Banking

How Does Bank Of America Travel Rewards Work

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

Bank of America® deposit accountholders can take advantage of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards® Credit Card’s simple, basic rewards program and some tempting benefits. 

Bank of America® Travel Rewards points can be redeemed for statement credits to offset nearly any travel purchase, unlike many other travel rewards cards.

Other general-purpose and brand-specific credit cards, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Expedia+ from Citi, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred, are direct rivals to Bank of America® Travel Rewards.

Key Characteristics

Sign-up Bonus

You will receive 25,000 bonus points for making an online purchase of at least $1,000 within the first 90 days of starting your account. In the form of a travel credit of $250 on your credit card account.

How to Earn and Use Travel Rewards

Each dollar spent might earn you 1.5 points with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card. Each point is always worth a penny when redeemed. You can apply them toward a statement credit that can be used toward the cost of anything related to your trip. 

This includes but is not limited to hotel stays, vehicle rentals, flights, vacation packages, cruises, and even extras like baggage fees.

Benefits of Bank of America’s Preferred and Customer Rewards

A 10% bonus is added to all points earned for customers who have an active deposit account at Bank of America®. If you have more than $20,000 in deposits with Bank of America®, you will be upgraded to the next Preferred Rewards tier and get a greater bonus as a result. 

There is a 25% incentive for those making $20,000 to $50,000, a 50% bonus for those making $50,000 to $100,000, and a 75% bonus for those making $100,000 or more.

Bank of America® Deposit Account Holders Overdraft Protection

Overdraft protection is made possible by linking an existing Bank of America® deposit account to your credit card account. Overdraft fees on your Bank of America® Travel Rewards card are assessed in $100 increments, so a $150 overdraft would result in a $200 fee. There’s a $12 overdraft fee for each one, plus interest at the highest cash advance rate.

Introductory APR

To get the current interest rate, please review the terms.

Regular APR

The current annual percentage rate (APR) is available in the terms and conditions.

Significant Fees

There is no price for either annual use or for any foreign transactions. Cash advances have a fee of 5% of the advance amount plus $10, while balance transfers have a fee of $10 plus 3% of the amount transferred. There is a $37 fee for payments that are late and a $27 charge for payments that are returned.

Credit Required

In order to qualify for this card, your credit score must be above average. A few small marks on your credit report won’t necessarily rule you out.

Pros

  1. Quick and Easy Reward Program. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards program is simple and easy to use. Every day, for every dollar you spend on qualifying products, you’ll receive 1.5 points. When it comes time to redeem your points, you can pick and select which transactions you’d want a statement credit for. Credit cards issued by certain hotels or airlines, or cards like Citi’s Expedia+ that can only be used to redeem points on that particular platform, might be confusing.
  2. Excellent New Member Bonus. The 25,000-point sign-up bonus for this card is equivalent to $250 in travel statement credits, and it can be yours with just $1,000 in purchases. For a card with no annual charge, this is a generous welcome offer.
  3. There are Not Any Yearly Charges. There is no yearly fee associated with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card. This is excellent news for anyone looking to save money and sets the card apart from the pack of all-purpose travel rewards cards, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards ($95 annual fee).
  4. Bank of America® Deposit Account Holders Get Nice Point Bonuses. Every point you earn with this card will be rewarded with a 10% bonus if you also have a deposit account with Bank of America®. And if you put over $20,000, the incentive jumps to 75%.

Cons

  1. Constraints on the Amount of Money You Can Earn in Rewards. You’ll earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases made with your Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card. That’s not the worst option available, but it’s certainly not the greatest. Many competitor cards offer faster point accumulation for higher spending and annual fees. Capital One Venture Rewards, for example (annual fee $95), awards 2 points for $1 spent, with a typical point value of $0.01.
  2. There is not any type of Balance Transfer Discount. There is no corresponding balance transfer promotion to the purchase promotion on this card. For new customers who might benefit from transferring high-interest balances, this is a significant negative to the card.
  3. Includes a Penalty Annual Percentage Rate. Penalty interest rates are applied to Bank of America® Travel Rewards accounts. For cardholders prone to infrequent payment lapses, this is a significant deterrent. Choose a travel rewards credit card without a penalty APR, such as Discover it, Miles, if you don’t want to be fined (perhaps eternally) for missing a payment.

Bottom Line

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards® Credit Card doesn’t pick and choose when it comes to travel-related transactions. 

No matter how the accumulated points were earned, their value at redemption remains the same whether they are applied to a statement credit covering the cost of a domestic airline ticket, a multi-day car rental, a baggage fee, or a unique vacation package. 

Bank of America® Travel Rewards may not be the most lucrative travel rewards card, but its simplicity and adaptability are hard to beat.

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