Advertiser Disclosure

How the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card Can Give You the Highest Travel Rewards Rate

Credit Cards
You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here's how we make money.
How the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card Offers the Highest Travel Rewards Rate

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card doesn’t usually come up in conversations about the best travel rewards credit card. It has a relatively low sign-up bonus and a base rewards rate of 1.5%. But for loyal Bank of America® customers and Merrill Lynch® clients, that base rate can get as high as 2.625%, higher than the average of all other credit card rewards programs.

Let’s take a closer look at the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card and how you can maximize its rewards.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card: The basics

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card is a solid midrange travel card, offering 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases and a respectable sign-up bonus: 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases. The annual fee is $0. Compared with similar travel cards, that’s pretty decent. Plus, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on all purchases at the Bank of America® Travel Center, with no limit on bonus points. Not bad at all!

As far as redemption, Bank of America® has arguably the most flexible program on the market in terms of what you can redeem your points for and how long you have to redeem. Simply book your travel using your BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card, then redeem your points as a statement credit. Redemption starts at 2,500 points, and you can redeem for purchases at airlines, hotels, motels, resorts, car-rental companies, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators, taxicabs, limousines, passenger trains, ferries, buses, real estate rentals, time-shares, campgrounds, RV rentals, tourist attractions, art dealers and galleries, amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, fortunetellers, aquariums, boat rentals and other recreation services. You have 12 months after your travel purchase to redeem your points for a credit.

Maximize your points with Preferred Rewards

The best thing about the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card isn’t its redemption program; it’s what you can earn as a Bank of America® customer or Bank of America® Preferred Rewards client. Here’s a quick snapshot:

Bank of America® checking or savings Bank of America® Preferred Rewards Gold Bank of America® Preferred Rewards Platinum Bank of America® Preferred Rewards Honors
Requirement Active Bank of America® checking or savings account $20,000 to $50,000 balance* $50,000 to $100,000 balance* $100,000+ balance*
Bonus points earned with credit card 10% 25% 50% 75%

*Based on the 3-month average combined balances in your Bank of America® banking and/or Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch® investment accounts.

Bank of America®’s Preferred Rewards program makes it lucrative to have your banking, investments and credit card all in one place. Simply having an active Bank of America® checking or savings account nets you a 10% bonus, pushing your ongoing rewards to 1.65 points per dollar spent. If you go big as a Preferred Rewards Honors client, your 75% bonus pushes your 1.5 points per dollar spent up to 2.625 points per dollar spent on regular purchases and 5.25 points per dollar spent on travel at the Bank of America® Travel Center.

What you can do

Start small by opening a Bank of America® checking or savings account. If you don’t have enough cash to qualify for the Preferred Rewards program, you can build it up over time. Earning the big bonuses isn’t easy with the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card, but it can definitely be worth your while.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.


Image via iStock.