Posted by Chuck on September 1, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on September 1st, 2017 | by Chuck


Screenshots with Details of Upcoming Bank of America Card + Good News on Points Redemption

Thanks to an anonymous source, we’ve finally gotten screenshots of the soon-to-be-released Bank of America premium card. The most important bit of news is that points are worth a flat 1¢ when redeemed as cash.

There are lots of interesting tidbits in these screenshots:

  • Biggest news to me is that this card will earn cash back, not travel credits. “Points redemption value is 1% for all options (1 Point = $.01).” Either as a statement credit or a deposit into a BofA account.
    For some this barely makes a difference, but for a lot of us it does, and this becomes another reason to choose the premium card over the Travel Rewards card. I wonder if it’ll be possible to transfer Travel Reward points to the premium card and cash them out that way.
  • $100 Global Entry Fee will be once every 4 years.
  • $100 airline incidental credit will only work for domestic airlines, apparently.
  • A bit more info here on where the $100 airline incidental credit can be used: seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services, and airline lounge fees.
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and Visa Signature Concierge. This isn’t my thing, but I think these are standard Visa Signature benefits?
  • Travel insurance protections. We’ll have to wait for the full details to see how it compares.
  • These screens seem clear that they are after the affluent, relationship customers with the new card.
  • I don’t understand the math in their Chase vs. BofA comparison at the bottom. I think they mean to compare the Sapphire Preferred (not Reserve), but I still don’t get it. $1,000 is earning 2x and $4,000 is earning 1x. That’s 6,000 points which would amount to $75 in travel when booking at the 1.25% rate with Chase Travel, not $77.50.

Target release date on the card is still for mid-September (as per the anonymous source).

Here’s a roundup of all details we know about the card:

  • Annual fee will be $95
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $100 domestic airline incidentals credit, including seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services, and airline lounge fees mid (does not include airfare)
  • 50,000 points signup bonus with $3,000 spend threshold
  • 1.5x everywhere and 2x on travel/dining; Preferred Rewards customers will get up to 2.6 everywhere and 3.5 on travel/dining
  • It will roll out in mid-September
  • It will be a Visa Signature card
  • There will also be $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit once every four years
  • Points can be redeemed for cash at $.01 per point

(Previous posts can be found and  here and here.)

78 Responses to Screenshots with Details of Upcoming Bank of America Card + Good News on Points Redemption

  1. Drivesabrowntruck says:

    Due to the recent changes with Chase not allowing more than one Sapphire card, they might now see more apps than they would have a week ago.

  2. Justin says:

    Happy to take your money, BoA. Card seems rather useless after the first year (receiving the 2 travel credits)

  3. Mike says:

    Wow so it’s basically a 2.62 Cash back card since you can cash out points. I don’t need to transfer my points to my business card and from there redeem at 1% anymore. 🙂

    • Walter T. says:

      Are you currently using the personal Travel Rewards Visa card? To what business card are you then transferring? I thought they killed that route, but if I can replicate, I have some points I’d like to turn into cash. Any help would be appreciated.

  4. TJ says:

    Useless after the first year ? At 2.62% cash back for unbonused spend at only $95 annual fee ? I’d sign up for this card with no signup bonus. BOA is very lucrative if you can transfer your 401K or IRA into Merrill Edge and get over $100k. For their other cards the signup bonuses get the 75% more too, so if that holds this is an $875 CASH sign up bonus. I’ve never seen one as lucrative that you could just straight cash out ever.

    • Josh says:

      I’ve considered trying to use Merrill Edge before, but it looks like it’s almost entirely centered around active, advisor-managed funds. I spent a pretty long time searching, but I couldn’t find a good selection of low-cost index funds representing domestic large, mid, and small cap companies, international index funds, or bond index funds, and certainly no funds that compare to the low costs of Vanguard’s index funds.

      It seems silly to me to transfer over hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments to Merrill to be poorly managed and charge thousands of dollars in fees just for a minor increase in your credit card rewards.

      • Abelian Grape says:

        Just open an Merrill Edge account with a single ETF position you never trade.

