About Bank of America Travel Rewards Card
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is one of the several cards Bank of America offers. Each of their cards has its own specific benefits. The Cash Rewards card, for example, features a cash-heavy rewards system.
As you probably guessed from the name of the card we’re reviewing now, the main benefit of the card will be geared toward travelers (more on that later).
If you spend $1,000 in the first three months, you get 20,000 travel points. The card also comes with a 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months and there’s no annual fee. Talking about these perks is easy; deciding if you’ll enjoy this card in the long run is the tough part.
We’re here to help you figure out what the card’s benefits are, the fees you can expect as well as explore reviews of the card. At the end of our article, we’ll try and help you decide if this card is right for you.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Card Benefits: A Quick Review of What’s in It For You
As we mentioned a few seconds ago, this card is geared toward consumers who like to get points for traveling.
What does that mean? Every time you make a purchase with this card, you’ll get 1.5 points added to your account. When you have enough points, you can cash them in for travel related expenses like flights, car rentals, and hotels.
“Cashing in” means using those points to pay off travel-related purchases on your credit card statement.
When you choose to do this, the conversion rate is 1 point for $0.01. If you spent $25 on a car rental in Orlando and you want to pay it off with your rewards, it will cost you 2,500 points.
Customers have two other non-travel related options. You can redeem points for cash, but the points-to-dollars conversion rate for it is pretty poor – 1 point per $0.006. That’s $15 for 2,500 points. Gift cards are also an option, but the conversion rate is even worse: 4,200 points for $15.
See Also: The Best Travel Card of 2018
We believe the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card is not a good choice for frequent travelers, as there are other cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred (more in a moment) that let you transfer your points to frequent flyer programs.
The Sapphire’s exchange program is a point-for-point trade, whereas using your Bank of America Travel Rewards Card points to pay off travel purchases is a 100-points-to-$1 proposition.
Here’re a couple things to keep in mind as you ponder the points system of the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card:
You get a 10% point bonus on every purchase if you have a non-business account with B of A.
Statement credits can be applied to some pretty interesting purchases: art galleries, zoos, museums, real estate agents, carnivals and art galleries. There are plenty more categories in the card’s fine print.
You’ll receive your bonus of 20,000 points 8–12 weeks after you qualify for them. Also, those bonus points could be counted as taxable income and result in Bank of America sending you a 1099 form.
In addition to the rewards we’ve listed above, you get a couple of other perks. Users have access to text banking, which means you can get balance and transaction information via text.
Your card comes with chip technology, which prevents skimming, the tactic in which thieves steal the information contained on the magnetic strip of cards that don’t have a chip.
You also get fraud protection: you aren’t liable for purchases if someone steals your card and makes unauthorized charges.
All in all, these extra features are pretty standard for credit cards, from the chip technology to text banking to fraud protection.
In our opinion, these benefits are below average when compared to other travel cards. You can get much better intro bonus points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (50K after $4,000 in purchases in the first three months) or the Capital One Venture card (40K after $3,000 in purchases after the first three months).
Bank of America Travel Rewards Card Fees
As we mentioned before, the card has 0% on purchases for the first 12 months. After that, interest rates vary between 15.74% and 23.74%.
A penalty APR of 29.99% could kick in if you make one late payment and could apply to your account indefinitely (make your payment on time!). Late-payment fees can cost up to $38. The card has no foreign transaction fees.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Card Reviews
Our view that this is an average card is backed up by reviews we found on some of the major consumer finance websites.
For example, at the time of publishing, the card got an average of 3.6 stars from 241 reviews on Nerd Wallet. Several reviewers complained B of A declining purchases on eBay, Groupon, Best Buy or at out-of-state businesses for security purposes.
We like what one reviewer said: “Think of it as a cheaper version of Capital One’s Venture card.” We tend to agree with this … the Captial One Venture offers more introductory points (40K) and two points for every dollar spent.
These complaints carried over into reviews on WalletHub, where more than 800 people gave the card an average rating of 3.1 stars, with several commenting the Sapphire card and the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles card are better for turning points into flights.
Our Final Thoughts about the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card
Bank of America’s Travel Rewards Card is the only travel-specific option in their lineup of credit cards.
The introductory offer is mediocre when compared to similar cards, while, in our opinion, its benefits and rewards system are pretty uninspiring.
Consumers who’ve used the card are ho-hum about it, giving the card an average of three stars across two major consumer sites.
If you’re a B of A loyalist and you want to sign up for your bank’s travel card, this is obviously a great option because it’s the only option you have and you get a 10% bonus on your points.
However, if you’re willing to venture beyond Band of America for an elite travel card with big introductory offers and generous rewards programs, we suggest the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles or the Capital One Venture card.