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When you’re interested in applying for a new travel credit card, the overwhelming number of options can make picking the right card seem daunting. How are you supposed to know which one is best? Or worth the annual fee? Or which card will net you the most points?
If you’re considering a travel credit card that isn't co-branded (meaning it's not an airline-specific or hotel-specific rewards credit card), we’ll help you figure out if the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card is right for you.
First, take a look at what the card offers. Right off the bat, it has this welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $300 statement credit towards travel or dining-related purchases.
That’s not too shabby for a card with a $0 annual fee. You’ll also earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on most purchases. Travel purchases (flights, hotels and rental cars) will net you 3 points per dollar, but only if you book through the Bank of America® Travel Center. Points don’t expire, and there are no blackout dates or travel restrictions like when booking award travel on some airlines. Also, like any travel card worth its salt, there are no foreign transaction fees.
And points are easy to redeem for travel. All kinds of travel. The Bank of America® site says that a travel credit is applied as a statement credit to your account after you make qualifying travel-related purchases. Here are some of the “travel-related categories” they list: airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, trailer parks, motor home and recreational vehicle rentals, campgrounds, car rental agencies, truck and trailer rental, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators and real estate agents, operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, boat rentals, parking lots and garages, tolls and bridge fees, tourist attractions and exhibits like art galleries, amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, aquariums, zoos and the like.
That’s a lot of categories. However, some travel-related goods and services are exempt that might surprise you, including in-flight goods and services and duty-free airport purchases.
After you make these purchases, you can redeem your points to offset purchases you made any time in the last 12 months. Keep in mind that each point is worth 1 cent (as in, 2,500 points = $25).
Basically, you book and pay for travel as you normally would, then use travel points to erase the cost of the purchase. You can redeem as few as 2,500 points at a time. You’ll get the most value from your points when you book through the Travel Center.
Bank of America® also offers a Preferred Rewards program which allows you to boost the points you are earning even further. If you qualify for the Platinum Honors level of the program, you’ll essentially earn 4.12 points per dollar on travel bookings and 2.62 points per dollar on all other purchases, instead of 3 and 1.5, respectively. In order to qualify for Platinum Honors, you’ll need to have $100,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America® accounts. Within the Preferred Rewards program, there are also Gold and Platinum levels. These levels are easier to qualify, but won’t bonus your points by quite as much.
Using the Travel Center
The Bank of America® Travel Center is exceedingly easy to use and convenient if you have the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card. It works just like any other travel booking platform, and you can earn 3 points per dollar when you pay with your Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card.
But convenience is where the benefit to using this booking platform ends. You won’t get any "extra special" deals, and if airlines or hotels are offering sales of any kind, they may not show up on the platform. It’s often a good idea to see if there’s a better deal directly on an airline or hotel site first, especially since you can still redeem points after you make travel purchases on other sites.
The bottom line
Determining whether this card is right for you largely comes down to your personal preferences. The card’s sign-up bonus, $0 annual fee, and ease and flexibility when it comes time to use your points are all a good thing. And if you’re already a Bank of America® client who qualifies for the Preferred Rewards program, the argument to sign up is even stronger.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card