Bank of America Travel Rewards Review: Easy Rewards for Easy Travel

Earn 1.5 points per dollar on all spending. Redeem points for credit on your statement against any travel or restaurant purchase.
Melissa LambarenaSep 24, 2021

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Our Take

4.3

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: This solid no-fee travel credit card is especially rewarding for Bank of America® banking customers.

Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • New cardholder bonus offer
  • Intro APR period
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • No bonus categories
  • Best rewards limited to certain customers

Alternate Pick: Higher rewards rate

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Unlimited 2 miles per dollar on everything

If you're willing to pay an annual fee ($95), this card gives you 2 miles per dollar on all spending. It has a big sign-up bonus, and miles are redeemable for statement credit against any travel expense.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$95

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 14 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 14 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

The  is an excellent option for frequent travelers who want flexible rewards but just can't bring themselves to pay an annual fee for a credit card.

Cardholders earn an unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases. Rewards never expire as long as the account is open, but some of the redemption options have a time limit attached (more on that later). Points can be redeemed for credit against any travel or restaurant purchase. With no foreign transaction fees and a annual fee, this card definitely travels light.

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Card type: .

Annual fee: .

Sign-up bonus: .

Rewards:

Points are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for travel or restaurant purchases and a little over half a cent apiece for cash. Points can also be redeemed for gift cards at varying point values. Minimum redemption: 2,500 points for travel or cash.

Interest rate: . (A 0% APR period is relatively rare on a travel card.)

Foreign transaction fees: None.

The  isn't tied to any particular airline or hotel chain. Book travel any way you want, with no restrictions and no blackout dates, and then use points to wipe out the cost on your statement. Bank of America® also has one of the broadest definitions of "travel" of any major issuers. You can use points to get credit for airfare, hotel stays, cruises and car rentals, of course — but also for things like campgrounds, art galleries, amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, aquariums and zoos. Add to that, points are good for credit on restaurant purchases, too.

Points don't expire, but the travel and dining purchases you can redeem them for have a time limit. You can redeem points for a statement credit toward travel or dining purchases made within 12 months prior to the date of redemption. And, these redemptions are limited to the most recent 2,500 qualifying travel and dining purchases.

As part of the Visa network, the travels well internationally. Visa is widely accepted worldwide, meaning you're less likely to run into trouble using it abroad. You also don’t have to worry about paying foreign transaction fees, which typically cost 1% to 3% of every transaction.

Unlike most flat-rate cards, you have the opportunity to earn higher rewards with the . You'll earn 3 points per dollar spent — twice the card's usual rate — at the Bank of America® Travel Center. And if you're a Bank of America®  Preferred Rewards member, you can earn higher rewards rates, described below.

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The  program allows certain Bank of America® credit card holders to earn bonus rewards. If you have enough money in combined balances in Merrill accounts, you can earn bonuses of 25% or more. There are three tiers to the program, determined by your combined balances in those bank and investment accounts:

Say you spent $10,000 on your card in a year. That would usually earn you 15,000 points, worth $150 at a penny a point. If you were a Gold member in Preferred Rewards, your bonus would push your earnings to 18,750 points ($187.50). If you were Platinum, 22,500 points ($225). For Platinum Honors, 26,250 ($262.50).

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The is a great -fee travel companion, but depending on how much you spend and how you prefer to redeem, a different card might better suit you.

Bigger spenders will likely get more value from the , which earns 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Like the , it allows you to redeem rewards for credit against travel expenses at a rate of 1 cent per mile.

The annual fee on the is . The rewards offset the fee if you spend more than $4,750 annually. Once you spend more than $19,000 a year, your rewards exceed those on the Bank of America® card even after taking into account the annual fee. Reducing the sting of the fee even further, the  also reimburses you for the application cost for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, and it offers a substantially higher sign-up bonus: .

The  has a lot in common with the : an unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar spent, a annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. But a key difference is that the gives you the same value per point whether you redeem for travel or cash back. The has an edge over this card with its opportunities for bonus rewards and Visa's wider acceptance abroad, but the is worth considering if you want better cash-back value.

The  offers premium perks without the premium cost. Cardholders get 3 points per $1 spent on travel purchases (4 points for those enrolled in the PenFed Honors Advantage program) and 1.5 points per $1 spent everywhere else. On top of rewards, the card offers a $100 annual air travel credit and up to $100 in the form of a statement credit for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck programs every five years.

This card comes with a $95 annual fee, but it's waived for  members. Even without qualifying for PenFed Honors Advantage, you can effectively cancel out the annual fee as long as you can take advantage of the full $100 air travel credit. You’ll need to be a credit union member to qualify for this card.

If you'd like to see how these cards compare with other potential travel card options, you can search NerdWallet's list of .

The  offers a solid travel rewards program for the fee-averse. If your deposits reside at Bank of America®, you can gain even more rewards.

Frequently asked questions