College students who are just starting out on their financial journeys often run into challenges when applying for credit because they don’t yet have any credit history.
In some cases, a thin credit file is just as bad as having poor credit.
Luckily, cards like the Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students Card are available to give students a jumpstart on the road to a positive credit rating.
This card, however, not only helps build credit scores but also provides a valuable rewards program that students on the go can benefit from while using the card.
With its flat-rate rewards of 1.5 point per dollar on everything, the card makes it easy to rack up points that you can redeem for a broad range of travel purchases at the rate of one cent per point.
It is designed for college students who are just starting out in the world for credit.
The flat rate rewards program allows a straightforward way to pay for travel purchases by simply using your card to pay for any purchase.
If you are a student looking for a simple rewards program for travel purchases, this card is definitely worth considering.
1.5 miles for each dollar spent
This card awards all purchases 1.5 miles for each dollar you spend.
There are no caps or limits on the number of miles you can earn, and they don’t expire.
You can redeem your points at 2,500 points for a statement credit toward a number of travel purchases.
This category includes flights, hotels, cruises, baggage fees, and many others, for up to 12 months after the purchase.
You also don’t have to worry about categories that change quarterly or special spending categories in order to earn your rewards. Many travel rewards cards also limit the bonus categories to specific airlines or brands, and how you can use your rewards when you redeem. This program is one of the most flexible rewards programs available for travel rewards.
Bank of America customers also get a 10% customer points bonus on every purchase if you have an active checking or savings account.
This bonus can be as much as 25% to 75%, depending on whether you are a Preferred Rewards customer with the bank.
If you plan to become a customer or already bank with Bank of America, the bonus makes this program one of the most rewarding programs available for college students.
New cardholders get an introductory APR for purchases.
If you need to buy school supplies or make a large purchase with your card right away, you will have many months to pay your balance down without paying interest, which can save you hundreds of dollars.
New cardholder bonus
As a new cardholder, you also have a chance to earn bonus points if you make a minimum amount of purchases in the first 90 days of opening the account.
This bonus can be worth hundreds of dollars in statement credit toward travel purchases, and is one of the most valuable bonuses offered not just by a Bank of America student credit card, but by any rewards credit card available.
Best Feature: Unlimited and Flexible Travel Rewards
The best feature of the BankAmericard Travel Rewards for Students Card is the ability to earn a flat-rate of 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend with your card, whether it’s on computer equipment, books, dining, or movie theaters.
You can also redeem for nearly any type of travel purchase without being limited to a specific type or brand.
This flexibility is not always common with travel rewards credit cards, especially those designed for college students who many not have lengthy credit histories.
Further, if you are already a Bank of America customer or plan to be one in the future, you get a bonus of, at least, 10% just for using your card.
It is rare for student credit cards to include valuable rewards programs, especially with opportunities to easily earn extra bonuses.
Other Great Benefits
Sign-up bonus offer
If you plan on making a large purchase with your card, you not only get 12 months to pay it down without interest, but if it’s at least $1,000 in the first 90 days of opening the account, you get a pretty hefty bonus.
The 20,000 miles bonus can be worth $200 in statement credit toward many different types of travel purchases.
Plus, if you bank with Bank of America, the 10% bonus boosts it even more.
No foreign transaction fee
Many rewards cards, even those designed for travel, include a foreign transaction fee of as much as 3%.
This fee is not only expensive, but it can cancel out or minimize the value of any rewards you earn from your purchases.
If you plan on using your card outside of the U.S. or for foreign purchases, this is one of the best cards to do so because there is no foreign transaction fee.
It is rare that a student travel rewards credit card will have neither a foreign transaction fee or an annual fee, like this one.
For busy college students, it’s important to know you don’t have to worry about security when you use your credit card.
This card includes $0 fraud liability as well as ShopSafe for additional protection when you shop online.
With ShopSafe, you can request a temporary card number to use for your purchases online, so you don’t have to use your actual credit card number.
Other Fees to Consider
There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee for this card.
There is a 0% introductory APR for purchases made within the first 90 days for 12 billing cycles.
The balance transfer APR and the APR for purchases after the introductory period is a variable APR.
Other fees you should keep in mind include the following:
BankAmericard Travel Rewards for Students Credit Card Fees
|BankAmericard Travel Rewards for Students Credit Card||Fee|
|Balance transfer fee||$10 or 3%, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 3%, whichever is greater|
|Late payment fee||$37|
|Returned payment fee||$27|
Final Verdict: Should You Apply For It?
If you’re a college student and just starting out on your credit journey, this card is one of the best available, particularly if your spending includes a wide variety of travel purchases.
If you aren’t loyal to a specific airline or hotel chain, you will earn the most travel rewards with this card than you would with some of the others that are available.
Further, it’s one of the only student travel cards that does not charge a foreign transaction fee or annual fee, which together can save you hundreds of dollars.
It isn’t the best card available, however, if you already have credit established, and your purchases fall into one or two categories.
You can, most likely, qualify for a rewards card that awards more than 1.5 points per dollar, that isn’t designed for college students who are just starting to build their credit histories.
It is also not the best card for those who typically carry their balances from month to month because the interest rate will likely cost you more than any rewards you earn.
This card is, however, one of the best available for students who are new to credit card rewards and whose purchases will likely include domestic and foreign travel expenses.
When you add in the opportunities to earn valuable bonuses as a new cardholder and as a Bank of America customer, there are very few other student college cards available that can compete.