Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Review – 50,000 Point Bonus, $100 Annual Travel Credit & More

Update 4/12/20: it might just have been their personalized offer that shows the 4/12 end date.

Update 4/12/20: Today is showing as the last day for this offer. Hat tip to reader Cliftonmcdnl

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is now available for applications. With benefits and sign up bonuses as predicted.

Card Basics

  • Annual fee of $95 (not waived first year)
  • $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit annually for qualifying purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services and airline lounge fees. Only applies to domestic-originated flights on certain U.S. Domestic airline carriers.
  • $100 airport security statement credit towards TSA Pre✓ ® or Global Entry Application fee every four year
  • Sign up bonus of 50,000 points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Card earns at the following rates:
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Eligible for Bank of America Preferred Rewards, meaning you can get an additional 25-75% rewards on all purchases. Makes the card earn at the following rates with top tier status:
    • 3.5x points per $1 spent on travel & dining purchases
    • 2.625x points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Points are worth 1¢ each and can be redeemed for cash back as a statement credit into eligible Bank of America or Merrll Lynch accounts or to purchase travel through the Bank of America travel center or to redeem gift cards

Card Benefits

$100 Travel Incidental Credit

This card gives you a $100 airline incidental statement credit every calendar year. This is big news as it means you can get use the credit twice but only pay the annual fee once (e.g apply now and use for 2017 and then use it again in 2018). To use the credit you just need to use the Premium Rewards card to pay your airline incidentals and then allow 7 days for the statement credit to post to your account. Unfortunately only  the following is eligible:domestic-originated flights on certain U.S.-domestic airline carriers that include: preferred seating upgrades, ticket change/cancellation fees, checked baggage fees, in-flight entertainment, onboard food and beverage charges, and airport lounge fees affiliated with eligible airline carriers.

The following as specifically excluded in the fine print: Airline ticket purchases, mileage point purchases, mileage point transfer fees, gift cards, duty-free purchases, award tickets and fees incurred with airline alliance partners do not qualify. Airline incidental fee transactions must be separate from airline ticket charges. In practice we don’t know what will and won’t work. I’ll keep this section of this post updated with what does and doesn’t work with datapoints as they come in, please share yours in the comments when possible.

They list the following Merchant Category Codes as qualifying: 3000, 3001, 3057, 3058, 3063, 3066, 3132, 3174, 3196 or 3256. You can find datapoints on what does/doesn’t work here.

TSA Pre✓/Global Entry Credit

You’re eligible for one statement credit per account every four years for either TSA Pre✓ ($85) or Global Entry ($100). You might as well get Global Entry as it includes Pre✓ as well. You just need to use your card to pay for application fee.

Emergency Travel Benefits

  • Trip Delay Reimbursement of $500 per ticker purchased for you and your eligible family members for reasonable expenses if a covered trip is delayed for more than 12 hours
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption of up to $5,000 per person per trip for the unused prepaid non-refundable travel expenses including passenger fares, tours, and hotels if you have to cancel due to a covered reason
  • Baggage Delay of up to $100 per day (up to five days) when your bags are delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for more than six hours for essential items including clothing.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement provides coverage for luggage and it’s contents if they are lost or stolen due to theft or misdirection by the common carrier
  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance provides coverage against accidental lost of life, limb, or sight while travelling by land, air or sea on a licensed common carrier when tickets have been purchased using this card
  • Travel and Emergency Assistant Services provides help cordinating medical, legal and travel services when you are traveling.
  • Emergency Evacuation and Transportation Coverage if you or a member of your immediate family are injured or become sick during a trip far from home that results in an emergency evacuation you can be covered for eligible medical services and transportation

Purchase Benefits

  • Purchase Security. Repair/replace/reimburse you if an eligible item purchased with the card is stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase. Up to $10,000 per claim
  • Warranty Manager Service. Doubles the time period of the manufacturers’ warranty up to one additional year for eligible items purchased with card.
  • Return Protection. Provides reimbursement for the cost of an eligible item of personal property if you are dissasitified with the item for any reason within 90 days of the purchase and if the retailer will not accept the return. Limited to $250 per eligible item and up to $1,000 annually. Items must be received by the benefit administrator in like-new/good working condition

Automotive Benefits

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. Provides reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft. Coverage is supplemental to and in excess of other insurance. You must also decline the collission/loss damage waiver offered by the auto rental agency.
  • Roadside Dispatch Program. 24/7 on demand referral dispatch network that poviders emergency roadside assistance, towing and locksmith services.

How Much Are Points Worth?

