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Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card review

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A simple but flexible travel card — and an especially good choice if you don't want to pay an annual fee.

finder.com’s rating: 3.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

  • Get this card if you want a simple points structure and no annual fee.
  • Pick something else if you want premium travel perks like travel credits and airport lounge access.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

25,000

Points as welcome offer

Up to 1.5x

Points

$0

Annual fee

0%

Intro Purchase APR

for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 16.74% to 24.74% variable)

Details

Product NameBank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Card typeVisa
Annual fee$0
Purchase APR0% intro for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 16.74% to 24.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 12 months (then 16.74% to 24.74% variable)
Balance transfer fee$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash advance rate19.74% to 26.74% variable
Cash advance fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Penalty APR29.99% variable
Foreign transaction feeNone
Interest free periodUp to 25 days
Late payment feeUp to $39
Returned payment feeUp to $28
Additional cardholder fee$0

Expert review

Kevin Joey Chen

Review by


Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer who has written nearly 500 Finder articles. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.

Expert review

For travelers overwhelmed by the flashy features of other travel cards, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers refreshing simplicity. It comes with a good signup bonus, a straightforward points structure and flexible points redemption. If you’re not a hardcore traveler, that may be all you need.

Consistent rewards and a solid signup bonus

The card doesn’t have different point multiples for various spending categories. Instead, you’ll get a flat 1.5 points for every dollar spent anywhere — with no points cap or expiration date. Points can be redeemed as statement credit for travel purchases, so you can spend on a variety of travel needs and get reimbursed later. As a bonus, your points are worth extra if you’re a Bank of America customer: 10% more if you have a Bank of America checking or savings account, and 25% to 75% more if you’re a member of Bank of America Preferred Rewards.

Another travel rewards card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn 7x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Earn 5x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your card.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
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See Rates & Fees

Case study: Megan’s experience

profile pic

Megan Horner
Credit Cards Publisher

I opened this credit card because I love to travel internationally and wanted a Visa card that doesn’t have annual or foreign transaction fees. Essentially, I wanted a card that I could throw in a drawer for most of the year and only bring out for big trips.

That being said, I use this card quite frequently. With 1.5 points per dollar, I use it any time one of my other cards doesn’t offer better rewards. It’s really simple to redeem the points since they’re applied as statement credit.

However, it’s a basic card in terms of travel rewards. If you want to get into the travel points game — earn lots of points, transfer points to different airlines, get unreal deals on flights, brag to friends — this isn’t the best card for it. It is, however, a great first travel rewards card.

The perks

  • Annual fee: $0.

    Enjoy your card without worrying about an annual membership fee.

  • Rewards: 1.5x points on all purchases.

    Other cards offer different point multiples for various spending categories. But this BoA travel credit card keeps it simple. For every dollar you spend on any purchase, you earn 1.5 points.

    Redeem points for statement credit on travel purchases, including flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, baggage fees and more.

  • Signup bonus: 25,000 points.

    Spend at least $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days your account is open to receive 25,000 bonus points — worth $250 toward travel purchases.

  • 0% foreign transaction fees.

    If you’re looking to use your card on purchases abroad without paying a foreign transaction fee, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a strong option. Because it’s a Visa, it’s more widely accepted abroad than Discover or American Express.

Compare Bank of America credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
2x points on travel and dining and 1.5x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 2x points on travel and dining and 1.5x points on all other purchases.
25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
1.5x points on all purchases
$0
Earn 25,000 online bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days from account opening.
$200 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
3% cash back on a chosen category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 each quarter combined, then 1% after that and on everything else
$0
Earn $200 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days form account opening.
N/A
N/A
$0
Enjoy a 0% intro balance transfer APR for the first 15 statement closing dates, then variable.
N/A
N/A
$39
Helps establish, strengthen and even rebuild your credit.

Compare up to 4 providers

The value of points

Points you earn using the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card varies based on what you’re redeeming them for:

  • Travel credits. Each point is equal to 1 cent in travel credit — for example, 3,000 points are worth $30.
  • Cash rewards. Your points aren’t worth as much when redeemed for cash. A point is worth $0.006 — using the same example, 3,000 points fetches you $18.
  • Gift cards. Bank of America indicates that the transfer ratio for gift cards varies.

Travel or cash reward redemption requires a minimum of 2,500 points, and gift cards require 3,125 points.

What does Bank of America consider as travel purchases?

Bank of America has a wider definition of what a travel purchase is than most other issuers. With Bank of America, you can redeem your points for any of the following categories to earn the highest redemption value.

  • Airlines and air carriers
  • Cruise lines
  • Car rental
  • Travel agencies and tour operators
  • Taxi and limousines
  • Railways
  • Suburban and local commuter passenger, including ferries
    and bus lines
  • Transportation services
  • Hotels, motels and resorts
  • Real estate rentals, timeshares, campgrounds and trailer parks
  • Motor home and recreational vehicle rental
  • Tourist attractions and exhibits
  • Art dealers and galleries
  • Amusement parks, carnivals, circuses and fortune tellers
  • Aquariums, dolphinariums, zoos and seaquariums
  • Boat leases and boat rentals
  • Recreation services

You’ll also like …

  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 statement closing dates.

