The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Review: Great Rewards, No Fees – Info Money Manage
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The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is quietly one of the best cards out there for people looking for decent (and simple) rewards, no annual fee, and—this is the important part—no foreign transaction fee.
It may not sound like all that much, but it’s a triple threat rarely found in the credit card world.
Overview: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
There are a lot of cards out there with no annual fee that give simple, straightforward—Chase Freedom Unlimited or Capital One Quicksilver, for example. But they all charge foreign transactions fees, which make them less-than-ideal if you ever leave the country.
There are also a handful of great travel credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, but you’ll have to pay anywhere from $60 to $100 a year for the pleasure of being a cardholder.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card alone gives you great rewards, no foreign transaction fee, and no annual fee.
You’ll earn 1.5 points on every dollar spent, with no limit on how much you can earn. That puts it equal with the best cash back cards, and within spitting distance of the two points back you’ll get with pricier premium travel cards.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don’t expire
- NEW OFFER: 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening – that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
- Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
- Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
- Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
- 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 16.74% – 24.74% Variable APR
- Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
- If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% – 75%
- See additional Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card details
|Regular APR||Annual Fee|
|0% Introductory APR on purchases||12 billing cycles||N/A||N/A||16.74% – 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers||$0.00|
Who should get the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card?
It’s perfect for the aspiring travel hacker, someone who wants to travel internationally (and wants to rack up points while doing so), but who isn’t ready to splurge for one of the premium travel cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
No foreign transaction fees
Foreign transaction fees are like a tax on purchases you make in a foreign country (or on foreign websites, like amazon.co.uk), usually about 3 percent. For every $100 you spend abroad, you’ll get charged an additional $3. That might not seem like all that much, but it can add up.
When you consider all the money you’re spending just to go abroad, you don’t want to start racking up additional fees.
Most cards that offer decent rewards and no annual fee charge for foreign transactions; all cards (except this one) that charge nothing for foreign transactions charge an annual fee. If they don’t charge for either, then they’re gonna offer you very little (if anything) in rewards.
As a general rule in the credit card world, if they don’t get you for one thing, they’re gonna get you for another. Banks are here to make money.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is unusual in that sense, and that’s why it’s such a good deal.
So what’s the catch? How does Bank of America make money on this card that charges neither an annual fee nor a foreign transaction fee, and which gives out competitive rewards?
Although there’s a 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles, you won’t want to carry a balance at the card’s regular APR. There’s also a charge for balance transfers (3 percent for each), and hefty fees for late or returned payments ($38, and $27, respectively)
In summary: Don’t carry a balance on this card, don’t transfer a balance to this card, and don’t miss a payment.
Extra perks for Bank of America customers
For those who already have a Bank of America account, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is even better.
You’ll automatically get an additional 10 percent bonus on any rewards you earn. This ups the overall rewards rate for BofA account holders to 1.65 points on every dollar spent, putting the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card above the 1.5 percent cash back cards like Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver.
It also narrows the gap between the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card and premium travel cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred (which offers two points on all travel and dining purchases).
For Bank of America customers with large balances—either in their checking and saving accounts, or in an investment account with Merrill Edge—the bonus can increase to 25, 50, or 75 percent.
Those bonuses could up your overall rewards to 1.875 points (for the 25 percent bonus, which requires a combined balance of at least $20,000), 2.25 points (for the 50 percent bonus, which requires a combined balance of at least $50,000), or 2.625 points (for the 75 percent bonus, which requires a combined balance of at least $100,000).
Signup bonus worth $250 in travel
If you spend at least $1,000 on your Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card within 90 days of opening your account, you’ll get 25,000 online bonus points, worth about $250 in travel.
That beats signup bonuses from any of the 1.5 percent cash back cards (they top out at $150, and some at just $100), and, while not up there with the $625 you’ll get from Chase Sapphire Preferred, it also comes with fewer strings attached—i.e. no future annual fee and less to spend to get the award.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card might not as flashy as some other travel rewards cards, but it is one of the best—especially if you want to avoid an annual fee.
If you want good rewards and the ability to use your card overseas without incurring fees, and you don’t want to pay for the privilege of carrying a credit card, then the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card was made for you.
If you also happen to be an existing Bank of America customer, then I don’t even know why you’re still reading this. Go!
See all Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card details or apply here.
Article Prepared by Ollala Corp