Posted by Chuck on April 9, 2019
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Published on April 9th, 2019 | by Chuck

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Bank of America Business Cards now get Bonus ‘Preferred’ Rates on Full Rewards Earnings (5.25% in Select Categories)

Bank of America business Preferred Rewards members will now/soon get their 25-75% bonus rate on total credit card rewards, the bonus is no longer limited to base rewards.

Background: Those who have deposit or investment accounts with Bank of America become eligible for their Preferred Rewards program which gives a bonus of between 25% and 75%, depending on total deposits. This bonus is available for Bank of America personal credit cards by having funds in personal deposit or investment accounts, and it’s available to Bank of America business credit cards by having funds in business deposit or investment accounts.

On personal credit cards, the bonus is calculated on the full reward earnings. So, for example, if you earn 3% back on the personal Cash Rewards card in select categories, that can result in total cashback of 5.25% for those in the highest tier who earn a 75% bonus (3 x 1.75 = 5.25). On business cards, however, the bonus was only calculated on the base rewards. So, for example, if you earn 3% back on the business Cash Rewards card in select categories, that would only result in 3.75% back since the 75% bonus was only affixed to the base 1% earn, not to the full 3% rate.

Bank of America has changed that so that business Cash Rewards cardholders will earn the Preferred bonus on the entire rewards amount, resulting in a max earn rate of 5.25% in the bonus category.

Existing business Cash Rewards cardholders will have the change go into effect on May 1, 2019.

Here’s what it now shows in the fine print on the business Cash Rewards card:

Only certain credit cards are eligible to receive the program bonus. Enrolled clients with eligible cards will receive the program bonus of 25% for the Gold tier, 50% for the Platinum tier, or 75% for the Platinum Honors tier based on program tier and type of card. The Business Advantage Cash Rewards credit card Relationship Rewards bonus will be applied after all base and bonus earn cash rewards have been calculated on a purchase. For example, a $50 purchase that earns 3% ($1.50) will actually earn $1.88, $2.25 or $2.63 based on your tier when the purchase posts to your account. If you have an existing Business Advantage Cash Rewards 1%, 2%, 3% product, and subsequently enroll in Relationship Rewards, you will not receive the benefits of the combined base earn and bonus earn calculation on purchases that are made prior to May 1, 2019. For all other eligible card types, a purchase that earns 100 base points will actually earn 125, 150, or 175 points based on your tier when the purchase posts to your account…

This makes the business Cash Rewards card much more interesting. Unfortunately, they did recently slash the limit on the 3%/5.25% earn down from $250,000 to $50,000, though they also broadened the category options available. You can currently get a signup bonus of either $300 or $350 on the business Cash Rewards card, more details in this post.

Hat tip to readers JC and Lrdx



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MarcoPolo
MarcoPolo

Finally a great news.
Thanks Chuck 🙂

Alex
Alex

Can you get Preferred Rewards Business status with your personal investment accounts (Merrill Roth IRA for example)? Since it just says “investments,” I’m wondering if there is something different that is considered “business investments.”

Alex
Alex

nevermind, read the other post that indicates it must be “business investments”

Lrdx
Lrdx

AFAICT it’s Merrill Business Cash Management (i.e. regular taxable brokerage) or Merrill 401k plans (including individual 401k and small business 401k plans). Problem with their 401k offerings is the sky-high prices.

Steve

By “individual 401k” I’m guessing you mean for self-employed people. If I have a Merrill 401k account through my employer’s 401k plan (and my employer is not a business I own), it wouldn’t count, right?

I wonder if I could open a Merrill Business Cash Management account for my sole proprietorship “business”. Would that make my taxes more complicated, or would everything be reported the same as with my personal brokerage account?

Trixie
Trixie

Careful. They also charge foreign transaction fees (at least on the personal card), and it can basically cancel out your cashback bonus depending on your tier. I noticed it when I selected 3% for the online shopping category. I called and they would only waive half of the FT fees. Account closed; their loss.

qmc
qmc

> I noticed it when I selected 3% for the online shopping category. I called and they would only waive half of the FT fees. Account closed; their loss.

Yea, somehow I don’t think they’re losing out without your business… or that of anyone on this blog.

Trixie
Trixie

Then don’t read it or comment if you have nothing of value to contribute.

Frank
Frank

Seems like he had something to contribute….which was that BofA isn’t losing by you walking

Trixie
Trixie

Something; yes. Of value? No.
And since neither of you have any idea how much I spend, both your comments are speculative and invaluable to others.
At least I attempted to warn others who use this crappy product.

qmc
qmc

Okay, maybe you spend a lot. Either Organic or MS. Let’s also assume you keep lots of money in the savings account (vs investments) to max out the rewards tier multiplier, and that your purchases are mostly at 1x, not the 3x category. Then you would likely be profitable enough that they might come out behind by you leaving.

But… that’s not the behavior of anyone who frequents this blog. The whole point is to be unprofitable.

P
P

Ah, meh. My still not useful to me as I have a business card but only have a personal checking.

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