– Offer

April 30, 2020

By Martin Norris

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is a credit card that requires you to have good to very good credit for fair approval odds. It offers a decent interest rate and reasonable penalties and fees. There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.

Overall, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is a good card to have unless you already have a selection of “good” credit cards. As a travel card, there are better options. As a 1.5x points rewards card, again, there are better options. The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card has a few very specific perks, but most of them won't appeal to the general credit card user.

Like most Bank of America credit cards, the Travel Rewards Card works best if you already bank or invest with the Bank of America or one of their affiliated companies or partners. This is due to the extended perks offered by the very exclusive Preferred Rewards program.

If you're not a member of the Bank of America family yet, whether or not to pick up the Travel Rewards card will, more or less, come down to if you have an alternative travel rewards card. If you aren't earning the equivalent of 3 cents per dollar spent on travel expenses, this may be a good card to look into and is a good reason to respond to letters.

At present, the APR for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is 14.99% to 22.99% for purchases and balance transfers. This is inclusive of the current 3.25% Prime Rate. As the Prime Rate will may very as many as four times in a year, these numbers are unlikely to stay the same for long.

Cash advance APR is also inclusive of the variable Prime Rate. At present, the cash advance APR for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is 17.99% to 25.99% for direct deposit or check cash advances. All other cash advances have a single APR of 27.24%.

There is also a penalty rate that will not exceed 29.99%. This rate will only apply to any new transactions, never to the current balance.

With the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card, there is no stated maximum or minimum credit limit. However, if you already have a Bank of America card with free credit on whatever credit line it has, some of that credit may be shifted to your new card. This may make applying a less risky process. However, for those looking to increase their overall credit profile, this is far from an advantageous feature.


  • Annual Fee – The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card has no annual fee.
  • Cash Advance Fee – The cash advance fee for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is the greater of $10 or 3% for check or direct deposit cash advances. All other types of cash advances have a fee of 5% of the total cash advance with a minimum fee of $10.
  • Overdraft Protection – If your card is linked to your Bank of America checking account or another type of bank account, you may be eligible for overdraft protection. The fee for this service is $12 for each qualifying transaction.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee – There is no foreign transaction fee for purchases made with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card.
  • Late Payment Fee – The late payment fee for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is up to $40. If your overall balance is $100 or less, a late payment fee will not be assessed.
  • Return Payment Fee -  There is a fee of up to $29 for returned payments with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card.
  • Authorized User Fees – There is no authorized user fee with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card.
  • Balance Transfer Fee – The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card has a balance transfer fee equal to the greater of 3% of the total balance transfer or $10.

The offer highlights 1.5 points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases. This double to 3 points per dollar spent on qualifying travel purchases if you make them through the Bank of America Travel Center. Members of the Preferred Rewards program may earn more points per dollar. This program, at a minimum, requires you to keep a bank or investment balance of at least $20,000 with Bank of America.

Redemption options are somewhat limited with a minimum redemption rate in increments of $25 for most options. The standard redemption rate is 1 point to 1 cent for gift cards and travel expenses. For cash options, the rate drops to just $0.006 per point.

Pros – Advantages of the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

  • Reasonable Penalties and Fees – The APR, penalties, and fees assessed are somewhat low for a card of this tier.
  • Good Point Reward System – 1.5 points per dollar is fair. 3 points earned per dollar on travel expenses is pretty good for a credit card with no annual fee.
  • $0 Fraud Liability – Like many other credit cards, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card won't charge you for fraudulent purchases if they are reported promptly.
  • Part of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program – If you are a loyal Bank of America customer with a lot of savings or investments, you may find that this card is worth much more than what is stated in this review.
  • Bonus Points Earned on Specific Travel Expenses – Need airfare or insurance? You may want to check the Bank of America Travel Center and offers first as they offer 3 points per dollar on all travel-related purchases.

Cons – Disadvantages of the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

  • High Redemption Thresholds – Redemption options start at 2,500 points for a $25 gift card and can continue to be redeemed in set increments.
  • Earning Points if Easy, Redeeming Them May Not Be – Unlike other rewards cards that have a simple rewards portal or website that shows all options, including any bonus offers, the Bank of America redemption process is disjointed. Especially when it comes to redeeming points for purchases, a call to customer service may be in order.
  • Better Perks for Bank of America Banking Customers Only – Have $20,000 or more in a Bank of America banking or affiliated investing account? You get significantly more with this card. Everyone else will get the stated rates and no more.
  • Low Point Redemption Rate for Cash – One point is only worth $0.006 in cash rewards.

New and qualifying cardmembers can earn up to 25,000 points by spending at least $1,000 in the first 90 days of their account opening. These points are worth up to $250 in gift card or travel redemption.

If you know all of the ins-and-outs of the Travel Rewards Card offerbefore applying, you'll know if it's worth your time or not. This isn't a simple rewards card. To get the most out of it, you'll have to spend time sifting through redemption options and rewards opportunities. There are better, simpler options.

Further, the Travel Rewards Card is a poor travel card offer. Yes, it can earn up to 3 points per dollar spent. However, you get no bonuses for redeeming these points on travel. Several other travel cards, even with no fee, will allow you to get a better redemption rate, making these bonus points virtually irrelevant. Beyond rewards, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card offers a decent basic credit card. You get rewards, you don't need an incredible credit score to be approved, and there are fair limits on fees and penalties. If you're already a Bank of America customer, you may even get better perks. In this limited case, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card could be recommended.

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