Merrill Lynch MERRILL+ Visa Signature Credit Card Review

This card has been discontinued and is no longer available. It has been replaced by the Bank of America Premium Travel Rewards card.

You can get 50,000 points by applying via phone. More information here

As I pointed out I didn’t think the MERRILL+ Visa Signature card was getting enough attention, so I thought I’d do a full review that should also answer some questions people have been having as well. This card is actually issued by Bank of America (this is important to note for reasons that will become clear).

You can view our previous posts on this card here:

The Basics

  • Sign up bonus of 50,000 points after $3,000 in spend within 90 days of account opening
  • Card earns 1x points on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Spend $50,000 or more a year (gives you Plus Level status) and choose one of the following:
    • $200 travel credit that can be used for travel incidentals or
    • Complimentary Delta Sky Club lounge membership
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Access to Merrill Lynch Concierge
  • Standard Visa Signature Benefits

merrill-lynch-merill-review

Application Information

Please note we only looked at information from 2013 onwards. This is only based on three data points, so please provide yours in the comments at the end of this article.

What Credit Score Is Required

 Credit BoardsCredit Karma
Lowest approved score732N/A
Average approved score753N/A

Common Reasons For Denial:

  • Too much credit extended. You can sometimes get around this by calling reconsideration and asking to reallocate credit limits from existing Bank of America cards.
  • Too many recent applications. Not avoidable from what I’ve seen.

What Credit Bureau Does Bank of America Pull For the MERRILL+?

This depends on what state you live in, you can find more information regarding this here.

What Credit Limit Will I Receive?

Minimum Credit LimitHighest Reported Credit LimitAverage Credit Limit
$5,000 required for Visa Signature$35,000.00$20,000.00

Card Benefits

Plus Level ($50,000 In Spend)

When you spend $50,000 or more in a calendar year you’re considered Plus Level and you’re able to choose one of the following benefits:

  • $200 Travel Credit. This card be used for airline incidental purchases (e.g.: Seat upgrades, In-flight Wi-Fi, In-flight meals and beverages, airport lounge day passes, baggage fees, flight-change and cancellation fees, expedited check-in fees, Global Entry application fee & more)
  • Delta Sky Club membership. This is a one year executive membership that gives you and accompanying immediate family or any two guests unlimited lounge access. Membership is valid for one year beginning in the month requested or if you have a current membership one year will be added to the expiration date.

Once you’ve reached the $50,000 in spend within a calendar year you need to call 800.419.0000 and say benefits.

Hertz Benefits

To access this benefit you need to book through: www.hertz.com/mloffers

  • Save up to 20% on all rentals
  • $25 off Weekly rentals (include CDP#: 1499506 and PC#104613)
  • $5 Off a day up to $15 off Weekend Rentals (include CDP#: 1499506 and PC#104565)
  • One Free Day on Weekly Rentals (include CDP#: 1499506 and PC#104436)

Merrill Lynch Concierge

To access your concierge call 800-419-0000 and say Concierge. I wasn’t able to find out who provides the concierge service, if anybody knows then please let us know in the comments.

Travel Protection/Benefits

  • Emergency Evacuation up to $100,000
  • Trip cancellation up to $2,500
  • Trip Delay up to $500 (used to be $100 per day for up to 5 days)
  • Travel accident insurance up to $1,000,000
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Secondary car rental insurance

Purchase Protections

  • Double warranties
  • Purchase security will replace, repair or reimburse for items up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per cardholder for items that are damaged or stolen.

Visa Signature Benefits

Card comes with the standard Visa Signature benefits, you can read more about those here.

Rewards Program

Earning Rewards

This card earns a flat 1x point per $1 in spend

Sign Up Bonus

Current Sign Up Bonus
  • 50,000 points after $3,000 in spend
Sign Up Bonus History

Redeeming Your Rewards

Points can be redeemed for the following:

  • Statement credit: 1¢ per point
  • Gift cards: 1¢ per point
  • Travel (other than airfare): 1¢ per point
  • Airfare: Up to 2¢ per point

Everything apart from the Airfare is easy to understand, it’s just a straight 1¢ per point. If you’re doing that, you should always go for the statement credit as the others can be purchased with cash and then you can purchase the rest at a discount or at the very least earn credit card rewards on the purchase.

