Doctor Of Credit

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

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

Card Basics

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

Purchase Benefits

Automotive Benefits

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:

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?

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