Posted by William Charles on November 6, 2016
Credit Card Offers

Published on November 6th, 2016 | by William Charles


[Expired] MERRILL + Visa Signature Credit Card: 50,000 Point Sign Up Bonus (Worth $500-$1,000)

Unfortunately this offer has now expired. You can view the best current credit card bonuses here.

The Offer

Direct links: 1 & 2 (only link one is currently working)

  • Receive a sign up bonus of 50,000 points after $3,000 in spend within the first 90 days.

Keep in mind that this is “an exclusive offer – just for you” so it’s possible that it’s a targeted sign up bonus and you need to have a relationship with Merrill Lynch to be eligible. Update: Here are some datapoints of people being succesful:

Further update: Lots more successful datapoints in the comments. It seems that sometimes it says that you’re pending but when you log into your account you’re approved.

It seems that calling in is usually necessary. Thanks to GWBlueBlueBlue.


Card Details

  • No annual fee
  • Spend $50,000 or more a year and choose one of the following:
    • $200 travel credit that can be used for travel incidentals or
    • Complimentary Delta Sky Club lounge membership
  • Card earns 1x point per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Might be possible to get 10 Lounge Club passes by asking

How Much Are Points Worth?

Points never expire and you can redeem your points for gift cards, cash back, statement credit, to offset any purchase or for flight bookings.

Points are worth as follows:

  • Gift cards: 1¢ per point
  • Cash back/statement credit: 1¢ per point
  • Flight bookings: Up to 2¢ per point

For flight bookings you have to redeem a minimum of 25,000 points ($500 in flights) at a time. The value you get out of this option will depend on what airlines you redeem for:

  • American Airlines, British Airways, Alaska Airlines,  Delta Airlines & United Airlines allow you to redeem 25,000 points for up to $500 in flights (2¢ in value)
  • All other airlines allow you to redeem 30,000 points for up to $500 in flights (1.67¢ in value)

This is no longer true, points are worth 2¢ for the majority of airlines. You can read more about this here.

You’ll also earn frequent flyer miles and elite qualifying miles on these flights as well. If flights are under $500, you’ll still need to pay the minimum of 25,000 points. For flights over $500, you’ll only get a value of 1¢ a point (and this is done in increments of 2,500 points).

Our Verdict

Great offer and from everything I’ve seen it doesn’t look like you need any relationship with Merrill Lynch. Another thing to keep in mind is that at least one reader has had their inquiries combined when they applied for this card and another Bank of America card. I assume that this means that other Bank of America rules will apply to this card as well. Other Bank of America cards you might want to consider getting at the same time as this card (getting the hard inquiries combined) are as follows:

You can also read our review of the Merrill Lynch Octave credit card here.

Thanks to sirtheta on /r/churning.

285 Responses to [Expired] MERRILL + Visa Signature Credit Card: 50,000 Point Sign Up Bonus (Worth $500-$1,000)

  1. Dan says:

    Applied. Got “Unable to give a decision at this time”

  2. jnrfalcon says:

    BOA standard rules or their own rules?

  3. ads says:

    went to pending for me.

  4. Jake says:

    This gets a lot more interesting if it’s eligible for the preferred rewards credit card bonus from B of A. Up to 3.5 cents per point towards major domestic carriers?

  5. DR says:

    The point redemption system sounds very much alike what BOA had until they killed it starting this week I think. My question is, can you transfer points from BOA cards to ML cards, and if you can then this becomes a great card

  6. Jeremy says:

    Other than the sign-up bonus, I fail to see how this is a good card. I understand the benefits when you spend $50k, but that’s a lot. While a $1000 credit is nothing to sneeze at. Is it really worth a HP? 2% back towards travel is good, but if you have double cash or fidelity visa, I hardly see why I’d use it.

    • sirtheta says:

      Well, you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head. It’s not a good card, at all, but it’s a $500-$1000 signup bonus on a no-annual-fee card, which means you’ll have no problem banking the points. I don’t see how that kind of signup offer isn’t worth the HP.

      • Jeremy says:

        I’m trying to get my HP’s down, so I can apply for CSR.

        • LC says:

          hard pulls dont matter when it comes to Chase’s 5/24 rule. amount of new credit card accounts within the last 24 months is what matters. a distinction without a difference since applying for this would be +1 account to last 24 months so I can understand your point.

    • Fork says:

      What do you value HPs at?

      Besides, I think some of us are hoping it will clumped together with BOA’s one-HP-a-day rule.

      I applied and got the ‘unable at this time’ message but that’s the MO for my BOA applications.

    • The benefit is the $500-$1k bonus. I don’t see how you can possibly value HPs at more than $500…

      • CtownBin says:

        I think the issue isn’t the HP itself- it’s the issue of one extra account going towards Chase’s 5/24 rule. I think people are trying to REALLY maximize the value of the cards they open these days, making sure they get all the 60,000+ transferable points cards first.

  7. somy says:

    Any ideas on what number to call if the decision goes to pending?

  8. Roman says:

    Applied today.
    Here is what they replied to me – We are reviewing your application and will send you a letter letting you know our decision.

    Going to call them tomorrow and ask them to approve my application


    Everyone will kick themselves when Chase eventually gets rid of 5/24 rule due to lack of apps/profits. I say give other banks your HPs in the meantime so when Chase sees that, they will realize they made a mistake.

  10. Mark says:

    I called in this morning to have them take a look at the my app on this card. It seemed as though I would have been approved except for the “too many inquiries” for credit on my credit report.

    The senior anylast indicated he was not able to override that.

    In any event, I can’t complain too much given the nine BOA cards between my spouse and myself at $200 a pop.

  11. kingofkingsforu says:

    I applied for this card and alaska and both went to pending.Called this morning and spoke with the agent -Approved for this card with 11k. Alaska went to secondary review and they couldnt provide me the decision immediately .

    Hope the credit pull is combine.

  12. payal says:

    1) When does this offer expire? any idea?

    2) BOA credit pulls are combined? Where/what is Alaska card deal?

  13. Roman S says:

    Called in this morning and their response was – the application is under review and they will contact me if any questions comes up otherwise she told me to wait for response in the mail.

  14. Sparviero says:

    Although it is not advertised, I believe it is possible to get 10 free Lounge Club visits per year as well. You need to ask your Merrill FA for the code.

