Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Benefits & Review 2021
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is one of the relatively few travel credit cards that doesn’t charge an annual fee. In addition to earning 1.5 points on every dollar you spend, you won’t pay a foreign transaction fee and can redeem points for travel purchases up to 12 months ago.
Here is a closer look at this fee-free travel rewards card and how it might be an excellent fit for your wallet.
Consider the Bank of America Travel Rewards if you want a credit card with no annual fee or foreign transaction fee that offers travel and dining statement credits as rewards.
This card is also a Visa Signature product that has near-universal acceptance.
All purchases earn a flat 1.5 points per $1. Even better, Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can make up to 75% more.
As this card doesn’t have an annual fee, it can be an excellent option for casual travelers that don’t travel enough to justify having a card with more benefits but also charges an annual fee.
Frequent travelers may also like this card as you can redeem your points for travel and dining statement credits on recent purchases. Unfortunately, many travel cards require you to redeem points for future travel which can be a frustration for some travelers.
|Benefits at a Glance|
|– Annual Fee: $0|
– Current Bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
– 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months
– 1.5x points on all purchases
– 3x points on Bank of America Travel Center purchases
– Preferred Rewards members earn up to 75% more points
– No Foreign Transaction Fee
– APR: 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR
– Great Credit Score Required (700+)
Featured Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Benefits
These are the best reasons to apply for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card.
25,000 Points Signup Bonus
The current signup bonus of 25,000 online points after making $1,000 in purchases during the first 3 months is worth $250 in travel and dining statement credits.
This bonus is competitive with similar $0 annual fee travel credit cards.
You can qualify for this bonus even if you hold other Bank of America credit cards. Sometimes, you may not be eligible for a signup bonus if you own a similar product from the same bank.
Introductory 0% APR Purchase Offer
For the first 15 months, you qualify for an introductory 0% APR on purchases. Any remaining balance accrues interest at your ongoing APR once this initial period ends.
This rate doesn’t apply to balance transfers.
Earn Unlimited 1.5 Points on Purchases
Each purchase earns 1.5 points per dollar on every domestic and foreign purchase.
This flat rate rewards rate is competitive with similar cards. Current Bank of America members with qualifying account balances can earn up to 75% more on purchases with the Preferred Rewards program.
The earning potential for the Preferred Rewards members are:
- Gold: 1.875 points (25% more)
- Platinum: 2.25 points (50% more)
- Platinum Honors: 2.625 points (75% more)
3x Points at Bank of America Travel Center
Travel bookings using the Bank of America Travel Center earn 3 points per $1 instead of the 1.5x standard rate.
The 25%-75% Preferred Rewards earning boost also apply to these purchases.
No Annual Fee
Not having an annual fee can make this a great option if you only make a few trips each year or don’t make frequent card purchases.
Travel credit cards with an annual fee usually offer more benefits. However, you must be in a position to use those benefits or earn enough purchase rewards to justify the annual fee.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
You also won’t pay transaction fees on foreign purchases. An increasing number of no annual fee travel credit cards waive foreign purchase fees. However, this is one fee some banks still pass on to cardholders.
As a result, this card can be excellent for travel within the United States or to international destinations that accept Visa credit cards.
Other Bank of America Travel Rewards Features
These additional benefits from B of A and Visa Signature can provide financial peace of mind.
Secondary Rental Car Insurance
Most car rentals in the US and international destinations qualify for secondary collision and theft coverage. This benefit is standard for Visa Signature cards when you decline the rental agency’s collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage.
Free FICO Score
You can track your FICO Score for free courtesy of Bank of America. Most platforms only offer your VantageScore which the financial industry doesn’t use as often for credit decisions. Regular FICO Score updates can make it easier to know when you qualify for the best travel credit cards.
Bank of America customers can set up their Travel Rewards card for account overdraft protection. If your Bank of America deposit account overdrafts, your interest charges are at the cash advance APR.
Redeeming Bank of America Travel Rewards
You have several ways to redeem your purchase rewards.
Travel and Dining Statement Credits
The most valuable redemption option is a statement credit for travel and dining purchases within the last 12 months. As a comparison, similar cards require you to redeem points within 90 days of the purchase date.
Being able to redeem your points for dining purchases is also an advantage. This redemption option can be useful if your travel frequency decreases as you can still redeem points when you stay home.
One potential downside is that the redemption minimum is 2,500 points ($25) for travel and dining purchases.
Each point is worth 1 cent each ($0.01). That’s the average redemption value for credit card points.
You can redeem your points as a cash reward with these deposit options:
- Paper check
- Bank of America checking or savings account
- Merrill cash management account
Unfortunately, the redemption value is only $0.006 per point (0.6 cents) and you need 3,600 points ($21.60) to redeem. Travel and dining redemptions are the better options.
Retail and restaurant gift cards are another redemption option but the redemption value is only $0.006 per point. Like cash rewards, the redemption minimum is 3,600 points.
