5 Things to Know Before Getting the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card

This is a simple, no-fee card that lacks some travel benefits but can still deliver value.
Jan 10, 2022

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Competition is fierce in the world of travel credit cards. These cards run the gamut — from top-tier offerings that charge hundreds of dollars each year to no-fee cards with limited rewards. Among your many options, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card provides simple earnings and easy redemptions.

Explore five things to know before getting the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card and figure out whether it's a good fit for you.

What to know before getting the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

1. The welcome offer

Welcome offers are a way for card issuers to entice you as a customer. Plenty of credit cards offer these bonuses, including the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. Once you’ve qualified for the card, you’ll be able to 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..

Combined with the $1,000 you’ll need to spend to earn the sign-up bonus, you’ll come out with 26,500 points in your account. This is because of the earning structure that the card offers, which we’ll discuss next.

2. The bonus points

Once you’ve earned your welcome offer, you’ll want to keep earning points to redeem for travel. Different cards can offer complicated earnings structures based on the category of purchases you make. These can include additional bonuses for spending on restaurants, U.S. grocery stores and travel, while limiting the points you’ll earn for other purchases.

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card does away with this by giving you a flat 1.5 points per dollar spent on nearly all purchases, regardless of what you’re buying. The only difference is for travel purchased through the Bank of America®️ Travel Center. Purchases made in this online booking platform earn 3 points per dollar spent, and there's no limit on the amount of points you can earn each year.

While using this card means you’ll possibly sacrifice the ability to earn bonus points by spending in specific categories with other cards, it also gives you the ease of simplicity; you’ll never have to calculate which card to pull out at checkout.

Nerdy tip: When using the Bank of America® Travel Center, be aware that many hotels do not give elite night credits or elite status benefits to third-party bookings, which may impact your stay.

3. The rewards redemption opportunities

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card rewards are easy to use. Each point is worth 1 cent, and you can redeem these as statement credits against certain purchases, like travel and dining. This means you can use your points to wipe out charges for takeout, vacation rentals, vacation packages and more.

Keep in mind that other credit cards, such as those offered by American Express, Chase, Citi and Capital One tend to earn transferable points currencies. These points can be transferred to different hotel and airline partners for reward redemptions, often increasing their point value by doing so.

While you don’t get that privilege with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, being able to “erase” purchases with statement credits still offers flexibility with your purchases.

4. The additional card benefits

Like many other cards, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers more benefits than just earning and redeeming points. Since it's a travel card, you may be wondering: Does the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card cover car rental insurance or offer travel insurance?

The answer to both of these questions is no. Although plenty of travel credit cards offer both rental car and travel insurance, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card does not.

However, it does provide a low introductory APR, a $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, which is imperative when traveling abroad. Other than this, travel benefits are sparse. You won’t find any airport lounge access or annual travel credits with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, unlike some higher-end travel credit cards.

5. The Preferred Rewards

Perhaps the most intriguing prospect of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, as well as the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, is the ability to earn more points when you have a banking relationship with Bank of America.

Under Preferred Rewards, Bank of America will award you additional points based on the rewards tier you belong to. Your tier is dependent on the balances in both your Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts.

Preferred Rewards tier

Rewards bonus

Points per dollar spent

None

(no accounts, or combined balances below $20,000)

None.

1.5.

Gold

(combined balances of $20,000 to $49,999)

25%.

1.875.

Platinum

(combined balances of $50,000 to $99,999)

50%.

2.25.

Platinum Honors

(combined balances of $100,000 to $1,000,000)

75%.

2.625.

In order to be eligible for Preferred Rewards, you must have an active Bank of America checking account and have had an average combined daily balance of at least $20,000 for three months prior to enrollment (some exceptions apply). Once you qualify, you’ll need to register for the program.

So what does this mean in practice? Let’s say that you qualify for the Gold tier of Preferred Rewards. As a result, you’ll earn 25% more points on every purchase. If you spend $1,000, you’ll earn 1,875 points as a Gold member, rather than the 1,500 points you’d receive with no status. And as a Platinum Honors member with a 75% points bonus, you’d earn 2,625 points.

If you’re looking to get the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a solid no-fee option for those seeking simplicity. A flat earning rate and statement credit redemptions take the guesswork out of travel rewards. If you’re eligible for Preferred Rewards, the card becomes even more lucrative, earning up to 75% more points for your purchases.

However, the card lacks travel benefits offered by higher-end travel credit cards, such as insurance, airport lounge access and complimentary elite status. Still, if you’re looking for a travel credit card without an annual fee and have the potential to earn extra bonus points as a Bank of America banking customer, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card may be the right option for you.


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 2022, including those best for:

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