      • Kevin says:

        You actually haven’t done enough research yet. If you read the other articles on this site on this card and program, you’ll find others who are invested in Vanguard index funds or ETFs. Here’s a good long thread on the entire program:

        The first post in that thread summarizes everything I do and most others do on that site. There are many people, including me, who invest in Vanguard funds, who transferred $100k+ to Merrill Edge for this program.

        You can in fact buy Vanguard index funds or ETFs at Merrill Edge. If you don’t want to deal with ETFs (which you get free trades on), just transfer in-kind your Vanguard index funds to Merrill Edge and don’t buy or sell at all ($20 fee to buy Vanguard index funds if I recall correctly). You can just transfer your $100k in Vanguard index funds elsewhere to Merrill Edge and not incur any extra cost.

        • Josh says:

          Kevin – Thanks for the heads up! I haven’t been able to view Merrill’s full list of available funds without actually creating an account, and since everything on their homepage is talking about actively managed funds, I (apparently incorrectly) assumed I would be wasting my time looking for low-cost index funds.

          Do they offer Vanguard’s LifeStrategy Funds (like VSMGX) and their Target Date Retirement funds, or do you have to construct those yourself from the component funds and manually rebalance? And are the ERs exactly the same as they would be if purchased directly from Vanguard, or does Merrill tack on something to the ER?

          • madage says:

            VSMGX is available to trade. $19.95 transaction fee. 0.14% expense ratio. Personally, I stick to purchasing Vanguard ETFs at ME, for which there is no fee.

          • Kevin says:


            Merrill Edge is a brokerage firm. You can buy virtually any stock, bond, mutual fund, or ETF in the market. Expense ratios are the exact same. ERs are set by Vanguard, not the brokerage. As for fees to buy/sell, ME charges $19.95 to buy a Vanguard mutual fund. ETFs are free if you’re enrolled in Preferred Rewards (up to 100 free trades per month). If you want to continue to buy/sell, going with ETFs is the way to go (although there is no ETF for the Life Strategy or Target Retirement funds).

            If you insist on Vanguard mutual funds, you have 2 options. You can avoid the $19.95 fee for each buy transaction by just transferring $100k or whatever amount you want to ME and leaving it there. Only expense that way is the ER, which again, is the same as it is at Vanguard. The other option would be to limit the amount of times you buy mutual funds at ME, like once per year, for example.

      • Mike says:

        That was my issue with Merrill Edge as well. Mutual fund selection is very poor. Unfortunately, you are forced to open an account in order to see the selection. Never funded it though. Never closed it either, so I should be able to check in once in awhile to see if mutual fund selection improves.

      • JB says:

        I opened two Merrill Edge accounts this year and have them populated entirely with low cost Vanguard ETFs. Other low cost ETFs are also available.

        It can be slightly annoying if you’re used to mutual funds since your usually have to trade in whole shares (I find I always have a bit of money sitting in cash) but otherwise I’m quite happy with the setup

      • RajaC says:

        Hi Mike

        I am a ML brokerage customer, so I have actual experience. With a balance over $100k, there is no trading fee to buy or sell. So you can buy all the ETFs or stocks you want for free. I think they allow 30 free trades per month, but I don’t come close. Pls check the upper limit.

        • Jay says:

          $100k should get you 100 free trades per month (i.e. Platinum Honors status), not just 30.

          $50k should be enough to get you to 30 free trades per month (i.e. Platinum status).

    • Shaky02dd says:

      I think BofA bonuses only work like that for the cash back 123 cards. In those cases the platinum plus 75% bonus applies once you redeem (and in lieu of the 10% bonus for having a BofA checking). So a $200 signup bonus becomes $350. (Data point: this is how it worked for me end of last year.)

      By contrast, with these points programs, you get the 75% bonus once you earn. So the 50000 doesn’t get bonused up. (Data point: 20000 bonus points on travel rewards card earlier this year was just 20000, no bonus applied.)

