Travel rewards credit cards often provide ways to earn rewards you could redeem toward travel redemptions, including flights and hotel stays. But how you earn these rewards varies by each credit card.
With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you get a simple earning structure that’s easy to understand and use in everyday life. This card also offers a valuable sign-up bonus and a $0 annual fee.
We’ll take a look at Bank of America Travel Rewards benefits and whether this card deserves a spot in your wallet.
About the Bank of America Travel Rewards card
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card is a rewards card focused on flexible travel and dining redemptions. It also offers a simple rewards rate of 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.
Some of the card’s primary benefits include:
- A $0 annual fee
- A helpful welcome bonus
- Potential Visa Signature perks
A $0 annual fee is typically a clear indication of immediate value because there’s no annual cost to offset by earning rewards or using benefits. However, no-annual-fee credit cards often have limited benefits compared to cards with annual fees.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card’s straightforward earning rate could make sense if you want a travel card but aren’t sure about complicated earning and redeeming strategies. The welcome offer and potential Visa Signature perks, including roadside dispatch and emergency travel assistance, could also add more value for new cardholders.
Check out our Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card review.
7 Bank of America Travel Rewards benefits
Here are the main Bank of America Travel Rewards benefits:
1. Generous sign-up bonus
The Bank of America Travel Rewards offers this welcome bonus: Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
This sign-up bonus is particularly generous and likely attainable if you use the card for everyday purchases. This could include buying groceries, gas, food, and more. This type of strategy could effectively turn your everyday purchases into rewards to help offset future travel expenses.
2. Simple earning
Credit card rewards typically offer valuable points, miles, or cash back for making purchases and qualifying for sign-up bonuses. However, earning rewards can get complicated depending on the credit card.
With the Bank of America Travel Rewards, you can earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. And that’s it. You don’t have bonus categories or rotating categories to keep track of. As long as you make an eligible purchase, you already know how many rewards points you should be earning.
If you’re new to earning travel rewards, this could offer a straightforward way to get started.
3. Low annual cost
The Bank of America Travel Rewards has a $0 annual fee. This means there is no annual cost for your card membership.
Having no annual cost immediately increases the card’s value because you’re paying the card issuer to be a card member. Instead, you have the opportunity to earn rewards and use card perks freely.
4. Flexible redemptions
It’s nice to be able to earn travel rewards, but only if the travel redemptions align with your lifestyle and goals. Not every traveler is the same — some could look to use rewards on flights, whereas others prefer hotel stays.
Fortunately, the Bank of America Travel Rewards offers plenty of flexibility for any rewards you earn. Available redemption options include:
- Statement credits toward eligible dining- and travel-related purchases
- Cash rewards, including a paper check, a deposit into a Bank of America checking or savings account, or a credit to an eligible Merrill account
- Gift cards
Statement credits can be applied toward eligible travel and dining purchases you make. Bank of America has a generous pool of eligible purchase categories, including the following:
- Hotels, motels, timeshares, trailer parks, and campgrounds
- Motorhome and recreational vehicle rentals
- Car rental agencies
- Truck and trailer rentals
- Cruise lines
- Travel agencies, tour operators, and real estate agents
- Operators of passenger trains and buses
- Taxis and limousines
- Ferries and boat rentals
- Parking lots and garages
- Tolls and bridge fees
- Tourist attractions and exhibits such as art galleries
- Amusement parks, carnivals, and circuses
- Aquariums and zoos
- Eating places, restaurants, and fast-food restaurants
- Drinking places, bars, taverns, cocktail lounges, nightclubs, and discotheques
Having such a wide choice of eligible purchases helps increase the flexibility of your rewards. This means you could redeem your rewards on typical travel redemptions such as flights, hotel stays, and rental cars. But other options might also work, including amusement parks, RV rentals, and loads of dining purchases.
Keep in mind that redemption values vary depending on the option you choose. You typically need at least 2,500 points to redeem for statement credits or cash rewards, and gift card redemptions start at 3,125 points. Statement credits are worth 1 cent per point, which means 2,500 points would be $25 in credit.
However, cash rewards and gift card redemptions are worth less. Using 2,500 points for cash would only net you $15 and gift card values vary.
5. Bank of America Preferred Rewards
Bank of America Travel Rewards cardholders have the opportunity to access the Preferred Rewards program. There’s no cost to join this program, but you have to meet certain requirements to become a Preferred Rewards member, including:
- Having an active and eligible Bank of America checking account
- Having a three-month combined average daily balance of at least $20,000 or more in eligible Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts
Meeting these requirements could qualify you for at least Preferred Rewards Gold status, though the Platinum and Platinum Honors tiers are higher. You need at least a three-month combined average daily balance of $50,000 for Platinum, and at least $100,000 for Platinum Honors.
