How Much are Bank of America World Points Really Worth?
Last Reviewed: 8/14/2010
Many of Bank Of America’s credit cards allow you to earn World Points, which are redeemable for cash, travel, gift cards, merchandise, VIP events, and even charitable donations. PlasticIQ decided to take a deeper look at this program to get a handle on how much a WorldPoint might actually be worth.
In this article, PIQ examines 3 specific reward redemption categories: cash back (always our prefered!), travel (airline), and gift cards. We figured this would give you at least a decent approximation of the value of the WorldPoints program.
How Much Are WorldPoints Worth When You Redeem For Cash Back?
World Points can be redeemed for cash, in the form of direct deposits into your BofA checking or savings account, or via a check. As the table below illustrates, redemptions made at values below 25,000 World Points offer very sub-par value. It’s not until you redeem 25,000 points that you achieve the very standard 1.0% cash back return on your points.
|WorldPoints Required||Cash Redemption Amount||Equivalent Cash Back %|
Do Gift Cards From World Points Offer A Better Deal?
The WorldPoints program offers hundreds of gift cards across multiple categories, including restaurants, retail, entertainment, travel, and cash cards. As the table below shows, you only get acceptable value (that is, at least 1.0% cash back) on your WorldPoints once you redeem 25,000 or more points. Bank of America also offers you the ability to exchange your WorldPoints for cash gift cards (visa cards, for example), but the exchange rate on these is even worse.
In general, PlasticIQ strongly eschews gift cards. Read our post, 5 Reasons Why Gift Cards Suck, to get a better idea of the pitfalls of these evil plastic twins.
|Gift Card Level||World Points Required||Equivalent Cash Back %|
|$500 visa cash card||60,000||0.83%|
What about Using Your World Points for Air Travel?
While WorldPoints can be redeemed for all sorts of travel (airline, auto rental, cruises), PlasticIQ focused on airline travel to derive a general estimate for this category. While the table below provides the details, in general redeeming WorldPoints for travel appears to be a sub-optimal approach. We did some quick spot-check examples, and found that in several cases you would be converting at less than a 1.0% cash back equivalent; in other cases, you could get exactly a 1.0% cash back equivalent. We didn’t find any examples where you would have exceeded 1.0%.
|Airline||Route||WorldPoints Required*||Price through Airline Website||Equivalent Cash Back %|
* Includes all taxes.
The Final Word on World Points
So after considering different uses for World Points, including redemptions for cash, gift cards, and airline travel, PlasticIQ believes that WorldPoints are worth exactly $0.01 per point, and not 1/100th of a cent more. For the unitiated, there are lots of traps in the WorldPoints program which can leave you with a value of only $0.008, $0.007 or even $0.005 per point, but if you are patient and wait to redeem your World Points in increments of 25,000 points or more, you should do fine.