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How to use Bank of America travel rewards points

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Many credit card issuers boast a lineup of rewards credit cards that let you earn cash back, points or miles on travel, and Bank of America is no exception. Although not as popular as travel credit cards from Chase or American Express, Bank of America travel cards can be rather lucrative and flexible—but the specifics will depend on which credit card you sign up for.

If you’re ready to give Bank of America travel rewards a chance, you should find out which Bank of America credit cards let you earn rewards for travel, which travel rewards benefits are offered and how to use Bank of America travel rewards points to your advantage.

Which Bank of America credit cards earn rewards on travel?

The Bank of America credit cards that let you earn travel rewards are:

However, the main two Bank of America travel rewards cards are the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card and the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, which we’ll profile below.

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card

  • Welcome bonus: 25,000 bonus points (worth $250) when you make $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening
  • Rewards rate: Unlimited 1.5X points per dollar on all purchases
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Perks: No foreign transaction fees
  • Intro APR offers: 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.

Why we like it: The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card lets consumers rack up travel rewards with no annual fee. Additionally, the introductory APR offer for purchases can help you save money on interest for a limited time.

Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card

  • Welcome bonus: 50,000 bonus points (worth $500) when you make $3,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening
  • Rewards rate: Unlimited 2X points per dollar on travel and dining; 1.5X points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Perks: Up to $100 in airline statement credits per year; up to $100 toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership every four years; no foreign transaction fees

Why we like it: The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card offers 2X points on travel and dining purchases, plus 1.5X points per dollar spent on all other purchases. It also comes with several travel credits and no fees on foreign transactions.

In comparison, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, another top beginner travel credit card, comes with a $95 annual fee, a more generous welcome bonus worth $750 (Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®), travel credits and a 25 percent points boost on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card you’ll earn: 5X points on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Lyft Rides (Lyft offer through March 2025); 3X points on dining, select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs); 2X points on other travel; and 1X points on other purchases.

Bank of America co-branded travel cards

Bank of America also offers a surprising number of co-branded travel credit cards that are geared to loyalists with specific brands. These include:

How to redeem Bank of America travel rewards points

When it comes to redeeming your Bank of America travel rewards, your options can vary depending on the card you have.

For example, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card lets you cash in your rewards for travel bookings through the Bank of America Travel Center, deposits or statement credits to an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account, and gift cards.

With the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, you can redeem your points for cash, statement credits, gift cards or travel-related purchases. Unlike with other travel rewards programs, you can use your card to book travel anywhere you want, such as discount travel sites. Travel-related purchases also include eligible dining, nightclub, in-flight and museum purchases, among others. From there, you can redeem your points for a travel credit statement through your Bank of America account.

How to maximize Bank of America travel rewards

To get the most of your travel rewards points with Bank of America, you should try to be as strategic as you can. When you go to redeem points, consider the ways you may be able to earn more points on your spending and any ways you can maximize your rewards.

Join the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program

One major way to boost your Bank of America travel rewards involves signing up for the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. Doing so can net you an additional 25 percent to 75 percent more in rewards for each dollar you spend. However, note that you do need to meet certain qualifications to enroll in this program, including:

  • An active, eligible Bank of America checking account
  • A three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 or more in eligible Bank of America accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts

Also, keep in mind that the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program offers additional perks like savings boosters and loan discounts for members with cash on deposit. The following chart shows how much more you could earn in rewards as a member, as well as how much you need to keep in eligible accounts to qualify for each tier.

Gold Platinum Platinum Honors
3-month combined average daily balance requirement $20,000 to $50,000 $50,000 to $100,000 $100,000 or more
Credit card rewards bonus 25% 50% 75%

While the minimum balance requirements are high, the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program can help you earn considerably more points on your spending if you qualify. For example, Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card members in the Platinum Honors tier have the potential to earn up to 3.5X points for every dollar spent on travel and dining purchases and up to 2.62X points on other purchases.

Also, it’s worth noting that there are two more Bank of America Preferred Rewards program tiers, Diamond and Diamond Honors. These tiers are only available to private clients.

Compare pricing in the travel portal

Keep in mind that the Bank of America Travel Center lets you make travel bookings with over 200,000 hotels and resorts and more than 200 airlines, among other options. Since some Bank of America travel rewards credit cards let you redeem your points for either travel-related statement credits or travel booked through the Bank of America Travel Center, you should compare the prices offered in the travel portal with other travel sites. By comparing prices, you can make sure you get the best deal.

Pick a card with an annual fee

Finally, make sure to think about your goals before you sign up for a travel credit card from this issuer. After all, a card with an annual fee comes with more benefits and perks. For example, when you pay the $95 annual fee for the Bank of America Premium Rewards card, you’ll get in return a much larger sign-up bonus, significantly more rewards on travel and dining spending, up to a $100 airline fee credit and up to a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership every four years. All of this could easily leave you “ahead” in a financial sense.

The bottom line

Bank of America travel rewards can work differently depending on the card you sign up for, so make sure to compare all the rewards card options available before you decide on a card. In the meantime, spend some time comparing cards from this issuer to other travel rewards credit cards from Citi, Chase, American Express and other major issuers. You may find that Bank of America has what you’re looking for in a travel rewards card, but you’ll never know for sure unless you check.

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card information was updated on August 23, 2022.

The information about the Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard®, Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard®, Allegiant World Mastercard®, Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®, Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard®, Sonesta World Mastercard®, Royal Caribbean Visa Signature® Credit Card, Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® and Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature® Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson writes expert content on personal finance, credit cards, loyalty and insurance topics. In addition to writing for Bankrate and CreditCards.com, Johnson does ongoing work for clients that include CNN, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, Time Magazine and more.
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