Posted by Chuck on August 14, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Chuck

70

[Update: $100 Global Entry Credit] Bank of America Confirms Key Details about Upcoming Premium Card ($100 Airline Incidental Credit, $95 AF, & More)

[Update 8/14/17: BofA has told Business Insider that there will also be $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit.]

Bank of America will soon release a new premium version of their Travel Rewards card. We’ve written about it before, here’s an update with key details that were confirmed in this WSJ report. [If you don’t have a WSJ subscription, you can see it on Fox Business, though there is a graphic in the original article – pictured below – not shown on Fox. Use Facebook or Twitter to bypass paywall.]

  • $100 airline incidentals credit, including baggage fee and flight drinks (does not include airfare)
  • 50,000 points signup bonus will have $3,000 spend threshold
  • The annual fee will be $95
  • 1.5x everywhere and 2x on travel/dining; Preferred Rewards customers will get up to 2.6 everywhere and 3.5 on travel/dining
  • It will roll out in September
  • It will be a Visa card
  • BofA has told Business Insider that there will also be $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit

We reposted most of this info in a post earlier today, but I missed the $100 airline incidental point which shows in the graphic on WSJ. This credit is a critical component in deciding whether it’s worthwhile to get the card for the bonus. It remains to be seen exactly what will count for the airline incidental credit (gc, MPX, etc).

There’s no mention of a Global Entry credit, and for now I’m assuming it won’t have one.

Analysis

At this point, it seems we have most of the card details confirmed. My feeling is that Bank of America isn’t looking to compete with the other premium cards, they are more looking toward Preferred Rewards customers who keep other money with them. They don’t want existing clients with assets going elsewhere for their credit cards, and they are hoping to attract more clients with assets under the BofA umbrella since 2.6x everywhere and 3.5x on travel/dining are both nice rates, especially for a $95 annual fee card with no foreign transaction fees.

As far as keeping this card long term, it mostly makes sense for Preferred Rewards clients. Without any status, you’ll probably be better off with other cards. For those with top-tier Preferred Rewards card, it’s basically an improved version of the Travel Rewards card which earns an excellent 2.6x everywhere. The improvement here is the 3.5x on travel and dining.

If you value the travel incidental credit at somewhere close to it’s value, there isn’t much question that it’s worth keeping this card instead of using the no-fee Travel Rewards card. If you won’t use the incidental credit, you’re paying $95 for the extra .9x on travel and dining – you’ll have to crunch the numbers to see if that’s worthwhile for you. Bear in mind, travel and dining are heavily bonused categories with other banks, and 3.5x isn’t necessarily better than 3x Ultimate Rewards points on CSR, for example. So for a lot of people the fee won’t be worth it if you don’t value the airline incidental credit.

As far as getting this for the signup bonus, it’s basically worth $405 after discounting the $95 fee – there’s no mention of the fee being waived the first year. [The signup bonus on Travel Rewards does not get compounded the way it does on Cash Rewards cards.]

Depending how you value the $100 incidental credit and how strict they’ll be, you might be able to get an extra $100 value there or close to it. Without the extra $100, I view it as an okay bonus but not amazing. I like getting $500+ value from a new card. Many other people are happy signing up for a card which gives them $200+, and this will be well-worth it.



70 Responses to [Update: $100 Global Entry Credit] Bank of America Confirms Key Details about Upcoming Premium Card ($100 Airline Incidental Credit, $95 AF, & More)

  1. Josh says:

    It’s 3,000 not 3,00

  2. Klad says:

    After confirmed details if not a Preferred Rewards member then it does not make much sense signing up for ~400-500$. Barclay Arrival+ gives at least 525$ and most of the times have 1% BT for at least 12 months (even after keeping the card for a while).

  3. calwatch says:

    The fair comparison that WSJ should have made, and that DoC should make, is with the competition’s now “middle tier” cards, like CSP/Ink Plus, Citi ThankYou Premier, or Amex Gold. In that space, other than the lack of transfer partners, the BoA premium rewards looks pretty good. The super premium cards like Prestige and Amex Platinum give you lounge access, Global Entry credit, and other features which I don’t see BoA giving at this price point.

