Right now, if you apply for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card, you can get a 20,000-point bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. That’s worth $200 in statement credits if you redeem for travel purchases.
How good is that bonus?
This card has no annual fee, so 20,000 points is a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases. In addition, you’re earning 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all purchases.
To get the full 1-cent-per-point value of the 20k-point bonus (and of all the other points you earn), you’ll need to redeem for travel. Fortunately, with this card, “travel” is a broad category that encompasses the following merchant categories:
- Car rental agencies
- Cruise lines
- Travel agencies and tour operators
- Taxis and limos
- Passenger Railways
- Local commuter passenger transportation, including ferries
- Bus lines
- Real estate agents
- Campgrounds and trailer parks
- Boat leases/rentals
You can learn about this card in greater detail by reading our review.
Get even more through the Preferred Rewards program
If you already bank with Bank of America, your rewards card could become even more lucrative, thanks to the Preferred Rewards Program. This program rewards you (via point bonuses) for having larger balances in your Bank of America banking accounts and investment accounts. The bigger your balance, the bigger the bonus you’ll earn on points from purchases. You won’t earn this bonus on the sign-up bonus.
For the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card, it boils down to this:
|3-month average combined balance across banking/investment accounts||Tier||Rewards bonus|
|$20,000 – $49,999||Gold||25%|
The bonus is calculated on base rewards earned. So, if you are in the Gold tier and earn 10,000 points in a billing period by using your card, that gets bumped up to 12,500 ($125 when redeemed for travel). If you earn 20,000 while in the Platinum Honors level, that’s 27,500 ($275 when redeemed for travel).
The BankAmericard Travel Rewards card isn’t the only card in the program: The BankAmericard Cash Rewards card is, too. With the Cash Rewards card, you get extra cash back in certain categories: 2 percent on groceries and 3 percent on gas. So that becomes 2 to 2.75 percent on groceries and 3 to 3.75 percent back on gas, depending on your Preferred Rewards tier.
Preferred Rewards status has other benefits for other products (including mortgages and car loans). You must enroll in the program to participate, and you can do so via online banking. After you enroll, if your balance increases enough to push you into a higher tier, you’ll receive the higher bonus automatically.
The bottom line
If you’ve ignored this card in the past, the current sign-up bonus might give you another reason to look. If you have other accounts with Bank of America, the Preferred Rewards program may justify keeping the card long-term after the shine of the 20,000-point sign-up bonus has worn off.
Updated August 4, 2016.