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

June 13, 2020
9 min read
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Editor's Note

/strong> This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

Editor's note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


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 non bank customers 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 Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit 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.

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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.

Related reading: Best Bank of America credit cards

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 Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card is a solid 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 Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card. You'll earn 30,000 points after spending $3,000 in purchases the first 90 days of account opening. That comes out to $300 in value. It's certainly not the highest sign-up bonus available right now, but $300 for only $3,000 in spending isn't bad.

Related 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 hotel elite credits or have hotel elite status recognized when you go 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 Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit 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:3.37x3.75x4.12x
Non-bonus earning:1.87x2.25x2.62x

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.

Related 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.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The Capital One Spark Miles earns a flat 2x across all purchases and you'll redeem miles for a travel credit or by transferring miles to partners.

The Spark Miles is also currently offering 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. The card's annual fee is waived the first year (then $95 thereafter), 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 Credit Card 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 Card or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can transfer your rewards to take advantage of a redemption bonus and Chase's transfer partners. (Though it's important to note that you are currently required to sign into an existing Chase account before applying for any Chase-issued business credit cards.)

Related 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.

Featured image by (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases