Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card review: A travel credit card for the fee-averse

Written by Ben Luthi / January 18, 2023
Reviewed by Glen Luke Flanagan

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is a mainstay among no-annual-fee travel credit cards. This card offers a flat 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase you make, but if you're a loyal Bank of America or Merrill Lynch customer, you may be able to earn as much as 2.62 points per dollar. You'll also earn more rewards when you use your card to book travel through the Bank of America Travel Center.

With no annual fee, the card doesn't offer much in the way of travel benefits. But its welcome bonus is solid, giving you 25,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. And if you need an introductory 0% APR promotion, this card offers a lengthy one, with 18 months of 0% APR for both purchases and balance transfers. After, a 18.24% - 28.24% variable APR applies.

The card can be a great introduction to travel rewards for someone who prefers to avoid an annual fee, and it can also be a great way for certain Bank of America or Merrill Lynch customers to maximize their rewards on every purchase. But if you're serious about travel rewards and perks, a different card may be a better fit, even if it charges an annual fee. 

Inside this article

  1. Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card basics
  2. Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card rewards
  3. Alternate travel credit cards
  4. Should you get the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card?
  5. Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card summary
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card basics

  • Annual fee: $0

  • Welcome bonus: 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.

  • Rewards: Earn 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase, with the chance to earn 25% to 75% bonus points as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer. Also, earn an additional 1.5 points per dollar on Bank of America Travel Center purchases.

  • Intro APR: 0% APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and also on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening.

  • Regular APR: 18.24% - 28.24% variable.

  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the transfer amount, with a $10 minimum.

  • Pre-approval tool: Yes.

  • Recommended credit score: Good to excellent.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card rewards

The card offers a flat base rate of 1.5 points per dollar spent on purchases. However, if you use your card to book travel through the Bank of America Travel Center, you'll earn 3 points per dollar on those purchases—an extra 1.5 points per dollar on top of the base rate.

Additionally, the card earns 25%, 50%, or 75% more points per purchase if you're eligible for the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. To join, you must have a three-month combined average daily balance of at least $20,000 in eligible Bank of America deposit accounts or Merrill Lynch investment accounts. 

Depending on which Preferred Rewards tier you qualify for, you can earn between 1.87 to 2.62 points per dollar on most of your purchases with this card. Note, however, that this bonus doesn't apply to the card's welcome offer.

The welcome offer provides 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. Those points are worth $250 in travel and dining statement credits. 

To redeem your rewards, simply use your card to pay for eligible travel or dining purchases, then request a statement credit with your points within 12 months of the transaction date. You can also redeem points for cash or gift cards, but you'll only get 0.6 cents per point with cash redemptions—and gift card redemption values can vary. As a result, it's best to stick to travel and dining statement credits.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card rewards potential

Using government data and other publicly available information, Sound Dollar estimates that a household in the U.S. that would be in the market for this card has an annual income of $84,352 and $25,087 in expenses they are likely to be able to charge to a credit card.

If you're earning the base rate of 1.5 points per dollar spent, you could earn $376.31 worth of points every year. If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer, though, you could earn up to $657.28 in value.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card APR details

As a new cardholder, you'll get an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles. That's a rare benefit among travel credit cards, so it's even more impressive that it's also a relatively lengthy 0% period. After the intro period expires, the card charges a variable APR ranging from 18.24% - 28.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.

For balance transfers, make sure to complete your request within 60 days of opening the account, and note the 3% balance transfer fee ($10 minimum), which will be tacked on to your balance.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card benefits and perks

  • Visa Signature benefits: As a Visa Signature credit card, the card offers certain insurance protections including secondary auto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation, and interruption insurance, trio delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, access to roadside dispatch, extended warranty, and referrals to travel and emergency assistance when traveling.

  • FICO score access: Check your FICO Score for free (when you enroll), along with key factors that are influencing your score.

  • Digital wallet compatible: You can add your card to Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay to make point-of-sale transactions quick and secure.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card drawbacks

  • No notable travel benefits: If you want added benefits when you travel, such as robust travel protections, airport lounge access, or reimbursement for the Global Entry application fee, you may be disappointed with this card. While most travel credit cards charge annual fees, they often provide perks that can make up for that yearly cost.

