Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card overview
The no-annual-fee Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has the potential to be a solid flat-rate card if you are a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program. However, without the Preferred Rewards earning bonus, the card falls short compared to other flat-rate cards on the market. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
For beginners, points and miles can seem daunting. When I first started earning credit card rewards, the idea of transferring points and trying to find the absolute best redemptions was exciting but also nerve-wracking — and I’m not alone. Many beginners give up on using credit card rewards to pay for travel because it seems too complicated.
That’s where an option like the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card comes into play. It has no annual fee and a recommended credit score of 670. Points and miles experts will likely not be amazed at the perks and redemption options, but the simplicity of this card’s earning rate and redemption process provides a nice starting point for beginners.
Let’s dig into the card details so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Bank of America Travel Rewards welcome offer
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is currently offering 25,000 bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. These points are redeemable at a flat rate of 1 cent per point toward travel or dining purchases, so this bonus is worth $250 — a solid offer but significantly less valuable than what you’ll find on other top travel cards.
It’s not a flashy bonus, but it is easy to hit since the minimum spending requirement works out to $11.11 per day. And since the card has no annual fee, you’re essentially earning rewards on purchases you would have normally made without any up-front cost.
Bank of America does have a 24-month restriction, though the details vary from card to card. The wording for the Travel Rewards card states:
“This card may not be available to you if you currently have or have had the card in the preceding 24 month period.”
This means that you can get a second Travel Rewards card if you held one before but must wait 24 months after closing your old account before opening a new one.
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Bank of America Travel Rewards benefits
The real benefit of the Bank of America Travel Rewards is its simplicity. There are no bonus categories, earning caps or transfer partners. For beginners, that can be a great way to start a points and miles journey.
The card offers an unlimited 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all purchases. Your points don’t expire as long as you keep your account open. You’ll also enjoy no booking restrictions when you redeem your points and will pay no foreign transaction fees when you swipe the card outside the U.S.
As expected with a no-annual-fee card, you won’t get luxury perks with this card. However, since it is a Visa Signature card, you will still have access to certain travel protections and benefits, including:
Again, this isn’t an extensive list of benefits, but it’s decent for a no-annual-fee card.
Earning points on the Bank of America Travel Rewards
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card has a simple earning structure, but there’s more than meets the eye. You’ll earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase. There’s no yearly cap on rewards earned, and your points won’t expire for as long as your account is open.
This is a fairly standard earning rate for a no-annual-fee card, though you can find cards with more competitive reward structures. However, the rewards structure becomes much more valuable if you qualify for the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.
To enroll in Preferred Rewards, you’ll need an eligible Bank of America personal checking account and a three-month average balance of at least $20,000 across your Bank of America and Merrill accounts. There are four levels of Preferred Rewards, and each comes with an earning bonus on the Travel Rewards card.
|Preferred Rewards tier
|Required combined balances across accounts
|1.5 points per dollar
|1.875 points per dollar
|2.25 points per dollar
|2.625 points per dollar
|2.625 points per dollar
As you can see, those with Platinum Honors and Diamond can earn 2.625 points per dollar on every purchase, which is an impressive return for everyday purchases. Plus, you’ll get a savings account interest bonus, discounted banking and investing fees, and discounted rates on auto loans and mortgages.
Still, if you aren’t a Preferred Rewards member, the earning rate of 1.5 points per dollar is lackluster.
Redeeming points on the Bank of America Travel Rewards
Bank of America points act more like cash-back rewards since each point is worth a flat 1 cent. You can redeem them as a statement credit for travel or dining purchases (starting at a minimum of 2,500 points). When you make a purchase, simply login, log in to your account and select any qualifying transaction from the previous 12 months.
Although travel enthusiasts may see this as a disadvantage, beginners might rejoice at this no-stress process. You don’t have to think about maximizing reward redemptions or figuring out the best transfer partner for booking your travel, which can be a headache for someone looking for a simple, no-frills way to earn and use their points.
You can also use your points for a cash reward — a check or a deposit into a qualifying Bank of America account. However, you’ll get a value of just 0.6 cents per point this way (2,500 points = $15), so you’re much better off using them for travel or dining purchases.
Finally, you can redeem your points for gift cards, though the exact value varies by merchant.
Which cards compete with the Bank of America Travel Rewards?
One of these may be a better fit if you want more perks or a different earning structure than the Bank of America Travel Rewards offers.
For additional options, check out our full list of the best cash-back credit cards.
Is the Bank of America Travel Rewards worth it?
If you’re looking for simplicity in how you earn and redeem points, the no-annual-fee Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card could be a good option for you, especially if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer. However, more seasoned points and miles travelers will likely want a card with higher earning rates and more redemption options.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers a simple earning rate and redemption options many beginners will appreciate. However, frequent travelers who want better earning rates and the flexibility of transfer partners should consider other options.
Apply here: Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card