Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
Consumers with a healthy chunk of money in qualifying Bank of America or Merrill Lynch accounts will get the most value from this card. Depending on how much money you have in them, you could earn 25% to 75% more than you would if you didn’t bank with Bank of America—up to 2.62 points for every $1 you spend on the card.
But even if you bank elsewhere, this is a worthwhile card if you have good credit and want a super simple way to earn points toward free travel. Earning 1.5 points on every purchase is one of the more generous rewards rates you can get on a flat-rate travel card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. And the redemption process is one of the more flexible and low-maintenance around.
Earnings are competitive for travel cards
Bank customers have the potential to earn more
Redeeming points is easy
Bonus for new cardholders is generous
APR is higher
Interest-free promotion is short
- Earnings are competitive for travel cards: 1.5 points per $1 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; you don’t have to track category bonuses or activate your card every quarter.
- Bank customers have the potential to earn more: The regular rewards rate is already a pretty good deal, but customers with big bank balances get an even better value. If you have qualifying accounts with at least $20,000, you’ll get at least 1.87 points per $1, and higher balances earn even more. (More on this in the Earning Points & Rewards section below.)
- 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.
- Bonus for new cardholders is generous: Among travel cards with no annual fee, the bonus beats the competition by $50-$100.
- APR is higher: This card's lowest APR offer (for the most creditworthy applicants) is 14.99%, several percentage points higher than the lowest APRs on similar travel rewards cards.
- Interest-free promotion is short: This card offers new cardholders a chance to make purchases interest-free for 12 months. Other cards, by contrast, give cardholders 15 months or longer before they’re charged the standard APR.
New Cardholder Bonus
The 25,000-point bonus is worth $250 in travel—more than most competitors offer. Plus, you only have to spend $1,000 within your first 90 days to earn those points, which may 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 $1 you spend, regardless of what you buy. In contrast, many travel cards award 2 or more points per $1 on airline, hotel, or other travel purchases, but only 1 point per $1 on everything else. So unless you spend a ton of money on travel, it can be tough to build up a lot of points on those cards.
In other words, a flat-rate credit card gives you broader opportunities for earning points. 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 at least $180 worth of free travel by the end of the year.
The more you have in qualifying accounts, (Bank of America deposit and/or Merrill investment accounts), the more rewards you'll earn, too. Depending on your three-month average balance, this is how much of a boost you'll get:
- $20,000 to $49,999 = 25% rewards bonus (1.87 points per $1)
- $50,000 to $99,999 = 50% rewards bonus (2.25 points per $1)
- $100,000 or more = 75% rewards bonus (2.62 points per $1)
There's no cap on the total number of rewards points you can earn, nor is there an expiration date for rewards.
Points redeemed for travel are worth 1 cent each, which is the baseline for a general travel rewards card. While some credit cards let you transfer your points to other rewards programs with higher-value points or miles, transfers aren't allowed on this 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 surprisingly wide variety of expenses that qualify for the travel reimbursement. Besides airfare, car rentals, and hotels, you can also be reimbursed for:
- Public transportation
- Parking fees
- Amusement parks
- Tourist attractions
You can redeem your points for gift cards and cash, too, but we wouldn't recommend it. Points that are redeemed for cash are only worth 0.6 cents each, and those redeemed for gift cards will vary in value, depending on the retailer.
To see how the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card’s points stack up, check out our in-depth analysis of what credit card points are worth.
How To Get the Most Out Of This Card
You’ll get the most value out of this card if you have big balances with Bank of America or Merrill. Interestingly, you can also ramp up your earnings by purchasing all of your travel through Bank of America’s online travel center. For every $1 you spend there, you'll earn 3 points rather than 1.5 points.
Bank of America offers a chat feature on its website and free regular access to your FICO credit score.
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 card’s fees are mostly standard for the industry. Travelers will be happy with the fact that there is no foreign transaction fee.