Visiting a museum provides a very different kind of experience. Somehow being surrounded by fascinating art or artifacts from another era gets my imagination going like nothing else can. While some exhibitions are provided at a very low charge, visiting places like a fine art museum comes at a price. Although the great learning experiences are every bit worth the cost, I was delighted to discover that Bank of America offers cardholders the opportunity to visit more than 200 museums free of charge through its Museums on Us® program.

There are a few things you should know before you head out to that awesome-but-overpriced museum you always wanted to visit. First of all, the free entry is only valid on the first full weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of every month. Second of all, you only get one free general admission per cardholder, so anyone visiting with you (including your kids if entry charges apply) will need to have their own Bank of America® or Merrill Lynch® credit or debit card in order to benefit from free entry. You will also need to show some kind of photo ID to prove that you are the cardholder.

Participating museums, science centers and botanical gardens are spread over 35 states and 123 cities, so there's a good chance of finding at least one of them near where you live. The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Staten Island Museum are among current Museums on Us® participants in New York City. Houston entries include the Houston Zoo and the Children's Museum of Houston.