    • Jeremy says:

      this is false. there appears to have been a benefit where one could choose their lounge offering once hitting $50k in spend (including Lounge Club and Admiral’s Club as an option). no one is giving out 10 lounge club visits for free with this no fee card. there does continue to be a lounge club benefit with the Merrill AmEx.

    • Max says:

      Lounge Club passes existed before the current Plus program requiring 50K spend.
      They are now replaced with the Delta club membership, and no longer available.

  15. AP says:

    Approved for it with a combined pull on this as well as the Amtrak Card. Mild concern with the amtrak card since I had it previously. Hopefully Ill still get the sign-up bonus

  16. Sam says:

    Do the points have to be used for roundtrip travel to qualify for the 2X value?


  17. Ken says:

    I have a Merril Edge account, I wonder if that will help at all in them approving the card. Also have Preferred rewards status with BOA via Merril.

  18. Mike says:

    A no-fee card with a usable 50k sign-up bonus. What more needs said?

  19. Vik says:

    What is HP?

  20. gary says:

    originally got an unable to provide decision at this time on 11/6 but today my ML account has a link to see my credit card acitivity that when i click on shows my card. so looks like I got it.

  21. JW says:

    I applied said they will review. Checked my account and card shows up!

  22. Marc says:

    I applied a few days ago > we will let you know via a letter > checked the status online “under review” but when I logged into my account right afterwards I was approved with a 25k CL

  23. Howard says:

    Applied. Under Review. Called, told rejected for too many inquiries, asked for reconsideration, approved.

  24. Matt B says:

    Applied yesterday, got the “under review” message. Checked status online this afternoon and was still pending review. Called reconsideration and was approved with no questions asked. Despite being a churner (50 cards since 2010), this is my first BofA card and I do not have a relationship with Merrill.

  25. VK says:

    Number to call is 866-224-7803. I have a credit freeze, so I called to check with bureau to unfreeze. They offered to get on the phone with TU and lifted it for free (usually $10). Also gave me free overnight shipping on the card.

    Hope the points post quickly – I have some British / AA travel coming up early next year.

  26. leifinseoul says:

    “For flights over $500, you’ll only get a value of 1¢ a point (and this is done in increments of 2,500 points).”

    Do you get a value of only 1¢ per point on the ticket part that exceeds $500? Or does it mean that you only get 1¢ per point on the entire redemption for tickets costing above $500?

    Example: would a ticket costing $600 cost 35k points (25k +10k) or 60k points?

  27. Win says:

    Applied for Merrill+ card 3 days ago: “We’re sorry but we’re unable to give you a decision at this time.” Since BofA pools inquires, applied for Better Balance Rewards on the same day and was approved with 12k credit line. To enhance BBR cashback, opened BofA checking account in branch yesterday and set up on-line banking. Also applied for 10.5k increase to BBR CL (planning to take advantage of 0% BTO and wanted utilization < 30%). Today Merrill+ account appeared online with 21k CL. BBR CL increase is pending.

  28. Ken says:

    What bureau does Merrill pull?

  29. jags4186 says:

    Applied 11/5, pending. BOA status page shows approved as of today, 11/11. No BOA relationship. Did not call.

  30. John says:

    Are Alaska cards now once every 30 days or 90 days?

  31. cr7 says:

    hey guys, one of the links is down and I tried the other one but after applying it said your application can’t be completed at this time. Anybody else having the same problem?

  32. jennifer says:

    Are the links now working any more? the landing page says application not available

  33. micah says:

    are the people who are getting approved also a merrill lynh customer, or is this going to everyone?

    thanks in advance

  34. martin g says:

    Was able to transfer points on a 1-1 to BA a few years ago, wondering if it’s still possible?

  35. Walter T. says:

    Applied the first day this was posted and got the “We’re gonna noodle on that” message. Logged into my B of A account just now and it’s there. Approved without any interaction with them beyond the online app. Nice.

  36. Justin says:

    Any reason to not pull the trigger on this and an Alaska card? Over 5/24. Don’t have an immediate use of Alaska miles but if I can grab 2 more in 90 and 180 days then I can easily create a use 🙂

  37. Josh says:

    Applied and got the “We’re sorry but we’re unable to give you a decision at this time” message. No existing relationship with BoA, so I will probably give them a call and see what they say. Considering adding the Alaska card to combine pulls.

  38. Mike Carter says:

    I’m a little confused about the rules for booking flights with points. For an American airline flight that costs $600, how many points would it cost?

    It sounds like it would cost 25,000 points for the first $500 (2 cents per point) then 10,000 points for the remaining $100 (1 cent per point for anything over $500). So 35,000 points for a $600 flight—am I getting this right? Thanks!

  39. faff says:

    bizarrely now not working as it wont accept my DOB or work phone num, very strange

  40. Grateful2 doc says:

    Went to pending status today because of fraud alerts in the past but called the recon number above immediately after and approved for 35k!

  41. Henry says:

    Terms and conditions aren’t loading for me, so I’m unable to use link 1 to apply. Anyone else having the same problem?

  42. aram says:

    Never had any BoA account. Got approved (1st link) after calling the number VK provided above (866-224-7803)

    So before the end of the day should I apply for AS personal or business or both? Or may be Amtrak fee-free card or everything? (never had AS but have some Amtrak points from when it was transferable from UR and possibly need to save them from expiring in a year)
    The hard pulls will get combined to one but the apps will be reported to bureaus separately, which is not a good thing, right ?

    • Just sign up for the cards you find value in! It’ll lower your AAoA but shouldn’t cause your score to drop by too much.

      • Aram says:

        Yesterday I’ve applied for Merrill+, AS personal and business and got approved for Merril+ (10K after calling in) and AS business (8K instantaneous). It was 8PM and recon was closed for AS personal
        Today I’ve received a call from BoA and got Denied for the personal.
        1. Do I have a chance calling and changing their mind by moving credit from Merrill+? (IDK why would they deny when they spam me with preapproved AS offers almost every week)
        2. Did they pull my credit today or on the day of the app (yesterday)

        P.S. The reasons given were
        yo do not have sufficient installment loans with recent payment history
        your credit reference has not been established for sufficient length of time
        This is the first time I’m getting denied and even though my AAoA will be lower due to the hobby the length should be more than sufficient. Recently I’ve got a car loan, but it was preapproved (no hard pull) and probably not reported yet. the first bill should be in January


        • aram says:

          Update: Just called and they won’t approve by moving credit. I asked and CSR told my Fico from experian (755) stated the same reasons and said that apps combine to one HP if made in 30 days period, not just one day. I’ve asked again and been reassured that if I apply in 30 days they will still be one pull from my credit. Strange..

