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How does the Bank of America Premium Rewards card work?

by on Tue September 26, 2017 • No Comment



The Bank of America Premium Rewards card has a $95 annual fee that’s not waived, and while it’s often talked about as a travel card, it’s really a cash rewards card for people with excellent credit that earns extra rewards in categories travelers like.

Here’s how it works.

What are the card features?

  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 within 90 days (worth $500)
  • Earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining (up to 3.5X with Preferred Rewards)
  • Earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on all other purchases (up to 2.625X with Preferred Rewards)
  • Points are worth one cent each regardless of how they’re used
  • $100 annual airline fee reimbursement
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck reimbursement every four years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee, not waived the first year

How do you earn rewards?

Dining and travel purchases earn 2 points per dollar spent and all other purchases earn 1.5 points per dollar spent.

What are the rewards worth?

Rewards are worth 1 cent each when you redeem for travel, statement credit, or cash back. So 10,000 points is worth $100. There are no special travel sites or airlines required – you can use your points for statement credit on anything you’d like.

Is there a sign-up bonus?

The introductory sign-up bonus offers 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days after opening your account. This sign-up bonus is worth $500.

How does Preferred Rewards work?

The Preferred Rewards program offers additional bonuses to those who bank with Bank of America or have Merrill Lynch/Merrill Edge investment accounts. Bonuses depended on the amount of money that is invested or on deposit according to the following:

Level Deposit Requirement Bonus Translation
Gold $20,000 25% 2.5X travel/dining, 1.875X other purchases
Platinum $50,000 50% 3X travel/dining, 2.25X other purchases
Platinum Honors $100,000 75% 3.5X travel/dining, 2.625X other purchases

How do you use the rewards?

Using your rewards is incredibly simple. You don’t have to worry about finding award availability, in fact, you don’t even need to worry about what you are able to redeem your points for. Points are worth the same one cent each regardless of how they are redeemed. This includes cash back, travel purchases, and gift cards.

Can you earn cash back?

Yes, you can redeem your points as cash back at a rate of one cent each. You have the option to redeem your cash back as a statement credit or deposit your cash back into an eligible Bank of America checking or savings accounts, 529 college savings account, or Merrill Lynch/Merrill Edge investment account.

Can you transfer BofA rewards to airline miles?

It is not possible to transfer Bank of America rewards to airline miles.

You can, however, book a flight either on your own and redeem your points as a statement credit, or you can book a flight directly with your points through the Bank of America travel portal.

Can you combine points with other BofA cards?

It is not yet known if it will be possible to transfer points between the Bank of America Premium Rewards card and other Bank of America cards. Bank of America does allow transfers between some types of cards, but not all.

Do the rewards expire?

Your points don’t expire as long as your card account is kept open.

What other benefits does the card offer?

In addition to the cash back for everyday spending, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card offers a couple of other benefits that are well worth noting.

  • $100 Airline Incidental Credit: Like many other credit cards, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card is offering an airline incidental credit. This credit is valid for the cost of seat selection, checked bag fees, in-flight services, and lounge access. It will not directly reimburse airfare costs, however.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit: Every four years you can get your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursed.
  • Trip Insurance: The BoA Premium Rewards card provides up to $5,000 per person, per trip in insurance for non-refundable expenses if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason. If your flight is delayed by 12 hours or more, you are eligible for $500 per person to cover expenses resulting from your delay.
  • Lost/Delayed Baggage Insurance: If your baggage is delayed, you are eligible for up to $100 per day for up to 5 days to cover the costs associated with your delayed bag. If your bag is lost or stolen by a travel provider, you are eligible for reimbursement for the contents of your bag.
  • Purchase Protection: When you make a purchase with your card, you are covered in regard to lost and damaged items, up to $10,000. This benefit covers the first 90 days after purchase.
  • Rental Car Insurance: When you rent a car with your Premium Rewards card, you will have secondary rental insurance — meaning that you will first need to make a claim to your personal insurance before submitting a claim through your card.

It’s a good card if…

The B of A Premium Rewards card is an amazing card if you have big deposits with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch via Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards Program.

Depending on your level in Preferred Rewards, you can earn up to 3.5 points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases and 2.625 points per dollar spent on all other purchases. There isn’t another credit card that offers that level of rewards with an uncapped potential.

Without participating in Preferred Rewards, the card isn’t as exciting.

There’s a $100 airline incidental fee credit every year, but you have to remember to charge enough eligible fees on your card to get your money’s worth with that. And 1.5x points per dollar on most spending isn’t worth paying a $95 annual fee considering you can earn the same 1.5x points with the no annual fee Bank of America Travel Rewards card.

How does this compare to other credit cards?

All in all, the Bank of America card isn’t ground breaking unless you have a big Bank of America or Merrill Lynch balance, but how does it compare to other cards on the market? Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Chase Sapphire Preferred Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Citi ThankYou Premier
Annual Fee $95 $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95 $89 $95
Travel Earnings 2X 2X 2X 3X
Dining Earnings 2X 2X 2X 2X
Other Earnings 1.5X 1X 2X 1X
Airline Fee Credit $100 N/A N/A N/A
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Fee Credit $100 N/A N/A N/A
Points transferable into real airline miles? No Yes No Yes

In terms of deciding which of the above cards is best for you, you should consider how much you can spend in order to meet the minimum spending requirement and where you generally spend money from day-to-day. One card may present you the ability to earn more points compared with another card.

If you have big travel aspirations, and want to deal with the complexity of regular airline miles, a credit card with points you can transfer into real airline miles like the Chase Sapphire Preferred will offer you many more options.

However, if you primarily travel in economy and have little flexibility with your dates, then a card that lets you use your points like cash for travel like the Bank of America Premium Rewards or Barclaycard Arrival Plus is a better option.

Is this a chip + PIN card?

The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is not a chip + PIN card, but it is a chip + signature card.

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

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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