Travel rewards credit cards seem to be the type of card we want most. The upper-tier of travel rewards cards cost a lot of money in annual fees but seem to give amazing signup bonuses and perks. Find out what you’ll get with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card in our review below.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card isn’t flashy, but it does a nice job for a travel rewards credit card. You won’t get the best perks in the world, but you also won’t pay for the card.
In this article, I’ll review the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card so you can determine if there’s room in your wallet for this travel rewards card or not. First, let’s learn a little more about the card.
About the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Bank of America enters the game of travel rewards cards with their aptly-named Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. The card isn’t meant to compete with some of the upper-tier travel rewards cards that have annual fees and better perks, but it does a fine job competing with those right in the middle.
You’ll get a flat earnings rate, regardless of how or where you spend money on the card – 1.5 points per dollar. As with other Bank of America cards, your rewards get boosted when you have assets with the bank or with Merrill Lynch (more on this below).
While there’s no balance transfer promotion, you do get a nice bonus on purchases – 0% interest for the first 12 billing cycles after opening the account. This makes the card not only a great travel card but one that you can put a trip on and take a year to pay off in full without paying a lick of interest.
In addition to that, you will get a $250 travel reward statement credit (in the form of 25,000 points) when you spend at least $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days of opening it.
There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, either.
There are a few downsides, but for a card that doesn’t cost anything to own, they’re rather minimal. Let’s dive into some of the best features of this card.
- Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
- 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
- Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
- Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
- Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
- 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
- Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
- If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
Features and Benefits of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
$250 Signup Bonus
When you are approved for a new account and you spend at least $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days after opening, you’ll get 25,000 bonus points. This equates to a $250 statement credit toward any travel purchases. A great value for a card that has no annual fee.
Introductory Promotional Offer for Purchases
Currently, Bank of America is offering a 0% promotional offer on all purchases for the first 12 billing cycles after opening a new credit card account. While the offer doesn’t apply to balance transfers, this is an excellent benefit if you’re looking to make a large purchase and want a full year to pay it off without having to pay interest. After the promotional offer ends, you’ll get a respectable Variable APR ranging from 17.24 to 25.24%.
With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you’ll earn a flat 1.5 points for every dollar you spend – regardless of where or when. Your points will never expire, either. To boost this, Bank of America offers its customers Preferred Rewards when they have deposits with them or Merrill Lynch. Here’s how it works:
- For having something with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch (you’re a customer outside of the credit card account), you’ll get a 10% boost to your earnings rate; giving you 1.65 points per dollar.
- If you have at least $20,000 with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch, you’ll get a 25% boost to your earnings rate; giving you 1.875 points per dollar
- If you have between $20,000 and $50,000 with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch, you’ll get a 50% boost to your earnings rate; giving you 2.25 points per dollar
- If you have more than $100,000 with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch, you’ll get a 75% boost to your earnings rate; giving you 2.625 points per dollar
So you can see that having unlimited, un-expirable points can make a big difference, especially when you have some deposits with Bank of America.
No annual or foreign transaction fees
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card comes with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. These two elements can make a massive difference in the way you use your credit card – particularly for travel. Annual fees can eat up a big chunk of your earning power with reward cards. And foreign transaction fees usually hover around 3%, so you’ll save money when you make purchases out of the country, too.
Other Features and Benefits
The biggest value of this card lies with the signup bonus, earnings rate, and lack of fees, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some other nice perks. Here are some other things you’ll get with this card:
- $0 Liability Guarantee
- Shopsafe – generate a temporary card number to shop online securely
- Chip cards – enhanced security with chip-enabled cards
- Optional overdraft protection – connect your Bank of America checking account to your credit card account to protect against overdraft charges if and when you accidentally overdraw your checking account
- Paperless statements – choose to get your statements electronically to increase security and reduce your carbon footprint
- Digital wallet enabled – link your card to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay and use your phone to pay for purchases online or in-store
- Custom account alerts – get alerted when payments are due, when the card is used, or many other alerts as you deem necessary
- Free FICO score – you can opt-in to get your FICO score for free each month
How to Sign Up for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
You need to be at least 18 and have both a U.S. mailing address and a Social Security number in order to apply for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card.
Bank of America allows you to do applications online or over the phone at 800.932.2775. When you apply, you’ll need to be ready to provide the following information:
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Home address
- Total annual income (non-taxable annual income is optional)
- Your income source – employed, self-employed, unemployed, retired, military, business owner, or other)
Once your application is complete, you can get a decision in as little as 30 seconds. In some cases, Bank of America will need more time to review your application or may need additional documentation from you. In these situations, it could take a couple of weeks to get a decision back, but it’s uncommon.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Pricing
Annual Fee: None
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases: 0% Introductory APR for the first 12 Statement Closing Dates following the opening of your account. After that, your APR will be 17.24% to 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness when you open your account. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
APR for Balance Transfers: 17.24% to 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness when you open your account. After that, your APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Balance Transfer Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance Fee: Direct Deposit and Check Cash Advances: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. ATM, Over-the-Counter, Same-Day Online and Cash Equivalent Cash Advances: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Late Payment Fee: Up to $39
Returned Payment Fee: Up to $28
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Pros and Cons
- Excellent signup bonus ($250) with only a modest spend required ($1,000 in 90 days)
- 0% on purchases for 12 billing cycles
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- Solid reward earning rate for a card with no annual fee
- Points never expire
- Earnings multiplier for Preferred Rewards clients
- Not as competitive of an earnings rate as some other comparable cards
- No bonus perks such as extended warranties or return protection
- There isn’t a balance transfer promotion
Should You Sign Up for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card?
Despite what you may read about this card, it’s actually a very solid choice for a travel card. No, you’re not going to get tons of points or perks like access to lounges and companion fares, but it’s also not supposed to be a premium travel card.
There is no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, so for someone who doesn’t spend a ton on credit cards and wants to pick up some points when they’re traveling, this is a great choice.
Yes, you can find much better options, but you’ll pay for them. If you’re someone who wants a solid card that you can use for all of your everyday purchases, check this one out.
And if you happen to have assets with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch, things just got a lot better for you because your rewards will be boosted.Topics: Credit Cards • Reviews