- Offers a decent sign-up bonus and rewards rate for no annual fee
- You can earn up to 2.625 points per dollar with Bank of America Preferred Rewards
- Introductory APR promotion on purchases
- Decent rewards for no annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- The card doesn't offer big rewards and perks like annual-fee travel cards
- Rewards aren't as flexible as cash-back rewards
If you want to rack up travel rewards but aren’t sure you can stomach a high annual fee, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card should be at the top of your list for consideration.
It’s hard to beat the card’s combination of a sign-up bonus, high rewards rate, and no annual fee. Also, if you’re an existing Bank of America or Merrill Lynch customer with a high balance, the card could get lucrative.
But for those who want to maximize their rewards and get extra travel-related perks, it might be worth comparing this card to some of the top travel cards on the market.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card highlights
The card really shines best for people who don’t spend a lot on their credit cards and can’t justify an annual fee. It offers a decent upfront sign-up bonus and rewards rate. You’ll get double the points, though, when you book travel through Bank of America’s travel website.
What’s more, you can get between 10% and 75% more points if you’re an existing Bank of America or Merrill Lynch customer. We’ll cover that in more detail in a bit.
Another highlight of the card is that it offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to redeeming your points. Plus, it provides an introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases, allowing you to finance a vacation or a large purchase interest-free.
Now, let’s go into more detail about each of these features.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Rewards and Perks
When you first get your card, you’ll earn 25,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days — that’s worth $250 in free travel.
You’ll also earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, except for travel purchases through Bank of America’s travel center — excluding insurance — which net you 3 points per dollar.
Now, here’s where it gets exciting. If you have a Bank of America checking or savings account, you’ll earn 10% more points on all of your purchases. So instead of 1.5 points per dollar, you’ll get 1.65 points per dollar.
And if you’re a Preferred Rewards client with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch, you’ll get even more. The program requires you to have a minimum balance amount between the bank and the brokerage firm to get bonus rewards. Here’s how that breaks down:
Preferred Rewards Level
1.875 points per dollar
2.25 points per dollar
2.625 points per dollar
That’s right. If you have at least $50,000 in balances between Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, you’ll earn a higher rewards rate than all other credit cards with no annual fee.
And if you have more than $100,000 saved or invested, you may get more value out of this card than many top-tier travel cards.
When it comes to redeeming your rewards, the program is flexible and straighforward. Simply use your Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card to make a travel purchase, then use your hard-earned points to get a statement credit against that purchase.
Your points are worth 1 cent apiece, so if you book a flight for $350, you’d need 35,000 points to get a full statement credit.
The card also offers an introductory APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases, giving you an entire year to finance a large purchase and pay it down interest-free. APR promotions like this are rare among travel credit cards, so take advantage of it if you need it.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Benefits
Because the card has no annual fee, it doesn’t come with a lot of extra benefits. At the same time, there are some important ones to note.
For starters, the card charges no foreign transaction fees, which makes international travel easier. While this feature is standard among travel credit cards, and its main competitor, the Discover it® Miles, also offers it, this card is a Visa, which is accepted virtually everywhere.
Discover, on the other hand, isn’t widely accepted overseas.
The other primary benefit is that you’ll get free access to your FICO credit score.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card costs and fees
As we’ve already mentioned, the card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. But you may run into other charges if you’re not careful.
The card’s interest rate, for instance, is above-average. And depending on your creditworthiness, your interest rate could be in the mid-20% range.
You’ll also pay extra in interest and fees for cash advances, and you’ll pay a high penalty APR if you miss a payment. As a result, we always recommend to pay your balance on time and full to avoid interest and to avoid cash advances like the plague.
Does the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card make sense for me?
This card doesn’t come with a lot of frills, but it could be a powerhouse if you already have a solid relationship with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch.
It’s also a good option for small spenders who want travel rewards but don’t want a pricey annual fee.
On the flip side, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card can’t really compete with other premier travel credit cards in terms of rewards, bonuses, and perks. So if you’re looking to get a lot of value out of your next credit card, compare this card with annual-fee options to see which card will give you the most bang for your buck.
Application Process: Apply online and receive a response in as little as 60 seconds.
Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases. Points can be applied towards statement credit or any travel purchases, including flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees.
Bonus Offers: Receive 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days, which can also be used as a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases. Also 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 could increase that bonus to 25% - 75%, depending on how much is in your account. For a card with no annual fee, we think the bonus offers are pretty legit!
Annual Fee: None.
- 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
- 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $200 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 16.49% - 24.49% 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%