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How does the Bank of America Premium Rewards card work?

How does the Bank of America Premium Rewards card work?

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This article was last updated Apr 10, 2019, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit 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 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

How do you earn rewards?

Dining and travel purchases 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases,

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 lets you 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening..

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® credit 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® credit 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® credit 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 Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit 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 Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit 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 Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit 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.

  • 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases

  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits

Highlights
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don’t expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee

See additional details for Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

More Info

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® Card Citi Premier℠ Card
Annual Fee $95 $95 $95
Travel Earnings 2X 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
Dining Earnings 2X 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
Other Earnings 1.5X 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
Airline Fee Credit $100 N/A N/A
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Fee Credit $100 N/A N/A
Points transferable into real airline miles? No Yes 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® Card will offer you many more options.

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

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® credit card.

  • Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases

  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 60,000 Points are redeemable for $750 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

See additional details for Citi Premier℠ Card

More Info

Is this a chip + PIN card?

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card be a Chip + Pin card if specifically requested.


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