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Is the Bank of America Travel Rewards card worth it?

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There are dozens of travel rewards cards to choose from, but the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card stands out for a few reasons. At first glance, several features deserve a callout, including the lack of an annual fee, low-interest offer on purchases and no foreign transaction fees. The 25,000-point welcome bonus, earned after spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening, is also worth mentioning.

As you dig a little deeper, the rewards structure might seem rather uninspired, especially compared to other travel credit cards: You earn an unlimited 1.5X points on every purchase.

The simplicity of this card’s rewards structure will either be considered a disadvantage or a perk, depending on the spender. Keep reading to find out if the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is worth it for you.

Details of Bank of America Travel Rewards card

This Bank of America credit card does offer a number of benefits for the cardholder, including:

  • Welcome offer: 25,000 bonus points when you make $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening (worth $250 toward travel)
  • Rewards rate: Unlimited 1.5X points on all purchases
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR for purchases: 0 percent intro APR for 18 billing cycles
  • Intro APR for balance transfers: 0 percent intro APR for 18 billing cycles
  • Regular APR: 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent variable
  • Other perks: No foreign transaction fees

The card’s lack of an annual fee, zero-interest offer on new purchases and welcome bonus alone could make this a card worthy of consideration. These features make this a less expensive alternative to other credit cards with pricey annual fees or lackluster introductory APR offers. Plus, you only need to spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening to earn the 25,000-point welcome bonus (a $250 value)—which, compared to many travel cards, is quite a reasonable spending requirement.

Despite the name, however, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card does not offer much in terms of actual travel features. There is no travel portal to book through or airline or hotel partners to transfer to. What a cardholder does earn are points per dollar, which can be redeemed for statement credits (restricted to travel and dining purchases). This means the card ends up rewarding cardholders more like a cash back credit card versus a true travel rewards card.

With so many travel restrictions and uncertainty around global travel in recent years, however, this type of rewards program may be better suited to some cardholders and provide greater flexibility in terms of redemption.

Reasons why the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is worth it

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers plenty of benefits for consumers, even if it doesn’t look exactly like other travel credit cards or programs.

Simple rewards structure

The card rewards you with unlimited 1.5X points on every purchase. The best part of this program is that you earn points no matter where your purchase is made or which category your purchase falls under. As an added bonus, your points never expire.

Boosted rewards rates

If you join the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you’ll have the chance to boost your points’ value. By joining, you can earn an additional 25 percent to 75 percent for each dollar you spend. Although there is no fee to join the program, you do have to meet minimum requirements as an accountholder with Bank of America to qualify. If you’re able to take advantage of this program, it could add a substantial boost to your rewards.

Travel and restaurant redemptions

Points earned with the Bank of America Travel Rewards card can be redeemed for statement credits for travel and dining purchases. While this may seem somewhat limiting, the travel and dining categories actually have a broad definition. Here are a few examples of the wide range of redemption options for travel:

  • Flights, including baggage fees
  • Hotel stays
  • Vacation rentals
  • Travel agencies
  • Car, boat and truck rentals
  • Cruise lines
  • Tourist attractions
  • Campgrounds

Restaurant redemption also covers more than you might expect, including:

  • In-person dining
  • Takeout
  • Fast food
  • Bars and taverns
  • Nightclubs

Each point is worth 1 cent each when you redeem within a qualifying travel or restaurant category. You also have the option of redeeming for gift cards, although the value significantly drops. For gift cards, the value of a point is .6 cents, giving you far less bang for your rewards buck.

0% introductory APR offer

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers a 0 percent intro APR on purchases  and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles (followed by a variable APR of 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent), which is a good offer for a travel card. Intro balance transfers must made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.

This introductory offer gives you additional time to plan for a larger purchase, if necessary, without worrying about interest for 18 billing cycles.

Welcome bonus

As a welcome bonus, you can earn 25,000 points by making $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening. For most cardholders, $1,000 is an attainable number that will not require you to purchase too far above your budget.

When you do hit the spending requirement, the 25,000 bonus points can be redeemed for a statement credit. This is currently worth $250 in redemption value (toward travel purchases).

No foreign transaction fees

Naturally, you would expect a travel rewards card to limit the fees for those traveling overseas. This is true of the Bank of America Travel rewards card, as it doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees. In other words, you can swipe your card outside of the United States without generating fees for doing so.

Other useful perks

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card comes with a few other perks worth mentioning. For starters, cardholders have access to BankAmeriDeals. You can get access to these exclusive offers simply by logging in to your account and activating the offer. You can save anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent on a purchase by simply clicking the offer.

This card also has access to Visa Signature perks, entitling you to benefits such as:

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

Reasons why the Bank of America Travel Rewards card might not be worth it for you

Before signing up for the card, be sure to consider your own financial priorities. There are potential downsides to the card, too, which means there may be better options for you.

Not a true travel rewards program

While you can redeem your points for travel and dining purchases, the rewards program is not typical of those you’ll find with other travel cards. Most travel programs have bonus points or miles which are redeemed through a travel portal and allow you to maximize rewards potential through the bookings with travel partners.

Essentially, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card acts more like a cash back card, especially since there are no travel partners or portals to book through.

While each point is worth 1 cent, there is no way to increase rewards value—unless you are a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.

Balance transfer rates and fees

If you’re interested in consolidating debt or paying off a high-interest credit card by transferring a balance, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card would be a great option for you. New longer intro period! 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.24% – 26.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.

The bottom line

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card works best for someone who craves flexibility and a rewards structure that is easy to keep track of.

What this card lacks in a travel portal and boosted earnings, it makes up for in low (or no) fees and intro APR offers on purchases and balance transfers.

Information about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card was last updated on August 23, 2022.

Written by
Sara Coleman
Insurance Contributor
Sara Coleman is an insurance contributor at Bankrate. She has a couple of years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, Coverage.com and numerous other personal finance sites. She writes about insurance products such as auto, homeowners, renters and disability.
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