The main benefit of Preferred Rewards is that Bank of America Travel Rewards cardholders receive between a 25% to 75% bonus on rewards. Gold members receive a 25% bonus, Platinum members receive a 50% bonus, and Platinum Honors members receive a 75% bonus.
Here’s how it breaks down. Let’s say you spend $10,000 on your card in a year. You would typically receive 15,000 points or $150 ($10,000 x 0.015 = $150) for this spend. But with a 75% bonus, you would receive 26,250 points or $262.50 ($10,000 x 0.02625 = $262.50). That’s $112.50 in added value for Platinum Honors members.
6. Low introductory APR offer
You might consider the Bank of America Travel Rewards card if you have upcoming large purchases.
7. Visa Signature perks
The Bank of America Travel Rewards is a Visa Signature card, which means it’s accepted in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Visa Signature cards also typically come with certain benefits depending on the card issuer, such as the following.
- Roadside dispatch: Receive access to roadside dispatch services, including standard towing, tire changing, and fuel delivery. This is a pay-per-use assistance program.
- Travel and emergency assistance services: Receive 24/7 access to emergency travel assistance, including medical referral assistance, legal referral assistance, lost luggage locator service, and emergency translation service.
- ID Navigator by NortonLifeLock: Receive access to certain security features to help prevent identity theft, including dark web monitoring, stolen wallet assistance, data breach notifications, and restoration assistance.
Consider these additional Bank of America Travel Rewards benefits:
- No reward expiration: Points earned with this card don’t expire and your travel redemptions have no blackout dates. However, points for dining and travel statement credits can only be redeemed toward eligible purchases made within the past 12 months.
- No foreign transaction fees: This card has no foreign transaction fees, which are typically additional fees added on when making foreign purchases.
- Contactless: Use your contactless card to tap to pay anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted and you see the contactless symbol.
- Digital wallet: Add your card to popular digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
- Mobile and online banking: Access your card account on the go by using your Bank of America online account through a web browser or mobile app.
- FICO Score: Opt into complimentary monthly updates to your FICO Score.
- Account alerts: Customize and receive alerts about due dates and paid payments as well as other notifications.
Drawbacks to the Bank of America Travel Rewards card
Potential drawbacks of the Bank of America Travel Rewards card include:
- No bonus categories: Many rewards cards provide additional earning categories to earn bonus rewards. This card has a simple flat-rate earning structure without bonus categories. Check out our page that lets you compare credit cards to see how each one works.
- Preferred Rewards requirements: Earning a rewards bonus from Preferred Rewards sounds great, but not everyone will meet the high account balance requirements.
- Redemption value: This card doesn’t provide good redemption value if you choose cash rewards or gift cards. You could still choose these options, but statement credits provide more value.
- Card qualification: This card typically requires a good or excellent credit score to qualify, which might not make sense for everyone.
Does Bank of America Travel Rewards have travel insurance?
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card does offer travel insurance through its Visa Signature benefits. Travel insurance benefits currently available to cardmembers include:
- Lost baggage reimbursement
The Travel Rewards card also offers Visa Signature benefits including roadside dispatch and travel and emergency assistance services.
What can you use Bank of America travel points on?
Bank of America travel points from the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card can be used as statement credits toward most travel and purchases. These are some of the eligible purchases:
- Hotel stays
- Rental cars
- Bus and train tickets
- Parking lots and garages
- Tourist attractions
- Amusement parks
- Aquariums and zoos
How much are Bank of America travel points worth?
Bank of America travel points are worth varying amounts depending on the travel redemption. The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card offers redemptions of statement credits, cash rewards, and gift cards.
Statement credit redemptions are worth 1 cent per point, so 2,500 points would equal $25. Cash rewards and gift card redemptions are worth less than 1 cent per point.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card could be a good fit as a beginner travel card. It offers a generous sign-up bonus, a simple earning structure, and has a $0 annual fee. But with beginner travel cards, don’t expect premium travel benefits or advanced redemption options.
Other travel credit cards could include airport lounge access or annual travel credits to use how you see fit. Many of these cards might also offer ways to transfer your rewards to airline and hotel loyalty programs, providing opportunities to be more flexible with your points or miles.
Check out our list of the best travel credit cards to see what benefits these cards offer.
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