APR Length (number of months) 12
  • Foreign transaction fee 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.0
for Rewards
1.9
for Credit
3.5

25,000 bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening - which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things
    Adventure Seeker
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play
    Road Warrior

Consumers with a healthy chunk of money in Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts will get the most value from this card. Depending on how much money you have in the accounts, you could earn 10% to 75% more than you would if you didn’t bank with Bank of America—up to 2.62 points for every dollar you spend on the card.

However, even if you bank elsewhere, you can get value out of this flat-rate travel card. It offers one of the most generous rewards earning rates you can get on a travel card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. Cardholders who have good to excellent credit and want a low-maintenance travel card will appreciate earning 1.5 points on every purchase. The Bank of America Travel Rewards card also caters to people who want to redeem their points for free travel, but don’t want to worry about travel blackout dates or other complicated redemption policies. 

Pros

  • Earnings are competitive for travel cards

  • You can boost earnings further with a Bank of America bank account

  • Redeeming points is easy

  • Generous sign-up bonus for a no-annual-fee card

Cons

  • Earnings rate is lower than what some flat-rate cash-back cards offer

  • APR is significantly higher than what competitors charge

  • Promo no-interest period for purchases is only one year

Pros Explained

  • Earnings Are Competitive for Travel Cards: 1.5 points per dollar spent is among the top rates we’ve seen for flat-rate travel cards that don’t have an annual fee. Earning the same flat rate on every purchase is less hassle than you’d have with other rewards cards since you don’t have to track category bonuses or activate your card every quarter. 
  • You Can Boost Your Earnings Further With a Bank of America Bank Account: With a deposit account, you’ll get an automatic 10% boost, which could significantly pad your total earnings. For example, if you earned $250 worth of travel, Bank of America would give you another $25 worth of travel points just for having a bank account with them. If you have accounts with at least $20,000 in them, instead of the 10% boost, you could earn a 25% to 75% bonus, making the card especially lucrative.
  • Redeeming Points Is Easy: Unlike many travel cards, this one lets you book travel using any website or travel agent that you please, and request reimbursement. So you don’t have to worry about the award seat restrictions or travel blackout dates that come with some airline rewards programs.
  • Generous Sign-Up Bonus for a No-Annual-Fee Card: The bonus beats the competition by $50-$100. 

Cons Explained

  • Earnings Rate Is Lower Than What Some Flat-Rate Cash-Back Cards Offer: Although the rate is competitive with other travel rewards credit cards, you can find a different kind of card—a cash-back card—that doesn’t charge an annual fee and offers you 2% back on every $1 you spend. More on that in the Redeeming Rewards section below.
  • APR is Significantly Higher Than What Competitors Charge: The Bank of America Travel Rewards card charges a minimum APR of 17.24%, which is several points higher than the lowest APRs charged by similar travel rewards cards.
  • Promo No-Interest Period for Purchases is Only One Year: Many cards, by contrast, give cardholders 15-21 months to carry a balance before they’re charged a standard APR.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Card Sign-up Bonus

The 25,0000-point sign-up bonus on the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is worth $250 in free travel—more than most competitors offer. 

Considering that you only have to spend $1,000 to get the sign-up bonus, it’s also relatively accessible compared to the spending required by some other cards for a sign-up bonus. You would just need to charge around $334 a month, which should be fairly easy if you use your card for everyday expenses, such as groceries and gas. 

You won’t qualify for a sign-up bonus if you’re an existing customer upgrading your card. Only consumers applying for a brand-new card are eligible.

Earning Points & Rewards

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card makes it easy to collect points just by using your card for routine purchases. You’ll receive 1.5 points for every dollar you spend on every purchase, where many travel cards, by contrast, only award 1 point per dollar spent on the majority of purchases, plus bonus points on airline, hotel, or travel purchases. But unless you spend a ton of money on travel, it can be tough to build up a lot of points on those cards. 

A flat-rate credit card gives you more opportunities for earning points—especially if you use your card for every purchase. For example, if you regularly charge $1,000 a month to your Bank of America Travel Rewards card, you’ll automatically collect at least 1,500 points a month—adding up to $180 worth of free travel by the end of the year.

While some competing cards may offer a higher flat rate to be used on travel, they don’t generally have a sign-up bonus, so you’d need to weigh how long you think you’d keep this card to figure out which might be a better option for you.

The more you deposit, the more rewards you'll earn, too:

  • $20,000 to $49,999 = 25% rewards bonus
  • $50,000 to $99,999 = 50% rewards bonus
  • $100,000 or more = 75% rewards bonus

Unlike some no-annual-fee credit cards, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card doesn’t cap the total number of rewards points you can earn, nor does it set an expiration date for rewards. 

Redeeming Rewards

Your earnings will be limited by the card’s relatively modest points value. Points redeemed for travel are worth a penny each, which is standard for a general travel rewards card. However, some credit card rewards points are worth significantly more when you transfer them to other loyalty programs—which isn’t allowed on the Bank of America Travel card.

That said, redeeming your rewards points should be fairly simple. All you have to do is make a qualifying travel purchase and Bank of America will reimburse you, dollar for dollar, with a statement credit. 

There is a wide variety of expenses that qualify for the travel reimbursement that may surprise you. For example, besides airfare, car rentals, and hotels, you can also be reimbursed for: 

  • Public Transportation
  • Parking Fees
  • Tolls
  • Amusement Parks
  • Tourist Attractions

You can redeem your points for gift cards and cash, too. However, points that are redeemed for cash are only worth 0.6 cents each. Points redeemed for gift cards will vary in value, depending on the retailer. 

How To Get the Most Out Of This Card

You’ll get the most value out of this card if you already have a Bank of America checking account or savings account, or you open a new one. Bank of America’s loyalty bonus is tiered based on how much money you have saved; but if you have an extensive amount of savings banked, you could get quite a bit of value out of your Bank of America card.

You can also ramp up your earnings by purchasing all of your travel through Bank of America’s travel center. Instead of earning 1.5 points for every dollar you spend, you’ll earn 3 points. 

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card’s Other Features

Customer Experience

  • Accessible Customer Service: Bank of America is one of the few card issuers to offer a chat feature on its website, which you can use to ask questions and receive real-time answers from Bank of America’s support staff. 
  • Free FICO Credit Score: You’ll be able to keep tabs on your credit and view your regularly updated score online or through Bank of America’s mobile app.
  • Free Email and Text Alerts, and Push Notifications: If you need help staying on top of your bills, Bank of America will remind you when your payment is due or notify you that you’re close to maxing out your credit limit.

Security Features

Bank of America’s ShopSafe service lets you use a temporary credit card number that’s linked to your real credit card so that you can shop online without giving your real account number to merchants. Also, with their free transaction alerts, Bank of America will email, text, or send you a push notification each time you (or someone who’s stolen your personal details) charges your card.  

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card’s Fees 

The card’s fees are mostly standard for the industry. Travelers will be happy with the fact that there is no foreign transaction fee.

For Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

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Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
overall rating
4.4
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
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670 739
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800 850
Good - Excellent
  • Regular APR (%) 17.24% - 25.24% variable
  • Annual Fee No Annual Fee
  • Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere.
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Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.