Key takeaways

  • The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is considered a starter travel rewards card, and for good reason. It doesn’t have the robust benefits found with many other travel credit cards — but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful for some.
  • Bank of America Preferred Rewards program members can get more out of this card with their boosted earnings rate.
  • Because Bank of America’s definition of “travel” is less strict than other issuers, cardholders can get travel credits for more than just airfare, hotels and related purchases.

If you like to adventure or have a few big trips coming up, you might be considering getting a travel credit card to supplement your budget by earning rewards. Most people don’t want to start off with a premium travel credit card, which comes with steep annual fees and rewards systems that can feel confusing to navigate. That’s where the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card might come in.

This Bank of America credit card has no annual fee but still offers enough benefits to get you started on your award travel journey. It also earns a flat rate of 1.5X points on all purchases. Although you’ll get the most out of this card as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member — an invite-only program based on the sum of your deposits with the bank — it might still be a worthwhile card to consider.

To help potential cardholders understand what this card promises, we’ve made this benefits guide.

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card’s rewards benefits

While the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card doesn’t offer much in terms of specific category rewards, it does still have its benefits when it comes to deals, redemption options and boosted rates.

Welcome bonus and intro APR offer

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card offers a solid welcome bonus that’s easily attainable for most cardholders. You can earn 25,000 points when you make $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening. That’s about $250 worth of travel credits.

In addition to the welcome bonus, cardholders also get a 0 percent introductory annual percentage rate (APR) for 15 months on both purchase and balance transfers, but balance transfers do come with a 3 percent balance transfer fee and must be made within 60 days of account opening. After the introductory period ends, the ongoing variable APR of 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent takes over.

Varied redemption options

You can redeem your rewards points in a variety of ways, including as:

  • Statement credits in an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account. This could add up if you decide to use the card as an everyday spending card.
  • Cash deposits in an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account. The best part is that your cash redemptions don’t lose value, as with some rewards credit cards.
  • Travel credits for purchases up to 12 months after the date of purchase. However, there’s a redemption minimum of 2,500 points, which is equal to about $25.
  • Statement credits for dining and takeout purchases. Bank of America considers this to be a pretty broad category, meaning that in addition to restaurants, you can possibly get statement credits for purchases from bars, lounges and nightclubs.
  • Gift cards. This redemption option only gives your points a value of 0.6 cents apiece and has a redemption minimum of 3,125 points.

Boosted rewards rates with the Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program

If you’re part of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you’ll earn up to 75 percent more in rewards for each dollar you spend on your Travel Rewards card. The only requirement is to maintain a minimum balance in your eligible Bank of America or Merrill investing accounts. The minimum balance for each tier is as follows:

Tier Balance required Bonus
Gold $20,000 to $49,999 25%
Platinum $50,000 to $99,999 50%
Platinum Honors $100,000 to $999,999 75%
Diamond $1,000,000 to $9,999,999 75%
Diamond Honors $10 million or more 75%

Though you need to maintain a significant amount of money on deposit with the bank to qualify for these tiers, you’ll find that it can really boost your earnings with the Travel Rewards card. At the highest tier, you could earn up to 2.62 points for every dollar spent on the card.


The BankAmeriDeals program gives you access to exclusive discounts by using your card at eligible retailers for a specific period of time. You can save anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent on certain purchases by activating your offer and using your card according to the offer details. Some common retailers include:

  • Top Golf
  • PetSmart
  • Kohl’s
  • 1-800 Flowers
  • Macy’s
  • The Home Depot
  • Ulta Beauty

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card’s travel benefits

As a more entry-level travel card, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card lacks some of the more common travel benefits, like credits towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. There’s also no lounge access, travel insurance or annual credits. Instead, the card offers the following travel benefits:

No foreign transaction fees

Foreign transaction fees are typically 1 percent to 3 percent of a purchase, which can add up quickly depending on where you’re shopping. If you plan to travel abroad or shop internationally while online, you at least won’t bust your travel budget with these extra fees.

No annual fee

Most travel rewards credit cards charge an annual fee to pay for all of the perks they offer — especially if they’re branded as luxury travel credit cards. These cards can have fees as high as $695. However, while the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card has no annual fee, it also doesn’t have nearly the same level of perks and benefits, so you’ll have to decide whether paying a fee is worth what you get with this card.

Visa Signature benefits

As a Visa Signature® card, the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card also offers:

  • Visa Signature® Concierge services
  • Extended warranty coverage
  • Access to roadside dispatch for emergency vehicle assistance
  • Travel and emergency assistance

Broad travel categories

One benefit of the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card that you don’t always see with other travel cards is how varied its definition of “travel” truly is. You can get travel statement credits for purchases with:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels and motels
  • Timeshares
  • Trailer parks, motorhomes and recreational vehicle rentals
  • Campgrounds
  • Car, truck, trailer and boat rentals
  • Cruise lines
  • Travel agencies, tour operators and real estate agents
  • Passenger trains
  • Buses
  • Taxis, ferries and limousines
  • Parking lots and garages
  • Tolls and bridge fees
  • Tourist attractions and amusement parks
  • Art galleries and museums
  • Carnivals and circuses
  • Aquariums and zoos

Museums on Us

This unique benefit allows Bank of America cardholders to get free access to over 225 cultural institutions during the first weekend of each month. The program is perfect for those who love planning day trips or those who have a list of museums they’ve been excited about seeing. To take advantage of this perk, all you have to do is present your Bank of America debit or credit card and a valid photo ID.

How to maximize the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card

This card’s flat rewards rate of 1.5X points for all purchases makes maximizing the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card fairly easy — just use it on everyday purchases to see the points rack up.

Combine this card with another

However, you still might not get much out of just this card alone at the end of the day. To truly maximize your rewards, consider pairing this card with one that has a higher reward rate in specific spending categories. For example, you can get a rotating category credit card like the Discover it® Cash Back or a dining and entertainment card like the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards credit card. Then, you can use your Bank of America card to fill in the gaps for spending categories that won’t get boosted rewards with your other card.

Take advantage of the intro APR offer

If you’ve got a big purchase on the horizon or want to get rid of some credit card debt, the introductory APR can help you avoid interest. Just make sure you pay off your balance before the intro period ends and factor in the balance transfer fee as you pay off your debt.

Use this card for travel in niche categories

As we mentioned before, Bank of America has a much broader definition of what counts as “travel.” While you might get more rewards with another travel credit card when it comes to airfare or hotel stays, you likely won’t find many others that let you redeem travel credits for parking lot fees, tolls, campground rentals, museums or zoos. This card can come in handy for those kinds of expenses.

The bottom line

The Bank of America Travel Rewards isn’t the very best travel credit card out there. For most people, they’d be better off with a card that offers a higher travel rewards rate or even with a flat-rate cash back card like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers up to 2X rewards (1% when you buy 1% as you pay) on all spending.

But for those who meet Bank of America Preferred Rewards requirements, the card could provide substantially more value. Plus, it could be appealing to someone that wants their travel rewards to be useful for more than just airfare and hotels, or someone who is just getting started on their travel rewards journey. But even then, there are likely better cards available for you to take your travels to the next level.

Issuer-required disclosure statements

Information about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card was last updated on May 8, 2024. 

Citi is an advertising partner.