Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Hits the road often, whether for work or play
Loves to explore places and experience new things
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.
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
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
- 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 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.
- 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 16.74%, 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 $1 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.
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
- 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
- Overdraft protection
- Some Visa Signature benefits—if you qualify
In addition to standard features like text alerts and push notifications for transactions and payment reminders, Bank of America has these solid customer-service offerings:
- 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.
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.