    • JL says:

      agree, bad comparison on WSJ’s part. It should be compared against other $95 annual fee cards, which is more apples to apples. It looks better than average as a cash back card with a flavor of travel.

      are there any trip delay, interruption, or baggage delay / lost benefits?

      • boomX says:

        Nope, BofA cards AFAIK have very sub-par benefits. That’s the reason to chose Chase CSR/CSP or Citi Prestige/Premier for travel. Even Capital One top tier cards are better for travel benefits. Rest nah…others may correct if stated otherwise.

    • Mr. Emoji says:

      thumb up! those amateurs from WSJ!!

    • Yeah, the reason that WSJ didn’t make that comparison is that Bank of America are trying to position this as their premium offering and use it to avoid an exodus of funds going to other issuers.

  4. Don says:

    I’m not sure it belongs on that list unless it’s being looked at by a Preferred Rewards Clients. At it’s “base” state, it’s more in line with the PRG/Premier

  5. Looney says:

    TBH I think the merrill lynch card is much better

    -Looney

  6. Jonathan Chien says:

    Great. Currently I have three 2.625% B0A travel between myself and my wife. All I need to do is to cancel two out three 2.625% B0A travel and reapply the new cards later.

    • thomas says:

      I have the BOA Travel Rewards with 50k line. I think I’m going to convert it to the Cash Rewards and then sign-up for the new Travel Rewards (hopefully can just split into 2 25k lines)… though I need to see what ‘travel incidentals’ covers as I’m not sure i would hit it…

  7. Johnny says:

    If the travel credit includes delta gift cards like the amex plat travel credit then this card is a no brainer imo as the AF will be offset by something useful for my purposes. Obviously the bonus is nice, along with the earning potential but still doesn’t beat the Chase trifecta combo for earning rewards. Plus, if you want to get the highest points multiplier, you need 100k in BOA earning next to no interest. You’re foregoing at least $1000 in interest per year with the interest rates being offered. Unless keeping assets with BoA means MerrillEdge, then that changes things a tiny bit.

  8. V says:

    What is the “twist” mentioned in WSJ and Fox articles?

    Also, I’m amused that the Fox Business article calls us “gamers”.

  9. Darvin Ray says:

    The value of the this card’s points are only beneficial if you are a Preferred Rewards member. So, this card seems to only target its current BoA clients. It’s not gonna entice any non-BoA customers to transfer over to their team.

  10. Fiby says:

    I don’t see how this would work for MPX. It’s a Visa, and MPX doesn’t work for airline incidental fees for Visas. Only 3rd party Amex cards like WF Propel World Amex

  11. Curtis Leasure says:

    Do we know know if the $100 is per calendar year or anniversary basis? If it’s per calendar you could theoretically get $200 incidentals and only pay 1 annual fee.

  12. JT says:

    Is it confirmed that the points can be redeemed for cash at 1c/1p?

  13. duke5150 says:

    Better combo is:
    Chase Sapphire Reserve with Travel and Dining worth 4.5% (3x points and 1.5 when booking travel)
    Alliant credit card at 2.5% on everything else.

    Problem with this BofA is that you can only use these points as a credit against travel.

    • Lrdx says:

      To be fair, you don’t get points when you use the CSR points, while you do with travel credits.

      With CSR, you get $150 of travel when you pay $150 with the card and receive 450 points, OR you pay 10000 points through their portal (no cashback). So $150 = 10450 points => 1.435406699 c/point => it’s only a 4.3% cashback. Of course, if you transfer to partners, you might get better.

      With BofA PTR, you pay $150, get 525 points, redeem it for $5.25 credit. 3.5% flat. And that works for every travel, not just through their travel portal, what can be a worse deal in some cases.

      Speaking of the travel portal, the BofA TR card gives an extra 1.5% cashback on the BofA travel portal. It’s not advertized for the personal card, just the business version, but it’s there. That extra does not work with the Preferred bonus. If the PTR also has this feature, that means they give 3.5% + 1.5% = 5% cashback through their portal, making it better than the CSR (again, disregarding transfer).

      • foobar says:

        This is getting at an interesting point; a statement credit for past spending is more valuable than a coupon for future spending. Here’s a worked example:

        Let’s say you want to buy exactly $10450 worth of travel.

