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2021 Review: The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card – Good Choice for Casual Travelers

Published Mar 29, 202110 min read

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Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Min Credit Level Good
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 13.99%–23.99% Variable
At a glance

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card earns 1.5X points per dollar for every purchase, with an increase to 3X points if you book through the Bank of America Travel Center. There’s no annual fee and few benefits to keep track of.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

We give the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card 4 out of 5 Stars. It’s a good choice for the casual traveler, but like most no annual fee travel cards, the perks are relatively sparse.

Why We Like It

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 3X points per dollar at Bank of America Travel Center, 1.5X elsewhere
  • 25,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Introductory purchase APR (0% for 12 billing cycles, then 13.99%–23.99% Variable)
  • Opportunities for increased rewards rate

Why It Could Be Better

  • Few benefits

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 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
  • 25,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • 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 flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR ends, 13.99%–23.99% Variable APR will apply
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% – 75% more points on every purchase

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is best suited for the occasional traveler. Unlike high-end travel cards that carry yearly fees, and in some cases offer travel credits, there’s no pressure with this card to constantly be traveling in order to get the most from it.

Instead, you can just use it for every purchase to earn rewards, and redeem them for travel expenses to get the most value. However, there aren’t any benefits to take care of pesky baggage fees or other things, either.

There’s also an introductory APR for your purchases to help save you money from interest charges, and an opportunity to increase the rewards you can earn.

Insider tip

If you’re a student, consider the Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card for Students. It’s a similar card only aimed at students, meaning it’s a little easier to qualify for.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Use your card for whatever you’d like: You’ll earn 1.5X points per dollar for all of your purchases, except…
  • If you can, book travel through the Bank of America Travel Center: Your points will get a boost to 3X per dollar if you can book your trips through the Bank of America Travel Center, which offers flights, hotels, and car rentals. Rates are usually competitive with other booking platforms, so the only benefit to booking through the Travel Center would be to get the point bonus.
  • Get a bonus for your rewards: If you join the Preferred Rewards program, you can get a 25%, 50%, or 75% point bonus depending on your Bank of America account and Merrill investment account balances.
  • Redeem for past travel or dining expenses: Redeeming for travel or dining expenses will ensure you get a value of 1 cent per point, providing a pretty decent cash back equivalent.
  • Take advantage of the intro 0% APR offer: If you need to make a large purchase, like a distant flight or vacation, you can pay it off while the balance accrues no interest.
  • Consider pairing with a categorial rewards card: If you get another credit card that earns higher rewards in certain categories, you can use both cards to maximize your rewards. Use the categorial card for all purchases that fall within those categories that earn higher rewards, and use the Bank of America card for everything else. Some good options are the Chase Freedom Flex℠ (Review) or the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Review).

The Rewards

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card is very straightforward. Use it for all of your purchases and you’ll get a cash back equivalent of 1.5%, assuming you’re redeeming for travel or dining expenses and getting a point value of 1 cent. And if you book through the Bank of America Travel Center, you can get a 3% cash back equivalent.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 3X points per dollar at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • 1.5X points per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 25,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening

If you become a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member you’ll get a bonus to your points, depending on the balances of your Bank of America bank accounts and Merrill investment accounts.

The program is separated into three tiers: Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Honors. To qualify for Gold and to receive a 25% point bonus, your account balances have to total at least $20,000. For Platinum and a 50% bonus, you’ll need $50,000. For Platinum Honors and a 75% bonus, an accumulative account balance of $100,000 is required.

Redeeming

Once you’ve touched down on the runway or filled up your tank for that cross-country road trip, it’s time to redeem your points. Here are the choices you have:

  • Redeem for travel expenses
  • Redeem for dining expenses
  • Redeem for statement credits or a paper check
  • Deposit into a Bank of America account
  • Redeem for gift cards

You’ll get the most value from your points by redeeming them to pay for past travel and dining expenses, where you’ll get 1 cent for every point. Only travel and dining purchases made within the last 12 months are eligible.

You can also redeem your points for a check or a deposit into a Bank of America checking or savings account, but you’ll be losing out if you do. When you redeem this way you’ll only get 0.6 cents for every point. This means 25,000 points would come to $150, instead of the $250 you’d get when you redeem for travel expenses.

Your points will never expire and there are no blackout dates to keep track of.

Quick Guide

What Counts as a Travel or Dining Purchase?

Airlines Motor home rentals Cruise lines Boat rentals Amusement parks
Hotels Recreational vehicle rentals Travel agencies Parking lots and garages Carnivals and circuses
Motels Campgrounds Tour operators Tolls and bridge fees Aquariums and zoos
Timeshares Car rentals Real estate agents Art galleries Restaurants, bars, taverns, and cocktail lounges
Trailer parks Truck and trailer rentals Passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries Tourist attractions Nightclubs and discotheques

The Benefits

Like most travel cards that don’t require an annual fee, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is a little light in the benefits department.

It comes with a selection of Visa Signature benefits, but Bank of America doesn’t list what those may be. Check your Guide to Benefits that comes with your card to see what else may be included with the benefits listed here.