Points are worth 1¢ each and can be redeemed for cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account (or various Merrill Lynch accounts) or as a statement credit. In addition you can redeem points for travel at the travel center or for gift cards. Minimum redemption is 2,500 ($25) for all options.

Preferred Rewards

Bank of America’s preferred rewards program is where it becomes interesting for ongoing spend. We have discussed this program in detail before here. But basically is if you have assets held in Bank of America accounts (or Merrill Lynch) you’re eligible for a bonus as a Preferred Rewards relationship client. Here are the tiers:

  • Preferred Rewards Gold $20,000 – $50,000:  25% bonus on rewards
    • 2.5x points per $1 spent on travel & dining purchases
    • 1.875x points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Preferred Rewards Platinum $50,000-$100,000: 50% bonus on rewards
    • 3x points per $1 spent on travel & dining purchases
    • 2.25x points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors $100,000+: 75% bonus on rewards
    • 3.5x points per $1 spent on travel & dining purchases
    • 2.625x points per $1 spent on all other purchases

Our Verdict

It’s hard to make a case against signing up for this card, it comes with a sign up bonus worth $500 in cash or statement credit (using for travel/gift cards doesn’t make a lot of sense, just redeem for statement credit and then make those travel/gift card purchases on the card instead) and you can also get $200 in travel incidental credits and only pay a $95 annual fee. The downside is that there is a $3,000 minimum spend requirement but that isn’t excessive given the sign up bonus. I suspect this is only the launch bonus and it will be decreased over time (we saw the same with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and also the Blue Business Plus).

Keeping the card long term would only real make sense if you had Preferred Rewards as otherwise you’d be better off just using a 2%+ cash back card for all purchases (otherwise it’s 1.5% on all purchases and then 2% on travel/restaurants). For those with Preferred Rewards this card would be better option than say the travel rewards card (this card also gives 2.625x on all purchases with the highest Preferred Rewards status but can’t be redeemed for cash back), but that’s only true if the travel credit would offset the annual fee for you (or the convenience of being able to cash out your rewards instead of having to use them for travel).

For most people this will be a card that is at the very least worth signing up for the 50,000 point sign up bonus and the $100 travel incidental credits * 2 that you’ll be able to get. Because of that I’ll be adding it to our list of the best credit card sign up bonuses. I also imagine that this saddly means the Merrill+ is no longer available, but if anybody tries to sign up please let us know. If you have any questions about Bank of America credit cards in general, I’d recommend reading this post. There is also a $100 checking bonus currently available, not sure if that helps get approved or not.

F.A.Q’s

Do you get the Preferred Rewards bonus on the sign up bonus?

Unfortunately I don’t think so. You get this bonus on purchases and not the sign up bonus.

Can I triple dip the travel credit by applying in December?

This might be possible, will likely depend on how quickly the statement credit posts (looks like it should be within 7 days but isn’t entirely clear if this is 7 days of the purchase posting or the statement cycle posting).

Can you product change to this card?

According to this datapoint, you can. Just keep in mind that by product changing you will not get the sign up bonus.

Will Bank of America expedite this card?

  • Yes (for Preferred Rewards customers by calling 888.888.7937): 1

Can you transfer points to this card?

Yes, travel rewards & AAA points can be transferred to this card but cash rewards cannot be transferred. This is useful as this premium card gives you the option of redeeming points for cash back/statement credit.

Does this card have any transfer partners?

No

 

 

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Steven
Steven

How would you “triple dip” if you wanted?

JasonF
JasonF

FYA – BOA reduced benefits (not sure it apply to all card holder / YMMV) but it reflect to my current P.rewards card benefit.

*******************************************
Received Legal Notice e-Letter : Date Oct 7, 2020
*******************************************
Credit Card Benefit change
On February 1, 2021 some terms of your credit card benefits are changing.

What’s changing
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption and Trip Delay Benefit
• The coverage amount for purchases for the Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption benefit will be decreasing
from $5,000 to $2,500.
• You will be able to continue to file claims at the current coverage levels after February 1st,
for purchases prior to that date, subject to the terms and conditions of coverage. For complete terms and conditions,
please call the number on the back of your credit card.

AA
AA

I got the same letter on my statement date this month.

In addition, my letter mentions a slight change to the TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry credit, which I’m pasting below:

——————

Additional change

We’ve made a change to your Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Program Rules. Please see below.

The Airport Security Statement Credit section has been modified.

You are currently eligible for one statement credit per account every four years for either the T S A Pre✓® ($85) or Global Entry ($100) program. If you apply for both programs, only one credit will be applied and it will be the fee that posts to the account first.

