Updated January 2, 2018
Travel card users may find the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card taking a top spot in their wallets, and for good reason. Not only does the card waive both foreign transaction fees and the annual fee, but it also dishes out no-hassles rewards that can be redeemed for travel-related statement credits. We consider it a solid travel card for the everyday, casual credit card spender who isn’t building an arsenal of credit cards to optimize for every purchase category. It’s one of our picks for the best travel credit cards.
- Unlimited 1.5x points per $1
- 20,000 bonus points offer
- $0 annual fee
- 0% intro APR for purchases
- Up to 75% rewards bonus
- No foreign transaction fee
- No 0% intro APR on balance transfers
|Bonus Offer||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|
Intro: 0%, 12 billing cycles
Reg: 16.24% - 24.24%, variable
|Balance Transfer APR||
Reg: 16.24% - 24.24%, variable
- 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 16.24% - 24.24% 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%
What we like about Bank of America® Travel Rewards
- 1.5x points per $1 - Cardholders earn unlimited 1.5x points per $1 for all purchases. There is no opting in to bonus categories quarterly – just a straightforward approach that hands-off individuals will appreciate.
- 20,000 points new cardholder bonus - Bank of America® Travel Rewards issues 20,000 bonus points worth $200 in travel statement credits to new cardholders who spend at least $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. It’s not the biggest bonus on the market, but it is one of the better payouts among cards with a low spending qualification hurdle.
- 0% intro APR for purchases - Cardholders can float new purchases for 12 billing cycles with the card's 0% intro APR. This is a nice spending feature, combined with earning points and a large sign-up bonus that can reduce out-of-pocket costs and make your money work better for you.
- Up to 75% rewards bonus - Cardholders who bank with Bank of America can receive bonus rewards that add 10% to 75% on top of every point, depending on their banking status. Some bonuses aren’t particularly difficult to qualify for – you’ll earn a 10% customer points for having an active Bank of America checking or savings account. Preferred Rewards clients qualify for 25% to 75% bonus points. For the number crunchers out there, that range for Preferred Rewards members works out to a fully-baked earnings rate equivalent to 1.65% to 2.62% for travel redemptions. This high rate is practically unmatched among competing $0 annual-fee travel cards.
- Statement credit redemptions - Points are redeemed for travel-related statement credits, which lets cardholders choose their preferred method for booking travel rather than requiring cardholders to book directly through a card issuer.
- No foreign transaction fee - Purchases abroad won't incur a fee for each transaction, as is common with other credit cards.
What could be improved for Bank of America® Travel Rewards
- 0% intro APR for balance transfers – This card isn’t designed for cardholders who want to transfer a balance to reduce what they pay in interest, given that it doesn't offer a 0% intro APR on balance transfers. Granted, some travel rewards credit cards are in the same boat, but one can wish for all the best perks in a single card. Consider one our picks for the best balance-transfer credit cards if paying down debt is a priority.
How to best use Bank of America® Travel Rewards
- Travel rewards cardholders will generally be better off paying balances by the due date each month to avoid interest charges. It’s a losing strategy to rack up debt for the sake of earning rewards at single-digit rates only to watch as they get eaten up by far higher double-digit interest charges.
- Don’t agonize over choosing the right card for the right purchase, as all purchases are treated equally when it comes to accumulating points.
- Take advantage of your banking status with Bank of America to earn bonus rewards up to 75% with Preferred Rewards.
- Consider stretching your rewards further by applying for the Bank of America® Cash Rewards card as well (more on that below).
- Leverage access to your FICO® Score. Bank of America provides you access to your FICO® Score for free, and this perk is a huge value! In fact, myFICO charges upwards of $350 per year to receive, track, and monitor your comprehensive credit history.
How existing Bank of America customers can boost rewards furtherCardholders loyal to Bank of America might consider applying for Bank of America® Cash Rewards as well. Notably, bonus-cash-back category purchases earn 3% on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined bonus-category spending quarterly), while all other purchases earn 1%. More overall rewards can be earned when using the cash-back card in bonus categories (2% - 3% yield on the first $2,500 of combined bonus purchases each quarter) and using the travel card for all other needs (1.5% yield for travel redemptions). Both cards include a $0 annual fee and rewards can be increased up to 75% for Preferred Rewards clients! On the high end, capped gas purchases earn up to 5.25% cash back on Bank of America® Cash Rewards. See our full Bank of America® Cash Rewards review to learn why we consider it one of the best cash-back credit cards.
A travel credit card with a $400 bonusCardholder who can justify an annual fee should consider Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard®. When redeemed for travel, points are earned at an equivalent 2% rate, plus the card carries a large new cardholder bonus worth $400 in travel statement credits when you spend at least $3,000 in the first 90 days. What’s different is Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® carries an $89 annual fee (waived the first year). Struggling to pick between the two? Cardholders spending at least $17,800 on credit each year will earn more rewards when accounting for the annual fee and difference in yields between the two cards. The math is as follows: 89 ÷ (0.02 - 0.015) = 17,800. Read our full Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® review to learn more.
Final takeEveryday cardholders who want a no-hassles travel credit card may find Bank of America® Travel Rewards worthy of a top spot in their wallets. Convenience, flexible redemption options, a sizable new cardholder bonus, and a nice rewards rate make this credit card hard to ignore for the average travel credit user wanting to grab some travel freebies.