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The Merrill Plus 50,000 point offer – Get $1,000 from a no fee card

by on Fri February 10, 2017 • No Comment
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Update: This offer has expired as of early March.

The Merrill+ Visa Signature Credit Card is one of the best no annual fee cards around, and best of all it’s available for anyone to apply – you don’t need to be a wealthy investor to get the card.

In this article we’ll go into details about the signup bonus offer, details about the credit card, how you can use your points and what the best redemptions are, whether or not the credit card is a good deal, and specifics applicable to applying for credit cards with Bank of America.

The Offer

merrillplus170The current signup offer available for the Merrill+ Visa Signature Credit Card is a 50,000 point bonus after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days of opening your account.

There’s no annual fee.

When you use it for airfare, you can get up to $1,000 in value from this signon bonus, making it one of the best no annual fee cards around.

Merrill+ Visa Signature Credit Card Details

The Merrill+ Visa Signature Credit Card earns 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases and does not charge an annual fee. You can use the points for airfare (up to 2 cents per point in value), other travel, cash back, and gift cards, but there aren’t any transfer partners to convert the points into real airline miles. 

If you spend $50,000 or more within a calendar year on the card, you will reach ‘Plus’ level and can choose between the two following benefits:

  • $200 travel credit that can be used for travel incidentals
  • Complementary Delta Sky Club Executive Level membership (which lets you bring in 2 guests, a value of $745 a year)

This probably isn’t a card you want to load up all your everyday spending on, especially if you value points you can turn into real airline miles, like Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards.

But if you really value full Delta SkyClub access with guest privileges, it’s a cheap way to earn it. $745 in value for $50,000 in spending, plus 50,000 points from the spending that are worth up to 2 cents each gets $1,745 in value from $50,000 in spending, or you 3.5 cents per dollar you spend on the card in reward value .

SkyClub access with other credit cards like The Platinum Card and Delta Reserve doesn’t include guest privileges.

Travel Protections

The Merrill+ Visa Signature Credit Card does come with a handful of travel protections (see the guide here) that you may find beneficial for peace of mind when planning your next trip.

  • Emergency evacuation coverage up to $100,000
  • Trip cancellation coverage up to $2,500
  • Trip delay coverage up to $100 per day for a maximum of five days
  • Common carrier travel accident coverage up to $1,000,000
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Secondary car rental insurance coverage

These aren’t as generous as some of the travel protections on cards with an annual fee, but for a no annual fee card it’s a pretty solid lineup.

How You Can Use the Points

Points earned through your Merrill+ Visa Signature Credit Card can be redeemed in a number of ways.

  • Statement credit: $0.01 per point
  • Gift cards: $0.01 per point
  • Travel (other than airfare): $0.01 per point
  • Airfare: Up to $0.02 per point

What the Points Are Best For

Based on the above, it should be clear that redeeming your points for airfare will probably give you the best value for your points, but you have to pay attention to how the airfare redemption works.

When redeeming for airfare, you must redeem a minimum of 25,000 points that can be used for airfare up to $500 in value, including taxes and fees.

This price is applicable to redemptions on American Airlines, British Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines. If you hit that $500 right on the nose, you will be getting the full two cents per point of value for your redemption. Above $500 you will pay a fixed value of one cent per point. 

If you are looking to redeem on another airline, the maximum redemption value you will be able to achieve is 1.67 cents per point.

Redemptions start at 30,000 miles for up to $500 in flights and cost a fixed price of one cent per point beyond that.

You will also earn frequent flyer miles and elite qualifying miles on the flights booked with your Merrill+ points.

Let’s look at a few examples to see how many cents per point in value you’ll get:

  • Assume your airfare costs $87. You will pay 25,000 points to book this ticket. At this point, you would be better off redeeming for cash at one cent per point because the value you are getting from booking the ticket is only 0.35 cents per point.
  • Assume your airfare costs $325. You will pay 25,000 points to book this ticket. This means that you will have achieved a value 1.3 cents per point.
  • Assume your airfare costs exactly $500. You will pay 25,000 points to book this ticket. Congrats! This means that you have maxed out the value of your points at two cents per point.
  • Assume your airfare costs $750. You will pay 25,000 points to cover the first $500 of the ticket, and you will pay a further 25,000 points ($250 at $0.01 cent per point) to cover the remainder of the ticket. This means that the value for your points would be 1.5 cents per point.

Bank of America Application Specifics 

Bank of America is generally pretty easy to get approved for new cards with. It used to be possible to pretty easily get two or three personal cards with Bank of America and a business card at the same time, and repeat every three months.

It’s now a bit more challenging than that, but you should be able to get one personal credit card and one business credit card every six to 12 months.

Is it A Good Deal?

It is a good deal, at least for the signup bonus. The Merrill+ Visa Signature Card won’t give you the most rewarding return on your spending nor are there any benefits from the card that are not offered by other cards, but it’s one of the best no annual fee cards you can hold.

After your first year, you could keep the card open because it doesn’t have an annual fee, but it is probably best to put your spending on other credit cards after meeting the minimum spending requirement to earn the 50,000 signup bonus.

The 50,000 point bonus can be worth up to $1,000 toward booking airfare. Even if you redeem for cash, the signup bonus is still worth $500, but using points for airfare is where the action is with this card.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
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Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

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