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
16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
0% on Purchases for 12 billing cycles
Recommended Credit Score
Pros & Cons
No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
Generous flat rewards rate on all purchases
Flexibility to book travel how you want
Rewards accelerator if you bank with Bank of America or invest with Merrill
More restrictive than a straight cash back card
If you're a big spender with excellent credit and willing to pay an annual fee, there are cards with higher rewards
Alternate Pick: Higher rewards rate
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.
Get more smart money moves — straight to your inbox
Become a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card 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, and they can be redeemed for credit against any travel purchase. With no foreign transaction fees and a $0 annual fee, this card definitely travels light.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: Basics
Card type: Travel.
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.
1.5 points per dollar spent.
3 points per dollar spent on eligible travel booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center.
Points are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for travel 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: Introductory APR of 0% on Purchases for 12 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR. (A 0% APR period is relatively rare on a travel card.)
Foreign transaction fees: None.
Key benefits of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card 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.
Opportunities for higher rewards
If you're a Bank of America® Preferred Rewards member, you can earn higher rewards rates, described below. You also earn 3 points per dollar spent — twice the card's usual rate — at the Bank of America® Travel Center. That sets it apart from other flat-rate travel cards.
Visa Signature benefits
Visa Signature cards offer 24/7 concierge service, travel protections and luxury hotel benefits at more than 800 locations. Enjoy room upgrades, free in-room Internet service and free continental breakfast.
As part of the Visa network, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card 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.
Preferred Rewards boosts earnings
The Preferred Rewards 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:
Preferred Rewards status
Points per dollar spent
Points per dollar spent at Bank of America® Travel Center
None (no accounts, or combined balances below $20,000)
Gold (combined balances of $20,000 to $49,999)
Platinum (combined balances of $50,000 to $99,999)
Platinum Honors (combined balances of $100,000 or more)
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).
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: Drawbacks
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a great $0-fee travel companion, but depending on how much you spend and how you prefer to redeem, a different card might better suit you.
Other cards pay higher rewards rates
Bigger spenders will likely get more value from the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, which earns 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, it allows you to redeem rewards for credit against travel expenses at a rate of 1 cent per mile.
The annual fee on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is $95. 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 Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card also reimburses you for the application cost for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, and it offers a substantially higher sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months..
You get a lower redemption value for cash
The Discover it® Miles has a lot in common with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: an unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar spent, a $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. But a key difference is that the Discover it® Miles gives you the same value per point whether you redeem for travel or cash back. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has an edge over this card with its opportunities for bonus rewards and Visa's wider acceptance abroad, but the Discover it® Miles is worth considering if you want better cash-back value.
BETTER bonuses EXIST
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card has a larger offer for new cardholders: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. Terms Apply. It also earns a high rewards rate of 3 points per $1 spent on flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals as well as on several everyday categories (including restaurants, gas stations, rideshares, transit and popular streaming services). It has a $0 annual fee. This card isn’t as equipped for international travel as the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, though. It has no foreign transaction fees, but as part of the American Express network, its acceptance abroad won't be as extensive as a Visa card's.
PREMIUM PERKS CAN TAKE YOUR TRAVEL FURTHER
The $0-annual-fee PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card offers premium perks without the cost. It has a hearty welcome offer: Earn 25,000 bonus points by spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening. 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. 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 top rated credit cards.
Is the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card right for you?
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers a solid travel rewards program for the fee-averse. If your deposits reside at Bank of America®, you can gain even more rewards.
Hear it from Nerds who have the card:
NerdWallet reviews are the result of independent research by our editorial team while cardholder reviews are contributions from independent users not affiliated with NerdWallet. Banks, issuers and credit card companies are not responsible for any content posted on the NerdWallet site, nor do they endorse or guarantee any posted comments or reviews.