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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. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult 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 online 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 you spend on travel and dining purchases. Plus, earn 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store purchases – now through 12/31/21. Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases. No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire.

How do you earn rewards?

Dining and travel purchases 2 points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining purchases. Plus, earn 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store purchases – now through 12/31/21. Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases. No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire,

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 online 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 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 investment account.

Can you transfer Bank of America 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 Bank of America 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 Statement 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 Statement 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 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 $0 annual fee Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit 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 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® credit card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Citi Premier® Card
Annual Fee $95 $95 $95
Rewards 2 points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining purchases. Plus, earn 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store purchases – now through 12/31/21. Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases. No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide Earn 3X points per $1 spent on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X per $1 spent on all other purchases
Airline Incidental Statement Credit up to $100 N/A N/A
TSA Pre✓®/Global Entry Statement Credit up to $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.

  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.

Highlights
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 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, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

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.

Citi Premier® Card

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on Citibank's secure site

  • Earn 3X points per $1 spent on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X per $1 spent on all other purchases

  • Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Highlights
  • Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • See additional Citi Premier® Card details

See additional details for Citi Premier® Card

More Info

Is this a chip + PIN card?

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


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