  • Free FICO Score: Check up on one of your FICO credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: Need help locating tickets, making dinner reservations, or finding a certain item? Call 1-800-953-7392 to access your Visa Signature Concierge and get the help you need.
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: Gain access to room upgrades when they’re available, receive the best rate, access complimentary WiFi, and gain other amenities at 900 luxury hotels across the globe.
  • Fraud protection: You won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges made with your card. Contact the bank immediately if you suspect fraud.
  • Contactless payment: Just tap your card wherever you see the symbol, no physical contact necessary.
  • Overdraft protection: Link your Bank of America bank account to the card to benefit from overdraft protection.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
0% for 12 billing cycles, then 13.99%–23.99% Variable 13.99%–23.99% Variable 16.99%–28.99% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
3%, $10 minimum See Terms
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Up to 29.99% Variable Up to $40 Up to $29

The Bottom Line

If you’re not always hopping on a flight but still like to travel every so often, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card wouldn’t be a bad choice.

It’s a super-simple card with opportunities to increase the rewards it earns thanks to the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. There’s no annual fee or travel credits to put pressure on you to use it frequently.

Consider pairing it with another rewards card, particularly one that offers a nice selection of bonus categories. Using the Bank of America card, which earns a flat rate for most purchases, and a card that earns more for a selection of specific purchases, you can maximize your return.

How Do I Apply for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card?

Just follow the link below to be directed to the credit card issuer’s website. From there, you can fill out an application with all the necessary information. You should hear back instantly with Bank of America’s decision, unless they need more information from you.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card?

It’s recommended you have good credit before applying for the Bank of America card.

To qualify for good credit, your FICO score typically needs to be at least 670, while your VantageScore needs to be at least 700.

However, the credit card issuer will ask for additional information when considering your creditworthiness: your income as well as your monthly rent and mortgage payment, for example. This extra information could lead to your approval even if your scores are lower than what’s recommended. But that also means you might be denied even if your scores are high enough.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Personal information: SSN, email address, phone number
  • Financial information: Total annual income, source of income, monthly mortgage/rent payment

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 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
  • 25,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • 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 flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR ends, 13.99%–23.99% Variable APR will apply
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% – 75% more points on every purchase

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I redeem my Bank of America Travel Rewards Card points?

Log in to your Bank of America account and navigate to the redemption page. You can redeem for travel and dining expenses to get the best value for your points (1 cent each).

Take a look at all of the redemption options available to you.

What benefits does the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card have?

You’ll be able to monitor your FICO score, based on your TransUnion credit report, and will be protected against fraudulent purchases. Your card may also come along with some Visa Signature benefits, including the Concierge and Luxury Hotel Collection, but Bank of America doesn’t list specifically what they may be.

Was this helpful?

Alternatives to the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Why We Picked It

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) is a travel rewards card with strong point transfer and redemption options.

The potential of this card really lies in those features. While it can be pretty rewarding, those rewards are bolstered by its 1:1 transfer rate and its 25% redemption bonus if you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

The benefits are far better than the ones you’d likely see with the Bank of America card. There’s quite a few useful perks, such as a DoorDash membership, the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, and the Shop through Chase shopping portal. And you’ll get a big selection of travel protections, too.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for:
    • Travel
    • Restaurants
    • Groceries (up to $1,000 spent per month; through 4/30/21)
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months; up to $50 in statement credits toward grocery purchases in the first year

If you transfer your points to one of Chase’s travel partners you might be able to find a greater per-point value. If you’re able to find a point value of 2 cents or more, for the 5X, 2X, and 1X point categories you’d get cash back equivalents of at least 10%, 4%, and 2% respectively.

Key Features
  • 1:1 point transfer: 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value – that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points. The airline and hotel partners include Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, United, World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and IHG Rewards Club.
  • 25% redemption bonus: Get a 25% bonus when you redeem your rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • DoorDash membership: You’ll get a free DoorDash membership for at least a year, known as a DashPass. That’ll get you free delivery and reduced service fees for orders over $12.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is provided by Chase, and includes benefits at over 1,000 locations around the world.
  • Shop through Chase: Cardholders can get more points at select retailers with the Shop through Chase marketplace.
  • Chase Offers: Receive exclusive offers from a variety of different merchants through Chase.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: You can call 1-800-953-7392 to speak with your Visa Signature Concierge, 24/7.
  • Travel protections: Trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and roadside dispatch
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty protection
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Regular APR17.24% - 24.49% Variable
Why We Picked It

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (Review) is slightly more rewarding than the Bank of America card, but it does require an annual fee.

Its 2X-miles-per-dollar rate is pretty strong, but when you add its point transfer capabilities it becomes even better. You can transfer your miles to Capital One’s travel partners where you could find greater value than the typical 1 cent per mile. Finding the right deals on a consistent basis could make this card far more rewarding than the Bank of America card, despite the annual fee.

The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card offers the better benefit package as well. There’s an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck to help speed along the airport process, plus a nice selection of shopping and travel protections. And as an added bonus, this card is metal (see some other excellent metal cards here).

