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Bank of America Travel Rewards Card Review
29 Jun 2018

Bank of America Travel Rewards Card Review

Wondering if the Bank of American Travel Rewards Card is right for you?

When you travel a lot, a travel rewards card can seem like the right idea. However, a BoA travel rewards review may have left you feeling uncertain. Like most cards, the Bankamericard travel rewards come with both benefits and some drawbacks.

In this travel card review, we’ll take a look at whether or not the Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers what you need. Keep reading before you apply!

The Basics

This card is Bank of America’s travel credit card option with no annual fees. There aren’t very many travel rewards cards that don’t have fees but still let you get points as travel rewards. With this card, your points have a set value, which is different from other cards, too.

Having no annual fees on a rewards card can be nice, but some people would say that the rewards on this card are less “rewarding” than other cards. Does this balance out the benefit of having no fees?

There are actually quite a few cards that don’t have annual fees but still offer a few straightforward rewards. The main difference is that these cards still have foreign transaction fees, while the Bank of America card doesn’t.

If you’re out of the country, those foreign transaction fees can quickly add up. The Bank of America Travel Rewards card isn’t the only card without these transaction fees. However, almost every other card with no foreign transaction fee still charges an annual fee of $60 to $100.

How do Bank of America Travel Rewards Points Work?

Many people love the Bank of American Travelcard because it doesn’t charge you just for being a cardholder, and it doesn’t charge for shopping in a foreign country. Although the rewards may not be the most “rewarding,” many people find these benefits well worth holding the card.

In addition to that, this card also lets you earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend. There’s no upper limit to what you can earn. This puts this card on a level with the top cash back cards on the market.

The more expensive, premium travel cards may give you two points back, but the BoA option comes very close.

If you spend at least $1,000 on the card in the 90 days after you open it, you’ll also get 20,000 bonus points online. This can add up to as much as $200 toward your future travel purchases.

You can use this card to book travel on any website, and there aren’t any blackout dates. When you decide to redeem your points, they can be applied to flights, vacation packages, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and even baggage fees.

To get more points, keep an active BoA savings or checking account – you’ll get an extra 10% bonus points for each purchase. You can boost that percentage to up to 75% if you become a Preferred Rewards customer.

Who is the Travel Card Bank of America Right For?

This card is ideal for someone who wants to start using credit strategically to make travel more affordable. If you want to start traveling internationally and gain points for it, this is a great card to start with. For other, premium travel cards, you’ll end up spending more to get started.

The Pros

One of the things many people love about this card is the lack of foreign transaction fees – but let’s take a closer look at what that means.

Foreign transaction fees function sort of like a tax on the things you buy in foreign countries, or even from foreign websites. These fees are usually around three percent.

So, for example, if you spend $100 overseas, you’ll be charged $3 in fees. Even though that doesn’t sound like a lot, it can add up quickly.

You’re already spending a lot of money to travel – why should you have to pay extra fees too? However, almost every card with good rewards and no annual fees charges for foreign transactions. And every other card that doesn’t charge for foreign transactions has an annual fee.

Bank of America Customer Perks

BoA takes steps to make this card even more appealing to Bank of America customers. If you don’t have a Bank of America account, you might consider getting one to reap these rewards.

As mentioned above, being a customer gets you 10% bonus points on your rewards. This means that your rewards rate is 1.65 points per dollar.

If you’re a customer with a large bank or investment balance, you can get the 25, 50, or 75% rewards instead.

However, you don’t have to be a Bank of America member to get some bonuses, like the 20,000-point signup bonus.

Using Your Rewards

Your rewards points are very flexible. You can use them for almost anything travel-related, not just hotels and airports. They apply to things like zoos, carnivals, aquariums, and amusement parks, too. This makes the Bank of America rewards more flexible than those of most other cards, even if they’re not the biggest rewards.

The Cons

Since the Bank of America Travel Rewards card avoids so many fees, how do they still make money? There is a slight catch here.

Your first 12 billing cycles with the card have an introductory APR of 0%. But once you hit your standard APR with the card, you should avoid having any balance at all. You also get charged for any balance transfers, a 3% per transfer. And if you have any returned or late payments, you’ll pay $27 (if returned) or $38 (if late).

To make this card worth having, make sure you don’t transfer any balances, don’t carry any balances, and never miss any payments.

The Verdict

This card may not make the best everyday credit card for some people. The high APR and heavy penalties for late payments can hurt if you’re not careful. But if you’re a responsible credit holder and a frequent traveler, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Not yet convinced that the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is right for you? There are plenty of other travel card options – check out our reviews here.