        • 1. Always worth a try
          2. Day of the app most likely, so if you do get the AS personal it might be another HP

  43. Johnny says:

    Also got a “We’re sorry but we’re unable to give you a decision at this time.” message.

    Called them, talked to a very nice lady and asked if there was anything I could do to speed up the process as i wanted to use the card sooner than later.

    2 minutes later, approved with a $10k limit. Not that high, but high enough to get the 3k spend and pocket the points. Definitely wouldn’t have known abotu this card as it’s a lesser known company but thx for the find once again DoC!

  44. Josh says:

    Update: Called the recon number and was denied due to “too many recent inquiries”. I was surprised since I hadn’t seen any data points of this yet. Bummer

    • WM says:

      How many inquiries if you don’t mind telling?

      I also got the pending message, but no HP has hit any of agency per monitors. Wonder if they are just a bit backed up? Has anyone seen an instant approval?

      • Josh says:

        6 inquires this year (as well as a hard pull from a property manager).

        Quite a bummer because I was looking forward to combining the ML and AS cards, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes! Going to try and call recon again tomorrow.

    • dan says:

      was declined as well! both analyst & supervisor said can’t approve with 15 appl so far this yr; saw DP some folks got approved with about the same #s earlier; wonder if applied sooner like earlier this month may have made any difference

      • WM says:

        I am still pending — tried to double up with the Virgin Atlantic card — immediate approval for that at the time ($16K limit)– but now shows “pending” on the online check status site. Weird!

  45. Dave says:

    A couple data points.

    1. I wasn’t able to apply online, I was told to call (which was a lengthy phone call).
    2. I was immediately declined. No reason given. However I suspect I am still banned from BofA based likedlyon high MO activity about 3 years ago (I had my accounts and credit cards cancelled then). This was my first data point seeing if I was still blacklisted. I guess they have a good memory.

  46. Kyle says:

    I applied today, went pending. Called the number given above. A couple minutes on hold and approved for 8K CL.

  47. timothy d brown says:

    Can you redeem points on gift cards?

  48. Andrew says:

    DP: approved 10k after recon with NO boa or ML relationship. High income though (>100k)

  49. aram says:

    BTW, you can check the status here I guess

    I did AS Personal, got “your application is in review” and wanted to check the status and Merrill+ popped up. IDK why it doesn’t show my AS app. Also I was approved over the phone for Merrill+ for 10K but this status page still shows “your app is in review”

    Probably gonna go for AS business too

  50. Nic says:

    I can’t find any working links to a $200 boa cash, NEA,etc to pair with this. Anyone have a working link for any of them?

  51. Dave says:

    Just applied for the Merrill card, went to pending, called the number others posted here (866-224-7803). Verified information, was approved for 16k credit line.

    Then I applied for a Alaska business card (already have a personal opened 7/30/16). Was instantly approved for another 20k credit line.

    Is it too aggressive to go for a 2nd Alaska Personal Card? Or something else too?

  52. Justincase says:

    DP: online went pending, called recon was declined for too many recent inquiries. Low 700s FICO and 10 inquiries YTD

  53. ss says:

    Hmm…Not sure why their online interface didn’t update but…

    Applied yesterday, said application is under review.
    Call today and they said it’s already approved.

    But online at BofA’s website it still says my application is under review…WTF?

  54. crz says:

    hmmm applied tor the merryl and went to pending, applied for business alaska and auto approved…should i call or wait? also they pulled from experian and transunion

  55. pete says:

    Applied, went pending, called in and got approved for $5k limit-analyst asked why I had so many hard pulls but didn’t push too had once I gave a semi-plausible excuse. Not sure what bureau they pulled-guessing Transunion or they would have seen way more hard pulls

  56. mike carter says:

    Data point:

    On 11/14, applied for Merrill Lynch Visa, Alaskan Airlines, and Spirit Airlines cards. Spirit and Alaskan said they were declined immediately, Merrill Lynch said under review. On 11/15, all three said under review. I called about Merrill Lynch and it was approved immediately, with a $7500 limit.

    On 11/16 I called twice (888-503-6091), once about Alaskan and once about Spirit—both were declined. I asked for reconsideration and both were still declined afterward. They gave two reasons for the declines: (1) my age of credit history, and (2) I was approved for a BOFA card in the past 90 days (the merrill lynch). I asked if it would help if I transferred some of the credit line from the Merrill Lynch to a new card, but they said no.

    Credit score = 740
    Age of credit history = 3.75 years
    I’ve opened 4 cards this year, I have a total of 6 cards open

    • Justin says:

      Similar experience with a much lower age of credit but same credit score and slightly higher cards

    • Young says:

      How do you check the status of your application online?

    • Jan B says:

      MIke, being polite, kind here.

      Everyone has the right to get use of these deals/promotions, but there are just no irrevocable data points on who with what score with X-Amount of cards is going to be approved. Your score being 740 with a less than for 4 years age of credit experience plus 4 cards just this year, was shaky to begin with when asking for a new account. I, too, get motivated when I read what others achieve with their CC strategies. But, me thinks you may have to sit the bench for awhile. JMHO.

      And, just so one knows, I am not just focusing in on you, I hope others who have similar situations, think carefully before moving forward on what everyone else is capitalizing on.

      And, so that everyone knows, I, too, am really shaky about this BOA deal myself even though I have a long history with them. (They always mention I have been doing business with them since the late 80’s, ha. There used to be a bank called “nationsbank” before many BOA mergers that occurred.) And, my score is around low 800 and I have a decent age history. But, that inquiry number boomerangs me almost every time, preventing me from scoring with a CC that everyone else got, and to top it off, ANOTHER inquiry goes on the record.

