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Many travel credit cards without an annual fee can be unexciting since they usually don’t have so many perks. But, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card can be an appealing option for Bank of America members. As Bank of America points never expire, this could be a card to consider if you’re a casual traveler.

Learn more about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card review: Travel Rewards Credit Card

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Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

Welcome Offer for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card has an easy-to-earn signup bonus. You get 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. This bonus is worth $250 as a travel statement credit.

Earning Travel Rewards

You earn unlimited 1.5 points on every $1 spent. For a no annual fee credit card, these rewards rates are competitive to the best air miles credit cards.

This card doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, so this card is also a good option for international travel. Your points never expire as long as your account remains in good standing.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn up to 75% more points, so you effectively earn 2.625 points per $1 spent. This earning bonus is what makes this an exciting credit card option for the most loyal Bank of America members.

The exact loyalty bonus you earn depends on your Preferred Rewards status:

  • Gold ($20,000 to $49,999 in combined assets): 25% bonus points
  • Platinum ($50,000 to $99,999 in combined assets): 50% bonus points
  • Platinum Honors ($100,000+ in combined assets): 75% bonus points

To qualify for Preferred Rewards, you need an open BofA checking account and at least $20,000 in combined  Bank of America and accounts for Gold status. In order to get the full 75% bonus, you need at least $100,000 parked at Bank of America or Merrill.

Learn more about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: Travel Rewards Credit Card

Redeeming Bank of America Travel Rewards Points

As the name of the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card implies, your points are most valuable when redeemed for travel purchases. Bank of America defines travel purchases as flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars, and baggage fees.

Your points are worth one cent each when redeemed as a travel statement credit. Cash statement credits and gift cards are two other options. But note that each point is worth less than one cent each unless redeemed for travel.

You can’t redeem points for upcoming travel or transfer your points to airline or hotel loyalty partners. This limitation isn’t all bad though. Paying cash upfront guarantees you earn loyalty points from the travel provider.

Some travel brands won’t award loyalty points if you use a third-party booking site (even a credit card travel portal) instead of booking directly from their website or call center.

Consider this: If you want flexible travel and cash redemption options with a fixed 1 cent point value, consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited which also earns 1.5 points per $1 spent.

Other Card Bank of America Travel Rewards Benefits

There isn’t much to speak of in regards to additional card benefits. The purpose of most fee-free credit cards is an easy way to earn and redeem points. You can see more examples of the best travel credit cards with no annual fees if you want to make some comparisons.

Still, earning travel rewards for money you were already going to spend is better than not earning any rewards at all. One extra benefit you may enjoy (that many people might not realize) is the opportunity to get free FICO credit score monitoring.

Fees

There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.

The lack of fees is a good reason to keep this card for several years. It’s a free way to build your credit score as your account age increases. If you decide to do this, note that it’s still a good idea to make a periodic purchase to prevent your account from closing due to account inactivity.

Learn more about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: Travel Rewards Credit Card

Credit Score Needed for Bank of America Travel Rewards Card

You will have the best approval odds if you have a minimum 670 credit score. A score above this mark means you either have good credit (670 to 739) or excellent credit (740+).

Besides your credit score, check your wallet to see how many Bank of America credit cards you already have. Under their 2/3/4 rule, you can only apply for a limited number of BofA credit cards within a rolling 2-year period.

You can apply for the following number of Bank of America cards under the 2/3/4 rule:

  • 2 cards within a 2-month period
  • 3 cards every 12 months
  • 4 cards every 24 months

It appears these limits only apply to Bank of America-issued credit cards like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card and Alaska Airlines credit card. So if you opened 2 non-BofA credit cards recently, these accounts shouldn’t affect your Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card approval odds.

Pros

  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent
  • Preferred Rewards clients earn up to 75% bonus points
  • Points never expire
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Frequent travelers may benefit more from other travel credit cards
  • No airline or hotel point transfer partners

Learn more about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Alternatives

Bank of America members have the most to gain from the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card. While this is an attractive flat-rate travel rewards card, you might benefit more by paying an annual fee. Below are some attractive alternatives.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is also a flat-rate travel rewards card that offers a more robust rewards program:

  • Earn 2x miles on every $1 spent (10x miles at Hotels.com/venture purchases through January 2020)
  • Redeem Capital One Venture miles for travel statement credits or pay for upcoming travel for 1 cent each
  • Transfer points to 12+ airline partners
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • $0 annual fee the first year, then $95
  • No foreign transaction fee

New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $500) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.

For every purchase, you’re getting a 2% rebate you can redeem on recent travel purchases. There also isn’t a minimum redemption amount. For example, Bank of America may require you to have a $25 balance (2,500 points) to request a travel statement credit.

 Chase Sapphire Preferred

You also can’t ignore the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, a leading travel rewards card.

  • Earn 2 points per $1 on travel and dining
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all remaining purchases
  • Points are worth 1.25 cents each when booking award travel on Chase travel portal
  • Transfer points to 13 airline and hotel 1:1 transfer partners
  • Primary rental car collision damage waiver
  • Trip cancellation coverage up to $10,000 per person ($20,000 per trip) for covered reasons

New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points (worth $750 in award travel) by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. The Chase Sapphire Preferred perks also include 1:1 point transfers can help you get more value from each point.

The Sapphire Preferred does have a $95 annual fee beginning the first year. However, you won’t pay a foreign transaction fee.

If you can’t decide which card to choose, read our Capital One Venture Rewards vs Chase Sapphire Preferred comparison to see which is better for you.

Summary on BOA Travel Credit Card

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is best for Bank of America customers who qualify for the Preferred Rewards. It’s also a good option if you want a fee-free flat-rate travel rewards card. However, frequent travelers might find more value in getting one of the best travel credit cards that charges an annual fee but earns more rewards and offers additional travel perks.

Learn more about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: Travel Rewards Credit Card

Josh Patoka

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