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 you don’t have to work especially hard, either. The single rewards rate on every purchase is very competitive, and if you’re a Bank of America customer with a sizable balance, 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 (%) 14.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Billing Cycles
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.7
for Fees
1.9
for Rewards
4.8
for Credit
2.2

Current Offer:

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

Top Rated For

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

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

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. 

Pros
  • Earnings are competitive for travel cards

  • Bank customers have the potential to earn more

  • Redeeming points is easy

  • Bonus for new cardholders is generous

Cons
  • APR is higher

  • Interest-free promotion is short

Pros Explained

  • 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. 

Cons Explained

  • 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. 

Redeeming 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
  • Tolls
  • 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. 

Customer Experience

Bank of America offers a chat feature on its website and free regular access to your FICO credit score.

Security Features

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.  

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.

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CURRENT CARD
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
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere.
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.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Bank of America. "Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card." Accessed March 9, 2020.

  2. Bank of America. "Preferred Rewards." Accessed March 9, 2020.

  3. Bank of America. "Terms and Conditions for Bank of America Travel Rewards." Accessed March 9, 2020.