Anytime, Anywhere Air Rewards

This is how you can get up to 2¢ per point for airfare.

  • You must redeem a minimum of 25,000 points for $500 in airfare (including taxes & fees). If your airfare exceeds $500 then you will pay an additional 1 point per 1¢.
  • Points cannot be used for misc costs imposed by the airline (e.g baggage fees)
  • Anybody can be desginated as the user of your Air Reward

Its not possible to purchase two or more tickets at once (e.g two $250 tickets would cost 50,000 points not 25,000) as far as I know. We discuss how these points are used in more detail and rules regarding their use in this post.

Our Verdict

The main reason people will be interested in this card is for the sign up bonus (worth $500 in cash or up to $1,000 in airfare). I don’t think the card would be worth keeping in your wallet long term, it does have an annual fee of $0 but there are cards that earn a flat 2% cash back on all purchases that would be better options. Theoretically if you could get a perfect 2¢ per point, it might be worth putting $50,000 in purchases on the card to get the Plus Level benefits but realistically you’re never going to get that perfect redemption so I don’t think that’s worth considering.

Still this is one of the best cash sign up bonuses currently being offered, so it’s definitely worth getting just for the sign up bonus.

F.A.Q’s

What is the reconsideration phone number for this card?

866-224-7803

Will Bank of America combine this inquiry with other card applications?

Yes

Can you book two or more tickets that cost $500 for 25,00 points?

My understanding is that you’re restricted to one ticket at a time.

Is this eligible for Preferred Rewards with Bank of America?

No

Can you transfer points from Bank of America to this card?

No

Can you get 10 free Lounge Club visits per year with this card?

Benefit terms don’t mention this, but a comment says you can by asking.

Where can I check the status of my application?

Here.

194
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
calwatch
calwatch

Incidentally, one area where the Merrill + may be of use is as an overdraft transfer card. If you’re like me and keep as little of your money in BoA checking and savings accounts as possible, the overdraft transfer to your BoA account is free both on the bank account end with Preferred Rewards (I’m at the Platinum level) and on the credit card end. You only pay for interest at a minimum charge of $1.50, no minimum cash advance fee or anything similar.

Also, as of 2021 the Hertz benefit is eliminated, not that anyone used it.

David
David

Got a letter recently that this card was canceled for 24 months of no usage. Bummer! I enjoy no annual fee cards to extend my average age of accounts on my credit report. The letter said I have 90 days to redeem rewards and when logging in the account was gone so I had no idea if I had points. Apparently I had 28,000ish so I got tons of gift cards for the wife and I for some dates. Works for me!

win scrabble

I’ve used all the bonus. How can I get more? Is there an easy instruction anywhere?

V
V

Any reason to keep this card open after using the bonus points for travel, and there is no other special bonus offer on it?

NBG
NBG

The following airlines are valid for the $200 airline fee incidental credit.
Alaska
American
Delta
Frontier
Hawaiian
Jet Blue
Southwest
US Airways
Virgin

SSSS
SSSS

It’s not getting enough attention because its impossible to find a BA rep who understands the product they are selling. I had to read this article to understand the travel benefit. Betty didn’t know about it nor did Bill Link from Merrill. Thank you for clarifying the benefit.

hew2702
hew2702

Tried calling to apply for this card but was told it was discontinued. Is there a specific number that I need to use or is this actually done for good?

SamSimon
SamSimon

“Travel Protection/Benefits” strange no data points for electronic airline gift cards? did AA egift card trigger the benefit or not?
thanks

JC
JC

Greetings! Is this offer still available?

Dev
Dev

Are there any DP’s that confirm purchase of gift card’d would trigger the $200 travel credit?