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The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® Credit Card is a small business credit card designed for frequent travelers with modest budgets. Like other travel rewards credit cards, it favors spending on most travel purchases, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages. The catch, such as it is: Eligible travel purchases must be made through Bank of America®’s in-house travel portal.
That shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. There’s too much else to like about this card, from a decent (but not spectacular) sign-up bonus, to a nice rewards bonus for loyal business clients, to an unusual 0% APR promotion on purchases.
If you’re intrigued by the prospect of a no-annual-fee travel rewards card designed specifically for low-maintenance business travelers, keep reading.
As a new Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® cardholder, you’re eligible to earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend at least $1,000 on eligible net purchases within the first 60 days of account opening. That’s worth $250 when redeemed for credits against eligible travel purchases.
Earning Travel Rewards
This card has a 2-tiered rewards program.
First, you’ll earn unlimited 3 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases made through the Bank of America® Travel Center – powered by Expedia®. Eligible purchases include rental cars, hotels, airline purchases, and other select travel items.
All other eligible purchases earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent. There’s no limit to the total number of points you can earn, and your points don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing. The same goes for points accrued on any employee cards added to your account.
Redeeming Travel Rewards
The best way to redeem your accumulated rewards points is for statement credits against travel purchases made with your card. Virtually all travel purchases are eligible for redemption.
You can redeem for purchases made up to a year prior to the redemption date, subject to limitations, with no blackout dates or general restrictions. Points are worth $0.01 apiece when redeemed for travel credits. Points redeemed for cash back, gift cards, and other non-travel items may be worth less.
Business Advantage Relationship Rewards Bonus
If you’re eligible for the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program and choose to join, you’re entitled to bonus point earnings ranging from 25% to 75% on all eligible spending. On non-travel spending, for instance, you can earn up to 2.62 points per $1 spent on purchases.
Bear in mind that the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program requires minimum average daily balances of at least $20,000 over a 3-billing cycle period in eligible Bank of America® business accounts, so it’s not for business owners with limited resources or tight cash flows.
This card has a 9-billing cycle, 0% APR introductory promotion on purchases. However, it has no comparable promotion for balance transfers.
After the introductory period ends, the purchase APR ranges from 13.49% to 23.49%, depending on your personal creditworthiness and prevailing rates. The balance transfer APR falls within the same range from day one.
This card has no annual fee or international transaction fees. Cash advances and balance transfers both cost the greater of $10 or 4%, with the exception of overdraft protection cash advances, which cost the greater of $10 or 3% (and require enrollment in the Bank of America® overdraft protection program to qualify for the lower fee).
Overdraft Protection Transfers for Bank of America® Deposit Accountholders
Business Advantage Travel Rewards Mastercard cardholders with Bank of America® deposit accounts can opt into the bank’s overdraft protection transfer program. After opting in, checking account transactions that would typically result in overdrafts instead trigger a cash advance on your Business Advantage Travel Rewards credit line, allowing the transaction to go through without resulting in a negative balance.
Cash advances occur in increments of $100 (for instance, a $150 overdraft would incur a $200 transfer) and begin accruing interest at the regular cash advance rate right away, so it’s in your best interest to pay them off as soon as possible. The fee is $10 or 3% (whichever is greater) for each transfer.
Cash Flow Management Tools for Business
This card comes with some useful business cash flow management tools, including:
- Automatic online payment
- QuickBooks integration
- Transaction categorization and tracking
Mastercard-Backed Cardholder Benefits
This card also has a slew of Mastercard-backed benefits, most of which cost nothing out of pocket (though some may incur third-party fees). The most noteworthy include lost luggage replacement, emergency ticket replacement, trip cancellation coverage, and travel accident insurance.
This card requires excellent credit.
- No Annual Fee. The Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® Credit Card has no annual fee. That’s great news for frugal travelers who simply can’t rack up points fast enough to offset a recurring charge – and cardholders who (rightfully) aim to maximize their net return on spending.
- 3x Points Per $1 Spent on Eligible Travel Purchases. This card earns unlimited 3 points per $1 spent on most travel purchases made through Bank of America®’s dedicated booking portal. When redeemed for credits against travel purchases, points earned in this bonus category return 3% on spending – not bad for a no-annual-fee credit card.
- Solid Baseline Earning Rate. All other eligible spending earns 1.5 points per $1 spent, a 1.5% rate of return on spending. That’s a solid baseline for the no-annual-fee category, where 1% baselines are common.
- 0% APR on Purchases for 9 Billing Cycles. Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® is unusual among no-annual-fee travel cards for its 9-billing cycle, 0% APR purchase promotion. Most fellow travel cards don’t bother to cut new cardholders a break on interest. If you’re trying to save money for vacation (or save once you’re on vacation), you could do worse than this card.
- Overdraft Protection for Bank of America® Account Holders. If you’re an existing Bank of America® deposit account holder, you can opt into this card’s overdraft protection cash advance scheme for (relatively) low-cost insurance against checking account overdrafts. Bank of America® is one of the few credit card issuers that bothers to offer this perk.
- No International Transaction Fee. This card never charges fees on international transactions. If you regularly travel internationally, you’ll save anywhere from 2% to 3% on international-denominated overseas spending relative to competitor cards.
- No 0% APR Balance Transfer Promotion. Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® has a nice 0% APR introductory promotion for purchases, but there’s no corresponding balance transfer deal here. If you’re struggling to pay down high-interest credit card debt accrued elsewhere, you’ll need to look for an alternative. Many Barclays-issued travel rewards cards have low-APR introductory balance transfer promotions.
- Smaller Sign-Up Bonus Than Some Competing Cards. While this card’s 25,000-point sign-up bonus is welcome, its $250 value actually isn’t that remarkable by the travel rewards category’s standards. For a truly remarkable sign-up bonus, look to the Chase Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card, which offers 80,000 bonus points (worth up to $1,000 in travel redemptions) when you spend at least $5,000 in the first 3 billing cycles.
- Redemption Could Be More Flexible. This card’s redemption scheme isn’t as flexible as it could be. If you’re fine with redeeming for travel credits only, you won’t find much to complain about. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for competitive-rate cash back redemptions or a wide array of merchandise on offer, you’re bound to be disappointed.
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® Credit Card is a great card for frugal business travelers prepared to forgo luxe perks and conveniences for the promise of low fees, sensible rewards, and no interest on purchases for 9 billing cycles from account opening.
If that sounds like you, I’d highly recommend taking a closer look at this card. If you’re more keen on traveling in style or racking up eye-popping sign-up bonuses, maybe this isn’t the card for you – and that’s okay. The world is filled with enticing business travel credit cards, and I’m willing to bet one is calling your name. Here’s to finding it!