BEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDSBANK OF AMERICA TRAVEL REWARDS REVIEW: EASY REWARDS FOR EASY TRAVEL

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 Lambarena Author Avatar
May 30, 2024 1:58 p.m. PDT
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The Bottom Line

3.8

NerdWallet rating

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

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Image
Apply Now
on Bank of America's website
on Bank of America's website
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5x
Points
Intro Offer
25,000
Points
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Regular APR
19.24%-29.24% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5x
Points
Intro Offer
25,000
Points
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Regular APR
19.24%-29.24% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Rewards rate

    1.5x

  • Bonus offer

    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.

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 19.24%-29.24% Variable APR

    Cash Advance APR: See Terms

    Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 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.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Pros and Cons

Pros

No annual fee

New cardholder bonus offer

No foreign transaction fees

Flexible rewards redemption

Intro APR period

Cons

Requires good/excellent credit

No bonus categories

Best rewards limited to certain customers

Detailed Review

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, 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 $0 annual fee, this card definitely travels light.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Note that this card is different from the similarly named Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students. For more information about that version of the card, see our full review.

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.

Rewards: 1.5 points per dollar spent.

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: 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. (A 0% APR period is relatively rare on a travel card.)

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
REGULAR APR
19.24%-29.24% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
REGULAR APR
18.24%-28.24% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$250
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
See Pay Over Time APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
Get more smart money moves — straight to your inboxBecome a NerdWallet member, and we'll send you tailored articles we think you'll love.

Benefits and Perks

Flexible rewards

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. 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.

Travel-friendly features

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.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards® boosts earnings

The Bank of America 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:

Bank of America Preferred Rewards® status

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 or more)

75%

2.625

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 Bank of America 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).

Drawbacks and Considerations

No elevated rewards on bonus categories

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a great $0-fee travel companion, but if your spending leans heavily towards travel and restaurants, a different card might better suit you.

The $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card earns an impressive 3 points per dollar spent on:

  • Restaurants.

  • Travel.

  • Gas stations and electric vehicle charging stations.

  • Transit.

  • Streaming services.

  • Select phone plans.

Other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.

Depending on where you spend your money, the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card has the potential to earn significantly more than the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (assuming, of course, you don't qualify for a high tier with Bank of America Preferred Rewards®).

Like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, points earned on the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card can be redeemed for travel or a statement credit. But you can also transfer any rewards you earn to one of Wells Fargo's transfer partners, which can help you earn outsize value.

Airlines

Hotels

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 Visa's wider acceptance abroad, but the Discover it® Miles is worth considering if you want better cash-back value.

Premium perks can take your travel further

The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card 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 PenFed Honors Advantage 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 best rated credit cards.

How To Decide If It's 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.

alt
Alternate Pick: Higher rewards rate
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 most spending. It has a big sign-up bonus, and miles are redeemable for statement credit against any travel expense.


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.

Frequently asked questions

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a good choice for someone looking for simple rewards with a $0 annual fee. Cards with annual fees, however, typically offer more robust rewards and perks and may be a better fit for heavy travelers. With this card, you earn 1.5 points per $1 spent. (Bank of America Preferred Rewards®customers earn 25%-75% more points.) Points can be redeemed for credit against any travel purchase.

Use your Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card to book travel however you want, and then redeem points for credit on your statement against those travel purchases. You can use points to cover expenses like flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, baggage fees and more.

Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for a travel statement credit.

Points don’t expire as long as your card account is open, but you will forfeit unused points if you close your account. While points don't expire, the travel and dining purchases you can redeem them for do 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, redemptions are limited to the most recent 2,500 qualifying travel and dining purchases.

The more often you travel, especially if you travel internationally, the more value you can get out of a travel rewards credit card. However, if you don’t travel often, you may benefit from a cash-back card instead.

About the author

NerdWallet Pixel