Why can't you have Bank of America traveler's checks?

Gabriela Peratello

Bank of America (BoA) customers may remember getting BoA traveler’s checks for spending abroad. Traveler’s checks were a popular way to pay when on vacation on other trips overseas, as they’re secure and can be spent or cashed into the destination currency upon arrival. However, traveler’s checks aren’t as common these days — and BoA have replaced their checks with a new product for travelers.

If you’re wondering what replaced the traveler’s checks Bank of America used to issue, this guide has you covered. We’ll look at this, and a few smart alternatives including the Wise Multi-currency Account and card. Let’s dive right in.

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Does Bank of America still offer traveler’s checks?

BoA does not offer traveler’s checks. Travler’s checks were pulled following customer feedback which suggested a modern alternative would be preferable¹.

What should you do if you have unused Bank of America traveler’s checks?

Talk to the team in your local BoA branch if you have unused traveler’s checks. In some cases it may be possible to deposit them into your account directly, or send them back to the issuer for a refund.

Bank of America’s replacement to traveler’s checks

BoA discontinued travler’s checks but does offer a travel rewards credit card which lets you earn rewards on your spending, to exchange for travel perks and benefits². This is a pretty different product to the old checks — but can still be handy if you love to travel.

We’ll look at some of the key features here — you can also get a full guide to the Bank of America travel credit card here.

Bank of America travel card main features

  • Earn 1.5 points to the dollar on card spending — no expiration of points
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fee
  • 0% introductory APR offer, plus great bonus points offer for new customers
  • Redeem rewards as credit against travel and related spending, as cash or as gift cards

Safety and security

Your card comes with advanced fraud protection, a full guarantee of zero liability in the case of fraudulent transactions, account alerts and contactless technology.

Fees and currency exchange

As a credit product, the Bank of America travel rewards card has completely different fees compared to the old traveler’s check option — which you’ll want to know about if you’re thinking of applying. Let’s take a look at the fees involved with the BoA travel rewards card.

Fee typeBank of America Travel Rewards Card cost³
APR
  • Opening APR 0% for 12 months
  • Variable APR on card spending after opening offer: 13.99% - 23.99%
  • Variable APR on balance transfers: 13.99% - 23.99%
  • Variable APR on cash advances: 16.99% - 28.99%
  • Penalty APR for late payment: up to 29.99%
Annual fee
    None
Foreign transaction fee
    None
Late payment fee
    Up to 40 USD
Returned payment fee
    Up to 29 USD
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Bank of America support

Head into your local BoA, or make an appointment to speak to a specialist if you need support with your Bank of America travel reward credit card⁴.

Alternatives to Bank of America travel cards

So what are the other options now that the traveler’s checks Bank of America used to offer are no more? If BoA’s new travel offer doesn’t appeal to you, check out these alternatives.

Multi-currency cards

Multi-currency cards are flexible ways to hold and spend a broad range of foreign currencies. Perfect if you travel often, shop online with international retailers, or take trips which cover several different destination countries.

Interested? The Wise Multi-currency Account and card is a great place to start your research. Open a Wise international account online for free, and manage your money from your smartphone or computer — you can then hold, send and convert currencies on the go, and spend wherever in the world you are with your linked Wise international debit card.

💰 Here are some top features of the Wise international account and card you’ll want to know about:
  • No charge to open your account, no minimum balance, or monthly fee
  • Hold, send and spend 50+ currencies in the same account
  • Currency conversion uses the real exchange rate with low transparent fees
  • Spend with your Wise card in 200+ countries — just look for the MasterCard logo
  • Use your card abroad for spending and ATM withdrawals, and for shopping online in foreign currencies — and avoid foreign transaction fees when you do

Order your multi-currency card

Cash

Gone are the days of carrying an entire vacation’s worth of spending money in cash. Holding large amounts of cash is a risk at any time — and never more so than when you’re in a country you don’t know well. With today’s levels of ATM availability, and so many alternatives out there, taking along a lot of cash on a trip just isn’t a smart choice for most travelers.

That said, taking some cash in the destination currency or in USD to convert on arrival can be a handy backup, especially if you think you’ll be somewhere that ATM coverage is patchy. Weigh up the pros and cons if you’re thinking of using cash for your next trip abroad.

International credit or debit cards

A final, but obvious choice is to use your regular credit or debit card when you travel. This is another simple way to access your funds abroad — but there are a couple of things to check before you leave.

  • Make sure your card will be accepted easily in your destination — some networks, like Discover, aren’t universally recognized
  • Check your card’s foreign transaction fees — which can add 3% or so to your spending
  • Make sure you know what to do if you think your card has been compromised — how to block, cancel and replace if needed
  • See if you need to tell your card issuer you’re traveling to avoid your card being limited or blocked due to security concerns

For most travelers, having a mix of ways to pay when overseas is the best option. And with so many different choices out there this isn’t as hard as you might think. Check out a few of the BoA traveler’s check alternatives, including the Wise Multi-currency Account and card to see which suit you.


💬 Still curious about traveler’s checks? Check these articles out!

Sources:

  1. Bank of America - Currency exchange FAQ
  2. Bank of America - Travel Rewards credit card
  3. Bank of America - Credit cards terms & conditions
  4. Bank of America - Appointments

Sources checked on 09.27.2021


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