    • Justin says:

      you are right – I don’t have money with ML so that doesn’t matter to me but to some it definitely will

    • mike says:

      from their website:

      Certain credit cards are eligible to receive the Preferred Rewards bonus. Visit for a complete list of ineligible cards. Enrolled clients with eligible cards will receive the Preferred Rewards bonus based on Preferred Rewards tier and type of card. For example, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card awards the Preferred Rewards bonus when you redeem cash rewards into a Bank of America® checking or savings account or an eligible Cash Management Account® with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management® or Merrill Edge®. That means a $100 cash rewards redemption becomes $125, $150 or $175, based on your tier when you redeem. All other eligible card types receive the Preferred Rewards bonus with each purchase. That means 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. The Preferred Rewards bonus will replace the 10% customer bonus you may receive with certain cards. Other terms and conditions apply. If you have an eligible card, please refer to your card’s Program Rules for details about how you will receive the Preferred Rewards bonus. Program Rules are mailed upon account opening and are accessible through the rewards redemption site via Online Banking or by calling the number on the back of your card.

    • Abelian Grape says:

      The +75% boost applies to earning points, not to the 50,000 bonus points. At least I’m 99% certain that’s the case.

    • Chucks says:

      “At 2.62% cash back for unbonused spend at only $95 annual fee ?”

      To be fair that’s what the $0 fee BOA Travel Rewards card already does. For $95 you get the extra 0.0875% on travel and dining, along with the $100 airline fee credit.

    • JimT says:

      You might want to consider the net return after the annual fee and compare that to a no annual fee 2% cash back card. You would have to have high travel/dining spend plus a $100K Merrill account to make this beat the no annual fee 2% card. Thus, it does not appear that attractive without knowing the other added benefits – especially without a Priority Pass lounge or other lounge benefit.

  5. Jonathan Chien says:

    Perfect news. If I can redeem my existing travel points to cash any time, I am very happy to exchange with $95 a year.

    3.5X on travel/dining is another lovely incentive.

  6. David Davidson says:

    At this point with the Merrill card – I’m convinced BoA just doesn’t take kindly to me having 3 BOA cards already…. but I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot here, I’m currently milking 2 better balance reward cards that give me $30 each every quarter, and my cash rewards card is one of my oldest of all time. Oh well, I suppose it can wait, I get the feeling they are going to force close BBR someday.

  7. Abey says:

    On a random note.
    My friend had one Victoria Secret store card and she missed 3 payments and it went to collections and eventually she paid it off. Anyway her score was in the 500’s. I added her to 2 of my cards as AU (old BoA and Amex) and it went up to 600+. She begged me to get her a regular cash back credit card. So i applied for her for Freedom, Quick silver, Double cash, all declined. I checked pre qualified offers under her name, all were secured cards but then there was one Amex PRG offer with a 25K sign up bonus. I applied from the pre qualified offer and she was approved! When i checked her spending power it was around 10K (her VS card was $300) and on the Amex letter in the mail her score was 611… Never knew Amex charge card is for rebuilding credit, lol.

    Also thanks doc for this pre qualified offers list

  8. JJ says:

    Coincidence that the Merrill + is being discontinued the same time the Premium BOA card comes out?

  9. Kevin says:

    Holy crap! So this is essentially just a 2.62% cash back on everything card with 3.5% cash back on travel and dining!

  10. Jonathan says:

    Should I try applying for a 3rd Merrill+ card, and risk denial and a hard pull, or wait and apply for this Premium card instead? I’m guessing since its a new product my chances would be higher, but man another Merrill+ bonus is tempting…

  11. Avi says:

    Would have appreciated if they kept the card looking similar to the current Merrill card

  12. I’m excited about this card! I currently don’t have any Bank of American cards and this seems like the best one to come around. Other cards with these benefits have much higher annual fees!

  13. Mr G says:

    Too bad the airline incidentals credit will only be for “certain” domestic airlines. Would love to be able to use that on international flights.

    I hope there’s a chance the AF will be waived. I’ve been a B of A customer for 27+ years and have all my banking with them. Will call when the card is released and see if they will waive the fee.

