One of the biggest complaints I get is that we feature travel cards that have annual fees, but what about the no annual fee travel cards?
If you can't get maximum value from premium cards, then the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is worth considering. If you have a Bank of America checking/savings account, then the Travel Rewards card will scale well.
- No annual fee
- Signup bonus: 20,000 signup bonus = $200 towards travel
- No foreign transaction fees
- Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend
On the surface, it doesn't sound great because you're only earning 1.5 points on purchases. It gets more interesting if you have a checking or savings account with Bank of America. You get a 10% bonus on every purchase if you have a banking relationship with Bank of America.
Earn even more if:
- $20,000-$49,999 = 25% rewards bonus.
- $50,000-$99,999 = 50% rewards bonus
- $100,000+ = 75% rewards bonus
Depending on how much in assets you have with Bank of America, this means you are getting up to a 75% rewards bonus.
Let's do a deep dive into each category.
You're getting $200 in value, but there are other comparable cards on the market that have a higher signup bonus. Even within the Bank of America ecosystem, there are cards that offer $150-200 after hitting $500 in minimum spend like the MLB series and the Bank of America 1,2,3 card.
Overall, it's a good signup offer for a no annual fee card, but not a great one. At the early stage, there might be cards that have annual fees and have downgrade options. This means you can take the higher signup offer and downgrade after.
Moving on to the spend multipliers, it gets more interesting. 1.5x isn't a great because there are cards on the market like the Citi Double Cash card.
As you work and start storing more assets with Bank of America, you can earn a 10% bonus. At $50,000+, you earn a 50% bonus, making it 2.25% return on spend.
Who should get this card?
If you don't want to pay an annual fee and you have a checking or savings account with Bank of America, the Travel Rewards card is a good option.
A few frugal people I know are fans of Bank of America because they want to optimize for the rewards points bonus. Points can only be redeemed for travel, not statement credit.
At the early stages of building credit, the Travel Rewards card is a good option because it is a good card to keep long-term and grow with Bank of America.