Is the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card a Smart Option?
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card is a great option to earn travel rewards points for your everyday spending while taking advantage of 0% APR on new purchases.
This card offers 20,000 bonus points for new accounts after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after opening a new account. Then earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar with no limits and no expiration dates. The signup bonus alone is worth a $200 travel statement credit.
Current Bank of America® and Bank of America® Preferred Rewards clients get an even sweeter deal. As long as you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account, earn a 10% customer points bonus on each purchase. Preferred Rewards clients can earn 25%-75% rewards!
Plus, all purchases are interest free for the first 12 billing cycles. After your 0% APR introductory period ends, pay 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers based on your credit history. The card charges no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
20,000 Point Signup Bonus – Spend $1,000 on regular purchases in the first 90 days you own the card for a 20,000-point signup bonus worth $200 in free travel.
- Smart Tip: Bonus points do not preclude you from earning regular rewards. Bring home unlimited 1.5 points from regular spending while earning the 20,000 point online bonus.
1.5 Points Per Dollar – When you shop at the grocery store, gas station, online, or anywhere else, earn 1.5 points per dollar. Points can be redeemed for free travel as statement credits. Book air, train, or hotel travel reservations as you normally would and pay with your Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card. Then simply reimburse yourself for the purchase using points.
0% APR Intro Period – Pay no interest on purchases for 12 billing cycles after opening a new account. Automatically get 0% APR on all purchases for the year long introductory period.
No Annual Fee – This card does not charge an annual fee. Annual fees are common with travel rewards credit cards, which makes this card a more lucrative offer.
No Foreign Transaction Fees – Many cards charge up to 3% when used outside of the United States. This card charges no foreign transaction fees, even when spending in a foreign currency like the Euro, Canadian Dollar, Mexican Peso, or British Pound.
- Smart Tip: Using this credit card abroad saves you foreign transaction fees and protects you from fraud. If a bad guy steals your account number, you are not liable for purchases and Bank of America® will send you a new card, even while you are on a trip across the world.
Fraud Protection – Each time you make a purchase, Bank of America® assess the transaction for fraud. Suspicious purchases and abnormal activity are blocked and you are notified. If someone does figure out how to make a fraudulent purchase, you have $0 liability with this card.
ShopSafe® Online Security – Generate a temporary credit card number for online purchases to ensure your credit card number stays safe. You never have to enter your real credit card number for an online purchase.
EMV Security Chip – This card has an embedded EMV chip, which provides enhanced security wherever you make purchases. Many self-service ticketing kiosks outside the United States require an EMV chip for purchases.
Overdraft Protection – Link your Bank of America® checking account to avoid expensive and embarrassing overdrafts. Transfer fees apply when this service is used, but pay nothing to sign up and keep it active for peace of mind.
Digital Wallet Enabled – Your Bank of America® credit card is compatible with Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung pay for even more secure and convenient purchasing. Just hold your phone above the terminal and the rest happens quickly and automatically!
Text Banking – Logging into mobile apps and online banking websites is so 2016. Get your most important banking information in seconds with a quick text message to Bank of America®. (Online and mobile banking are options as well)
FICO® Score – Cardholders can view their recent official FICO® credit score through online banking or the Bank of America® mobile app.
Smart Tip: Some companies charge you a fee of $10-$20 to get your credit score. Take advantage of this card to monitor and track your FICO® credit score for free and start building credit.
How it Works
Earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent automatically each time you make a purchase. Earning the 20,000-point signup bonus requires making $1,000 in new purchases in the first 90 days after opening a new account. This bonus is worth a $200 statement credit for travel purchases.
With no annual fee or rotating categories, this is an easy card to own and use. There are fees for balance transfers, late payments, and interest charges when you carry a balance from month to month. Fees and charges can be avoided by paying your account balance in full each statement cycle and avoiding late payments.
What’s the Catch
After the 0% APR introductory purchase period ends, the card charges interest ranging from 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR. This rate is based on your credit history and current market interest rates and can change at any time.
Earn unlimited rewards that do not expire if you keep the account open and in good standing. If you close an account, you also forfeit any unused rewards points attached to the account.
Just the Math Please
Your rewards are dependent on how often you use the card and how much you spend. The 20,000-point signup bonus is worth a $200 travel statement credit. If you spend an average of $500 per month on the card, you would earn 9,000 points per year worth $90 in free travel.
Annual percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases
0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles on purchases. Afterward, 16.49% - 24.49% based on your creditworthiness. APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
APR for Balance Transfers
16.49% - 24.49% based on your creditworthiness. APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. There is no 0% intro available on balance transfers.
APR for Cash Advances
Penalty APR and When it Applies
Up to 29.99%, based on your credit-worthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
This APR may be applied to your account if you make one or more late payments.
How Long Will the Penalty APR Apply?
If your APRs are increased due to a late payment, the new rate applies indefinitely.
How to Avoid Paying Interest on Purchases
Your due date is at least 25 days after the close of each billing period. You will not be charged any interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month.
Minimum Interest Charge
No less than $1.50
Balance Transfer: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Direct Deposit and Check Cash Advances: $10 or 3%, whichever is greater
ATM, Over-the-Counter, Same-Day Online and Cash Equivalent Cash Advances: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Foreign Purchase Transaction: None
Wire Transfer Purchase: Purchasing a wire transfer from a non-financial institution results in a fee of $10 or 5%, whichever is greater.
Late Payment: Up to $38
Returned Payment: Up to $27
The Bottom Line
While this card does not offer the strongest travel rewards out there, for a card with no annual fee, this is a winner. The 20,000-point signup bonus alone is worth enough for a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases. Coupled with its unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent, you can quickly see the rewards rack up for free travel.
This card is best for someone who takes occasional international trips, but is not the most frequent flier. Thanks to the EMV chip, no foreign transaction fees, and $0 fraud liability, this card is excellent for a trip nearly anywhere in the world. And if you save up your rewards, you can get there for free.