    For your first 12 statement closing dates, you pay 0% intro APR on purchases. After, you’ll see a 19.74% to 26.74% variable APR.

  • Bank of America customer extras.

    If you have an active Bank of America checking or savings account, your points are worth 10% more when you redeem them. If you’re part of Bank of America Preferred Rewards, your points could be worth 25% to 75% more.

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Looking for more Bank of America travel card benefits?

Unlike other travel cards, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card lacks secondary benefits such as travel insurance.

If you want these perks, look into the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card. It offers travel protections such as:

  • Trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance.
  • Baggage delay insurance.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage.
  • Auto rental insurance.
  • Travel and emergency assistance services.
  • Roadside assistance.

What to watch out for

  • Penalty APR.

    For a late payment, your APR may revert to 29.99% variable, based on your creditworthiness.

  • Potentially high APR.

    Depending on your credit, your variable purchase and balance transfer APR could be as high as 24.74% variable.

  • Potentially higher APR for cash advances.

    For direct deposit and check cash advances, your variable APR may be as high as 19.74% to 26.74% variable. For bank cash advances — such as ATM cash advances — the APR can be 19.74% to 26.74% variable. You’ll also pay fee that depends on the type of cash advance you take.

  • No grace period on balance transfers or cash advances.

    Purchases come with a grace period — that is, you’ll have at least 25 days after the close of the billing cycle to pay off your balance before accruing interest. This isn’t the case with balance transfers or cash advances: You’ll start accruing interest on them immediately.

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What should I know before I apply?

To apply for a Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you must be at least 18 years old or 21 if you’re a permanent resident of Puerto Rico.

Required documents and information

  • Your name, residential status and residential address.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your email address, phone number and date of birth.
  • Financial information, such as your annual salary and wages.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of approval for the card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 to 850.

What’s my likelihood of approval?

Typically, credit card providers prefer customers with strong credit scores and high annual incomes. The higher those are, the higher your odds of approval.

Here are a few other factors that might affect your chances:

  • How many hard pulls you have on your credit report. If you have several hard inquiries — or hard pulls on your account, it might make you look desperate for credit. This implies you’re having trouble managing your debt, and Bank of America may be less likely to take you on as a customer.
  • Factors that tie into your credit score. Credit utilization is a major factor that Bank of America will consider. The bank prefers a customer who has low balances relative to their credit limit. Having many new card accounts may be a red flag, too, as it may indicate you’re desperate for credit. It may also give the impression that you’re a flighty customer who’s just hunting for signup bonuses.
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Bank of America travel: Visa or Mastercard?

You’ll find the Visa and Mastercard logos sprinkled throughout BoA travel cards. The provider’s flagship products tend to be Visas, but you’ll see Mastercards among the cobranded products.

What do customers say about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card?

Cardholders are generally pleased that the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card comes with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Overall, they also like the card’s easy points structure. However, some customers say it’s difficult to get unauthorized transactions reversed.

As of May 2018, Bank of America earns a Trustpilot score of 5.5 out of 10. Most negative reviews cite unhelpful customer support, while positive reviews point to the bank’s easy-to-use website.

Bank of America is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has a B+ rating.

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How to apply for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

  1. Go to the Bank of America website and click Apply Now.
  2. Complete the application with details that include your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.
  3. Review and submit your application.

Bank of america card application process page

How long will it take to be approved?

Because conditional approval is automated on the Bank of America website, you’ll likely get a decision within 60 seconds. If there are issues with your application, it could take a few weeks to hear back.

How long will it take to get my Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card?

After you’re approved, you’ll typically receive your card within 7 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Pay your statement through your online account, where you can enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with fees of up to $39. Balance transfers come with fees of either $10 or 3%, whichever is greater. Also, cash advances have a fee of $10 or 5%, whichever is greater.
  • Contact customer service. If you have questions, contact customer service at 1-800-432-1000.
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How do I redeem points from the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card?

To redeem your points, log in to your Bank of America account and navigate to the Rewards tab.

There are three redemption options:

  • Travel. Redeem your points for statement credit on flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, baggage fees and more.
  • Gift cards. You’ll find gift cards for a variety of retailers, restaurants and more.
  • Cash. Request a deposit to a bank account.

Travel and gift cards usually have redemption values of 1 cent per point. But you may get a lower value when redeeming for cash.

Bottom line

With easy points redemption and no annual fee, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a strong choice for anyone who values simplicity. It’s a good alternative to other travel cards that can charge annual fees of $95 or more.

Before you decide on a particular card, compare your options with our guide to travel rewards credit cards.

Frequently asked questions

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Images: bankofamerica.com

Travel card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

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