      The other thing I want to mention is the risk of applying for a card online, receiving the “wait, reviewing” and then thinking about applying for another card, same bank, online. When it goes to review, guess what. The same BOA person is not going to work both apps, so one is sure to be hit TWICE with inquiries. That is not fixed with a reconsideration call later, even if one gets approved for BOTH. One is then stuck with two inquiries.

      I understand this writing is not for CC veterans but maybe for those that have only a year or less in doing this.

      It seems to me starting out with the rep on the phone (TIME CONSUMING), and asking about the two cards and getting the answer about the ONE inquiry before applying might be worth the investment.

      Inquiries are my no. 1 problem. One, because a CU told me their account process required only a soft and that was incorrect. And, Chase, who got picky about the inquiry number at ALL overall banks/institutions and because of our long affiliation with them, I thought sure I would be approved for a card I targeted. So, using the online process is a big risk for me because I am certain to go to review for two cards.

  57. cr7 says:

    DP reporting back, applied for merryl and alaska biz, auto approved for alaska, merryl went to pending, kept checking the status site but it said under review, logged into boa account and saw the merryl approved 🙂 two seperate inquiries even though i applied on the same day, one transunion and one experien and pulled on seperate days (weird)

  58. WM says:

    Also following up with a DP — applied for Virgin Atlantic same day (after Merrill went pending) — auto approved. Called in after the second day of pending for Merrill, also approved for that after a brief hold. Lower CL than the VA (although greater cash advance ratio — would never use it, but interesting just the same). Looks so far like a combined Experian HP — was expecting TU.

    The credit analyst on the phone was very professional, very polite. Good experience.

  59. Jane says:

    My Bank of America Accolades Amex card got converted to this and I called to ask the rep if I can get the bonus on this card since i already have it, they said since I am applying for the card with new account number I can get the bonus. I never got the bonus on the other card since I never requested for it but it got converted, do you think it is a good idea to apply?

  60. Jason says:

    Is this worth it if you have a BOA TR with Plat Honors bonus?

    Or basically just useful for the signup bonus?

  61. Raul Ibanez says:

    Got the “We’re sorry but we’re unable to give you a decision at this time.” message. Called the recon number (866) 224-7803 and told the lady that I had applied, received this message, she just asked for my date of birth and social security number and said she was able to approve me for $8,000. Not a huge limit but enough for me to spend the 3K and bank $500.

    Thanks DOC!

  62. Young says:

    So a weird thing happened. Applied for the ML and got a pending message (planning to call the number provided above).

    To combine HPs, I also applied for the BBR, everything was normal including filling out the application then I pressed submit (or review my application, not entirely sure), switched tabs to do something else and then when I switched back it was at the home online banking BofA screen. I have no idea whether I was approved/denied/pending. Is there a way I can check this?

  63. caleb kurtz says:

    It says you can use 25,000 points for up to $500 in flights.

    Does this mean you could book two $250 flights in one instance and only use 25,000 points? (for spouses)

    The flight”s” is confusing me when the fine print makes it seem like you can only book a single flight up to $500.

  64. Ted says:

    Applied on 11/15, called on 11/16, approved with $10k CL, requested card to be expedited, received on 11/17. Thanks Will and Chuck! You guys get all my Amazon clicks!

  65. DD says:

    anyone think that card could eventually be converted to a BBR?

  66. jane says:

    I applied for the Amtrack and the Merrill Lynch for same day and when i checked online my amtrack got approved but the Merrill is under review. When I call the application status check number it always transfer me to rep whenever i check status should I let them transfer or continue waiting to see if the online system update?

  67. tim says:

    How many points would an $800 ticket consume? Can you pay for the first $500 of a ticket with 25k points and then pay cash for the remainder?

  68. barrytuneup says:

    thanks again Doc, made lots of $ this year due to you! Can confirm what Ted said above: it’s the only card I ever received that actually contained an insert in the envelope confirming the rules for the bonus. Was not targeted and only found out thru DOC.

  69. Tim says:

    Anyone having any luck with this application today? At first it was complaining about birthday and phone. Tried multiple browsers, nothing seemed to work. Then at some point on Firefox, It basically would hang the browser “Waiting for…” After 10 minutes I gave up. Froze other FF browser windows and required force quit…

    Seen or gotten around this?

  70. Mike says:

    Any datapoints on if this is card is churnable?

  71. Mike says:

    Is it possible to get the bonus for multiples?

  72. jason says:

    i applied and got the message about waiting… looked at my account yesterday and it was there with 10k limit… they didn’t reduce my other 50k line either 🙂

  73. Superchurn says:

    Data Point

    Wife applied for Merrill card first, went to pending, then decided to go for the Alaska card since it would be under the same hard pull, approved for 15k, then decided to also try for the Cash Rewards card under the same hard pull. Pending.

    Called Recon a couple days later, approved for the Alaska and Cash Rewards cards, but denied for Merrill. Their reason was “Not enough investment balances and enough credit extended already”.

    FICO 790, 7/24, no prior relationship with Merrill or BoA.

    It seems they used the other approvals to justify not approving the Merrill. Beware, if Merrill goes to pending, it might be worth calling Recon right away before applying for anything else. She couldn’t call Recon when she applied because it was a Sunday

    • Adam D says:

      I mentioned the same scenario about a week ago on the other merill boa post…auto approved as after merill app first…from what I heard I should be aporoved after 90days of alaska opening, hopefully the merill bonus is still around but not optimistic about it.

  74. Deborah Doctor says:

    Applied and was approved for the Merrill Lynch and the Amtrak card (called the recon line to get the decisions). Hope to use the ML for airline but even if I can’t, getting $500 back is excellent.
    FICO: 810, no current relationship with BofA.
    Would never have known about these without DofC.
    Also used the Amex rebate twice, so got $50 back on $200 Verizon by prepaying.
    So thank you very much, Doc!

  75. barbecue Ribs says:

    Any tips on redemptions?

  76. badger says:

    Hi DoC
    If apply the same boa credit card within 90 days, will they decline the application automatically?

  77. DCJoe says:

    Data point:

    Applied for this card and Alaska back-to-back. Would have gone for the Amtrak card also, but that offer just went away.

    Both cards went to pending. Alaska card was approved by the system later that day, and showed up in online banking the next day. Merrill+ card still pending.

