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Bank of America Travel Credit Card

I was at the bank yesterday and was told about this card that doesn't charge for international transactions. It has a chip. PIN was not mentioned. It would take a couple of weeks to receive a new card or I would have ordered one. Bank of America Travel Card is what it's called.

Posted by
17659 posts

It doesn't charge for international transactions (they get 4% -5% from the merchant. Sometimes merchants give a discount for cash, so this isn't strictly true). However, if you use it at an ATM, the cash advance has a 5% charge and you start paying up to 25% interest immediately, so it's not very good as an ATM card.

Posted by
17659 posts

According to the T&C for that card,

"• Cash Advances ... ATM, Over-the-Counter, Same-Day Online and Cash Equivalent Cash Advances: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater."

Posted by
23593 posts

It is good to hear from you, Swan.

I guess the moral here is not everything is what it appears to be.

It is a shame when something sounding so good has so many hefalump traps.

Posted by
2081 posts

swan,

i just got one of those credit cards and a PIN.

i was not able to make ANY withdrawal from ANY ATM.

it did work as a credit card when i needed to use it.

happy trails.

Posted by
507 posts

Today I spoke with a different customer rep. After being assured that there is no foreign transaction fee including a currency conversion fee, I applied for this card. The paperwork states "no transaction fee."

The one drawback for infrequent travellers is the rewards are in miles. (1.5 points/$1). Although the miles can be cashed in for $$, it is better to use the mileage accrued.

Posted by
1 posts

We applied for the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card four months ago, and recently used it on a two week trip to Spain and Portugal. Highly recommended card to have - no annual fee, and yes it does have a PIN. You definitely want to request the PIN, since you will need it at public subway / train kiosk locations (and some merchants). On the BOA website, submit the help topic "request PIN" to receive instructions on how to get the PIN code mailed to you.
Again, this card worked well for us in Europe, and soon USA will convert to smart cards. Good luck with your travels.

Posted by
507 posts

@Doug . . . Thank you for your testamentary as to how well the BoA card worked.

I know other BoA cards charge a $5 transaction fee & a currency conversion fee (CCF) of 3%. Did you notice if any of your purchases showed up as more on your statement than what is on the receipt? I was told BoA "absorbs" the CCF on the Travel Card.
Did you find that last statement to be true?

{Addition: If my question was not clear, Edgar, next poster clarified it. Thank you, Edgar.}

Posted by
5504 posts

Re: Did you notice if any of your purchases showed up as more on your statement than what is on the receipt?

The real test is to compare the purchase amount in Euro (or the appropriate local currency) and the charge amount in
USD. Calculate the effective exchange rate then compare that rate against the Interbank rate with 0% markup for the transaction date.
http://www.oanda.com/currency/historical-rates/

My Capital One Visa statement identifies the exchange rate for each transaction and the cost to me in USD. As an example on Jan 20 my statement shows three ttransaction with exchange rates ranging from 0.7368 to 0.7369 USD/€ (Cap One reports rates to 9 significant figures eg 0.736876426). Oanda's historic Interbank rate 0% markup bid-ask midpoint value of 0.7387 USD/€. Cap One is charging me close to the no markup Interbank rate.

Posted by
17659 posts

Is this an ATM card or a credit card? Many credit cards are offering the Interbank rate because they get 4% from the merchant, but be assured that any place that takes credit card is going to be far more expensive to start with. The credit card charge is figured in.

Posted by
507 posts

BoA Travel Rewards Card is a VISA credit card.

http://www.cardhub.com/edu/bank-of-america-new-travel-rewards-credit-cards-review/

". . . International travelers don’t have to worry about incurring extraneous costs on transactions processed outside the United States either. All three of the new BankAmericards are no foreign transaction credit cards, which means they do not charge the 2-3% fees for international use that are part of more than 90% of credit card offers, according to Card Hub data. . . ." (Emphasis by poster)

The BoA card will be for large purchases. The smaller purchases will be paid by cash that will be acquired with an ATM card that carries a 1% charge on each withdrawal.

Posted by
16771 posts

Your new credit card should work fine for most hotels and larger businesses that accept them. Never use a credit card for cash withdrawals from an ATM unless it's an emergency; you need a separate debit card for that purpose. See also http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/money.