Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Bank of America offers several valuable credit cards, many focused toward the travel audience, and some for anyone with a cash back focus. Plus, folks with a Preferred Rewards relationship with Bank of America can earn rewards at an improved rate (up to 3.5 points per dollar).
But once you earn a bunch of points, how do you redeem them? This can often be the most challenging part of the points game. Just remember this:
- Bank of America Travel Rewards points have a value that can vary between 0.6 cents and 1 cent per point
- Bank of America Premium Rewards points have a flat value of 1 cent per point, so cash back is your best option
But is either worth your time? Let’s take a look at Bank of America points value.
Bank of America points value – How to earn points
|Card||Type of rewards earned||Welcome bonus||Annual fee||Ongoing earnings|
|Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card||"Premium" rewards||50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Terms apply.||$95||-2 points per $1 on travel and dining purchases
-1.5 points per $1 on everything else
-up to $100 airline incidental fee credit
|Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card||"Travel" rewards||25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Terms apply.||none||-1.5 points per $1 on all purchases
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card||"Travel" rewards||30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Terms apply.||none||-1.5 points per $1 on purchases
-3 points per $1 on travel booked through the Bank of America Travel Center
Pairing these cards with Bank of America Preferred rewards
If you’ve got a banking relationship with Bank of America, you could earn up to a 75% bonus when you swipe either the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card or the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card (business cards aren’t eligible for a bonus).
The bonus you receive depends on the balance in your Bank of America account:
- $20,000 to < $50,000 – 25% bonus
- $50,000 to < $100,000 – 50% bonus
- $100,000+ – 75% bonus
That means if you’ve got $100,000 in your Bank of America account, you’ll earn 3.5 points per dollar when you use your Bank of America Premium Rewards for travel and dining (2 points per dollar + 75% bonus).
Bank of America figures your account balance by averaging the combined balance of the previous three months. You can read the full details here.
What value can you get when redeeming your points for cash back?
Quick answer: Between 0.6 cents and 1 cent per point
You want to be careful before redeeming points for cash back because sometimes it will give you far less value than other options.
Travel Rewards: The Bank of America Travel Rewards and the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard credit card allow for a $15 check or statement credit for 2,500 points – a value of 0.6 cents per point. You can do better.
Premium Rewards: The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card gives you a full 1 cent per point. You can redeem a minimum of 2,500 points for a $25 statement credit, or you can direct deposit to a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch banking account. This is the best way to redeem Premium Rewards.
What value can you get when redeeming your points for travel?
Quick Answer: 1 cent per point
Also, the process of redeeming points for travel is as easy as it gets. You pay for travel as you normally would, using your credit card, and when the charge appears on your statement, you can erase the charge using “travel credits.” You’ll need 2,500 points to buy a $25 travel credit (1 cent per point). No need to plan ahead, book through a special portal or redeem anything in advance.
Best of all, Bank of America has a wide definition of travel. Disney vacation? That can be expensive. Wipe part of that charge with travel credits. Who likes to pay for parking? Use travel credits. Need to rent a yacht? It’ll take a lot of points, but you can wipe that away with travel credits, too.
In fact, you can apply travel credits to all of the following travel-related categories:
- Trailer parks
- Motor home and recreational vehicle rentals
- Car rentals
- Truck and trailer rental
- Cruise lines
- Travel agencies
- Tour operators and real estate agents
- Passenger trains
- Boat rentals
- Parking lots and garages
- Tolls and bridge fees
- Tourist attractions and exhibits like art galleries
- Amusement parks
Premium Rewards: For the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, you can also redeem your points for travel using the Bank of America travel portal. You’ll get 1 cent per point on a minimum redemption of 2,500 points — the same value as cashback. However, you’re better off redeeming your points for cash back and pay for the travel purchase with the card, earning 2 points per dollar.
What value can you get when redeeming your points for gift cards?
Quick answer: Between 0.8 cents and 1 cent per point, but this is a bad redemption choice
Travel Rewards: You can redeem points from the the Bank of America Travel Rewards and the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards for gift cards, as well. Gift cards start at 3,125 points for a $25 card (0.8 cents per point), and redemptions get more valuable as gift card amount increases, topping out at a $250 gift card for 25,000 points (1 cent per point).
Premium Rewards: The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card provides a value of 1 cent per point on all gift card purchases, starting at a $25 gift card for 2,500 points.
However, for both Travel Rewards and Premium Rewards, even if you get 1 cent per point on the purchase, you are better off redeeming your points to wipe charges off your statement. That’s because you don’t EARN points when redeeming for a gift card. It’s a better idea to just BUY a gift card with your credit card, and then erase the purchase later with points.
You can rack up a lot of points on Bank of America cards, especially if you have a Preferred Rewards relationship with the bank.
It’s not difficult to receive a value of 1 cent per point with these cards. And they’re excellent for erasing purchases that lots of other cards won’t. Bank of America may just have the broadest travel category of all.
Whether you choose a travel credit card like the Bank of America Travel Rewards or the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards or a premium rewards card like the Bank of America Premium Rewards, the points you earn will bring your vacation even closer to absolutely free.
Updated on 2/10/20
For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.