Here’s an overview of the current card fees you might pay.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
- Purchase APR: 0% for the first 15 months, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR
- Balance Transfers: 13.99% to 23.99% plus a one-time 3% transfer fee
- Cash Advance: 16.99% to 29.99%
- Late Payment: Up to $40
Bank of America Travel Rewards Compared to Similar Cards
Here are some of the alternative travel and cash rewards cards to this product.
Bank of America Premium Rewards:
The Bank of America Premium Rewards charges a $95 annual fee but offers several benefits that can be advantageous for frequent flyers.
You can earn 2x points on travel and dining purchases (plus at grocery stores through 12/31/2021). All non-bonus purchases earn 1.5x points.
Preferred Rewards members can also earn up to 75% additional points on purchases.
Two additional benefits of note are a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit of up to $100 and up to $100 in annual airline incidental fee credits.
Each point is worth 1 cent each for travel and cash redemptions with a $25 redemption minimum.
Capital One VentureOne:
The Capital One VentureOne doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Purchases earn 1.25x miles but Capital One Travel purchases earn 5x miles.
Each point is worth 1 cent each for travel statement credits and there isn’t a redemption minimum.
The card’s signup bonus can also be easier to earn as you only need to spend $500 in the first 3 months. However, you only earn 20,000 points ($200 value) instead of 25,000.
Chase Freedom Unlimited:
The Chase Freedom Unlimited markets itself as a cash rewards card but each point has the same $0.01 redemption value for cash, travel, and gift card rewards.
This card also earns at least 1.5 Ultimate Rewards per $1 on purchases and has no annual fee.
The purchase rewards categories include:
- 5% back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
- 1.5% back all remaining purchases
There isn’t a redemption minimum for cash rewards. However, the travel redemptions are only for upcoming travel.
The signup bonus is $200 after spending in the first 3 months. You can also earn 5% back on grocery store purchases during the first 12 months.
While you won’t pay an annual fee, a 3% foreign transaction fee applies.
American Express Blue Cash Everyday:
The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is a no-annual fee card that earns up to 3% cash back on purchases.
Rewards categories include:
- 3% back at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $6,000 then 1% back)
- 2% back U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
- 1% back on remaining purchases
The redemption minimum is $25 and the only payout option is a cash statement credit.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers several exciting perks that can make it worth the $95 annual fee.
Travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards earn 5x points and your remaining travel spend earns 2x points. Dining purchases earn 3x points and non-bonus purchases earn 1x points.
You also receive a 10% anniversary point bonus of your total purchase rewards from the last 12 months each card renewal
Each point is worth 1.25 cents each when you book award travel through Chase and 1 cent for cash rewards and gift cards.
You can also transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to over a dozen airline and hotel travel partners.
One additional benefit of note is an annual $50 hotel statement credit. This reduces your effective annual fee to $45.
Another reason to consider this card is for its amazing signup bonus. You can get 100,000 Ultimate Rewards worth $1,250 in travel rewards after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
There is no annual fee for the primary card or authorized users.
The foreign transaction fee is 0%.
Card purchases earn unlimited 1.5x points. Travel purchases through the Bank of America Travel Center earn 3 points per $1.
Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn up to 75% more points on purchases.
You will need a minimum $20,000 combined balance in Bank of America and Merrill accounts to start earning 25% bonus points. An active Bank of America checking account is also necessary.
Your redemption options include travel and dining statement credits, cash rewards, and gift cards.
Eligible travel purchases include flights, hotels, car rentals, timeshares, vacation rentals, campgrounds, cruise lines, tourist attractions, parking, and tolls.
You can redeem points for purchases up to 12 months ago with a minimum 2,500 points balance.
Qualifying dining purchases include restaurants, bars, nightclubs, fast food restaurants, and discotheques.
The redemption minimum is 2,500 points ($25).
Each point is worth $0.01 for travel and dining statement credits and $0.006 for cash or gift cards.
The redemption minimum is 2,500 points for travel and dining statement credits. Cash and gift card rewards require at least 3,600 points.
No, your rewards points won’t expire as long as your Bank of America Travel Rewards account remains open.
A score of at least 700 is recommended to apply for the Bank of America Travel Rewards.
New applicants can earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
The promotional APR is 0% on purchases for the first 15 months. The ongoing variable APR is between 13.99% and 23.99%.
Balance transfers do not qualify for the introductory 0% APR.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The Bank of America Travel Rewards is one of the better no annual fee travel credit cards as you earn 1.5x points on purchases and won’t pay a foreign transaction fee.
The rewards can be even sweeter for Bank of America Preferred Rewards customers.
While the travel and dining statement credits make it easy to redeem your points for maximum value, the $25 redemption minimum can be frustrating.
You might also consider investing in a travel credit card with a fee of $100 or less to get a few additional perks.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Get The Vacationer Newsletter
Get highlights of the most important news delivered to your email inbox