How to Maximize the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

Maintaining a high bank account balance is key to making the most of this rewards credit card.

Dustin WallerAugust 27, 2020
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How to get the most from the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card

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The $0 annual-fee Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card makes it easy to earn travel rewards through everyday spending. In most cases, every $1 you charge to the card earns you 1.5 points, which are redeemable for travel in two ways.

You can trade your points directly for airline tickets, hotel stays, rental cars and more in the Bank of America® travel rewards portal. Or you can use the card to purchase travel through any airline, hotel or other provider you like, then use points to offset the charges you made to the card at a rate of 1 cent per point.

With a deeper understanding of the card’s benefits, you can get even more value out of it. Here’s how to get the most from the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card.

Get 25,000 points as a welcome bonus

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases. The $1,000 minimum spend comes out to just about $333 a month, which should be easy for most cardmembers to achieve through everyday spending on things like groceries and other household necessities.

Visit museums for free

Love museums? Bank of America® offers a fantastic benefit called “Museums on Us.” The first full weekend of every month, cardmembers get free general admission to any of more than 225 museums and other cultural institutions around the country. Participating museums include the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York.

You just need to show your photo ID and a valid Bank of America® or Merrill credit or debit card.

Earn triple points using the Bank of America® travel center

When you use your Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card to purchase travel through the Bank of America® travel center, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent — double the points you get for other purchases.

This is a great way to earn extra points on travel spending like hotels, airfare and car rentals. You could even use the points you earned for these travel charges to get a statement credit to pay off part of the charges.

But remember: When you book a hotel stay through the Bank of America® travel center, hotels aren’t required to extend your elite status benefits. If you have elite status and would like to enjoy those benefits, it might be best to book directly with the hotel.

Compare booking options to get the best deals

Because you have two ways to redeem your points for travel, you can compare redemptions to get a better deal. See how many points you’ll need for a flight when you redeem points directly in the travel portal, then see how many you would need to offset the cost if you paid cash for the flight then used your points to erase the charge. This gives you more flexibility to shop for the best deal every time you purchase travel. Not all travel credit cards offer this level of flexibility when redeeming your rewards.

Maintain a big bank account balance to earn more points

Members in Bank of America’s® Preferred Rewards program earn extra points every time they use their Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. But you have to maintain a high balance in a Bank of America® or Merrill account to enjoy this perk.

There are three status tiers for the Preferred Rewards: Gold, Platinum and Platinum Honors.

Gold status, which requires you to have at least $25,000 in Bank of America® accounts or Merrill investment accounts, gets you a 25% increase on the points you earn using your credit card. This means the standard 1.5 points per dollar you earn on the card goes up to 1.88 points per dollar.

Platinum status, which kicks in at a minimum $50,000 balance, gets you a 50% point boost on your credit card spend, increasing the 1.5 points per dollar to 2.25 points per dollar.

Platinum Honors members will need a minimum of $100,000 in Bank of America® or Merrill accounts, but earn 75% more points, or 2.63 points per dollar spent.

The bottom line

For a card with no annual fee, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers average benefits. But you can maximize your earnings by taking full advantage of some card features. Members of the Bank of America® Preferred Rewards program especially will benefit from this card. So, too, will users who capitalize on free museum admission and flexible options for redeeming points for travel.

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 2020, including those best for:

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