Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card review: Good for beginners

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This page includes information about the Discover it® Miles product, which is currently not available on Business Insider and may be out of date.

Regular APR

14.99% – 22.99% variable

Credit Score

Good to excellent

Featured Reward

25,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days

Intro APR

0% for 12 billing cycles

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 25,000 bonus points worth $250 in travel when you spend $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening
    • Earn an unlimited 1.5 points for each dollar you spend on your card
    • No annual fee
    • Redeem rewards for a statement credit to pay for flights, a hotel stay, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, baggage fees, and other travel expenses
    Pros
    • Earns 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase
    • No annual fee or foreign transaction fee
    Cons
    • Some cards earn more rewards, though usually only in bonus categories
    • You can’t transfer points to travel partners (though you can use points to cancel out travel purchases on your statement)

    If you’re in search of a no-annual-fee travel rewards credit card that offers a straightforward points program, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is worth considering. This card offers a flat earning rate of 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases, and you can redeem your rewards toward travel expenses you charge to your card.

    With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you’ll earn a welcome bonus of 25,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Each point is worth 1 cent, so the sign-up bonus is worth $250 in travel.

    The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a good choice if you don’t like dealing with complicated frequent flyer or hotel rewards programs that limit award availability and make their points hard to use. And on the earning side, there are no bonus categories or spending caps to track, either. If you’re new to travel rewards, this could be a great way to start earning and redeeming points.

    New cardholders will also get an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 billing cycles, after which a 14.99% – 22.99% variable rate applies. This could save you money if you plan to make a large purchase but spread the payments out over several months — as long as you have a plan to pay off the debt before the introductory period runs out.

    Before you decide on the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you’ll want to consider similar no-annual-fee cards, because some have better earning rates and more flexible options for redeeming rewards. For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card effectively earns 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy, and 1% when you pay), and you can use your rewards for whatever you like — not just travel.

    Similarly, the Discover it® Miles earns 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases, and at the end of the first 12 billing cycles, Discover will match all the rewards you earn. This means you’ll effectively earn 3 miles per dollar in the first year, and while it’s framed as a travel card, you can also redeem your miles for cash back at the same rate of 1 cent per mile.

    Bottom line: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a good travel credit card for beginners or those who prefer simplicity in earning and redeeming rewards. It’s got a solid bonus for a no-annual-fee card, and you can use your points toward a wide variety of travel purchases.

    We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

    Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

    Annual fee

    $0

    Annual fee

    $0

    Annual fee

    $95

    Rewards rate

    1.5 points per dollar on all purchases

    Rewards rate

    3% cash back in one category of your choosing: Gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings*

    2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs*

    1% cash back on all other purchases

    Rewards rate

    2x points on travel and dining

    1.5x points on all other purchases

    Welcome bonus

    25,000 points (worth $250 in statement credits toward travel purchases) after you spend when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening

    Welcome bonus

    $200 in cash rewards after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening

    Welcome bonus

    50,000 points (worth $500 in statement credits toward travel purchases) after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening

    Foreign transaction fee

    No

    Foreign transaction fee

    Yes

    Foreign transaction fee

    No

     Not available through Business Insider Learn more Learn more

    *3% and 2% cash back on the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card on up to $2,500 in combined spending each quarter, then 1%.

    Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Citi® Double Cash Card Discover it® Miles

    Annual fee

    $0

    Annual fee

    $0

    Annual fee

    $0

    Rewards rate

    1.5 points per dollar on all purchases

    Rewards rate

    1% cash back when you buy, plus 1% cash back when you pay your bill

    Rewards rate

    1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases

    Welcome bonus

    25,000 points (worth $250 in statement credits toward travel purchases) after you spend when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening

    Welcome bonus

    N/A

    Welcome bonus

    None, but Discover will match all of the rewards you earn after the first 12 billing cycles

    Foreign transaction fee

    No

    Foreign transaction fee

    Yes

    Foreign transaction fee

    No

     Not available through Business Insider  Learn more Learn more

     

    With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you’ll earn points that are easy to redeem for a wide variety of travel expenses. Once you charge a travel purchase to your card, you can apply points at a rate of 1 cent each toward a statement credit to cover the purchase. The minimum redemption amount is 2,500 points ($25), and you’ll have 12 months from the transaction date to apply your points.

    Bank of America has a broad definition of travel, including some purchases most would classify as entertainment. Categories that qualify for a Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card travel statement credit include:

    • Airlines
    • Hotels
    • Motels
    • Timeshares
    • Trailer parks
    • Motor home
    • Recreational vehicle rentals
    • Campgrounds
    • Car rental agencies
    • Truck and trailer rental
    • Cruise lines
    • Travel agencies
    • Tour operators and real estate agents
    • Operators of passenger trains
    • Buses
    • Taxis
    • Limousines
    • Ferries
    • Boat rentals
    • Parking lots and garages
    • Tolls and bridge fees
    • Tourist attractions
    • Exhibits like art galleries
    • Amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, aquariums, and zoos

    If you’re not traveling, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card allows you to use points for non-travel redemptions, but the rates aren’t as attractive. For example, you can use points for gift cards starting at 3,125 points ($31.25), and the value per point varies.

    However, for a limited time, Bank of America is giving cardholders new quarantine-friendly ways to redeem points. Until December 31, Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card customers can redeem points at a rate of 1 cent each toward grocery store and dining purchases (including takeout).

    If you prefer cash back, you can redeem points for 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. In that case, your points are only worth 0.6 cents apiece, which is not a great value.

    Things get more interesting if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer. Depending on how much you have on deposit (like savings or investments) with Bank of America and Merrill, the rewards you earn from the card can be worth 25% to 75% more. 

    One other way to boost your returns from the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is by purchasing travel through the Bank of America travel center. In that case, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar (instead of 1.5 cents per dollar) for your purchase.

    Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card benefits and features

    The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card doesn’t have a ton of valuable cardholder perks, which is common among credit cards with no annual fee.

    Introductory 0% APR on purchases 

    The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card comes with an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 billing cycles. After that, the rate is 14.99% – 22.99% variable.

    Using a 0% APR credit card offer can be a good way to spread out payments for a big purchase over time without incurring huge interest charges, but you’ll want to be sure you have the means and a plan to pay it off. Otherwise, you’ll end up with high-interest debt after the introductory period expires.

    Other perks

    Once you sign up, you’ll get contactless payment options, paperless statements, online and mobile banking options, account alerts, and a free FICO credit score each month.

    Regular APR

    14.99% – 22.99% variable

    Credit Score

    Good to excellent

    Featured Reward

    25,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days

    Intro APR

    0% for 12 billing cycles

    Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 25,000 bonus points worth $250 in travel when you spend $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening
    • Earn an unlimited 1.5 points for each dollar you spend on your card
    • No annual fee
    • Redeem rewards for a statement credit to pay for flights, a hotel stay, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, baggage fees, and other travel expenses
    Pros
    • Earns 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase
    • No annual fee or foreign transaction fee
    Cons
    • Some cards earn more rewards, though usually only in bonus categories
    • You can’t transfer points to travel partners (though you can use points to cancel out travel purchases on your statement)

    Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card fees and costs

    Along with not having an annual fee and an introductory 0% APR, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card doesn’t add foreign transaction fees, which makes it a good pick to have in your wallet when you travel abroad.

    As with most other cards, you’ll pay fees for balance transfers, cash advances, and late or returned payments.