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:
    • 2x points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases [Read: Best cards for dining purchases]
    • 1.5x points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 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.


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?




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oldest most voted

Linh (@guest_1733943)
November 9, 2023 17:30

Does anyone know if Alaska airlines gift certificate will trigger the incidental travel credit? I’m flying on Alaska airlines and would be nice to get gift certificate so I can pay for the purchase of the flight. Would make this card more useful for me.

ORyan (@guest_1712997)
October 10, 2023 22:35

Very weird :
30min lost on the phone.
Received a letter asking to call, the guy said they will send me the card, and have to transfer to credit department to cmdiscuss credit line. 15min wait and the lady told me I was not approved.
I am closing all my BofA cards.

Will S
Will S (@guest_1680070)
August 25, 2023 15:40

Can points be applied to as credit card statement credit and is that the best bang for your points?

jz (@guest_1637584)
June 19, 2023 15:54

I opened the account in December 2022. When will the annual fee charged again this year? Can I transfer points to another BoA credit card before canceling this card?

ritholtz (@guest_1626061)
May 30, 2023 11:38

Can we get $100 credit for TSA renewals?

Voyager (@guest_1592187)
April 5, 2023 19:02

Where can I sell my American Airlines gift card? Any idea, or suggestion, please?

Anuj (@guest_1580421)
March 19, 2023 20:04

Any recent DP related to the $100 travel incidental credit posted on the purchase of an AA gift card?

Bertrand (@guest_1580578)
March 20, 2023 00:52

Purchased $100 AA GC on 1/30, $100 credit posted 2/3.

Anuj (@guest_1580944)
March 20, 2023 15:32

Thanks, Bertrand.

Roberto (@guest_1556305)
February 14, 2023 12:44

Another retention offer DP: Annual fee posted a few weeks ago. Called in and was offered $175 for $1,500 spend within 3 months, which I accepted. Will keep it open another year and see if P2 gets the same retention offer.

Kingslik (@guest_1556306)
February 14, 2023 12:47

Did you ask for a retention offer directly?

Been using the card for 4+ years and got no offers when I chatted and called last week. AF posted a few weeks ago as well.

Joe (@guest_1570796)
March 7, 2023 12:15

Any other data points on getting the annual fee waived?
I keep getting a firm No

Voyager (@guest_1669235)
August 9, 2023 13:40

What number did you call and options to choose during the call.

Greg (@guest_1547894)
February 2, 2023 08:39

For the TSA Precheck credit, my wife and I both did it on the BoA premium card. The credit took 5 days to post. What’s interesting is I got a $-78 credit for me and a $-22 credit for her; for a total of a -$100 credit, even though the TSA only cost 78.

As a side note, the cardmember has to be present to pay for the TSA precheck to authorize it for the other person.

An (@guest_1538458)
January 20, 2023 09:25

Section “How much points worth.” says – points might be redeemed as a statement credit to your checking account.

Section “Our verdict” on the other hand states: “For those with Preferred Rewards this card would be a 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),”

January 20, 2023 09:26

Looks good to me? The Premium Rewards card can be redeemed for cash, the Travel Rewards card can not

An (@guest_1538512)
January 20, 2023 11:06

Yes you are right, but the article is about “The Premium Rewards card” and there is not a word about “Travel rewards card” until that latest sentence, so I was somewhat confused and didn’t get that it mentions “Travel card” in the end.