Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students review: A strong choice for young travelers

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In a Nutshell

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students is a great option for anyone studying abroad or planning a summer vacation or spring break trip. You can earn a sign-up bonus that’s unparalleled for a student card, and you can redeem rewards points for a number of different travel expenses. You might be able to find a better travel credit card after you graduate, but this one might be your best bet while in school.

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This offer is no longer available on our site: Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Pros Cons
Low intro purchase APR offer can help you pay for emergencies High ongoing purchase APR after promotion ends could catch you off guard
Good for students who need to build credit Missed payments can lead to late fees and high penalty APR
Sign-up bonus is unparalleled among student credit cards
Competitive rewards rate for everyday spending
No foreign transaction fees
No annual fee

3 things you should know about the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students

1. It can help you build credit

Typically, students don’t have enough credit history qualify for traditional credit cards. At the same time, students have to build their credit somehow — and it’s often easiest to do so with a credit card. It’s a Catch-22 that baffles many young adults.

Thankfully, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students is among several credit cards designed for students who have what’s known as a “thin file.” These cards give students who qualify a chance to demonstrate they are responsible with the money they borrow.

If you’ve never had a credit card or been an authorized user, and have little to no credit history, you might get a lower credit limit than if you have some sort of positive credit history to show. Similarly, students with a negative credit history may struggle to get approved for any credit card.

2. The intro 0% APR offer could help pay for emergencies

It’s always a good idea to pay your credit card bill in full (and on time) every month.

But sometimes emergencies come up, and not everyone can rely on their parents to take care of the problem.

That’s when the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students could come in handy. It features an introductory 0% APR on purchases during the first 12 billing cycles after opening the account.

If you do pay for an emergency with your credit card, it’s important you pay it off as quickly as possible, because your APR will go up significantly after the promotional period ends — you’d pay a variable APR between 14.99% and 22.99% on any remaining purchase balance.

Read more: What does a 0% APR offer mean?

3. You can get a lot out of the travel rewards

College students who study abroad could find a lot to love with this card.

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students comes with a sign-up bonus of 25,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases during the first 90 days after opening the account. That’s the best we’ve seen for a student credit card, and it comes with no annual fee.

We certainly don’t want to encourage you to spend more than you normally would just to earn the sign-up bonus, but there’s a good chance you’re already facing some big expenses if you plan to study abroad or take a vacation.

You’ll also earn a minimum of 1.5 points for each $1 you spend on everyday purchases. But if you book your travel through the Bank of America Travel Center, you’ll actually earn a total of three points per $1 spent on those purchases.

You can also use the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students as you normally would while you’re out of the country, because it doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees.

Understanding your points and redemption options

The points you earn through the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students can be redeemed for travel, cash back or gift cards. Additionally, your points won’t expire as long as you keep your account open and in good standing.

When you redeem your points for travel, they’re worth 1 cent each. But your points are worth less than a cent (6/10th of a cent to be exact) when you redeem for cash back. The value you’ll receive for gift card redemptions varies, but it may also be less than 1 cent.

Redeeming your points for travel is likely to give you both the best value and flexibility. There are no limits on specific partners or blackout dates, so you can redeem for all kinds of different trips and travel expenses.

Plus, if you book a trip and don’t redeem your points right away, Bank of America allows you to request the redemption up to 12 months after the purchase posts to your account.

Who this card is good for

The name doesn’t lie — the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students is great for students who plan to travel.

Whether you’re studying abroad, taking a summer vacation or letting loose on spring break, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students can help you pay for your next trip.

You’ll also save money on foreign transaction fees if your trip takes you overseas.

Plus, there’s no pesky annual fee to worry about.

Not sure this card is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

Students may have more options than they realize when it comes to opening a credit card.