A brief History Of This Card - Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, the Bank of America Visa Signature® WorldPoints™ Rewards is one of the many no annual fee rewards card that Bank of America had. There was a MasterCard version and a World MasterCard version. They even had other reward cards like the MilesEdge Card and the Power Rewards Card. After the financial crisis, Bank of America began to consolidate their credit cards and they have really trimmed their portfolio. Right now, they only have two no annual fee rewards card.
One Point At A Time - This is a pretty standard rewards card, which means that like most rewards cards with no annual fee, you earn one point per dollar that you charge to the card. You can earn unlimited points, which are valid for 5 years.
Visa Signature Benefits - One thing that distinguishes this card from their MasterCard variation is the fact that you get "Visa Signature" benefits. These include special deals on travel, shopping etc. For example, Visa has made deals luxury hotels for rooms less than $299. You can get automatic room upgrades, free internet and valet parking, complimentary continental breakfast and 3pm checkouts.
There are car rental, airline, cruises and travel packages, as well as "special experiences". Visa Signature members can also get coupon codes from their retail partners, get special discounts and save money.
One thing to note is that folks who apply for this card could either be approved of the Visa Signature version or the Platinum Plus version. If you get the Platinum Plus version, you would obviously not enjoy the Visa Signature benefits.
Was BOA Visa Signature Top Of The Line?
As we mentioned earlier, BOA also had other WorldPoints cards which were MasterCard. These cards are really similar because the reward program is the same. The differences lie between the benefits of Visa Signature and World MasterCard benefits. The generic benefits like purchase protection and auto rental insurance are essentially identical. MasterCard has their "MarketPlace" where card members can get discounts with their merchant partners and also earn additional reward points called "WOW Points".
But during it's time, this card also faced competition from the Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards Card (which is now the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card). The main difference between these two cards is obviously their reward program. When I looked closely at the Citi ThankYou and WorldPoints program, my conclusion is that the ThankYou Rewards has a slight edge because there is better value for your points when you redeem for merchandise products. They also appear to have more merchandise and gift card rewards.
This card was also up against the Blue Card from Amex and their Membership Rewards Express program. At that time, the Membership Rewards was the gold standard in reward programs (in our opinion, it is not today). Hence, we would also have suggested that interested folks check out the Amex Blue as well.
When this card was around, Chase was going through a few transitions. They had the Chase Flexible Rewards Card (which I used to have and was subsequently converted to the Chase Freedom) and the Chase Ultimate Rewards Card. Both these cards have since been discontinued. The Chase reward program back then was not really too good and I would have given the WorldPoints the edge then. However, since Chase revamped their Ultimate Rewards program, they have become arguably the best credit card reward program.
A look Back - Back when this card was still around, it was a competitive offering. Since the financial crisis in 2008, Bank of America has been through a lot of financial distress. They have emerged with a more consolidated credit card portfolio and this was was the victim of its' consolidation. If you are looking for a Visa Rewards card with BOA, then the Power Rewards is the card that you should check out.