Credit cards have become the quickest route to outsized caches of frequent flyer miles, with incentives occasionally reaching 100,000 miles and above.
But there are other ways of squeezing extra value from credit cards that have nothing to do with loyalty points. Cash back, for instance, which may be a better deal than points if you do the math and keep the lure of travel from infecting your return-on-investment calculations. But that's a story for another time.
Today's story is about a novel value-add from Bank of America: Museums on Us.
As the name suggests, the program, now in its 15th year, affords Bank of America credit and debit card holders free entry into 150 museums, aquariums, and science centers on the first weekend of every month.
The number of participating institutions varies by city and region, naturally. Where I live, in Los Angeles, an eligible card would gain me entry to the L.A. County Museum, Skirball Center, the Hammer, and the Autry Center of the American West. And there are many more within a two-hour drive: Museum of Latin American Art, Discovery Science Center, Palm Springs Art Museum, The Living Desert, Riverside Art Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, Laguna Art Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, and Birch Aquarium at Scripps.
On the other hand, if you lived in Austin, Texas, you'd be out of luck, unless you were willing to drive to Dallas, Fort Worth, or Houston.
Location, location, location.
Deal or No Deal
While not as significant a player in the travel rewards space as Chase or American Express, Bank of America does issue co-branded cards linked to the programs of Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Spirit, Asiana, and Virgin Atlantic.
But that's not really the point. Even for the most ravenous culture vulture, Museums on Us isn't reason enough by itself to get a Bank of America card. Rather, it's a nice perk for those who already hold such cards, and might be enough to tip the balance in favor of keeping a card if there were reasons to consider alternatives.
Reader Reality Check
Is this a difference-maker for you?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.