    Couple of days later, checked the status page, still pending, but listed a “Decision Date” as the day after application. Called, rep said Merrill+ was rejected, gave me a mailing address for recon. Instead I called the number above. Analyst asked me questions about income and investment assets, I assume to assess potential value as a Merrill customer (I have no BofA bank accounts nor Merrill investment accounts). At this point I had 3 BofA cards (including the new Alaska) with about 60K total in credit. She said they wanted approve me, but would like to use some credit from an existing card. I approved and they moved $6,000 from my essentially unused line to open up the Merrill+ card. Basic stats:

    ~800 FICO
    13 new cards in my TU credit report in the last 24 months, plus a few unlisted business accounts
    Long history of BofA/FIA/MBNA accounts (about 20 years)

  78. Abe says:

    Do you need a BoFA relationship to get approved for the Merrill Visa Signature Card?

  79. Justin says:

    Data Point
    Applied for Merryl Lynch card and Alaska back to back. Got pending on Lynch and auto approved for Alaska. Called recon and they approved me for Lynch card too. I already had 2 other BOA cards, and have no investment accounts with Merryl Lynch. Fico 770. Live in MN and they pulled from experian.

  80. Daniel says:

    Data Point:
    Applied for Merrill Lynch card and immediately went to Pending. Called recon line 3 days later and they said I had been declined due to too many recent inquiries. Made mention of more than 10 – I’m guessing in the last year? I’ve received declines from BoA quite consistently as of late and my most recent FICO was 776 so I told the analyst that many of those inquiries were probably BoA. He proceeded to ask me some more qualifying questions (eg: liquid cash holdings, investment account holdings). I have $35k liquid and $82k in investments. Sent my app in for reconsideration yesterday and I see the account today on my online banking!

  81. Bbq says:

    Btw another data point: wife and I both approved separately. 750 ish credit scores, no prior relationship w Merrill and no bofa cards.

  82. iahphx says:

    So I got this card for my wife (no “congratulations” email; the card just showed up in the mail), and now I’ve been approved for my own card (I have a BoA account, and the card is now listed on my profile). I’ll buy gift cards to quickly meet the minimum spend.

    So then it’s time to deal with the weird redemption rules. If my math is right, we’ll each have 53,000 points (sign up bonus + spend, I assume there’s no way to combine the two accounts). Based on the discussion, you need 25,000 points to redeem. That means I don’t want to redeem more than 28,000 points on my first redemption — or else I’ll have too few points for my second redemption! Say I want to buy $550 in airfare. Do they have a booking engine, and is that the way I redeem? If so, will their booking engine let me use 25,000 points for a $500 credit and simply pay the extra $50? Otherwise, I can see even more complications in maximizing the credit, as you’d want to avoid buying an airfare above $500 (but you’d want to get CLOSE to $500!). Any insight into how this works “in practice” would be greatly appreciated.

  83. Ss says:

    Sorry if it’s been answered before. What about buying airline gift card for $500? Would that work? Redeem 25,000 points for $500 southwest gift card? Or not?

  84. Sam says:

    Any fear on clawbacks to the bonus if the min spend is met by buying Amex GC’s with the current no-fees promo?

  85. Jason says:

    Data point- applied for both the merril and BBR. System auto approved me for the BBR- took 7500 from my Alaska card and + 5800 for 13.2K limit- Merril went pending, called today, they took 5K from my Cash rewards to open the Merrill card. New limit on my Cash rewards is 7.5K, and $5k for the merrill card. They are expediting the card as I’m traveling overseas next week. Should hit that spending pretty quick. I’m thinking of taking a hard pull on TU for a CLI on my cash rewards to get the limit back up. Not really happy about the line swaps, but I’ll take their $120 a year on the BBR and the up to $1K in travel credits all for one EXP pull

  86. Mr. PTM says:

    Anybody know quickly statement credits post, i.e. within the same statement period as the purchase?

    Unfortunately cash redemption options are only into a BoA deposit account or ML cash management account, which are both fee-based unless you park $1,500-$250k, respectively, or have DD. Bummer that there’s no “mail me a check” option.

    • M says:

      BoA Regular Savings Account only needs $300 balance to be fee-free.

      • Ben says:

        I have found that making one $300 deposit (I transfer from a fee-free checking account) is all that’s necessary. It doesn’t even need to stay in there for more than a couple of days.

    • Mr. PTM says:

      Thanks, M. I ended up just redeeming as a statement credit which should happen in 3-5 business days per CSR, which is well before my balance is actually due.

    • Jags4186 says:

      I just called and took a statement credit. No need to deposit cash especially considering the bonus posts before the statement even closes.

  87. hoy says:

    Applied on 11/18. Never heard anything back. Online says pending consistently.Hoy

  88. rob says:

    can I get a ml+with 12 inq…exp fico 707 9 open cards all current

  89. John says:

    Might be dead – tried applying from the link today, and I got “We apologize for any inconvenience.
    The application you are requesting is currently unavailable”

  90. jf says:

    Link one works. Or is it erroring after submission? Planning on grabbing this with a BBR or TR

  91. DrAdventure1 says:

    Has anyone applied for two Merrill Plus cards in the same day, and been approved for both? I already got one today. Looking to maximize the returns and combine pulls, have valid reasons for duplicate cards ready. I’m grateful for any thoughts anyone might have on this 🙂

  92. J T says:

    Applied for Merrill+ and Amtrak World on 11/28, Merrill+ went to “review” and Amtrak instant approval for $15k. I did not call in, both cards showed up in my online account on 11/30. No Merrill relationship and only BofA cards were travel and cash visas opened this summer ($1k CL each).

    I called Merrill+ on 12/1 to have my card expedited for “travel” reasons, and received the card and terms in separate UPS next day envelopes. For the Amtrak, I hope to get a bonus match if it goes up again soon, but I need the AGR points for a sleeper redemption regardless.

    Combined single HP on Experian, with 9 already.

  93. Farzana says:

    Applied and it was in review. Called at 866-224-7803. Had to be on a quite long hold. Was not asked any questions. Approved with a $5000 credit limit.

  94. Sikachu says:

    I applied on 12/6, went to pending. I then applied for Alaska 30k to combine pull, but that went to declined so I stopped my journey there (otherwise I’ll try BBR next) and gave in.

