Lesser Known Rewards Cards You Should Know: the 5 Best Cards from Bank of America

There are a lot of cards that don’t get featured, that may work in specific cases for many of my readers. One of the things I frequently get asked, there are so many great but there’s only so many cards that you’re going to get approved for from a single issuer in a given time span. What about Bank of America and other issuers?

While I do receive referral credit from several banks when readers use my links and apply, that’s not the case with Bank of America which is the first bank I’m focusing on in this series.

  1. Bank of America Travel Rewards is a no fee, no foreign transaction fee card that earns a rebate of 1.5% towards travel.

    It’s one of the best no fee card with no foreign transaction fees, but most readers will already have a card that doesn’t hit you with forex fees. What makes the product interesting is that if you establish a financial relationship with BofA you get a bonus on top of the card’s normal rewards.

    Keep the following amounts with Bank of America, and get…

    • $20,000 or more gets a 25% bonus
    • $50,000 or more gets a 50% bonus
    • $100,000 or more gets a 75% bonus

    $100,000 in investment assets held in a Bank of America account gets you a return of 2.625% with the no fee travel rewards card, which is one of the strongest returns out there.

  2. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature. 30,000 bonus miles. $75 annual fee. Card comes with a $99+tax companion certificate valid for any coach seat in conjunction with a pad ticket (both tickets earn miles). Alaska miles can be used on partners like Qantas, Emirates, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, Air France, American, and KLM.

    This Co-Brand Credit Card Has Been Described as Key to the Value of Alaska Buying Virgin America

  3. Virgin Atlantic MasterCard. Up to 90,000 miles as a signup bonus, but that requires way too much spend, I look at this as a 75,000 mile signup bonus card. Virgin Atlantic miles aren’t one of the better currencies but there are ways to maximize their value, and the card does earn 1.5 miles per dollar on all spend.

    Virgin Atlantic Business Class

  4. Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard offers 20,000 points after $1000 spend within 90 days (and points are worth 2.5+ cents apiece towards Amtrak travel), an upgrade cert and Club Acela pass each year, 5% rebate on Amtrak redemptions, and 1000 elite qualifying points per $5000 spend (up to 4000 each year).

  5. Asiana American Express Card. I list this at number 5 even though the application link from the Asiana website isn’t working and the card doesn’t appear on the Bank of America’s list of available cards either. The Business Visa, however, does appear.

    The card’s $100 annual rebate on Asiana Airline ticket purchases applies to awards (including award taxes and fuel surcharges). There’s an annual 10,000 mile discount certificate. You get 2 lounge passes each year. And Asiana has a good Star Alliance award chart, and their points can be otherwise tough to earn.

Honorable mention of course continues to go to the Spirit Air World MasterCard. Just kidding. Yes, I know the card lets you redeem a very low number of points for Spirit flights that would have cost a very little amount of cash anyway, and then you’re flying Spirit.

Since Bank of America hasn’t been all that active in the rewards space, outside of the Alaska and Virgin cards, I haven’t been as close a follower of their offerings as I have been with other banks. So I’d love to hear from my readers if I’m missing a stellar offer. Personally I’ve just had a lot of Alaska and Virgin cards over time.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. FYI, that 100k in assets @ BofA /w Checking also gets you 100 free equity/ETF trades every month on their Edge platform. A compelling case if you handle your own investments, 2.625% rewards rate on the travel card and basically free trading for most people.

  2. You can also transfer Travel Rewards points to a WorldPoints account (if you have one of those cards). 25k points = Free Domestic Airline Ticket (up to $470 in Value if your WorldPoints card is a Visa or $400 if your WoldPoints card is a MasterCard).

  3. As Karl implied, Merrill Lynch accounts (including IRA’s) count toward the $100,000 of assests needed with BofA to get the 75% bonus with the travel rewards card.

  4. My understanding of the “new” Alaska Visa card is that the bonus miles and companion certificate are awarded only after $1,000 spend on card. This card now waives foreign transaction fees.
    (and 1 free checked bag on Alaska )

  5. Christopher can you explain how transferring Travel Rewards points to a WorldPoints works.?

    If I’m eligible for the 75% relationship bonus and charge $1000 does BofA give me 1500 points, a bonus of 1125 for a total of 2625 that I can then transfer to Worldpoints and redeem?

  6. Gotta mention the Citi Att access more card. 3x TY points on all online retailer spend. Thats a hell of a good earner especially when paired with the Prestige (3.99% back for travel at a minimum). The sign up bonus is just a small bonus.

  7. How many piints does Bank of America Travel Reward Cards require for travelling from USA to Singapore? How about from USA to Frankfurt? Do you have to make reservation through Bank of America Travel agent or specific agent?

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