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Last updated on Jan 21, 2020

Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa Review

High-end credit card perks and no annual fee make this card worth a spot in your wallet ​
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Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa Credit Card

  • 25,000 online bonus points after you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months
  • 0% introductory APR for purchases in the first 12 months
  • Preferred members earn 25% to 75% more reward points on every purchase
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How We Reviewed the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa

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4 cards compared

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5 features evaluated

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20 hours of research

Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa Review

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card is designed for budget-conscious customers who wish to earn free travel and don’t want to pay an annual fee for a credit card. The fees may be low, but the perks are surprisingly high. Cardholders will have access to Visa Signature perks like hotel upgrades and free continental breakfast.

Cardholders can earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on an unlimited amount of purchases. There’s no rush — as long as the account remains open, the rewards don’t expire. To redeem travel rewards points, visit the Bank of America Travel Center. Bank of America doesn’t have any hotel or airline transfer partners, but the travel center allows you to use your points to book a flight, car rental, or hotel from any travel provider.

Customers who keep higher bank balances in their combined BofA and Merrill accounts can earn even more rewards. Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program allows those Bank of America credit cardholders to earn bonus rewards of 25% to 75%.

Pros
Cons
Earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on purchases
Earn three points per dollar on travel purchases booked through the Bank of America Travel Center
No annual or foreign transaction fees
No travel blackout dates or booking website restrictions to redeem points
Rewards earnings are relatively low
You lose half the points value when redeeming for cash

Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa Overview

  • Card Type: Travel
  • Rewards Rate: 1.5X points on all purchases
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 25,000 online bonus points once you spend $1,000 in the first three months ($250 value)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 16.49% to 24.49% variable APR
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to excellent
  • Additional Rates and Fees: 3% or $10 balance transfer fee, whichever is greater

Perks

  • No annual or foreign transaction fees
  • 0% introductory APR for purchases in the first 12 months
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Visa Signature benefits such as luxury hotel upgrades, 24/7 concierge service, and travel protections

Best for

Value-driven customers who don’t want to pay card fees but want to enjoy travel perks while earning points for future trips

Not for

People looking for hassle-free cash back rewards

The Competition

Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa Credit Card
Discover it Miles
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card
Rewards rate
1.5X points on all purchases Preferred rewards members earn 25% to 75% more 3X points on travel purchases booked through the Bank of America Travel Center 1.5X miles on all purchases 1.25X miles on all purchases 3X points per $1 at Marriott Bonvoy hotels 2X points on travel 1X points on all other purchases
Sign-up bonus
25,000 online bonus points once you spend $1,000 in the first three months ($250 value)
Match for all miles earned at the end of the first year
20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 in the first three months ($200 value)
50,000 bonus points once you spend $2,000 in the first three months
Annual fee
$0
$0
$0
$0
APR
Variable 16.49%-24.49%
Variable 13.49%-24.49%
Variable 13.49%-23.49%
Variable 17.49%-24.49%
Other
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months Redemptions aren’t limited to specific websites No blackout dates
0% intro APR on purchases for 14 months, 10.99% APR on balance transfers for 14 months Rewards can be redeemed for travel or cash back
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months Flexible rewards redemption
No introductory APR Redeem for hotels or travel packages
View details View details View details View details

All information accurate as of January 21, 2020.

Main Benefits

Earn travel rewards points

Earning 1.5X points on all purchases is a solid reason to want the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa. But it gets better. If you travel often, booking trips through the Bank of America travel portal earns you 3X points.

BofA customers who have high bank account balances can qualify for Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. You’ll need a combined balance of $20,000 or higher in your BofA and Merrill Lynch accounts, but if you meet the minimum, you’ll earn 25% to 75% rewards.

Reward redemption flexibility

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card doesn’t lock you into a certain hotel chain or airline. You have the freedom to book travel with no restrictions or blackout dates. Once you find the ideal travel itinerary, use your accumulated points to pay for a portion of (or all of) your travel, depending on how many points you’ve earned. One cool feature of the Bank of America travel site is its variety. More than just plane tickets, car rentals, and hotels, you’ll find tickets to aquariums, zoos, campgrounds, museums, theme parks, special events, and more.

Plenty of credit card perks

The BofA Travel Rewards Visa has more to offer than just points. You don’t have to worry about pesky foreign transaction fees when you’re traveling overseas. You also have access to Visa Signature perks, such as 24-hour concierge service and luxury hotel benefits like hotel room upgrades, free continental breakfast, and free high-speed in-room WiFi. Your card also includes free travel protections like travel emergency assistance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and emergency cash disbursement.

Possible Drawbacks

Other cards earn higher rewards points

If you have good credit and spend regularly using your credit card, there are better travel rewards cards that earn higher rewards points than 1.5X. Some of the higher-earning travel reward cards may charge an annual fee, but the amount you spend (and earn in rewards) may offset the annual fee.

You’ll lose points value if you redeem points for cash

Bank of America Travel Rewards points are worth 1 cent when redeemed for travel but about half a cent when redeemed for cash. If you foresee redeeming your points for cash frequently, you’re better off with a cash back rewards card instead.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa Compared to Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards credit card has many similarities to the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa. Both are backed by highly rated financial institutions. Both cards have no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and similar ways to redeem points. Both offer an introductory no fee period on purchases for the first 12 months.

However, the Bank of America Visa edges out the VentureOne in earnings and sign-up offer. BofA’s Travel Rewards Visa gives you an unlimited 1.5 points for every dollar spent, while the Capital One VentureOne card gives cardholders 1.25 points for every dollar spent. Additionally, the Bank of America sign-up bonus is 25,000 points versus Capital One’s 20,000 points. If you’re looking to maximize travel rewards, go with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa to earn more.

How to Earn Points

There are ways to earn points towards free travel by using the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa. Here are some tips:

  • Pay for your everyday purchases with your credit card to maximize your 1.5X points per dollar in earning potential. Don’t forget to pay off your balance in full month or you’ll lose your earnings by having to pay interest charges.
  • Book travel through the Bank of America Travel Center and you’ll earn points at a bonus rate of 3X for every dollar you spend.
  • See if you qualify for Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. Customers with at least $20,000 in combined BofA and Merrill Lynch investment accounts can earn between 25% and 75% in travel reward points.

How to Redeem Points

You can redeem the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa points you’ve earned for cash or travel. Redeeming your points for cash or to apply toward statement credits isn’t the best option — your points convert into a little over half a cent when used in this way. It’s better to redeem your points for travel through the BofA Travel Center or get creative using your points by buying gift cards, which will count for the full 1 cent per dollar.

You’ll find that once you’re in the travel portal, you can use your points for more than plane tickets, hotel rooms, and rental cars; you can book cruises, travel packages, and experiences. The non-travel items you can use your points for include circus tickets, admissions to zoos, aquariums, and museums, movie tickets, admission to theme parks, and more.

The Bottom Line

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa credit card is an ideal travel rewards program for individuals who prefer to avoid credit card fees. The Visa card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees but offers impressive card perks like hotel upgrades, extended warranties on purchases, rental car collision damage waiver, and more. And if you have BofA and Merrill Lynch accounts that amount to a balance of $20,000 or more, you’ll earn even higher travel reward points and perks.

About the Authors

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance, real estate and international business journalist. Her work has been featured in Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com, Bankrate.com and SimpleDollar.com. Besides writing, Cynthia owns and operates a small digital marketing and public relations firm that works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide visibility and growth.