Bank of America Travel Rewards Card Review

The BankAmericard® credit card is not currently in market.

Most credit cards are known for offering either travel rewards, a 0% interest period or a large welcome bonus, but the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card offers cardholders all three perks. 

With no annual fee, you can maximize the number of points you earn to use on travel purchases without worrying about whether you spend enough to justify the high cost that come with some travel rewards cards. You can earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all your purchases. You can use your points toward eligible travel expenses, and just like with many comparable travel credit cards, your points never expire.

Below, CNBC Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card to help you decide if it’s the right card for you.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Card review

  • Rewards
  • Additional benefits
  • Fees
  • Bottom line

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
  • Rewards

    Unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    25,000 bonus points after you spend at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. This can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% Introductory APR for purchases for the first 12 billing cycles

  • Regular APR

    16.49% to 24.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $10 or 3%, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fee
  • Points can be redeemed for flexible travel expenses, including flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees
  • No limit or expiration on points

Cons

  • Promotional 0% APR does not apply to balance transfers

Information about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Card rewards

No matter whether you use your credit card at the supermarket, the pump or to book a flight, you’ll earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on eligible purchases.

Right now, new cardholders can also take advantage of a generous welcome offer: Earn 25,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. This can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

You can start redeeming your rewards once you’ve earned 2,500 (for travel) or 3,125 for gift cards. The value of your points vary depending on how you use them. You get the best rate (1 point = $0.001) if you use your Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card to book your travel and then apply your rewards as a statement credit to essentially reimburse yourself for your travel costs.

This method of travel rewards reimbursement is similar to Capital One’s Purchase Eraser feature, available on cards like the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

You can also redeem your points for a cash reward either in the form of a check or electronic deposit into a Bank of America checking or savings account or for credit to an eligible cash management account with Merrill. Each point redeemed for cash is worth $0.006 (2,500 points = $15). The redemption value for gift cards varies, so you’ll want to do your research before you cash in your points that way.

Additional benefits

Bank of America Travel Rewards cardholders can benefit from the Museums on Us® program. During the first full weekend every month, you can gain one free general admission to participating museums when you present your qualifying Bank of America credit card and photo ID. (This perk excludes special exhibitions, ticketed shows and fundraising events.)

Fees

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is a no annual fee travel rewards card. There are also no foreign transaction fees, giving you freedom to take this card with you on your next overseas vacation. 

The card also offers new customers a 0% interest period on purchases for the first 12 billing cycles (after 16.49% to 24.49% variable APR). Note that this promotional financing period applies to new purchases only. Balance transfers will accrue interest at the standard rate, plus incur a 3% balance transfer fee.

If you are looking for a balance transfer card to pay down high interest debt on other accounts, you could consider the BankAmericard® credit card, which offers 0% interest for the first 18 billing cycles (after 14.49% to 24.49% variable APR). You could also look for a balance transfer credit card with no balance transfer fee to help you get on the road to being debt-free. 

Bottom line

Many great travel rewards cards come at the price of $95 or more, whereas the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee, plus 0% APR on new purchases for the first 12 billing cycles (after 16.49% to 24.49% variable APR). Cardholders earn unlimited 1.5 points per every $1 spent on eligible purchases, with no blackout dates, limits or expiration. These points can be redeemed in the form of flexible travel credits that allow you to cover a wide range of travel purchases.

Of course, you may be able to get more value from a travel card such as the newly relaunched American Express® Green Card — which rewards travel with 3X points on transit, along with 3X points on restaurants, but with a $150 annual fee (See rates and fees). There’s also the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card that delivers 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide and 1X points on all other purchases, and has a $95 annual fee. 

Our methodology

To determine which credit cards offer the best value, CNBC Select analyzed 234 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

CNBC Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company’s data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri’s data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

CNBC Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

While the five-year estimates we’ve included are derived from a budget similar to the average American’s spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.


Information about the BankAmericard® credit card, Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Green Card, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.