  • No everyday bonus categories: You can earn extra points when you book travel through Bank of America, but the card doesn't offer any other bonus categories. If you spend a lot in certain areas of your budget, you may be better off with a card that rewards that spending more.

  • Not many can maximize rewards: To earn the highest rewards rate possible, you'll need a three-month combined average daily balance of at least $100,000 in eligible Bank of America deposit accounts or Merrill Lynch investment accounts. 

Alternate travel credit cards

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card vs. Discover it Miles

If you're a big spender, you could benefit from a big bonus offer from the Discover it Miles. The card offers 1.5 miles per dollar spent, and during the first year, Discover will match all the miles you earn with the card, with no limit to how many miles you can earn. 

You can redeem miles as a statement credit for travel purchases made up to 180 days after they post, for cash back to a bank account or you can use them to shop online at Amazon.com and through PayPal. 

The card also has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee, but keep in mind that if you plan to travel abroad, Discover is not widely accepted internationally.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

For a modest $95 annual fee, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers substantial rewards value. As a new cardholder, you'll earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 in the first three months. You'll also earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases. 

You can redeem miles as statement credits for past travel purchases, use them to pay for Capital One Travel bookings, or transfer them to airline or hotel loyalty programs.

In terms of perks, you'll get an application fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, two free annual visits to Capital One Lounges or Plaza Premium Lounges, Hertz Five Star status, bonus miles on Turo car rentals, and more. 

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. You'll also earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3 points per dollar on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out, on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), and on select streaming services, 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else. 

Points are typically worth 1 cent each (though the value may vary for certain redemptions). Redemption options include cash back, statement credits, gift cards, Apple purchases, and online shopping. You can also use them to book travel through Chase and receive 25% more value per point or transfer your points at a 1:1 rate to airline and hotel loyalty programs. 

The card also offers a $50 annual statement credit toward hotel stays booked through Chase, as well as partner benefits with Lyft, Instacart, DoorDash and Gopuff. There’s a $95 annual fee.

Finally, the Sapphire Preferred provides a robust lineup of travel benefits, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay reimbursement, and primary rental car insurance.

Should you get the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card?

If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, the Travel Rewards Credit Card can be a great way to rack up a lot of points on your everyday purchases, especially if you can qualify for the maximum 75% bonus—which brings the earning rate up to 2.62 points per dollar spent. 

That said, it may also be worth considering another travel card with added perks for when you travel since this one’s benefits are slim compared to popular travel cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

If you're not a Preferred Rewards customer, the Bank of America travel card may still be a good fit if you want to earn travel rewards but don't want to deal with an annual fee. However, it should be mentioned there are many travel credit cards that charge an annual fee but offer enough value in perks alone to make up for the cost every year. Shop around and compare several options to determine which one offers the best value for you based on your travel and spending habits.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card summary

Annual fee$0
Rewards3 points per dollar on Bank of America Travel Center purchases and 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases; earn up to 75% more points as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer
APR0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and on balance transfers completed within 60 days from account opening, 18.24% to 28.24% after that
Balance transfer fee3% of the transfer amount with a $10 minimum
Foreign transaction feeNone

Frequently Asked Questions

What credit score do you need for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card?

The card is designed for consumers with good or excellent credit. According to FICO, that typically means a credit score of 670 or higher. That said, Bank of America will review your full credit history, income, and other factors to determine your eligibility. 

If you're unsure whether you're eligible, you can use the card issuer's pre-approval tool, which can help you gauge your approval odds for any Bank of America credit card.

How do I redeem points with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card?
Do Bank of America travel rewards expire?

About the Authors

Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi

Ben has been writing about money since 2013. He's been on staff at NerdWallet as a credit card writer and for Student Loan Hero, where he covered student loans and other personal finance topics. Ben's work has appeared in U.S. News, The New York Times, Experian, FICO, Credit Karma, Bankrate and more

Full bio
Glen Luke Flanagan

Glen Luke Flanagan

Glen Luke Flanagan is a deputy editor on the credit cards team at Sound Dollar. Prior to joining Sound Dollar, he covered credit cards, credit scoring and related topics as a deputy editor at Forbes Advisor and a senior writer at LendingTree. He’s passionate about helping people understand personal finance so they can make the best decisions possible for their wallet.

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