Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card review: No annual fees plus 1.5 points on every purchase
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- An intro offer rewards new cardholders with a $250 value (25,000 bonus points) after spending at least $1,000 within the first 90 days of opening an account.
- Enhanced rewards for Bank of America Preferred Rewards members, including up to a 75% bonus on rewards.
- A simple rewards earning structure means rewards can accumulate quickly without requiring a lot of planning.
- The rewards and welcome offer are decent for low to average credit card spenders, but if you're a heavy credit card user, you can likely find another travel rewards card with more substantial rewards.
If you're an avid traveler who doesn't like to do a lot of work to earn your rewards, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card could be a great fit for you. It doesn't offer special categories in which you can earn rewards, but instead, gives you a consistent 1.5 points per dollar spent on every purchase made. And if you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, the amount of points that you earn can increase by a whopping 25% to 75% depending on your tier (tiers are based on three-month average balances across qualifying accounts).
In addition to 1.5 points earned per dollar spent, new Bank of America® Travel Rewards cardholders can get the ball rolling with 25,000 bonus points, earned after spending at least $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening an account. Since 100 points equal $1 in travel credit, that's equal to a $250 bonus in statement credit for travel, which is a pretty attractive welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card.
Points can be redeemed for statement credits to help cover most travel expenses such as hotel accommodations, vacation packages, auto rentals, baggage fees, and more.
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
- Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
- Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
- Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase-or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
- Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
- No foreign transaction fees
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has all the bells and whistles you'd expect to find in a travel card. The rewards rates are competitive, and redeeming points for travel is a breeze. There are no blackout dates or restrictions when it comes to using your card for travel, which adds an extra layer of accessibility. Points can be redeemed for statement credits which can then be applied for travel purchases which means you're free to make any travel purchase you want.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards cardholders also have access to many perks traditional Bank of America customers receive including overdraft protection and access to Bank of America financial centers and ATMS. Plus, Its fraud protection, detection, and resolution services have been recognized across the industry as some of the best.
The ability to earn additional rewards as a Bank of America customer is an intelligent way for issuers to look at how cardholders can redeem points. Because cardholders can add their rewards points into an eligible savings account, technically rewards points can earn interest. The entire concept promotes strategic credit card use, which is always a win in our book.
Lastly, this card offers an intro 0% APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles (then, 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers). Intro APR offers aren't common among travel rewards cards, so this benefit does help this card stand apart.
When traveling, it's not safe to carry a lot of cash, so people tend to use their credit cards for purchases. This is a smart move, but many credit cards, however, charge up to a 3% fee for foreign transactions. That's more than $100 on a $4,000 hotel tab. Why waste your money on a fee? That's where this card comes into play.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has no foreign transaction fees, so you can spend freely both near and far without worrying about accruing extra costs. A 3% fee may not seem like much, but it can add up in a hurry, especially if your travels take you abroad often.
CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results:
|Current Scores||Past Scores (avg.)|
|Rewards Program Satisfaction||7.2||8.4|
|Likelihood of Continuing to Use||7.8||8.8|
|Recommend to a Friend/Colleague||7.4||8.6|
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is very similar to the Bank of America® Travel Rewards card in that it's a no-annual-fee card that offers unlimited 1.5% as a base rate on purchases – in the form of cash back though, instead of points. However, the Chase card also awards 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and 3% at drugstores. Additionally, new cardholders earn 1.5% more cash back on every purchase (up to $20,000 spent) during the first year. You can also take advantage of an intro 0% APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (then 15.24% - 23.99% Variable).
It's not specifically a travel card, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited® does come with some travel benefits that are worth mentioning, such as trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, auto rental collision damage waiver, and roadside assistance. Additionally, rewards accumulate as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, so your "cash back" can certainly be redeemed as travel rewards. The Chase card does charge foreign transaction fees though, so if you're looking for a credit card to use internationally, you might be better off with the Bank of America card.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Unlike the Bank of America® Travel Rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card carries a $95 annual fee, but its rewards program is a bit more lucrative. Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholders earn 5X total points on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal; 3X points on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout; 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 3X points on select streaming services; 2X points on travel purchases; and 1X point on all other purchases. The welcome offer is a bit more, too. New cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus points, worth $1,000 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, once spending $4,000 within the first three months of card membership.
If it’s the dining and travel categories where you make the bulk of your credit card purchases, it will likely be difficult to match the earning rate that you can get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, unless maybe you have Preferred Rewards status with Bank of America. Even then though, Sapphire Preferred® rewards are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, so it’s a hard program to beat.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards has no annual fee though, so it might be the better option if you’re looking for a card that doesn’t have any extra costs.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards vs. Premium Rewards®
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is basically just an amped up version of the Travel Rewards credit card. It has a $95 annual fee, but also a lot of additional rewards which help to offset this.
To start, Premium Rewards® cardholders enjoy $100 back every year to cover airline incidental costs as well as a $100 credit to cover a TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry application fee. The welcome bonus also holds more value. With the Premium version, new cardholders can look forward to 50,000 points - a $500 value - once spending at least $3,000 within the first 90 days of opening an account.
There’s a boost when it comes to earning rewards with the Premium card, too. Instead of earning 1.5 points per dollar, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® cardholders earn unlimited two points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, both cards can earn you 25%-75% more, and neither card charges foreign transaction fees.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a good card for someone who does a moderate amount of traveling and doesn't want the hassle of hidden fees or categories to earn points. Rewards are easy to redeem, and if you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member this card is especially beneficial because your rewards points are accelerated.
Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2021 to conduct surveys among 1,524 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2021-Aug. 31, 2021 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted. "Current Scores" reflect scores from the most recent survey; "Past Scores (avg.)" are the scores averaged over each prior year the card has been surveyed. "Past Scores" indicates a card has only been surveyed in one prior year.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Compared to Other Travel rewards Cards
Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.
This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author\'s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.