If you’re actively enrolled in any sort of accredited higher education or certification program, you’re eligible for a whole slew of student credit cards.
Sorting through all your options can be a chore, but take my word for it: You want to consider the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students. It’s one of the best student credit cards on the market — if you qualify.
And qualification is just one of this card’s curveballs. Before you apply, make sure you understand all its ins and outs.
What Is the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students?
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is a student credit card with no annual fee and a flat-rate rewards program.
Notable features include a better-than-average sign-up bonus and an unusually long 0% intro APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers. If you have a Bank of America checking account, you can (but aren’t required to) use your card for overdraft protection. There’s no transfer fee for this service, but interest begins to accrue right away.
What Sets the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students Apart?
While not wildly unique, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card isn’t a typical student credit card. It stands out for several reasons:
- Unusually generous sign-up bonus. This card has the best sign-up bonus of any student credit card on the market. If you can meet the reasonable early spending requirement, it’s an excellent incentive to open an account.
- Unusually long 0% intro APR promotion. This card also has a category-leading 0% intro APR promotion: 18 months for purchases and balance transfers. Whether you’re planning a big purchase ahead of the semester or need to pay down existing high-interest credit card debt, there’s no better student card.
- High credit standards. This card has unusually picky underwriting standards, at least compared to other student cards. You need good credit to qualify.
Key Features of the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students has is a basic rewards credit card with student-friendly features like an above-average sign-up bonus, an average rewards program, and a very impressive 0% intro APR promotion.
Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. That’s worth $250 when redeemed for a statement credit toward travel and dining purchases.
All eligible purchases earn 1.5 points per $1 spent. There’s no limit to how many points you can earn, and points don’t expire as long as your card remains active and in good standing.
The best way to redeem is for statement credits against eligible travel and dining purchases. Each point is worth $0.01 when you redeem, so a 20,000-point redemption is worth $200.
0% Intro APR Promotion
This card has a 0% intro APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months from account opening. After that, variable regular APR applies, currently 17.74% to 27.74%. You must make qualifying balance transfers within the first 60 days of account opening.
This card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. The balance transfer fee is 3% of the transfer amount.
Overdraft Protection (Balance Connect)
If you have a Bank of America checking account, you can link it to your credit card for overdraft protection. When your bank account balance goes negative, Bank of America charges your credit card for the difference, negating the overdraft.
There’s no transfer fee for this service, but transfers immediately begin accruing interest, so you should pay them off as soon as possible to reduce your cost.
This card requires good or better credit to qualify. If your FICO score is much below 700, you could have trouble qualifying. This is an unusually strict requirement for a student credit card.
If you opt in, you can get your FICO score monthly through your Bank of America account dashboard. This doesn’t affect your approval chances (you already have the card, after all), but it’s a nice way to keep tabs on your credit for free.
For more information, see our article on good versus bad credit.
This card has several things going for it, including no annual fee, unlimited rewards, a very impressive sign-up bonus, and a category-leading intro APR deal.
- No annual fee. This card has no annual fee, which is ideal if you don’t use it all the time or don’t spend enough to offset a recurring charge.
- Unlimited rewards. There’s no limit to your rewards-earning potential with this card. Some student cards cap earnings, so this is notable.
- Impressive sign-up bonus for a no-annual-fee card. This card has the best sign-up bonus in the student credit card category. In fact, it’s one of the better sign-up bonuses of any no-annual-fee rewards card.
- Category-leading 0% intro APR promotion. This card’s 18-month 0% APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers is another unusual and appealing selling point for a student credit card. It blows other student cards’ 0% intro APR deals out of the water.
- Low-cost overdraft protection. If you have a Bank of America checking account, you can use your credit card to back it up if (or when) your checking balance goes negative. Many credit cards don’t offer an overdraft protection option at all, and Bank of America’s is notable for being transfer-fee-free.
Watch out for this card’s picky underwriting, capped rewards rate, and limited value-added perks.
- Picky underwriting. By student credit card standards, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is difficult to qualify for. You need good credit or better, which many students can’t swing.
- No way to earn above the 1.5x baseline. This card has no bonus rewards categories or tiers. Your earning rate tops out at 1.5 points per $1 spent, no matter what you spend your money on — lower than many competing cards.
- Few value-added perks. This card has little in the way of perks and benefits. Most travel cards offer extras like airport lounge access or hotel freebies, but not this one.
How the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students Stacks Up
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is a good student credit card, but not so good that you shouldn’t consider any others before applying. See how it compares against the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, another popular (and relatively generous) option.
|Bank of America||Capital One|
|Sign-Up Bonus||Generous||Less generous|
|Rewards Rate||1.5x||Up to 8%|
|0% Intro APR||18 months||None|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||$0||$0|
|Credit Needed||Good or better||Fair or better|
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students has some notable perks that aren’t common in the student credit card space. Its sign-up bonus beats out many adult cash-back credit cards, its 0% intro APR promotion is also category-leading, and it earns rewards on all eligible purchases.
The catch: This card is unusually difficult to qualify for. That’s a potential problem for students with limited (or nonexistent) credit histories. By all means, try your luck — but don’t be surprised if you need to settle for a less generous card until your credit is in better shape.