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 2X miles per dollar on all purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

If you’re able to find a transfer that gives you a mile value of 2 cents or more, you could be earning a cash back equivalent of 4% or more with this card. And even if you redeem by normal means for travel expenses to get 1 cent per mile, a 2% cash back equivalent is still pretty good.

Key Features
  • TSA PreCheck/Global Entry statement credit: If you pay for the application for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85) with your card you’ll receive a statement credit for the fee, once every five years.
  • Luxury Hotel Collection: The Luxury Hotel Collection by Visa Signature provides special perks at select hotels around the world.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: You can call your Visa Signature concierge service any time at 1-800-953-7392. They’re ready to help with a wide variety of non-emergency tasks, very much like a personal assistant.
  • Shopping discounts: Use your Visa Signature card to get discounts at certain retailers.
  • Fine Wine & Food: Includes benefits at over 50 wineries in Sonoma Wine County, California, and some discounts at common merchants
  • Sports and entertainment offers: Get exclusive discounts and offers at sports events and a variety of other experiences.
  • Travel protections: Travel and emergency assistance services, travel accident insurance, roadside dispatch, rental car insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement
  • Shopping protections: Purchase security and extended warranty
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

The information related to Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APRSee Terms
Why We Picked It

The Discover it® Miles (Review) is a simple card with a nice bonus for your first year as a cardholder.

Use the Discover it Miles for all of your purchases to earn 1.5X miles per dollar. And because your miles are always worth 1 cent no matter how you redeem them, you’re looking at a cash back equivalent of 1.5%. That’s not too bad for a flat-rate, no annual fee credit card.

But that rate gets even better for your first year, thanks to the Discover Match. Discover will double your rewards during that time, meaning you’ll earn a 3% cash back equivalent. However, there aren’t any travel protections attached to this card, and while you can still check one of your credit scores, you’d likely get more from the Bank of America Travel Rewards card benefits.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 1.5X miles per dollar spent on all purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • Discover Match: Double miles earned during the first year, awarded at the end of the first year
Key Features
  • Free FICO credit score: Track your FICO Score 8 over time, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Social Security number alerts: Get notified if your SSN is found on any thousands of risky websites.
  • New account alerts: Get notified of any new accounts that show up on your Experian credit report.
  • Purchase APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
  • Balance Transfer APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
  • Regular APR15.74% - 24.74% Variable

Rates & Fees

Why We Picked It

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (Review) could be a strong choice if you prefer flying Delta (see the other Delta credit cards here).

With this card, you’re looking at a cash back equivalent of around 7%–10.5% for Delta flights, so it can be far more rewarding than the Bank of America card, provided you fly with Delta. But if you don’t usually fly with Delta, either another card co-branded with your preferred airline or a general travel card, like the Bank of America Travel Rewards, would likely serve you better.

The card benefits aim to make your Delta flights better, expediting your boarding process and saving you money on in-flight purchases and checked bag fees, for you and eight other travelers. You can also earn a $100 Delta credit after spending $10,000 with Delta in a calendar year.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 2X SkyMiles per eligible dollar spent for
    • Purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. Supermarkets
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar spent on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

In addition, you’ll earn a minimum of 5X miles per dollar for Delta flights thanks to your Delta membership. Combined with the 2X miles from the card, that brings you to a total of 7X miles for Delta flights. If your miles are worth 1–1.5 cents, you’ll see a cash back equivalent of 7%–10.5%.

Key Features
  • First checked bag free: Use your Delta SkyMiles number when booking your flight to waive the price ($30) of your first checked bag. This benefit extends to up to eight other passengers flying on your itinerary.
  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding: Get to your seat and settle in earlier when you reserve with your SkyMiles number. This benefit extends to up to eight other passengers on your itinerary.
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases: Save 20%, in the form of a statement credit, on in-flight purchases like food and alcoholic beverages. Excludes WiFi and associated services.
  • $100 Delta flight credit: Spend $10,000 in a calendar year to earn a $100 credit good for Delta flight and vacation package reservations.
  • Global Assist Hotline: Receive assistance with medical and legal referrals, cash wires, passport replacement, missing luggage, and more when you’re more than 100 miles from home.
  • Entertainment Access: Purchase tickets to your favorite events with exclusive presale access and explore exclusive cardmember events near you.
  • ShopRunner: Enjoy free two-day shipping at a variety of online retailers with a complimentary ShopRunner membership.
  • Year-end summary: Examine your spending throughout the prior year by month and category.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (Rates & Fees)

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn now. Travel when you’re ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 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
  • 25,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • 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 flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR ends, 13.99%–23.99% Variable APR will apply
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% – 75% more points on every purchase

Do you never leave home without your Bank of America Travel Rewards Card? How has it helped on your trips? Let us know how you like it in the comments below!

There are plenty more travel rewards cards to choose from if you're not a fan of this one. Take a look! Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

Written by

Evan Zimmer

Evan graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in journalism and creative writing. In his professional writing career, he strives for precision and comprehension in his work. He’s written news articles, blog posts, and copy, working across a slew of different mediums. With in-depth research and great care for accuracy and detail, he now works to bring you the most up-to-date credit information.

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