The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card has a decent flat rate for potential cardholders who want to earn rewards on every purchase. And not only that, you can pay down these purchases with an intro APR offer that’s on par with many low-interest cards. Along with its welcome offer, you could be on the fast track toward earning boosted points.
Intro APR: Great length for purchases and balance transfers
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card has a 0 percent intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and on balance transfers made within your first 60 days (a 3 percent balance transfer fee applies; 18.24 percent to 28.24 percent variable ongoing APR thereafter). Compared to reward cards that only offer a 12-month intro APR period or shorter, this a fairly lengthy offer and can give you more than enough time to pay down a balance you’ve transferred or can be helpful when financing a big purchase during the first year. And once your intro APR offer ends, you can still get long-term value out of the card through earning flat-rate rewards on purchases.
Welcome offer: Decent value compared to similar cards
Bank of America currently offers 25,000 online bonus points when you spend at least $1,000 in qualifying purchases within 90 days of opening the account. If you redeem these points for a statement credit, they’ll be worth about $250 statement credit toward travel. Considering that this card has no annual fee, this welcome offer is generous.
A $250 value is slightly higher than what you’ll find with some other no-annual-fee cards, but keep in mind that some competing cards only require a $500 spend to earn a $200 bonus. You have to spend double with the Bank of America Travel Rewards card to qualify for an extra $50 in rewards, but the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card may be more valuable in ways other than the welcome bonus.
And though other cards’ sign-up bonuses can climb higher, they typically charge an annual fee, which will eat into your rewards.
Rewards: Earn more with the preferred rewards program
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card allows you to earn unlimited 1.5X points on all purchases. However, the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program gives the Travel Rewards card an edge over similar competing cards if you already have an eligible account with Bank of America or Merrill.
Depending on which status tier you hold, you can earn 25 percent to 75 percent bonus points on every purchase. That means Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards members can earn up to 2.62X points on all purchases and up to 5.25X points on Travel Center purchases. Plus, you could receive other benefits like boosted interest rates on savings accounts and reduced interest rates on your home equity and auto loans.
Here are Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards status tiers:
- Gold (at least a $20,000 combined balance): 25 percent bonus rewards
- Platinum (at least a $50,000 combined balance): 50 percent bonus rewards
- Platinum Honors (at least a $100,000 combined balance): 75 percent bonus rewards
The Preferred Rewards program also offers a Diamond Tier status above the Platinum Honors Tier, but it carries the same 75 percent bonus rewards boost and is only available to account holders with a $1 million to $10 million combined balance.
This boost could add up to one of the best flat rewards rates available, especially for no annual fee, and could make the Travel Rewards card an especially great deal since rival cards typically max out at 2X rewards on general spending and 5X rewards on comparable travel portal purchases through the issuer.
Redemption: Fair options for a variety of travel and dining categories
You can redeem your points for gift cards, cash or a statement credit to cover travel-related purchases. Even better, you can request credit for your travel-related purchases up to 12 months after you make them. This feature opens the door to exceptional deals that you might not get with other travel reward programs, such as discount bookings through external travel websites.
You can also redeem points for cash back as a check or direct deposit to an eligible Bank of America checking or savings account or Merrill Cash Management account. Just keep in mind that there’s a 2,500-point redemption minimum for travel credits and cash and a 3,125-point minimum for gift cards.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of the Bank of America Travel Rewards card’s travel credit redemption is that it covers a great variety of purchase categories that may not usually qualify as travel or dining. For example, you can get statement credits for admission tickets to tourist attractions, bar and nightclub purchases, transit and RV and boat rentals However, some travel or dining-related expenses like in-flight goods and services and duty-free airport purchases aren’t eligible for statement credits.
Knowing which purchases qualify for credits can get confusing, so here’s a handy list of Bank of America Travel Rewards card categories eligible for travel credits:
- Hotels and motels
- Trailer parks, motorhomes and recreational vehicle rentals
- Car, truck, trailer and boat rentals
- Cruise lines
- Travel agencies, tour operators and real estate agents
- Transit including passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, parking lots and garages, tolls and bridge fees
- Tourist attractions and exhibits like art galleries, amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, aquariums, zoos
- Restaurants and eating places
- Fast food restaurants
- Cocktail lounges