About Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard
The Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards cards is B of A’s sole business travel card, offering a traditional sign-up bonus and a better-than-average rewards rate on purchases.
What makes the card interesting for business owners is that it has a relatively simple structure for spending bonuses. You don’t have to make choices about which purchases earn rewards and which don’t like you would have to do with cards from American Express.
However, just because the card’s rewards are easy to understand doesn’t mean that it’s the best card for you. To know which business card is the best fit, it helps to know exactly what the card offers and how the various perks and fees compare to other cards.
For this reason, we’ve crafted this review to cover the card's rewards and benefits, its rates and fees and how it compares to other business credit cards we’ve reviewed.
We’ll finish up this review with a quick treatment of the card’s pros and cons, and we’ll also include a link to our guide to the best business credit cards.
This credit card provides you rewards points that you can redeem for cash that’s used to pay for travel purchases that appear on your statement or to use for booking travel through Bank of America’s online travel marketplace that Orbitz runs.
You have two ways of earning your points: by the sign-up bonus and by everyday spending.
If you can spend $1,000 on your card in the first 60 days of owning it, Bank of America will give you 25,000 points that have a cash value of $250. These points will take anywhere from 10-12 weeks to arrive in your account.
As we mentioned earlier, you can use these points to put toward travel purchases on your credit card statement. This is why the card is called a “travel rewards” card.
Points on Purchases
The second way you earn points with this card is by using it to make the purchases you would normally make. Bank of America will give you 3x points for every dollar you spend through their travel booking portal. This means that, if you use your Business Advantage Travel Rewards card to buy a hotel and flight combo for $1,000, you’ll earn 3,000 points.
For all other purchases you make not including things like poker chips, traveler’s checks and other money-based things, you’ll earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend.
What we like about this is that it keeps your rewards simple. Some cards, like the Chase Ink Business Cash, give you three different tiers of rewards depending on what you buy: 5x, 2x and 1x.
The American Express Business Gold, on the other hand, has three rewards tiers: 3x, 2x and 1x. However, you get to pick one of five categories to earn 3x, the other four get 2x and everything else gets 1x. The categories from which you can choose are gas stations, airfare, advertising, shipping and computer hardware/software/cloud services.
Each of these structures has its advantages. For example, the Chase Ink Business Cash’s 5x bonus is good on purchases from office supply stores, as well as any cable, internet or phone plans paid for with your card.
If you spend most of your money in those areas, then there’s a good chance the Ink Preferred is the right fit for you.
However, if you spend tens of thousands of dollars every year in shipping, then the AmEx Business Gold is probably a better fit.
That being said, our research indicates that the cards which give you a flat rate on rewards tend to be the most profitable in the long run.
This conclusion is based on consumer cards, so there is a little more variation when it comes to businesses because your company probably spends more in certain areas than the average person could ever dream of spending for their personal or family expenses.
If you spend, say, $30,000 a year on your card, then the B of A card will earn you 45,000 points, not including anything additional you spend to book travel through Bank of America. If you do your booking through them for, say, three business trips a year and those trips cost you a total of $5,000, then your yearly points total could hit 60,000 points.
Our advice is to talk with your accounting department or look over your finances and see where you spend the most money. This will help you understand if this card is the best fit for you (more on that later).
Rates and Fees
Pay close attention to this section, as it will dictate how much this card will cost you each year.
APR should be your biggest concern, especially if you plan on carrying a balance on this card. The good news is that you’ll get 0% interest on all purchases you make the first nine months. If you spend $3,000 in those first nine months, you won’t pay any interest.
Once the nine months is over, you’ll pay an APR of between 12.99% and 22.99% on the reaming balance, as well as any new purchases you make that you don’t pay off on the card’s due date.
If you carry an average daily balance of $3,000 over the course of the year and your APR is 12.99%, you’ll pay $389.70 in interest.
The card has no annual fee.
If you pay late, then your late fee will range from $19 to $49 depending on how big your balance is. For example, balances of up to $100 will get a $19 late fee while balances of more than $5,000 will get a fee of $49.
Balance transfers and cash advances will earn a fee equal to 4% of the amount you transfer/withdraw. The cash advance APR is 25.99%.
How the Bank of American Business Advantage Travel Rewards Compares to Other Cards
As we mentioned in the introduction to this review, part of understanding how good a credit card is requires that you compare it to similar cards. In doing so, you start to see the card in its context and questions about the card’s real value are answered.
The following table includes the sign-up bonuses, rewards rates, yearly base rewards, APR and annual fee. When we say “yearly base rewards”, we mean the total number of points you can earn from $30,000 of spending at the card’s lowest rewards rate:
|B of A Biz Travel Rewards||American Express Business Gold||Ink Business Cash||U.S. Bank Business Edge World Elite Mastercard|
|Yearly base rewards||45,000||30,000||30,000||60,000|
|APR||12.99% - 22.99%||None||14.99% - 20.99%||13.74% - 24.74%|
|0% APR||9 months||N/A||12 months||9 months|
Trying to sort out which card is best is tough because, as we pointed out earlier, it really depends on how a card’s rewards rates benefit you. If you have a lot of travel expenses, the Business Advantage Travel Rewards is the best fit.
If you spend a lot on shipping or advertising, then the American Express Business Gold lets you maximize those by choosing which one gets 3x points.
The Ink Business Cash is the best choice if your expenses center on cable/phone/internet bills and office supply stores, while the U.S. Bank Business Edge card is the best bet if cell bills, gas and office supply purchases are your biggest bills.
In terms of annual fees, the American Express card has the highest, although they waive the fee the first year.
If you want a card that provides a great 0% offer to cover some big purchases you may soon have, then the Chase card is a good choice because its no-interest period is three months longer than the B of A and U.S. Bank cards.
Our one word of warning here is that, while the American Express card is a popular choice for its customer service and prestige, it’s a pure charge card, which means you have to pay off your balance every month.
What makes the B of A card so unique compared to the others on this list is the 1.5x flat rate you’re getting on all non-B of A-travel purchases.
Pros and Cons of the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card
In our opinion, this card has two noticeable strengths. The rewards rate you get is among the best that we’ve seen in the business-card world. Only the Spark Cash Business card has a higher rate, while most other cards give you a 1x bonus on categories that don’t fall into their 5x/3x/2x tiers.
Also, the card’s APR is excellent compared to the competition. It’s a full percentage better than Chase’s Ink Business Cash and 4.75% lower than the Chase Ink Business Preferred.
The downside to the card is that it doesn’t offer a bonus tier for business-specific purchases. Yes, you get a 3x rewards rate for travel purchases made through B of A’s travel portal. However, you miss out on daily or weekly expense bonuses like office supply stores, shipping and/or mobile, cable, and internet bills.
In general, we think this is a great card for business owners who travel often for business and tend to carry a balance on their card. You'll find that this particular business credit card has a generous bonus for their travel and, if you can get the lowest APR of 12.99%, you’ll pay less an interest than you will with most competing cards.
If you aren’t convinced this card is right for you, then take a few minutes to read through our guide to the best business credit cards of 2018. We apply our expertise to provide an in-depth analysis of how seven of the leading business rewards cards compare across seven different categories.