        With CSR, you can buy $10000 worth of travel, get $10000 * 3 UR/$ = 30000 UR, and then redeem that for $450 more in the Chase portal.

        With the new BofA card with Platinum Honors, you can buy $10450 worth of travel, get $10450 * 3.5 point/$ = 36575 points, and redeem those against some of your travel spending for a $365.75 statement credit. Your total expenses would then be $10084.25.

        In the BofA case, you spent $10084.25 for $10450 of travel, or $10084.25 / $10450 = 96.5% of list price. This is a 3.5% discount on your total spending.

        In the CSR case, you spent $10000 for $10450 of travel, or $10000 / $10450 = 95.7% of list price. This is a 4.3% discount on your total spending.

  14. Jake says:

    This seems useless outside of preferred rewards clients. Travel partners are what make Chase and Amex point cards valuable – to the tune of double value. In other words, Chase points and Amex points can easily be worth 2 cents each if not more depending on how they are redeemed. Direct cash back on this BofA card would need to be at least equal to that to be competitive to a larger market.

  15. JB says:

    The nice thing about the BoA Travel Rewards points is that they can be used on a wide range of travel expenses – not just airfare, but hotels / ground transportation / some recreational activities. If they force that $100 credit to be used for airline incidentals, then it is pretty much useless to me, and I’d have to spend about $10.5K a year in travel / dining to cover the $95 AF.

    Hopefully BoA reconsiders this one item, because otherwise it sounds like a good card for Platinum Honors clients.

  16. Jim says:

    Not that good to apply for and Will just stick with CSR for sometime . I got an offer in mail for US bank Cash + visa signature card. I am confused about what it really offers. It says 5% back on first $2K in combined purchase each quarter on two category you choose. 2% back on your choice of everyday category and 1% back every where else. The bonus is $200 after $500 spend. I don’t care about the bonus offer or the 2% back but what is the 5% back thing on two Category ? Please your analysis and advice on this?

    • Eten says:

      Every quarter you get to choose from two 5% categories like these:

      Ground Transportation
      Select Clothing Stores
      Cell Phones
      Electronics Stores
      Car Rentals
      Gyms/Fitness Centers
      Bookstores
      Fast Food
      Sporting Goods Stores
      Department Stores
      Furniture Stores
      Movie Theaters

  17. Abey says:

    Just a quick tip:
    In my expierience Bank of america doesnt extend too much credit (unlike Chase Citi Amex) so if you already have 10to20K in available credit on your BOA cards maybe call and lower your linits and then apply for this new one.

    • Chuck says:

      Abey, they easily shift credit lines, so long as you get in with the minimum $5k credit line, you can shift it over the phone.

      • V says:

        The credit limit reallocation with BoA resulted in a hard inquiry for me back in 2014, even though the rep and another rep assured me that it would be a soft inquiry only. I tried to dispute it with my credit bureau who sent me back to talk to the bank. I wasted a lot of time trying to convince BoA that they should remove the hard inquiry, they seemed convince and told me it would be removed but it was never removed from my report, that is, until after the 2-year mark when inquiries drop off the report.

  18. Rob says:

    Yeah, where they lose me is by having a weak point currency. 1 penny value and no transfer partners just makes this a cashback card that isn’t particularly compelling vs. other cashback cards. What these card issuers don’t seem to get is that if you don’t want gamers, you gotta make the card compelling to spend on and keep forever. They need to give rewards at every like every 10k of spending and they will get people obsessing over their card trying to get bonuses. If say 10k spend got you a free hotel night, 20k got you a 20k point bonus, 30k gets you status or companion pass or something. Etc. That would keep me on the treadmill for sure.

  19. tassojunior says:

    Penny points.

    Meh.

  20. Max says:

    @Sirtheta-Would you agree that the opportunity cost of having this card and Platinum Honors banking with BofA, compared to other options, is not worth it?

    1. The Platinum Honors account earns abysmal, near 0 interest and makes you put in 100k. Massive loss compared to high earning account.

