Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card review

Published: December 2, 2019

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Published: December 2, 2019

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.6
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.3
Rewards Flexibility: 4.6
Features: 2.0
Customer Experience 1.6

In a Nutshell:

You can travel anytime you want with this flexible travel card: The Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card sets itself apart from other travel cards by doing away with restrictive travel policies and letting you book your rewards-funded travel yourself.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
1.5 points per dollar on every purchase

Sign-up Bonus
25,000 online points after spending $1,000 in first 90 days

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend, 3 year average)
$322

APR
16.49%-24.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • No limits on how many points you can earn
  • Redeem points for any travel purchase
  • Redeem for a statement credit up to 12 months after making a travel purchase

Cons

  • Cash redemption is only 0.006 cents per point

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, Visa Signature benefits, EMV chip card with the ability to add a PIN for international travel, car rental insurance, roadside dispatch, lost luggage insurance, concierge services, purchase security

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card Review: More Details

With an ultraflexible redemption policy, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card is a great choice for travelers who like to hunt the web for the best deals – without sacrificing the ability to use rewards for the purchase.

Plus, Bank of America checking account holders with a large balance can boost their rewards earning with the Preferred Rewards program.

Sign-up bonus

Though not the most valuable sign-up offer currently available, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card does include a decent bonus of 25,000 online points for users who spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. If you redeem these points for travel purchases, they are worth up to $250.

Earning points

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card comes with one flat earning rate on all purchases – making it easy to rack up points without keeping track of bonus categories. Cardholders bring in 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase. The one exception to this is purchases made in the Bank of America Travel Center, which earn an additional 1.5 points per dollar for a total 3 points per dollar.

While this adds to the simplicity of use for the card, it does limit its potential. Cardholders won’t be able to weigh spending toward a particular category to maximize their points.

What are Bank of America points worth?

Despite earning a few more points on travel booked through the Bank of America Travel Center, points you earn on the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card are worth the same amount whether you book travel with the bank or another site – unlike other travel cards that offer a boost on certain purchases.

Since the most value you can get out of a Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card point is 1 cent per point, other travel cards can often outpace its value, whether or not their earning rates aren’t quite as high. Here is a quick look at some of our most popular travel cards and the rewards value you get out of each dollar you spend (factoring in average earning rate and point value).

For the most part, the value of the points you earn on the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card can’t catch up with other popular travel cards. However, Bank of America checking or savings account holders might be able to boost their value with the Preferred Rewards program.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards program

If you are already a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch checking or savings account holder, you might be able to boost your earning rate on the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card. If you have a significant balance, you can qualify for a boost by signing up for the Preferred Rewards program.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards tiers and earning rates

Tier Balance required Points boost Earning rate
Gold customers $20,000-$49,999 25% 1.9%
Platinum customers $50,000-$99,999 50% 2.3%
Platinum Honors customers $100,000+ 75% 2.6%

Depending on the balance in your qualifying account, you can earn up to 75 percent more points on all your purchases. Even customers with a more moderate account balance can earn significantly more rewards on the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card.

Redeeming Bank of America points

Though you don’t get a points boost for redeeming travel through the Bank of America Travel center, redeeming Bank of America Travel Rewards points is very simple. To make it easier to use your rewards to book travel, you can redeem points for any travel purchase made on your card in the last 12 months. That means you can find a better deal on a third-party travel site and still use your rewards to cover the cost.

In addition, you can use your points for a cash redemption or gift card, though the point value varies with these options.

Bank of America Travel Rewards redemption options

Redemption option Minimum points needed to redeem Point value (cents)
Travel (booked through Bank of America Travel Center) 2,500 1
Travel (booked through qualifying outside merchants) 2,500 1
Cash rewards 2,500 0.6
Gift card 3,125 varies

Intro APR for new purchases

In addition to easy-to-earn rewards and flexible redemption, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card offers a 0 percent introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for new cardholders (16.49 percent to 24.49 percent variable thereafter).

