Bank of America Travel Rewards Card for Students review

Bank of America Travel Rewards Card for Students review

Published: November 16, 2017
Ratings Policy
Students Rating:
3 rating
3 rating
3 / 5
Introductory Offer 2.5
Interest and Fees 1.7
Rewards Program 5.0
Features 3.0

In a nutshell:

Thanks to a generous sign-up bonus and a high rewards rate, students will get a lot of mileage out of this travel card, though the interest rates are high.

APR
15.99-23.99%

Annual Fee
$0

Penalty APR
29.99%

Introductory Offer
0% APR on new purchases for 12 billing cycles

Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($300 monthly spend)
$126

Rewards Redemption

  • 1.5 points per dollar on general purchases
  • 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
  • 10% point bonus for Bank of America account holders
  • Redeem points for travel or statement credits

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, fixed payment due dates, overdraft protection

If you’re a wayfaring college student, you may have noticed that credit cards are expensive to use abroad. Most credit cards charge extra fees on foreign transactions. The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is one of the few cards for students to offer no foreign transaction fee. Along with some very valuable travel rewards, this makes it a good card for student travelers.

High rewards value

The card offers one of the largest sign-up bonuses among student cards. You get 20,000 points (approximately $200 worth of travel) for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Combining this with a high rewards rate of 1.5 points per every dollar spent, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers the highest rewards value out of any student card. The drawback is that the points are only applicable to travel. If you prefer cash-back or other types of rewards, you will need to shop for another card.

Flexible redemption options

Still, if you are strictly interested in travel rewards, Bank of America offers one of the best and most flexible programs for students. You can book travel however and whenever you please, with no blackout dates or restrictions. There are no point limits or expiration dates, and you can redeem points for a variety of items, including flights, hotels, vacations, cruises, rental cars and baggage fees.

Primarily designed for travelers

The list of card features is fairly limited, but the lack of a foreign transaction fee is particularly useful for frequent travelers. There are a few other features that cardholders may find useful, such as fixed payment dates, overdraft protection and mobile banking and text alerts.

Average introductory offer

The card offers zero percent interest on new purchases for the first 12 billing cycles. This is a fairly long introductory period and may prove handy for a student who wants to finance a large purchase, or who simply needs some practice at paying off a card balance in full. However, there are several student cards that offer similar or longer introductory periods, so you’ll want to examine all your options before you decide to use this card for financing purposes.

Note, there is no introductory period for balance transfers. Also, you’ll want to make sure the balance is paid off before the period expires, because the regular interest rates are high.

Some high costs in the fine print

The regular APR for this card starts on the high side at 15.99 percent and ranges up to 23.99 percent. On top of this, a penalty APR of 29.99 percent kicks in once you miss a payment. This could be a huge pitfall for novice cardholders, who could get over their heads in penalties and fees if they end up carrying a balance.

For this reason, we recommend this card for cardholders who will be disciplined in paying off their balance. Specifically, we think this card is best for frequent travelers who are interested in some very valuable travel rewards.

Why get the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card for Students?

  • You’re primarily interested in travel rewards.
  • You’re a frequent traveler looking for a card that you can use abroad without racking up tons of fees.
  • You’re a disciplined spender, who won’t carry a balance or miss payments.
  • You want to finance a large purchase at zero percent (and you have the discipline to pay it off in 12 billing cycles).

How to use the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card for Students:

  • Be sure to pay off your balance before the zero-percent offer expires. The regular interest rate – once it kicks in – is high.
  • You can book travel how and where you want and redeem your points for statement credits.

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