The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card is a popular travel rewards credit card with a simple, straightforward rewards program and some attractive perks for current Bank of America deposit accountholders. Unlike many travel rewards cards, which limit point redemptions to purchases made with specific airlines and hotel brands, BankAmericard Travel Rewards points can be redeemed for statement credits to offset virtually any travel purchase.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards competes with a number of other general-purpose and brand-specific credit cards, including Capital One Venture Rewards and VentureOne Rewards, Discover it Miles, Expedia+ from Citi, and Chase Sapphire Preferred, among others.
- Sign-up Bonus: When you spend at least $1,000 within 90 days of opening your account, you receive a 20,000-point bonus. That’s worth $200 in travel statement credits.
- Travel Rewards and Redemption: The BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card earns an unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on most purchases. The major exception is travel purchases made through Bank of America’s Travel Center, which earn an unlimited 3 points per $1 spent (excluding airfare, which earns 3 points per $1 spent on the first $1,500 in quarterly spending, and an unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent thereafter). Points are always worth $0.01 apiece at redemption. They can be redeemed for statement credits to offset any travel purchase (including car rentals, airfare, vacation packages, cruises, hotel rooms, and incidentals such as baggage fees) starting at the minimum redemption threshold of 2,500 points ($25).
- Bank of America Customer and Preferred Rewards Benefits: If you have a Bank of America deposit account in good standing, you automatically receive a 10% points bonus on all point earnings. If you have more than $20,000 on deposit with Bank of America and therefore qualify as a Preferred Rewards client, you get a higher bonus according to your Preferred Rewards tier: Gold ($20,000 to $50,000) earns a 25% bonus; Platinum ($50,000 to $100,000) earns a 50% bonus; and Platinum Honors ($100,000-plus) earns a 75% bonus.
- Overdraft Protection for Bank of America Deposit Accountholders: This card allows you to link an existing Bank of America deposit account to your credit card account to prevent overdrafts. If you overdraft your deposit account, your BankAmericard Travel Rewards card is charged in $100 increments – in other words, you’d be charged $200 for a $150 overdraft. Each overdraft incurs a $12 fee and then accrues interest at the maximum cash advance rate.
- Introductory APR: BankAmericard Travel Rewards has a 12-billing-cycle 0% purchase APR. There is no introductory balance transfer APR promotion.
- Regular APR: After the introductory period ends, the purchase APR ranges from 15.24% to 23.24%, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. The APR on balance transfers falls within the same range from day one. The cash advance APR ranges from 18.24% to 25.24%, depending on creditworthiness and prevailing rates, while the penalty APR is as high as 29.99%.
- Important Fees: There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers cost the greater of $10 or 3% of the transferred amount, while cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%. Late payments cost $37, while returned payments cost $27.
- Credit Required: This card requires good to excellent credit. A few minor credit dings likely won’t disqualify you from consideration.
- Simple, Straightforward Rewards System. BankAmericard Travel Rewards has a straightforward, easy-to-understand rewards system. You earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on the majority of your purchases, with the exception of most purchases made through Bank of America Travel Center (on which you earn 3 points per $1 spent). On the redemption side, you simply choose which purchases you’d like to redeem accumulated points for and you then receive them in the form of a statement credit. Hotel- and airline-specific credit cards are typically much harder to understand, as are platform-specific cards such as Expedia+ from Citi, which only allows you to redeem accumulated points for purchases made through Expedia.
- Accelerated Earnings Through Bank of America Travel Center. Most travel booked through Bank of America’s Travel Center earns an unlimited 3 points per $1 spent, with airfare (whose 3 points per $1 spent bonus is capped at $6,000 in spending per year) being the sole exception. This is a huge incentive to use BoA’s Travel Center.
- Very Good Sign-up Bonus. This card’s 20,000-point sign-up bonus is worth $200 and requires spending just $1,000 to attain. The Expedia+ Card‘s bonus is just $150, and Discover it Miles doesn’t have a sign-up bonus at all.
- No Annual Fee. BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card doesn’t carry an annual fee. That’s great news for frugal cardholders, and a big differentiator from such general-purpose travel rewards cards as Capital One Venture Rewards ($59 annual fee) and Barclaycard Arrival Plus ($89 annual fee).
- Nice Purchase APR Promotion. BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card has a 12-billing-cycle 0% purchase APR promotion. This is great news if you’re planning to use this card to finance a major trip or other big upfront purchase right off the bat. The Expedia+ Card and the Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature Card don’t have any purchase APR promotions at all.
- Nice Point Bonuses for Bank of America Deposit Accountholders. If you’re a current Bank of America deposit accountholder, you’re entitled to an automatic 10% bonus on all points earned with this card. And if you have more than $20,000 on deposit with BoA, the bonus increases significantly – up to 75%.
- Limits to Rewards Earning Power. Most BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card purchases earn 1.5 points per $1 spent. That’s not bad, but not the best on the market either. If you spend more heavily and are willing to accept an annual fee, numerous competing cards earn points faster. For instance, Capital One Venture Rewards ($59 annual fee) and Barclaycard Arrival Plus ($89 annual fee) earn 2 points per $1 spent, and usually value points at $0.01 apiece.
- No Balance Transfer Promotion. This card’s purchase promotion isn’t paired with a balance transfer promotion. This is a drawback for new cardholders who’d like to be able to transfer existing high-interest balances to this card. Competitors such as Capital One VentureOne do have balance transfer promotions.
- Has a Penalty APR. BankAmericard Travel Rewards carries a 29.99% penalty APR. This is a detractor for cardholders who occasionally miss payments. If you don’t want to be penalized (possibly indefinitely) for missing a payment, choose a travel rewards card without a penalty APR, such as Discover it Miles.
When it comes to travel purchases, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card doesn’t discriminate. At redemption time, points are worth the same whether they’re redeemed for statement credits offsetting a domestic airfare ticket, a multi-day car rental, a baggage fee, or a special vacation package – no matter how any of those items were purchased. Even if BankAmericard Travel Rewards isn’t the most generous travel rewards card around, there’s much to be said for such straightforwardness and flexibility.