How Much are Bank of America World Points Really Worth?

Last Reviewed: 8/14/2010

value of bank of america worldpointsMany 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.

The Cash Back Value of World Points
WorldPoints Required Cash Redemption Amount Equivalent Cash Back %
2,500 $12.50 0.5%
5,000 $25.00 0.5%
7,500 $37.50 0.5%
10,000 $80.00 0.8%
15,000 $120.00 0.8%
20,000 $160.00 0.8%
25,000 $250.00 1.0%

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.

Value of World Points When Redeemed for Gift Cards
Gift Card Level World Points Required Equivalent Cash Back %
$25 3,500 0.71%
$50 6,500 0.77%
$100 12,000 0.83%
$250 25,000 1.0%
$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%.

Value of World Points When Redeemed for Airline Travel
Airline Route WorldPoints Required* Price through Airline Website Equivalent Cash Back %
AA SFO-BOS 30,463 $279 0.92%
Delta SFO-BOS 31,505 $299 0.95%
United LAX-ORD 36,940 $369 1.00%
USAir LAX-ORD 37,940 $370 0.98%
Singapore Air LAX-NRT 111,620 $991 0.89%
JetBlue LAX-NYC 30,463 $279 0.92%

* 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.

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  • Jerry

    Actually, it’s worth a lot less than you think with Bank of America’s WorldPoints program – I’m enrolled in many programs and this is the worst of the bunch – by far. A few months back, they increased the points needed for a $100 gift card from 10K to 12K without any prior notice to their customers. Also, they also have a rolling expiration of your points if your don’t redeem them. I guess I had some really old points from 5 years back and they’re now expiring. So not only do they have one of the lowest dollar to points conversion, the points will expire and they keep raising the bar for redeeming. Hence, it’s like a moving goal post that keeps moving further away from you as you attempt to reach it to redeem. I’m cancelling my card! Stay away from this card and don’t be a sucker for it like I was.

  • http://blog.nexcerpt.com/ Nexcerpt

    This PlasticIQ page is very helpful! I just spent ten minutes searching ~everywhere~ on BOA’s site for cash back redemption thresholds — but BOA DOES NOT PROVIDE IT. (Perhaps because, as Jerry explains, they keep reducing the cash values?) Also, BOA provides NO quick online contact (email or live chat) for help. It’s all phone operators, all the way down.

    I can confirm two bits of data from your tables are current: 2,500 points = $12.50, and 10,000 points = $80. However, if you request redemption of a reasonable number, say 12,500 points for example (and yes, you must ~request~ redemption in order to find out what it’s worth!), the form stupidly replies: “Please enter a valid redemption amount.” The form provides no guidance as to what a “valid” amount might be. (Hint: hire new programmers.)

    Apparently the table of “Cash Back Values” at the top of this page contains the “valid” amounts. And, obviously, the more points you redeem, the higher your return. Why do you suppose BOA doesn’t want us to know that, hmm?

    Again I’d agree with Jerry: compared to other credit card sources, BOA WorldPoints does not offer much return on rewards. Although… it appears that if you carry a balance for a few months, then pay a card off completely, they send you a 5x points offer soon thereafter.

    At least that way — if you see their five-year points expiration approaching — you might be able to hurry to 25,000 points, and at least get the full penny ;-)

  • Vince

    rewards2cash.com is offering 1.16 – 1.22 cents for each world points. It seems the best redemption.

  • Kkarenlynn1964

    points used for crusing?????????????

  • http://www.plasticiq.com/ Marc Davis

    Arg, sorry to hear that. It takes a long time for most of us to accumulate that level of points, so to lose them in one fell swoop really sucks. u00a0