Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards Review – 2019

America Travel World

The Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® from Bank of America® allows small businesses to earn points when buying goods and services they need. Points can be redeemed for:

  • A statement credit to cover travel costs
  • Cashback
  • Gift cards

This card also comes with the usual range of fringe benefits.

Is there an annual fee?

Unlike many similar cards, the Business Advantage Travel Rewards World has no annual fee.

What’s the APR?

The Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® has a standard variable APR of  13.49% to 23.49%.

That’s quite a range and spans almost the entire field. The minimum of 13.49% is extremely affordable compared to rivals, while 23.49% is close to being the most expensive.

Who is the Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard right for?

This card is best for small businesses with regular spending in multiple categories – like office supplies, technology costs, and shipping – who regularly travel but have fairly low spending needs overall.

This is because:

  • The introductory bonus rewards are relatively low but easy to earn.
  • Points are earned from every business purchase, meaning that even if a business doesn’t spend much overall, at least every purchase is being rewarded
  • The boost to rewards from travel means that even if points aren’t being redeemed to cover the cost, the points earned can help pay for future trips

Types of small businesses that might benefit include:

  • Business coaches just starting out who travel to meet clients
  • Professional speakers
  • Local manufacturers who source parts or materials from around the country (or internationally) and regularly travel to meet suppliers.

It’s always advisable to check the small print and compare possible cards before making a decision. A rundown of popular business credit cards is available here.

Are there introductory rates and rewards?

When signing up, new cardholders get:

  • 25,000 bonus points if they sign up online and spend at least $1,000 in the first 60 days of having the card (very achievable for most small businesses)
  • An introductory APR of 0% for the first nine billing cycles

The bonus points are good to have and not difficult to get. However, this reward is modest compared to some other travel-focused credit cards available; the Spark® Miles from Capital One® offers up to 200,000 bonus miles in the first six months.

How many points do I get?

Points earning with the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard comes at two rates:

  • 1.5X price for all business purchases, regardless of category.
  • 3X for travel booked through the Bank of America Travel Center (from Expedia)

There’s no upper limit on the points that can be earned, and they don’t expire.

Cardholders can boost the points they earn by signing up for the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program. This can increase points per dollar by up to 2.62, but not all businesses will qualify.

Overall, these rewards are fairly modest but the absence of restrictive categories means that businesses with a variety of spending needs can quickly earn a lot of points.

However, for small businesses that don’t want to or can’t sign up for the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, the Spark® Miles card from Capital One® offers 2X miles; a much better rate on non-travel purchases.

How can I use my points for travel?

Points can be redeemed for a statement credit toward the cost of:

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Vacation packages
  • Cruises
  • Rental cars
  • Baggage fees

There are no blackout dates and no travel restrictions that limit cardholder options when booking, giving a lot of flexibility.

However, to get 3X points from travel purchases cardholders have to book via the Bank of America Travel Center.

What other travel perks are included?

  • $1,000,000 in travel accident insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip cancelation coverage
  • Trip delay reimbursement

There are also no foreign transaction fees, which is fairly common among travel-focused business credit cards.

Does this card offer cash back?

Unlike other rewards cards (including the impressive Spark® Miles card from Capital One®), cardholders can redeem their points as cash back or gift cards.

The flexibility of having access to cash back on a points reward card could be useful to small businesses who like the idea of travel rewards, but want to protect against cash flow issues, which can arise if a customer or client pays late or defaults.

What other benefits come with this card?

Cardholders can also receive:

  • Cash flow management tools to help business keep up with their obligations, like automatic payments and transfers
  • Download records into Quickbooks
  • Online and mobile banking
  • Chip cards (currently the international standard for security and convenience)
  • Protection from unauthorized transactions with zero liability
  • Fraud monitoring
  • Optional overdraft protection
  • The choice of paperless statements for improved security and waste reduction

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