Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Review: Decent Rewards with No Annual Fee
Bank of America Travel Rewards
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is great for frequent travelers who aren’t attached to a particular airline or hotel chain. It’s one of the few travel rewards credit cards that doesn’t charge an annual fee, but that also means it won’t offer some of the fancier perks you usually find with premium travel rewards cards. Still, if you’re in the market for basic travel perks, it’s certainly worth a look.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Quick Review
Here’s a quick overview of the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card:
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 12 months, then 16.99% to 24.99% Variable
Sign-Up Bonus: 3,500 miles
- Unlimited 1.5X points per dollar on purchases
- Bank of America customers receive up to a 75% bonus on their rewards balances
- Book travel on any site with no blackout dates
- No foreign transaction fees
- $10 or 3% balance transfer fee, whichever is greater
- $10 or 3% cash advance fee, whichever is greater
- Up to $39 for late payments
- Up to $28 for returned payments
Why Apply for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
These are the key benefits of the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card:
Earn 1.5X points per dollar on everything
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5X points per dollar everywhere you go. There are no caps on how many points you earn, and no rotating categories to sign up for. Most travel rewards cards offer higher rewards earning in bonus categories, but earn just 1X points per dollar on the majority of purchases. The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card won’t make you think about if you’re maxing things out. Simply use it and earn 1.5X on everything.
Use points how you want, when you want
Book travel whenever and however you want: Unlike airline or hotel cards, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card doesn’t restrict you to one company or certain dates. You book the travel arrangements you want, and Bank of America will reimburse you for hotels, flights and other travel-related expenses in the form of a statement credit.
Receive bonus points for banking with a Bank of America
If you have a Bank of America checking or savings account, you automatically get 10% more points on every purchase you make with your card. Preferred Rewards members — people with a minimum average of $20,000 in their Bank of America accounts for three or more months — will see this bonus rise as high as 25%. Members with $50,000 will get a 50% bonus, while members with $100,000 earn a 75% bonus.
Receive 25,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after you spend $1,000
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card offers a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days to all new cardholders who spend $1,000 or more within the first 90 days of account opening. This is equivalent to a $250 statement credit toward any travel-related purchase. It’s not a huge bonus, but it’s easy to hit.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card holds distinct advantages over a number of airline and hotel credit cards, but it also has some drawbacks:
You won’t get special perks from any airlines or hotels
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card gives lets you book your travel arrangements your way, but you’ll miss out on special rewards hotels and airlines offer to their credit card holders. You won’t get priority boarding or access to airport lounges, for example. Not everyone is interested in those perks. But if one airline dominates in your city, or you stay with one hotel chain all the time for work, you may be better off signing up for that company’s card instead.
It doesn’t offer high-end travel perks
Many travel credit cards offer fringe benefits like travel accident insurance, rental car coverage and baggage protection. The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card doesn’t. That’s the tradeoff for paying no annual fee. If you’re interested in these benefits, you’ll have to either purchase separate protections, or sign up for a premium travel credit card.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Alternatives
The Bank of America Travel Reward Credit Card is great for a lot of people, but not a perfect fit for everyone. If it’s not right for you, try one of these cards:
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card offers 3X points per dollar spent on dining, travel and gas, plus 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases. You’ll rack up rewards more quickly at those rates than you would with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card.
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card has no annual or foreign transaction fees, and there are no blackout dates. You can book travel with any company you choose. However, there are no partners to transfer your points to, and American Express isn’t accepted everywhere.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card offers 3X points per dollar on travel and dining, and 1X points per dollar on everything else. You can redeem your points through Chase, or transfer them to dozens of partner travel rewards programs. All cardholders receive a $300 per year travel credit, plus a credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.
These perks don’t come cheap, as the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card has a $450 annual fee. Before you sign up, make sure you’ll earn enough in rewards each year to offset the fee. The $300 travel credit cuts into the annual fee, and the card comes with a bunch of premium perks like lounge access and flight delay and cancellation insurance. Even so, $450 up front is a lot for most people, so choose wisely.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card FAQs
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card:
Do Bank of America Travel Rewards points expire?
No, your Bank of America Travel Rewards points will not expire as long as your credit card account remains active.
How much are Bank of America Travel Rewards points worth?
Each Bank of America Travel Rewards point is worth $0.01. You must accumulate 10,000 Travel Rewards points to receive a $100 statement credit that you can put toward travel expenses.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card?
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card has a lot to offer if you travel a few times per year and aren’t loyal to one airline or hotel chain. It’s worth a look if you don’t spend enough in a year to justify the annual fee on a premium travel rewards card. But more lucrative cards for frequent travelers both earn strong rewards and provide a host of terrific travel benefits.