Bank Of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Benefits Guide

If you’ve got travel fever, there’s no doubt you’ve considered adding a travel credit card to supplement your budget by earning rewards. Most people don’t want to start with a premium travel credit card, which comes with steep annual fees and slightly more complicated ways to redeem travel rewards. That’s where the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card could come in.

This Bank of America credit card has no annual fee, but still offers enough perks to get you started on your reward journey. Although you’ll get the most out of this card as a member of Bank of America Preferred Rewards – an invitation-only program based on the amount of your deposits with the bank – it could still be an interesting card to consider.

To help you find out if this card is right for you, we’ve created this benefits guide that details some of the key features of the card.

Quick Card Details:

  • Welcome offer: 25,000 bonus points when you make purchases of $1,000 within 90 days of account opening (worth $250 for travel)
  • Reward rate: 1.5X unlimited points on all purchases
  • Annual subscription: $0
  • Intro APR for purchases: 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles
  • Regular APR: 13.99% to 23.99% variable

This card also has a few standout features that make it a respectable starter travel card, the most notable being the welcome bonus and introductory zero interest rate. If you spend $1,000 within the first three months of opening your account, you’ll earn 25,000 bonus points, worth $250 when redeemed for travel or meals.

If you have a big purchase on the horizon, the APR introductory offer will give you 0% interest on purchases for 15 months. After the 15 months, your variable APR will be between 13.99% and 23.99%.

Earn rewards

With the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, you’ll earn 1.5 times the points on all your purchases. There’s a way to earn a little more (see below), but a fixed rewards rate makes it pretty easy to predict earnings from all of your purchases. Unlike some rewards cards, there are no rotating bonus categories to track or activate, which makes this card a good choice for simplicity.

Redeem rewards

You can redeem your rewards for statement credit or cash as a deposit to an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account. The best part is that your cash redemptions don’t lose value, like with some rewards credit cards.

You can redeem your rewards for travel up to 12 months after the date of purchase. There is a minimum of 2,500 redemption points.

Other redemption options include earning statement credits for in-store and take-out purchases, which includes a fairly wide range of venues: bars, lounges, nightclubs, and, of course, restaurants.

Finally, you can also redeem points for gift cards, which only gives your points a value of 0.6 cents each and has a minimum of 3,125 points for redemption.

Boost rewards

If you’re part of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you’ll earn up to 75% more rewards for every dollar you spend with your Travel Rewards card. The only requirement is to maintain a minimum balance in your qualifying Bank of America or Merrill investment accounts. The minimum balance for each level is as follows:

Gold $20,000 to $49,999 25%
Platinum $50,000 to $99,999 50%
Platinum Honors $100,000 to $999,999 75%
diamond $1,000,000 to $9,999,999 75%
Diamond Honors $10 million or more 75%

Although you need to keep a significant amount of money on deposit with the bank to qualify for these tiers, you will find that it can really boost your earnings with the Travel Rewards Card. At the highest level, you can earn up to 2.62 points for every dollar spent on the card.

Additional Card Benefits

As an entry-level travel card, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card lacks some of the more common travel benefits, such as credits toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. There’s also no lounge access, travel insurance, or annual credits, which you might expect with a travel credit card with no annual fee.

However, some useful features can still come in handy. First, there is the BankAmeriDeals offer program. You will have access to exclusive discounts by using your card at eligible retailers for a specific period of time. You can save 5-15% on select purchases by activating your offer and using your card based on offer details.

As a Visa Signature card, there are a few additional benefits worth noting:

  • Purchase Protection
  • Visa Concierge
  • Extended warranty
  • Access to road dispatch for emergency vehicle assistance
  • Travel and emergency assistance

It should also be noted that this card does not charge any foreign transaction fees. If you plan to travel abroad, at least you won’t blow your travel budget with these additional costs.

Who should get the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card?

It’s not by far one of the best travel credit cards. However, it does offer some perks that might be appealing to someone who doesn’t travel a lot or has very lax standards for their reward travel goals.

You should get this card if you:

  • You want to earn rewards on your daily spend
  • You are a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program
  • I don’t want to pay an annual fee to earn travel rewards
  • You don’t mind giving up some perks and perks for a lower cost travel card

You should avoid this card if:

  • You have high expectations for award travel
  • You want premium travel card perks like elite status, credits or airport lounge access
  • Need 0% introductory APR option for balance transfers

If you find this card isn’t exactly right for you, there are other cards that offer similar rewards rates, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Citi® Double Cash Card, which offer 1.5X rewards and up to 2X on all expenses, respectively. The Chase Freedom Unlimited has additional benefits, such as 5x rewards on bonus categories, as well as the ability to earn and redeem more rewards for trips with a card combination strategy.

The bottom line

The Bank of America Travel Rewards isn’t the most feature-rich travel rewards card. For most people, it would be better to have a flat rate cash back card or a rewards card with a rate greater than 1.5x on all spend.

For those who meet Bank of America Preferred Rewards requirements, the card could offer much more value. Even then, there are better cards available to take your reward travel to the next level.