Bank of America Travel Rewards Card for Students: Good Credit Required

The card features decent ongoing rewards, a rich sign-up bonus and a lengthy intro APR offer, but students may struggle to qualify because of credit score requirements.
By Craig Joseph 

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Our Take

4.6

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

It's an OK pick if you can meet the credit requirements. But if that's the case, you can likely already qualify for a better card. And if not, other student credit cards are easier to get.

Jump to: Full Review
Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card for Students
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
18.24%-28.24% Variable APR
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)
Apply now

on Bank of America's website

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee.

  • New cardholder bonus offer.

  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit.

  • Best rewards limited to certain customers.

Alternate Pick: Lower credit score requirement
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
Richer rewards in popular categories

This $0-annual-fee card requires at least fair credit (FICO scores starting at 630), so it may be easier to qualify for. It earns 3% cash back on dining, entertainment and eligible streaming services and at grocery stores. Other purchases earn 1% back.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

17.24%-26.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

17.24%-26.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

29.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

In theory, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students offers a lot of value for cards in its class. Students looking for their first credit card might be wowed by the $0 annual fee, the lucrative sign-up bonus, the long 0% introductory annual percentage rate period and the decent rewards for everyday spending.

The problem is, this card requires at least good credit to qualify (FICO scores of 690 or higher), meaning it'll be inaccessible for many students with limited credit history.

If you can already clear that FICO hurdle, you might qualify for any number of better (nonstudent) cards. Alternately, even if you have thin or less-than-ideal credit, plenty of other student credit card options are available, many of which will be easier to qualify for.

🤓Nerdy Tip

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students is nearly identical to the nonstudent version of the card, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. Both cards require good credit or above. Check out our guide to all four of Bank of America®'s student credit cards.

Card name

Rewards

Sign-up bonus

APR

BankAmericard® credit card for Students

BankAmericard® for Students
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

None.

None.

0% intro APR on Purchases for 21 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 21 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24%-26.24% Variable APR.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card for Students

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

$200 online cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

0% intro APR on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 18.24%-28.24% Variable APR.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students

Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card for Students
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More
  • 1.5 points per $1 spent on purchases.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on eligible travel booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center.

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.

0% intro APR on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 18.24%-28.24% Variable APR.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card for Students

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card for Students
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More
  • 3% back on a category of your choice from a list of 6, and 2% back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 of combined bonus category/grocery store/wholesale club spending per quarter.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

0% intro APR on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 18.24%-28.24% Variable APR.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students: The basics

Card type: Student.

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: 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.

Rewards:

  • 1.5 points per $1 spent on purchases.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on eligible travel booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center.

(Cardholders can qualify for the Bank of America® Preferred Rewards program, which adds a multiplier to the everyday 1.5 points per $1 you’d earn. But to qualify, you need at least $20,000 in a qualifying Bank of America® account. For most students, that required account balance will make this benefit unattainable.)

Redemption: Points are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for a statement credit against travel or restaurant purchases, or 0.6 cents apiece for cash. There is a minimum redemption of 2,500 points for travel or cash. Points can also be redeemed for gift cards at varying values depending on the retailer.

Interest rate: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 18.24%-28.24% Variable APR

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Key benefits of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students

Simple ongoing rewards

Simplicity is a key feature of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students. You'll earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on nearly all purchases with no cap. That makes this card perfect for students with other things to worry about than bonus categories.

But if you’re an optimizer, you might do better with the Discover it® Student Cash Back, which earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter in categories that rotate every three months. (Activation is required; all other purchases earn 1% back.)

Sign-up bonus

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students comes with a big sign-up bonus, especially for a student card, and that can help defray any number of costs you might incur while on campus. But remember, many students won’t qualify because of the credit score requirements. 

If you’re a student looking to earn a sign-up bonus on a card that will be easier to obtain and help build your credit report, consider the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. It offers the same ongoing earnings rate, along with the following sign-up bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months.

0% intro APR offer

The 18-month introductory APR offer on the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students is one of the longest promotional periods available for a travel card, let alone a student card. This might provide some peace of mind to students looking to finance a purchase like textbooks or a new laptop. Just remember, you’ll still have to pay the minimum balance due every month. And if you pay your balance in full each month, you’ll never have to worry about interest charges anyway.

No proof of student status required

Though the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students is marketed toward students, it's one of the few student cards that don't require proof of enrollment at a college or university. Other student cards will require more documentation. 

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students: Drawbacks

Good credit score required

Despite being geared toward students, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students requires good to excellent credit to qualify. That won’t be possible for many students who are shopping for their first credit card. But don’t worry; other student credit cards have less-stringent credit score requirements. In fact, some such cards — like the Discover it® Student chrome or Chase Freedom® Student credit card — may not require an established credit history at all.

Other cards have better earning potential

For qualifying students who want a no-hassle entry into earning credit card rewards, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students will work fine. But for optimizers who are OK with managing their card, there may be better options. For example, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers an uncapped 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming services and grocery purchases, along with the following sign-up bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months. And this card will be easier to qualify for than the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students.

Is the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students right for you?

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students would be competitive with other student cards if the requirements for approval were similar. But because of the card's credit score criteria, students without an established credit history will want to look elsewhere. And if you do have the credit history to qualify for this card, you can likely find one with a better sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards.

on Bank of America's website

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.