Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card review

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Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

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Best for qualifying travel purchases

Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Regular APR:
14.99% - 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

Best for flexible travel rewards

  • Rewards rate: Unlimited 1.5 points per dollar on all qualifying purchases
  • Welcome offer: 25,000 bonus points ($250 value toward travel purchases) if you make $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening the account
  • Annual fee: None
  • Purchase intro APR: 0 percent for 12 billing cycles, then 14.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable after
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 14.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is ideal for travelers who value flexibility. You’ll be able to earn generous flat-rate rewards on all your purchases—and not just travel-related ones. And because this travel rewards credit card isn’t tied to specific hotel or airline partners, you can book your travel with any provider and receive a statement credit.

Bank of America credit cards also have a looser definition of travel compared to cards from other issuers, allowing you to receive a statement credit for purchases at campgrounds, trailer parks, travel agencies, aquariums, zoos, art galleries and more. You can now also redeem points for a statement credit for dining purchases.

Current welcome offer

Bank of America is currently offering 25,000 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 towards travel. Considering that this card has no annual fee, this is a generous welcome offer.

Rewards

This card offers a high rewards rate on everyday purchases and travel booked through Bank of America. Here’s a quick primer on how to earn and maximize your rewards:

Earning rewards

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card allows you to earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend on qualifying purchases with no limits. Additionally, you can earn a total of 3 points per dollar (1.5 bonus points and 1.5 base points) you spend on qualifying purchases made with the Bank of America Travel Center.

Redeeming rewards

You can redeem your points for gift cards, cash or a statement credit to cover travel-related purchases. Keep in mind, you can request a credit for travel-related purchases up to 12 months after you make them. Additionally, there’s a 2,500-point minimum redemption requirement for travel credits and cash and a 3,125-point minimum for gift cards.

How much are points worth?

If you redeem your points for a travel statement credit, they’re worth one cent each, so 25,000 points equal $250. Cash and gift cards usually give you less bang for your buck. When you redeem for cash, your points are only worth $0.006 cents each (or $150 for every 25,000 points). The value of your points when you redeem gift cards varies.

Consider comparing this card to other top rewards credit cards.

Benefits

In addition to rewards, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers free access to your credit score, overdraft protection and more. Here’s a closer look at its main benefits.

Preferred rewards

If you bank with Bank of America or invest with Merrill Edge, you can sign up for the Preferred Rewards program, which gives you the chance to earn a higher rewards rate on your purchases.

Depending on how much money you keep in your bank and investment accounts, you could earn up to a 75 percent bonus on your credit card rewards. So if you make a purchase that earns 100 points, you could actually get up to 175 points as a Preferred Rewards member.

FICO Score

As a cardholder, you’ll also be able to get your FICO Score for free in the Bank of America mobile app without impacting your credit.

You’ll be able to see the main factors that are affecting your score and access Better Money Habits, a tool that gives you suggestions on how to improve your credit and finances.

Overdraft protection

When you link your Bank of America checking account to your card, you can sign up for automatic overdraft protection to prevent declined purchases and bounced checks.

Account alerts

If you have trouble remembering to pay your bills on time, you can sign up for account alerts and get a text or email whenever your payment is due.

Rates and fees

One of the main benefits of the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is the lack of fees. There is no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, which is great news for frequent international travelers. There’s also a 0 percent introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles, which can be helpful when financing a big purchase during the first year. But the regular variable APR is on the high side at 14.99 percent to 22.99 percent, and you may be charged a penalty APR of up to 29.99 percent variable if you miss a payment.

Another thing to consider is that this card isn’t the best choice for balance transfers. The low APR doesn’t apply to balance transfers, and you’ll be charged $10 or a 3 percent fee, whichever is greater, for each transfer you make.

Bank of America also charges a late fee of up to $40, a returned payment fee up to $29 and a $10 or 3 percent fee on cash advances, whichever is greater.

How the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card compares to other travel cards

 Card Annual fee APR Rewards Welcome bonus
Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card $0 14.99% to 22.99% variable 1.5 points per dollar on all qualifying purchases 25,000 bonus points if you make $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening the account
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card $95 17.24% to 24.49% variable Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card $95 15.99% to 22.99% variable 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants; 1X points on everything else; Plus, earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022 (3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel) 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a higher rewards rate of an unlimited 2X miles on all qualifying purchases and gives you up to a $100 credit for TSA Global Entry or TSA Precheck and the chance to earn a bigger welcome bonus. On the flip side, the card charges a $95 annual fee, doesn’t offer an introductory APR on purchases and has a much higher regular APR than the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a higher rewards rate on travel than Bank of America Travel Rewards card but a lower rate on all purchases. You’ll earn 5X points on Lyft purchases through March 2022 and 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants, but you’ll only get 1X points on everyday purchases (which is lower than the 1.5 points the Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers).

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also has a $95 annual fee, no introductory APR offer and a higher starting APR of 15.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable. But on the plus side, you may be able to earn a bigger welcome bonus of 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 within the first three months (worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards).

Best cards to pair with the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card

Considering the Bank of America Travel Rewards card doesn’t offer an intro APR on balance transfers, if you’re interested in paying off credit card debt, you may want to pair it with the Citi® Double Cash Card. The Citi Double Cash offers a 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months and has a regular APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable after that.

Additionally, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card isn’t affiliated with an airline, so it lacks benefits like airline lounge access and free checked baggage. If you’re interested in those perks, it may be worth getting a more premium travel credit card like the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or United℠ Explorer Card.

Bankrate’s take—Is the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card worth it?

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card is a good choice for frequent travelers who value flexibility. You’ll be able to book travel with any provider and receive a statement credit after the fact, so you won’t have to deal with blackout dates or travel restrictions. You’ll also be able to use your points to cover a wide range of travel purchases from aquarium tickets to hotel stays.

If you don’t want to pay any annual fees, this card is also a great choice. It offers a generous welcome offer and rewards rate compared to other no annual fee cards.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Promotional APR on purchases
  • Can boost your rewards rate as a Preferred Rewards member
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Low introductory APR doesn’t apply to balance transfers
  • Minimum redemption requirement of 2,500 points

The information about the United℠ Explorer Card  has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.