Is the Bank Of America Travel Rewards Card Worth It?
There are dozens of travel rewards cards to choose from, but the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card stands out for several reasons. At first glance, some features are worth highlighting, such as no annual fees, a low interest rate offer on purchases, and no foreign transaction fees. The welcome bonus of 25,000 points, earned after spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening, is also worth mentioning.
Digging a little deeper, the rewards structure might seem rather uninspired, especially compared to travel credit cards – you earn unlimited 1.5X points on every purchase.
The simplicity of the rewards structure of this card will be considered a disadvantage or an advantage, depending on the spender. Keep reading to find out if the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is worth it for you.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Card Details
This Bank of America credit card offers a number of benefits for the cardholder, including:
- 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% introductory APR for 15 billing cycles
- Intro APR for balance transfers: N / A
- Regular APR: 13.99% to 23.99% variable
- Other advantages : No foreign transaction fees
The card’s lack of annual fees, zero interest rate offer on new purchases, and welcome bonus alone might make this a card worth considering; these features make it a cheaper alternative to other credit cards with expensive annual fees or lackluster APR introductory offers. Plus, you only need to spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening to earn the welcome bonus of 25,000 points (a $250 value) – which, compared to some other travel cards, is a more reasonable spending requirement.
Despite its name, however, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card doesn’t offer much in the way of actual travel functionality. There is no travel portal to book through or airline or hotel partners to transfer to. What a cardholder earns are points per dollar, which can be redeemed for statement credits (limited to travel and dining purchases). This means that the card ends up rewarding cardholders more like a cash back credit card than a true travel rewards card.
With so many travel restrictions and uncertainty surrounding global travel in recent years, this type of rewards program may be better suited to some cardholders and provide greater redemption flexibility.
Reasons the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is worth it
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card offers many benefits to consumers, although it doesn’t look exactly like other travel credit cards or programs.
Simple rewards structure
The card rewards you with 1.5X unlimited points on every purchase. The best part of this program is that you earn points no matter where your purchase is made or what category your purchase belongs to. As a bonus, your points never expire.
Boosted reward rates
If you join the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you will have the opportunity to increase the value of your points. By joining, you can earn an additional 25-75% for every dollar spent. Although there is no charge to join the program, you must meet the minimum requirements as an account holder with Bank of America to qualify. If you are able to take advantage of this program, it could significantly increase your rewards.
Travel and restaurant reimbursements
Points earned with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card can be redeemed for statement credits for travel and dining purchases. Although it may seem somewhat limiting, the travel and dining categories actually have a broad definition. Here are some examples of the wide range of travel redemption options:
- Flights including baggage fees
- Hotel stays
- Holiday rents
- Travel agency
- Car, boat and truck rental
- Cruise lines
- Tourist attractions
Restaurant buyout also covers more than you might expect, including:
- Meal in person
- To go out
- fast food
- Bars and taverns
Each point is worth 1 cent each when redeemed at an eligible travel or restaurant category. You also have the option of redeeming them for gift cards, although the value drops significantly. For gift cards, the value of one point is 0.6 cents, giving you much less bang for your buck in rewards.
0% APR introductory offer
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card offers an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 15 billing cycles (followed by a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99%), which is a good offer for a travel card.
This introductory offer gives you more time to plan a larger purchase, if needed, without worrying about interest for 15 months.
As a welcome bonus, you can earn 25,000 points by making $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening. For most cardholders, $1,000 is an achievable number that won’t require you to buy too much over your budget.
When you reach the spending requirement, the 25,000 bonus points can be redeemed for statement credit. This is currently worth $250 in cash value (for travel purchases).
No foreign transaction fees
Naturally, you would expect a travel rewards card to limit fees for those traveling overseas. This is the case with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card, as it does not charge any foreign transaction fees. In other words, you can swipe your card outside the United States without incurring a fee for doing so.
Other useful benefits
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card comes with a few other benefits worth mentioning. For starters, cardholders have access to BankAmeriDeals. You can access these exclusive offers simply by logging into your account and activating the offer. You can save between 5% and 15% on a purchase by simply clicking on the offer.
This card also provides access to Visa Signature benefits, entitling you to benefits such as:
- Purchase Protection
- Visa Concierge
- Extended warranty
- Access to road dispatch for emergency vehicle assistance
- Travel and emergency assistance
Reasons the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card might not be worth it for you
Before signing up for the card, be sure to consider your own financial priorities. The card also has potential downsides, which means there may be better options for you.
Not a real travel rewards program
Although you can redeem your points for travel and dining purchases, the rewards program is not typical compared to those you might find with other travel cards. Most travel programs offer bonus points or miles that are redeemed through a travel portal and allow you to maximize rewards potential through bookings with travel partners.
Essentially, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card acts more like a cashback card, especially since there are no travel partners or portals to book.
Although each point is worth 1 cent, there is no way to increase the value of the rewards unless you are a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.
Balance transfer rates and fees
If you want to consolidate debt or pay off a high-interest credit card by transferring a balance, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card probably wouldn’t be the best option for you. There is no intro APR on balance transfers, so you will immediately start accruing interest charges if you transfer a balance (which is between a variable of 13.99% to 23.99%) .
If you initiate a balance transfer, there is a 3% balance transfer fee (or $10, whichever is greater).
The bottom line
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is best suited for someone looking for flexibility and an easy-to-follow rewards structure. This wouldn’t be the best option if you need both a travel card and one with a low balance transfer rate.
What this card lacks in a travel portal and increased revenue, it makes up for in low (or no) fees and a zero rate offer on purchases.