    Logged into my BofA account today and, lo and behold, this card is waiting for me in my online account with 6k CL. Not too bad as I have okay credit but have been banking with BofA since 2011.

    Now, I went back to the application status page, and both of them are now in pending (instead of 1 decline and 1 approved) … Does that mean there’s a chance Alaska card would just show up on my account? That’s … weird.

    Thank you for your post!.

    • Miles Hustler says:

      Any updates on whether your Alaska card was approved or still pending? And if the HPs got combined?

      • Sikachu says:

        It was declined. They cited several cards that were opened earlier this year, and the fact that they approved MERRILL + for me already.

        Oh well.

  95. joe says:

    went to pending… called 5 minutes later, they asked a strange question — “What are your combined investment accounts worth?” I gave my answer, and she approved my account 1 minute later with 18K line. She is for free expediting the card as well.

  96. Tiffany says:

    Any DP on buying $100 GC to trigger the $200 credit?

  97. Curmudgeon says:

    Data point:

    Applied a couple of weeks ago, got the “we’ll let you know” message. Got a letter in the mail saying declined for having sufficient credit available already.

    Called recon. Rep verified that denial due to having reached my overall credit limit with Bank of America, particularly since I opened two NEA/MTA cards a couple of months ago and a business card last month. I explained that I really wanted this card and was willing to move credit to get it.

    Rep said I’d have to close an account to get this one. I decided to nuke the MTA card from a couple of months ago since I’d already milked the bonus on it (thanks again DoC!). Rep had to read disclaimer that I was closing that card and it couldn’t be reopened in the future. Then she approved me for the Merrill card, but my credit limit was the limit from the now-closed card, plus $5000, so I guess I really hadn’t reached my overall BOA limit. 🙂

    Should get card in the mail in a week or so.

    Datapoints that may or may not be relevant:
    – BOA customer for about 12 years (personal and corporate)
    – No Merrill Lynch relationship
    – New accounts: 19 – so far! 🙂
    – FICO: 800-820 or so

  98. Al says:

    Applied for Merrill Lynch card first, went to pending.
    Did not bother to call but applied BBR on same day and got approved auto.

    Now Merrill got declined due to too much credit already provided.
    Mistake made as I had to call immediately after application and know their decision before applying any other cards.
    Well, Hoping this will stay around for a while to apply later.

    Thanks though Doc!

  99. mishyq says:

    so does this card pull TU or EX bureau? seem to have a mix of response here

    traditionally, i believe BOA personal CC pulls EX. but this one is with ML

    • mishyq says:

      UPDATE – applied and received approval after recon call. now the next question is how easy is it to redeem the points. dont even know where to go about doing that (yet). hoping that it is possible to book via one of these websites (American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Airlines & United Airlines) but not necessarily redeem flights operated by these airlines but another foreign airline!

  100. NewYork12126 says:

    DP: Got approved for the Merrill+ after the app went to pending and called. BOA recon number is for some reason a pain to find, this one worked for me. 1-800-354-0401.

    Another point, before applying I had frozen my EX report as it had about ~20 inquiries. BOA analyst was willing to pull my TU report, but asked why I had “opened so many cards in the last year.” My TU report has 3 inquiries. Just one DP but might show a lower tolerance for inquiries at BOA.

  101. banananon says:

    No prior relation with BoA or Merrill. Applied for Merrill+, went pending. Called and analyst approved for $7.5K. 746 Experian.

    Applied for AS Personal afterwards, went pending, then denied on online status. Called, analyst gave length of credit history for denial reason (I’m <5 years). Recon'd but was denied again for same reason.

  102. Doug says:

    Applied for the Merrill+ today and receieved the “we’re unable to give you a decision at this time.” Called in to get a status and they said I was denied. I then called recon a few hours later and afer confirming a few details about income they approved me for the $5k min credit limit.

  103. Roberto says:

    Another DP:
    Applied and went to pending, called recon 10 mins later and got a friendly rep. After a few minutes of chit chat, she was able to approve. Asked if I had a ML relationship. I do have my current 401(k) with them but she wasn’t able to find it. She said most applications were coming from folks with ML advisors. She was able to expedite my card and it arrived the next morning via UPS.

    Later in the day applied for an AS personal (4th in 18 months). That went pending and then approved 3 days later, with no call to recon needed. Both cards have generous CL ($20k+).

    -818 FICO
    -Experian pulls were merged
    -only had 1 active BofA card (BBR) at time of application
    -8 EX inquiries (~12 cards w/in the last year)

    Thanks for making us aware of this card, DoC!

    Also, a plug for the Experian app. It’s free, slick UI, and updated report (no score) every 30 days. A great way to track EX inquiries.

  104. jf says:

    We apologize for any inconvenience.

    The application you are requesting is currently unavailable.
    Thank you for your interest.

    United States 1-800-551-0839
    Canada 1-877-862-7759
    Please call as your business is important to us and we will be happy to process your request immediately.


    This application may be unavailable for maintenance, development improvements, or this offer may have expired.

    • jf says:

      2nd attempt:

      We’re sorry but we’re unable to give you a decision at this time.
      What’s next?
      We are reviewing your application and will send you a letter letting you know our decision.
      We appreciate your interest. Thanks again.

      • jf says:

        Guess I will let it process and check back in a few hours. Hopefully can reallocate some CL if that didn’t happen already. Really hope I can get this in and done today and at least attempt one BBR. Then I’m good for quite some time.

        • jf says:

          Do you guys think I should call in today or is it too late to get a sr credit analyst? I was really hoping to get a BBR with this but if not, no biggie. Thoughts?

          • Al says:

            they are open till 7 pm ET i think.

          • jf says:

            Approved for 15k! Didn’t take any limit from my Amtrak yet either (fingers crossed). On the phone now with them getting it overnighted. Had to be transferred to a wealth management team first. Applied at 9am, card will be here wednesday! I couldn’t be happier!…ok now I am being told that they cannot overnight it, I probably waited too long to call, but it would most likely come this week because of the holiday! Now I just need some motivation to app for a BBR

  105. Zachary says:

    Got approved after calling in. Thanks. I only have bbr with boa.

  106. TT says:

    Applied this morning and it went to pending. Checked back about 3 hours later and approved.
    History: BofA customer for 25 years.