Beginning January 1, 2021, you will be eligible for up to $100 in statement credits per account every four years in connection with the T S A Pre✓® or Global Entry programs. Statement credits will be applied in the order that the qualifying transactions posted to your account.

Faraz
Faraz

Got a targeted email and was instantly approved. My offer said, “Get up to $200 in combined Airline Incidental* and TSA Pre✓®/Global Entry Statement Credits” . WIll be using it to buy AA gift cards which I believe works.

Ben
Ben

Annual fee just posted on my BoA Premium Rewards card. Held the card since 2017 and never have received a retention offer. This year was offered $100 statement credit after spending $1.5K (prior to Jan 1 2021). Credit will take 8 – 12 weeks to post from Jan 1.

Corey T
Corey T

Approved today
5 or 6 /12
I’ve completed a checking account bonus 3-4 months ago and have left 1,500 in the checking since then.
I applied for this card about a week after first getting my checking account and was rejected.
Not sure if approval is due to added length of relationship or a couple cards falling off my x/12 status.

Paulv
Paulv

Has anyone been approved for this card recently and still get the $50 statement credit offer?

Fred
Fred

Paulv, I was just approved and received the card in the mail today. It included the insert (“Now through December 31, 2020, you’re eligible to receive a statement credit for the amount you spend, up to $50…”) for grocery/dining/takeout.

Paulv
Paulv

Great thanks!

AmazingCard
AmazingCard

This is an amazing card, and will supplant my 2% CB card from Fidelity. If you qualify for preferred rewards, the base CB is 2.62%, and for travel and dining 3.5% CB. Cash in your pocket, not points and games! The $100 airline credit covers the $95 annual fee. Good luck to all in getting this card, which is really suited for these times of limited travel and vacations.

hameshatumkochaha
hameshatumkochaha

Considering the benefits, I am looking at making this a primary card. With $95 fee with 2.625% CB with BoA compared to $0 fee with my Fidelity CC giving me 2% CB, after spending $15.2k in a year, BoA comes out ahead, even after ignoring Global Travel $100 refund…
I want to ensure that I get $50 grocery / dining / takeout credit (takes 14 weeks!). The slip says MCC 5411, 5422, 5441, 5451, 5462, 5499, 5812, 5813, 5814 qualify. Without corona, we would easily meet the dining / takeout requirements. The slip also says that WholeSale clubs, Superstores, smaller (drug/convenience) stores are excluded to get $50 spend requirement. Costco/Sams Club, and Walmart/Amazon are our main spending places. Does anyone know exactly which stores qualify? How do I use the MCC codes for a store / purchase info? https://www.dm.usda.gov/procurement/card/card_x/mcc.pdf
My main hopes are from Walmart since it is a supermarket and should fall under 5411…
https://www.citibank.com/tts/solutions/commercial-cards/assets/docs/govt/Merchant-Category-Codes.pdf
Has anyone got $50 back with info on what stores qualified?

hameshatumkochaha
hameshatumkochaha

Hi,
I am glad to update all that I received $50 credit under the title “GROC & DINING STMT CRDT” on 9/17; a day after my monthly payment was posted. I am unsure still exactly what transaction I made that qualified. I am assuming my following transaction was the one:
PATEL BROTHERS CITY STATE
Transaction date: 09/03/2020
Card type: Visa
Transaction type: Purchases
Merchant description: GROCERY STORES, SUPERMARKETS
Reference number: 0457
Merchant Name: PATEL BROTHERS
Transaction Category: Groceries: Groceries
Online Purchase: N
$70.48
I hope all other cardholders also get to enjoy this nice perk/benefit.
Ignoring the 2.625% CB and without the $100 refund for CLEAR that I have not yet applied for, I guess, the card is working out well…
Anything beyond ~$15.5k spend and I am beating no annual fee Fidelity 2% CB card that I was using until now. In the first 1.5 months, I am already at $5.5k spend and the year end donations have not yet begun…
Best,

chinner
chinner

Approved! (Denied back in 4/2018 but I had no banking relationship with them at that point.)

Pulled Experian (757 FICO Score 8) (SoCal)
0/24, 2/24 if you count mortgage HPs
Checking account with them since 7/2019

I could not get them to waive the fee to expedite the card. Guess I’ll have to wait a tad bit longer for it.

chinner
chinner

HUCA this morning and got them to expedite the card and waived the $15.

Paulv
Paulv

Did you get $50 statement credit offer since you received card?

C
C

Rejected – 790 Credit Score, very little history with B of A.

c
c

was rejected because they didn’t have a history. needed to send pay stubs and ssn verification form. approved after two weeks of sending those documents in.