Better with the Preferred Rewards for Business program: Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards card review

Nov 13, 2019

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The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card earns 1.5x on everyday business expenses and 3x on eligible purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center. If you qualify for the Preferred Rewards for Business program, this card offers a solid return across categories. But nonmembers will find more value in other card options. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The Bank of America Business Travel Rewards card is one of two Bank of America business cards that earns rewards (not counting cobranded cards). It earns a flat 1.5x on all purchases, but you can earn even more on eligible travel purchases.

Existing Bank of America customers can potentially get a lot out of this card, but make sure that it’s the right business card option for you. There are other low-cost business cards that offer a higher return and more flexible redemption options.

In This Post

Who is this card for?

If you have Bank of America business accounts and want a no annual fee card for business travel expenses, the Business Advantage Travel Rewards card is a great option for you. It’s best suited for those who qualify for the Preferred Rewards program (more on that later) and typically book travel through a third-party portal. The rewards structure is decent even if you don’t have a banking relationship with Bank of America, but there are cards that offer a higher flat-rate rewards structure.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
Bank of America customers have the most to gain from applying for this card. (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy.)

Sign-up bonus

For a no annual fee card, you’re getting a decent sign-up bonus with the Bank of America Business Travel Rewards card. You’ll earn 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 60 days. That comes out to $250 in value, according to TPG valuations. It’s certainly not the highest sign-up bonus available right now, but $250 for only $1,000 in spending isn’t bad.

Further reading: Cards currently offering welcome bonuses over 100,000 points 

Main benefits and perks

There aren’t a ton of perks and benefits with this card, but that’s not surprising since it doesn’t charge an annual fee. You get business tools such as QuickBooks integration to help make expense tracking easier. You’ll also get travel protections, including travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation coverage and trip delay reimbursement.

How to earn points

With this card, you’ll earn a flat 1.5x on all purchases, plus 3x when you book travel through the Bank of America Travel Center.

The Bank of America Travel Center is powered by Expedia, so if you already book business travel through a similar third-party site, it’s probably worth switching to Bank of America’s portal for 3x. Keep in mind that you may not earn elite credits or have elite status recognized when you book your hotels through a third-party portal.

(Photo by Brian Kelly/The Points Guy)
Keep in mind that you may not earn elite status credits or have elite status honored when you book through the Bank of America Travel Center. (Photo by Brian Kelly/The Points Guy)

Earning 1.5x on everyday purchases makes this a decent business card for non-bonus spending, but the Preferred Rewards for Business program gives this card the potential to be quite rewarding across all purchases.

The Preferred Rewards for Business program is similar to the personal version of the program. Those who have at least a $20,000 three-month average balance in qualifying Bank of America business deposit accounts and/or Merrill business investment accounts are eligible for the program. There are three tiers, each with a number of banking and credit card benefits. For cardholders, you’ll get an earnings boost on all base points earned with the card. Here’s a look at the three tiers and your potential earnings with the Bank of America Business Travel Rewards card:

Preferred Rewards tier: Gold  Platinum  Platinum Honors 
Required balance: $20,000 – $49,999 $50,000 – $99,999 $100,000+
Rewards boost: 25% 50% 75%
Travel portal earning: 3.37x 3.75x 4.12x
Non-bonus earning: 1.87x 2.25x 2.62x

 

Remember that with this card, you’re only earning a boost on base points earned, which means you’re only getting the boost on the 1.5x for each purchase. On purchases at the Bank of America travel portal that earn 3x, you’ll earn a boost on 1.5x and then an additional 1.5x will be added on after the fact. You’re still getting a nice return, but it’s not quite as lucrative as what you might assume based on how the personal Preferred Rewards program works.

Further reading: Stop ignoring Bank of America Preferred Rewards 

How to redeem points

You can redeem your points as a statement credit for eligible travel purchases, gift cards or cash back, but you’ll get the most out of your points when you redeem them as a statement credit for travel. While most of Bank of America’s cards earn fixed-value points, the Business Travel Rewards card is a little different.

Luxury cruise ship Seabourn Sojourn sails on the Beagle Channel in Chile. (Photo via Getty Images)
Since you’re only getting 1 cent per point, your travel rewards are best used as a statement credit on travel purchases that aren’t typically bookable with points, such as cruises, transit and tourist attractions. (Photo via Getty Images.)

Your points redeemed as a statement credit for travel are worth a flat 1 cent each, but when you redeem for cash back, your points are only worth 0.6 cents each (meaning 2,500 points equate to only $15). Gift card redemption rates vary. This limits your redemption options and puts this card at a disadvantage with business cards that offer more flexibility.

Is this card worth it if you’re not a Bank of America Preferred Rewards for Business member?

I think there are better options out there if you aren’t a Preferred Rewards for Business member. Even the lack of an annual fee doesn’t really make the card worth it in my eyes if you’re only earning a flat 1.5x on most purchases and 3x on eligible travel portal spending. If you want to earn rewards to use on travel with a flat-rate card for everyday business spending, you should consider the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business.

The Capital One Spark Miles earns a flat 2x across all purchases and 5x on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One’s portal, and you’ll redeem miles for a travel credit or by transferring miles to partners. Since TPG values Capital One Miles at 1.4 cents each, you’re getting a 2.8% return on everyday purchases, plus a 7% return on eligible travel portal spending. That’s a higher return across the board, whether or not you have Preferred Rewards.

The Spark Miles is also currently offering a lucrative, limited-time 200,000-point welcome offer — earn 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months and an additional 150,000 miles if you spend $50,000 total in the first six months. The card’s annual fee is waived the first year, which makes it a much better choice for business owners looking for an everyday spending card to earn travel rewards.

If you’re adamant about having no annual fee, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited is another option. You’ll earn 1.5% back on every purchase, and those rewards are worth a flat 1 cent each no matter how you redeem your rewards. For business owners who don’t want to use their rewards strictly for travel, this is a great alternative. Plus, if you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Business Preferred, you can transfer your rewards to take advantage of a redemption bonus and Chase’s transfer partners.

Further reading: How to choose the right credit card for your business

Bottom line

If you qualify for the business Preferred Rewards program, this card can be a nice way to earn travel rewards. The Preferred Rewards program offers banking and credit card benefits that make this card worth it for members. However, nonmembers should look elsewhere for rewards. You can find cards with higher returns on both travel rewards and non-bonus spending.

Apply for the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard credit card and get 25,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 60 days

Featured image by Josh Gribben/The Points Guy.

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card
Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 25,000 bonus points when you make at least $1,000 in net purchases within 60 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases everywhere, every time-no matter how much you spend. Points don't expire.
  • Earn 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center - powered by Expedia®.
  • No annual fee and no international transaction fees.
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles.
  • Redeem points for travel with no blackout dates, cash back or gift cards.
  • Get a 75% rewards bonus on the base earn of every purchase you make when you're a Business Advantage Relationship Rewards Platinum Honors tier client. That means you will earn 2.62 points for every $1 you spend and 4.12 points per every $1 you spend at the Bank of America® Travel Center.
Intro APR on Purchases
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 9 billing cycles
Regular APR
12.74% - 22.74% Variable APR on purchases
Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.