  107. David says:

    Went pending last night, called in reconsideration a few moments ago (Thanks for the phone number DOC!).

    Per the credit analyst, it was approved during review earlier this morning.

    Data Points:
    -Not BofA client
    -Not Merrill Lynch Client
    -Legit income provided, less than 100K

    I asked how it worked he said that after a certain number of pulls, it’s manually reviewed. When I asked how pulls triggered the manual review, he said “great question, and I think what’s important here is that we want to welcome you to the Merrill+ Card family. Thank you for trusting us with your finances.” I then asked the question a different way, and he basically dodged that as well, so we might have a credit analyst running for president in the near future, b/c this guy was excellent at dodging the questions with politically correct answers!

    • jf says:

      What was the limit? Grats!

        • jf says:

          Woohoo!!! Me too! What about your APR? I got 15.24. which is SOO much better than 23.24 I got on my amtrak last year after being denied and finally getting approved with a joint app and 2.1k limit, Apr on that has since been reduced to 17.xx. I am just still shocked that bank of america has approved me. I couldn’t resist since I have a convention to attend in cabo first week of march, so the spending will be a breeze.

          I also noticed I have the request an increase button showing on my new card today. wasnt there yesterday! but its been on my amtrak for months now. Apparently one person was able to get an increase over the phone and it was a legit one where you ask for an amount and they used the experian pull. Never have i seen BOA do that they always exclusively pull exp for apps and tu for HP cli/account dividing/and formerly credit reallocating but now that is no longer a HP. I also am torn on going to crazy with CL with them,however they are known for auto approvals and just siphoning away some CL from your oldest card or your card with hghest limit…..decisions decisons.

  108. Jake says:

    Applied December 6th, 2016 and got pending. Did not call. Website on December 20th showed that I was approved. No prior relationship with BoA or Merrill.

  109. Skipper says:

    I’m confused by the point redemption structure. All flights from $0-$500 cost 25k points, but any flight from $500-up costs…what exactly? The point value drops to .01, so does this mean that a $500 flight costs 25k but a $501 flight costs 50,100? Or is it .02 for the first $500 and .01 for the remaining price, making a $501 flight cost 25,100?

    • M says:

      Here are some sample redemption options that I get for a domestic round-trip flight:

      25,000 points or $489.35
      26,885 points or $523.85
      28,610 points or $541.10
      30,455 points or $559.55
      32,060 points or $575.60
      34,475 points or $599.75
      39,650 points or $651.50

      Hope this helps.

  110. Mark says:

    I applied for this card about a month ago and was denied for “too many inquiries” after speaking with a senior Merrill Lynch credit analyst.

    In the meantime I applied for yet another travel/cash rewards card yesterday and was immediately denied.

    I called the recon line today and was approved for the new travel/cash rewards cards after explaining that the many inquires on my report were to actually BofA.

    I figured while I was on a roll, I’d give the Merrill Lynch recon line another shot and very clearly explained the many inquiries (big thanks to DOC commentators who suggested this tactic).

    I was recommended for approval by a credit analyst, but it had to be cleared by a senior analyst.

    Got the call back; approved; 15k.

  111. whodidntante says:

    Applied 12/26 and checked the status online 12/28 — approved! I’m a modest churner. 8 HPs and approximately 800 FICO. I also applied for the BOA travel rewards card on the same day to save a HP.

  112. Nate says:

    Applied on Boxing Day, went pending, and approved today without having to call in. No prior relationship with either, first card with BoA. Unsure of bureau pulled, but it is likely Experian in my state, and my Amex EX score is 730 as of mid-December. AAoA is slightly over a year, 9 EX inquiries this year according to Discover Scorecard, total of 7 new accounts this year, 1-2 in the past 6 months.

    Question: does Merrill send out emails upon applying and approval/denial? I haven’t received any emails and it would just be nice to have a confirmation of activities. Would be the first time in my life entering my email incorrectly, so I’m asking to see if others have received an email from them.

  113. Joe Gallery says:

    Applied for this card back in July, approved for 10k limit and met spend for 50k bonus. I decided to get greedy last night [after a few beers and thoughts of a free ticket to a warmer destination ;)] application went to pending but this morning I was approved for 5k credit limit. I am confused as to whether or not the lower CL means I won’t be getting the bonus and I am too chicken to call to ask about something like that hard that. I suppose I can just wait till card gets here to find out but I was wondering if there are any data points about getting the bonus twice in ~5 months while other card is still open? I’m honestly surprised I was approved in the first place!

    • Jf says:

      It’s a toss-up. I’ve read that it’s for new customers only? Please let us know if your envelope has the 50k bonus inside. If that’s the case, considering how lenient with approval they are on this, paired with being infinitely away from 5/24, I’d totally go for a 2nd paired with a BBR.

      Any particular reason you didn’t combine apps? I kinda wished I would have but chickened out.

      • Joe Gallery says:

        Didn’t bother to combine apps because the first one went to pending and I got the feeling I was starting to brush up against my bofa limit. Turns out, on second glance, they took 5k from my travel rewards to open this one which kinda ticks me off b/c that’s my everyday card since I am a preferred rewards customer. Besides, the first merrill card has 10k in limit so I am thinking I will app for a third merrill+ in 6 months if the same offer is going on, assuming theyll just split the limit to open the 3rd card. I know BBR is ultimately worth more over time, but I’d rather spend the HP on the $500-1000 bonus from the merrill, the whole one bird in the hand thing I guess…

        Called and got the card expedited, so I will let you all know tomorrow if it’s got the bonus. Fingers crossed, otherwise I have smaller AAoA and no higher CL, aka wasted HP…

  114. Vinh says:

    Will, points on Alaska are also worth 2c. may want to update post.

  115. jd says:

    dont’ have a relationship with BofA or merrill, but i applied and got pending

    called recon and asked if there was anything i could do to help, they then proceeded to process my app and i got denied for “length of credit history too short” and “too many recent inquiries”, which I accepted since I’ve signed up for 10+ cards in the past year.

    I then called back to ask why they keep sending me credit card offers in the mail and to see if they would reconsider my application, they asked a few questions, put me on hold and then said they couldnt get a decision from their manager and would call me back tomorrow.

    Is this a normal thing?

