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Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Review
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers 1.5 points for every dollar spent and 25,000 bonus points to new customers who spend $1,000 within the 90 days of opening an account. This card has an EMV chip, no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees, making it a good choice for international travelers. Your points don’t expire and you can redeem them for any travel expense, including airfare, hotels, and car rentals.
Compared to many of its competitors, the rewards-earning potential isn’t great, but it can be improved if you have an active checking or savings account with Bank of America. That automatically earns you a 10% rewards bonus and depending on how much money you have in your account, you could earn up to a 75% bonus. However, you need to have $100,000 or more in order to earn that rate, and most people probably won’t be able to reach this. In that case, a different travel card with a higher standard rewards rate might be a better choice.
Huge Rewards Earning Potential for Bank of America Customers
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers 1.5 points for every dollar spent. By itself, that isn’t anything special. There are many travel cards that offer you 2 or even 3 points on select purchases, in addition to 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. If you’re not a Bank of America customer, there’s no way to improve your rewards-earning potential, in which case, you can likely find a better deal with a different travel card.
Bank of America customers, however, have the potential to earn much greater rewards. If you have an active checking or savings account, you automatically get a 10% rewards bonus. You can increase that bonus even further if you’re a Preferred Rewards member. Customers with $20,000 in their accounts will earn a 25% bonus. This jumps to a 50% bonus when you reach $50,000 and a 75% bonus when you accumulate $100,000.
If you reach this top tier, you’ll find that no other travel card can match the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. The trouble is most people probably won’t reach this level. The value of this card is largely dependent on how much money you have in the bank, so it may still be wiser for some Bank of America customers to explore other options.
- No annual fee or foreign transaction fees. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is one of a few travel cards to offer no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, while also including an EMV chip. This makes it a great choice for international travelers who don’t want to rack up a bunch of additional expenses when overseas.
- Great perks for Bank of America customers. If you have an account with Bank of America, you’ll automatically receive a 10% rewards bonus. This bonus increases depending on how much you have in your account. If you have over $20,000 in your account, you’ll receive a 25% bonus. At $50,000, you begin receiving a 50% bonus. And if you manage to accumulate $100,000 or more in your account, you’ll earn a 75% rewards bonus.
- Generous signup bonus. If you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of opening your account, you’ll receive 25,000 bonus points that you can redeem for a $250 statement credit toward travel expenses. This isn’t as high as what some travel cards offer you, but it’s among the best for a card without an annual fee.
Where It Falls Flat
The rewards-earning potential isn’t as strong as most travel cards if you’re not a Bank of America customer. You earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent, but there are several cards out there that offer 2 points per dollar spent on select purchases. You can reach this rewards-earning rate with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, but it’s difficult to do.
If you have an account with Bank of America, your rewards rate will automatically increase by 10%. But in order to move to the next level, you have to have $20,000 in your account. And to see the greatest rewards earning potential — a 75% bonus — you need $100,000 in the bank. And that isn’t going to be an option for a lot of people. But if you are one of the lucky few who can secure this rate, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card.
Who It’s Good For / Who Should Pass
|Who It’s Good For||Who Should Pass|
|Bank of America customers, especially those with high account balances|
Those who don’t want to pay an annual fee
|Those who aren’t Bank of America customers and want higher rewards rates|
How It Compares
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: This card offers 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. It also has a much better signup bonus than the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases. The only downside is the card comes with a $95 annual fee. If you travel frequently, this card is likely going to be a better choice, though infrequent travelers may prefer to stick with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card since it has no annual fee.
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® (currently unavailable through this site): With this card, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and you’ll get 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. Your miles don’t expire and every time you redeem them, you’ll receive 5% of those miles back to use toward your next travel purchase. There are no foreign transaction fees, but there is an $89 annual fee (waived first year). Given the high rewards-earning potential, this card is a much better option for most consumers than the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, unless you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member.
- Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card: Due to its 3% foreign transaction fee, this card isn’t a great choice for the international traveler. It offers great rewards-earning potential for those who are less focused on travel, however. You earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. New cardmembers can earn $200 after spending $500 within the first 90 days of opening an account. Like all Bank of America’s credit cards, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card offers bonuses to its Preferred Rewards members depending on how much money you have in your account.
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