This can be a great perk for users who have a big purchase to make and want to pay it down over time without racking up interest. You’ll have a full year to make slow payments without having to worry about additional charges. Just be sure not to charge more than you can pay off in the introductory period, as the ongoing APR can be high.

Other benefits

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card doesn’t come with extensive perks, but it does come with a few benefits that make it valuable for frequent travelers.

  • No foreign transaction fee – When traveling abroad, you won’t pay any surcharge on foreign transactions.
  • Car rental insurance – If your rental car is damaged or stolen, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card can reimburse you in excess of the company’s insurance policy.
  • Add PIN for international travel – The Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card is an EMV chip card, and you can add a PIN for easy use when traveling overseas.

While certainly not the most impressive travel perks available on a rewards card, all these benefits can save frequent travelers some money on their next trip.

How does the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card compare to other cards?

The flat earning rate on the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card makes it easy to rack up points with this no-annual-fee option, but savvy spenders might be able to get more out of a travel card with a different structure. Here are a few popular alternatives:


Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Wells Fargo Propel American Express
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Rewards rate

  • 2 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
Rewards rate

  • 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Rewards rate

  • 3 points per dollar on dining, travel and transit, gas station purchases and select streaming services
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
Sign-up bonus

60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months

Sign-up bonus

20,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months

Sign-up bonus

30,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months

Annual fee

$95

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0 (See rates and fees)

Other things to know

  • 25% higher point value when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards
  • Transfer points to travel partners at 1:1 rate
  • Primary car rental insurance
Other things to know

  • 0% intro APR on new purchases for first 12 months (13.74-23.74% variable APR thereafter)
  • Lost luggage reimbursement

 

Other things to know

  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards or travel for the same point value
  • Transfer points to any Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards account

Chase Sapphire Preferred

A fan-favorite travel card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a good rewards rate and one of the most valuable sign-up bonuses currently available. If you redeem all 60,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months to earn the bonus) for travel in the Ultimate Rewards portal, they are worth up to $750. The biggest drawback to the Sapphire Preferred is its $95 annual fee, though heavy spenders can probably offset this cost with a great earning rate on travel and restaurant purchases.

See Related: Bank of America Travel Rewards vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred: Which is best for you?

Capital One VentureOne

Like the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card, the Capital One VentureOne doesn’t charge an annual fee and offers a flat rate of miles on most purchases – 1.25 miles per dollar. The Capital One VentureOne also charges no annual fee.

Wells Fargo Propel

The Wells Fargo Propel is another popular no-annual-fee travel card, thanks to its extensive list of categories that qualify for the 3 point-per-dollar rate. Cardholders can earn 3 points per dollar on dining, travel and transit, gas station purchases and select streaming services as well as 1 point per dollar on other purchases. This makes it easy to rack up plenty of points. Plus, cardholders who also have a Wells Fargo Visa Signature credit card can transfer all their points to the Visa Signature to enjoy a 50 percent higher point value for airfare redemptions.

Why get the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card?

  • You are looking for a good sign-up bonus on a no-annual-fee travel card.
  • You want to earn a flat rate of points on all your purchases rather than keep track of bonus categories.
  • You are a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch account holder and can boost your rewards rate with Preferred Rewards.

How to use the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card:

  • Spend at least $1,000 in the first 90 days to earn the sign-up bonus.
  • Put all your purchases on the card to take advantage of a generous flat rewards rate.
  • Consider purchasing travel through the Bank of America Travel center to earn double points.
  • If you are eligible, sign up for Preferred Rewards to boost your earning.

Is the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card worth it?

If you are the type of cardholder who prefers to put all their purchases on one card and not worry about keeping track of bonus categories, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card offers a good rate of points for a card with no annual fee. Plus, Bank of America account holders with a significant balance can boost their rewards rate and fast-track their way to their next vacation.

Need more information on this card? See related articles:

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