  116. IT says:

    Applied last night. No BoA accounts. AU on two different CCs. Instant pend. No recon, approved overnight after checking app status online this morning. 5/15 churn. Mid to high 700s across the board, 8 total inquires across all bureaus in the last two years.

    • Lily says:

      How to check the status? Is there a link to it? The recon line is ringing forever but no answers, not sure what’s going on. Does anyone have another number where i can call? I applied 2.5 weeks ago, got pending so i called the recon line (it was working then) and got approved, the guy told me i should receive the card in 5-7 days, but 2 weeks passed and i still haven’t received my card. What worries me is that when i log in my BOA account i don’t see this card, so i have a bad feeling that they lost my application? I thought i read somewhere someone mentioned of similar incident before too.

      • Lily says:

        Found the phone number for status check and was told my app is still pending for review. Now i’m in panic because the customer service rep doesn’t recognize the recon number i called (got from this site) and she thinks the person i spoke to last time that told me he had approved my application might be a fraud. Today’s rep tried to connect me to their fraud department but that department isn’t answering (possibly due to holiday). What a mess! 🙁

  117. VisaOverstayer says:

    Applied /w mid 700s credit score. Lots of hard inquiries including several in recent months – 2 BofA cards already (double copies of boa cash reward). Instant approved at 8500. this bonus posts quick after hitting spend

  118. Roberto says:

    Approved on 12/15 and got my 50k points on 1/1, thanks DoC for covering this offer while not many other bloggers did! Excited to put these points to use.

  119. Moe says:

    Is it known till when this offer is available?

  120. jf says:

    Or if you can have multiples?

  121. Nit says:

    I applied for this on Jan 11. On Jan 18, BOA closed all my open credit cards (2 personal, 1 business). Looks like, BOA is cracking down.

  122. Matthew says:

    Hey DoC, I am a little confused about the redemption. I thought the 25,000 for $500 only applied to AA, AS, BA, DL, and UA based upon your description, but upon checking the ML booking site, all airlines under $500 are 25k points. In fact, ticket prices around $502 are 25k, but $505.26 is 25,026. 26 points works out to around 43 cents, so perhaps they will allow up to $504.83-ish for 25k?

    I am so happy that all airlines work with the up to $500 as I have been looking out only for AA, AS, BA, DL, and UA fares.

  123. Miles Hustler says:

    Applied was denied for “too many inquiries” (11 in past year) and requested reconsideration who agreed with the denial. Will wait a few days and try to HUCA.

    • Miles Hustler says:

      Called back using second recon #. Updated household income info, and was told that could be approved if moved some credit from one of my existing BOA cards. Happily agreed and the card is on the way and the account is showing in my online profile.

  124. Daniel Schmitt says:

    Applied today and called recon and approved. Also approve for Alaska card. Should I apply for a 3rd given the recent BOA shutdowns? I only have one other BOA card previously.

  125. Chris says:

    Does anyone know for sure if this card is churnable? Getting new card after first one is closed? Is there a waiting period?

  126. james tinerella says:

    i am interested in getting a credit card

  127. Dirah says:

    My Merrill+ Account was abruptly closed.
    All other credit cards are still open.
    I am not calling in (yet) so as not to draw attention.
    But that means 94,000 points down the drain.

    • Dirah says:

      I should add that I only have 1 other personal and 1 business, so I don’t think this can be attributed to “too many” accounts.

  128. Sarah says:

    From the terms & conditions: “To check on the status of your application, please wait at least two hours after you apply. Login to the following website: or call 800.546.6649.”

  129. M says:

    I had 3,012 points left over and I was able to redeem them for a $30.12 ACH deposit into my BoA checking account. HTH

  130. R says:

    Applied last night. Went to pending. Checked application status online this morning and now shows approved!

    No prior BofA or Merrill Lynch relationship
    Way over Chase 5/24 but haven’t had a new card for months


  131. Jeff says:

    Just got approved, never had BOA account of ANY kind before, credit score is 736. It said at first they could not approve me at this time, so I just waited and got a letter a week later.

  132. Jim says:

    Applied this morning and got pending. Checked status on line 3 hrs later. Approved.


  133. Ken says:

    Can you use points for international flights or does it need to be a domestic carrier?

  134. Jack says:

    Finally nabbed this. Had to wait again until there were only 4 inquiries on my Experian in 6 months. The recon agent said it was flagged as a duplicate because I’d applied in December as well, then she approved it.

    I haven’t noticed anyone mention just how beautiful this card is. The bull outline is in chrome and reflects the light in a way the photo doesn’t do justice. It’s a shame it’s only worth meeting the minimum spend on, as I love the design more than any card I’ve had.

  135. Chand says:

    After 3k spend, how many days one need to wait to see 50k mile credit to the account?

  136. P says:

    This card as well as Alaska Air personal and better balance rewards all went to pending.

    I was going to try the Alaska Business but there was no way to enter an SSN in place of EIN – formatted as EIN

  137. Bob says:

    Doc, looks like the link is expired. 🙁

  138. Joey says:

    is this deal dead?, both links expired

  139. Joey says:

    Minimum redemption for statement credit is 3000 points for $30. So if you only spend 3k to meet your spending requirement you can purchase 2 airline tickets up to $500 each AND $30 statement credit to use up all your points.

    Also, anything above 3000 points is fine 3001 points will be redeemed for $30.01 statement credit

  140. Dan says:

    I was able to successfully apply for the 50k points after $3k spent in 90days on 3/27/17.

  141. MarcoPolo says:

    WiFi calling is easy. free and there are various ways.
    I use ObiHai with Google Voice as my landline. I also use it for FAX.
    You can also use various apps on your smartphone to make calls over WiFi and in my opinion Google Hangout works very well.

  142. Patrick Spranger says:

    Applied for the card. I got rejected. Asked for reconsideration. Is it worth calling the line a second time or just cut my losses this round?

  143. Ralph says:

    Applied by phone on 6/1 and approved on 6/2. Confirmed that the 50,000 point sign up bonus after $3,000 spend is still available (CSR read me the terms before I agreed to start the application).

  144. Frito Pendejo says:

    Any DPs on what works for the travel credit? Amazon GC via MPX? AA gift cards?

  145. MM Austin says:

    Alas. I missed this Offer. Does anybody know if there is any way to apply for this card now?

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