    2. Even with a higher earning rate on everyday purchases, travel, and dining, I’m failing to see how tying up massive assets for near 0 interest is worth a little more cash back than other cards (2%-3% everywhere) or worth more than 2x Amex points everywhere (Blue Business or 1.5x w Freedom Unlimited or Amex Everyday Preferred).

  21. Bz says:

    Do it for the bonus. Cancel after 12 months.

  22. Bo says:

    It looks like everyone has the pros and cons of this card figured out. (I’d consider it a keeper, with PR Plat Hons, but I’m not sure I can use the restrictive $100 credit.)

    But a major point to add is that that BoA has become super strict in their approvals (I’ve hit a wall at 4 cards, with an “approved in error” and another HP denial.) I actually predict I would be denied, despite having PR Plat Hons, excellent credit, and using the BoA cards. I’m wary to apply, just to get another HP denial.

    • Kevin says:

      Are you saying you have tried to get more than 4 cards? I thought it was established among the community that BofA recently (within the last year?) implemented a max 4 card rule per person? Close one of your 4 cards and you should be good. Or PC one of them to a different one (of course, no bonus doing that, though).

      • Bo says:

        I don’t believe there’s a simple max # cards rule. It’s just that they seem to have gotten much stricter generally in about March this year. They obviously want to try not to get gamed, so it’s not clear to me that closing relatively new cards would make them give out another card.

        • JB says:

          Yes, it has gotten much stricter. I got a Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards in May, then was turned down for an MLB card in June. I just tried reconsideration and was turned down again. I even lowered my credit limit on the two existing cards hoping for a better result. (Doh!)

          I long for the days when (rumor was) BoA would approve you for a dozen cards in a single day … figured that free-for-all had to end but now it’s getting downright ridiculous.

          • JB says:

            (added) Perhaps there is now a three month (at least) waiting period before being approved for an additional card – but the annoying thing is BoA won’t confirm this, just like they have never confirmed a four card limit.

            I know that few here are fans of the Chase 5/24 rule, but at least they are up front about it.

  23. banananon says:

    Besides the sign-up bonus I think there’s no reason to be excited for this card. Travel Rewards is too similar; the only benefit is 3.5% CB on travel/dining best case, which is outclassed by the other premium cards.

  24. Andy says:

    Just to clarify: The signup bonus for the current Travel Rewards card is NOT impacted by Preferred Rewards status. Only the 123 cashback card will see an increase for members.

    • Kevin says:

      This is correct and could be edited in the article.

      Another thing that could (should?) be in the article is that if you book travel through BofA’s travel portal (run by Orbitz), you get an additional 1.5% back. Therefore, if you’re Platinum Honors status ($100k+), booking travel through BofA’s travel portal would be 5% back. Unless of course BofA specifically excludes this card but I doubt it. This is not advertised by BofA much at all but it’s real and it exists.

    • Chuck says:

      Andy, I’ll edit that to indicate that it’s confirmed.

  25. NinjaX says:

    Comment Update:

    Holy shit. this CC just got ridiculous…

    Not to mention the exposure to this game is getting more ridiculous everyday. Now BI + mainstream media outlets writing about new CC products.

  26. Mike says:

    BofA keeps confirming cards benifits. Can they confirm when it’s being released 🤣

  27. YRK says:

    With the GE credit, I probably would apply for this if rejected for CSR .
    Though dont see using after 1st year unless incidental are used.
    Are the bonus points also redeemed 1cpp for travel or could be for cashback?

  28. Bo says:

    That businessinsider.com is a sloppy website: “3 for travel/dining and 2.25 on all other purchases (More than $100,000 deposited)” (multiplier should be 1.75 not 1.5 in that case, so they miss a major feature of the card), but then they try to sell you their “The Credit Card Rewards Explainer” for $495!!

    • Kevin says:

      Yeah, I noticed that bad info too. I figured they maybe copied and pasted the middle tier info and forgot to edit it with the correct changes for $100k+. It makes me wonder about this $100 GE/TSA credit too. Haven’t heard it from anyone else except for Business Insider.

  29. Scott says:

    The Global Entry / TSA precheck addition really shouldn’t impact anyone reading this site if they’ve already gotten one of the dozen other credit cards that offers that perk. That takes it out of the equation until it’s time to renew in t years

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