Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card
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Editor’s note: Some of the offers below may have expired. Bank of America rates updated July 31, 2018.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card includes some intriguing perks available to cardholders who have a banking relationship with Bank of America, but those extra goodies aren’t enough to make this a first-tier travel rewards credit card.
On the other hand, this is a good pick for any travel fan who wants to earn points, but doesn’t want to pay for the privilege.
The Travel Rewards card (formerly the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card) comes with no annual fee, which makes its only decent rewards program look a bit better. You’ll earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend. Top-of-the-line travel cards pay 2X spending or more — but you’ll pay for it in the annual fee.
The signup bonus is also fairly standard for a fee-free travel card. You’ll earn 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening – that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
Again, pretty good, but nothing too exciting here.
Who should get this card
If you’re an existing Bank of America customer, the pumped-up rewards program makes this a card to consider. You can earn a 10% to 75% bonus on card spending depending on how much money you have banked with BofA.
Keep in mind, you’ll have to have some serious cash invested in this bank to earn this bonus, which probably still isn’t enough to compel you to switch bank accounts just for the credit card rewards.
What can those BofA bonuses earn you?
For example, if you have the highest status of Platinum Honors with Bank of America — which comes with a hefty $100,000 minimum account balance requirement, you can earn a 75% bonus on your cash-back rewards.
If you have no banking relationship and spend $1,000 in three months, you earn $15 in redeemable travel credits back. If you have a Bank of America bank account, with the 10% customer bonus, that gives you another $1.50 back for a total of $18.50 back.
But if you have the highest Platinum Honors Preferred status, that additional 75% back means you get a total of $26.25 on the $1,000 spent.
Fees and APR
- This card has no annual fee.
- You’ll pay no foreign transaction fee if you use this card overseas.
- There’s a balance transfer fee of $10 or 3% of the amount being transferred, whichever is greater. All transfers carry a high variable APR of 16.74% to 24.74%, making this a poor choice to transfer high-interest balances.
- This card comes with a variable APR of 16.74% to 24.74%.
Extras, perks and using points
Use your points to redeem for a statement credit to pay for any travel-related expenses including flights, hotels, vacation packages, rental cars, cruises and baggage fees.
As a Bank of America customer, you can get a 10% points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America checking or savings account. If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you could increase that bonus from 25% to 75%.
You have to maintain a combined balance of at least $20,000 with either Bank of America, Merrill Lynch or Merrill Edge to get these increased rewards but if you do, the cash-back rewards go from good to outstanding.
You don’t have to have to have the full amount of credit available to redeem, partial redemptions are allowed.
The points never expire and there is no fee to redeem them.
How this card compares
If you have bank accounts with Bank of America, you might want to consider the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card, which has the same customer bonuses as the Travel Rewards card, but a different rewards structure. Cash Rewards offers 3% cash back on gas purchases and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs up to $2,500 in combined spending per quarter. You’ll earn 1% on all other purchases. Rewards can be redeemed for a statement credit anytime, making it a more flexible choice.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard has a ton of flexibility. You can use your rewards to book travel on any airline, hotel, cruise ship. You can even take a taxi. Discount travel sites are covered, as well, letting you book your trip your preferred way.
If you’re a globetrotter, road-tripper or wanderer of any type, this card should be in your wallet.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card’s unlimited 2X miles per $1 spent on all purchases makes it less cumbersome to track than cards with different bonus categories. Depending on your spending habits this could work out better or worse for you in terms of mileage earning potential. One of the best attributes of this card is you can book your travel any way you like, on any site, and then redeem your miles as a statement credit towards that purchase. This makes it a more flexible choice than other cards that require you to use their travel portals for maximum value.