  14. Tom says:

    For those among us who are not Preferred-rewards BoA customer, the million (or may be 95) dollar question is, Is the annual fee waived for first year ?

  15. zach says:

    This is not good compared to the sapphire reserve. You can get the 2.6x everyday by just getting the no fee Bofa card. Also it really sucks if you don’t meet the platinum requirements. If you actually wanted cash for the reserve you could get 3x on travel/dining but the travel multiple to me is much more lucrative at 4.5x for travel/dining. Maybe in comparison to the preferred it makes sense.

    • Adam D says:

      Probably 90% reading this blog can’t get the sapphire reserve, and BofA is easy to get approved for if you have less than 3-4 cards with them. $500 cash bonus for $3K spend is pretty good without a 5/24 to worry about.

  16. Ithacxa says:

    Does anyone know if we can product change to this card if we have the no-fee travel card? Thanks.

  17. Justin says:

    I’m growing increasingly frustrated with redeeming travel through the UR portal or Flexperks. Redeeming for a statement credit against travel charges just seems so much easier and better.

    I know some people love the transfer partners but I can never redeem early or last minute enough to get good redemptions anyway.

    • J says:

      Transfer partners is where you really get the most bang for your buck … or point. But airlines have made it increasingly harder to redeem them, and it’s probably only going to get worse. When I used to use the Barclay Arrival plus card a lot, it was stupid easy to get statement credits on my travel charges. I have moved on to the CSR and use the UR portal, which does have some limitations, but so far, I find it worth a lot more than the statement credit route. But to be fair, statement credits are very, very easy to do.

  18. Exile says:

    Does anyone have any experience whether Bank of America treats plastiq as a cash advance , or any similar terminology such as cash like transaction, meaning that a fee is charged?

    I also have the same question about the chase Marriott card — experience long ago with a Marriott charge treating plastiq as a cash advance, while other chase cards were ok at the time with plastiq.

    Answers greatly appreciated. One or both are likely to be my last American credit cards, perhaps ever. I am also particularly interested in any us card that practically speaking would use a Canadian alternate address instead of the us principal address to mail replacement cards once they expire. I am ok with receiving the initial cards at my legitimate us address, then doing online banking to eliminate hopefully all mail.

    • Chuck says:

      You won’t ever get a cash advance from Plastiq unless they warn you of such (there are occasional payees who have that issue and they’ll let you know). I’ve used Plastiq with BofA card and no cash advance.

  19. gebe says:

    If I have recently got the Merrill card would that preclude me …………….FROM getting the bonus again and having b of a open the account…Thanks

  20. Abey says:

    Amex has new Hilton card offers
    100K plus free night and $75 fee
    50K plus 25K and no fee. Expires 10/4

  21. Bo says:

    I’d be interested in this card as my long-term main spending card (and I have PR/PH for the *1.75). But I almost never fly. For me, it comes down to how the “$100 airline incidental credit” will work in practice. I wonder if there’ll be any other ways to get the credit without literally flying and paying for “incidentals”.

  22. JB says:

    I had this card crossed off my “to do” list due to the AF and the limited use I’d have for the incidental airline credit. But if this card will be a straight cash back card it may very well be worth the $95 over the Travel Rewards card, even if I only use the incidentals every other year.

  23. E says:

    Is taking a camera photo of a monitor still considered a “screenshot”?

  24. JB says:

    Since the card is still earning “points” and not cash back, I would not expect the 50,000 bonus (or whatever it turns out to be) to multiplied by the Preferred Rewards percentage. But just the fact that points can be cashed in 1-for-1 (compared to Travel Rewards where you take a 40% haircut) makes this a very interesting card.

  25. Mr G says:

    Just called B of A to ask a few questions.

    1) Is there a chance the AF could be waived for Preferred Rewards customers such as myself.


    2) Can the $100 Airline Incidental Credit be used to offset purchased international lounge access.

    Good question, but we don’t know yet.

    3) Can the $100 Airline Incidental Credit be used to offset seat upgrades, baggage etc on US based airlines (such as United, Delta etc) when flown internationally.

    Good question, but we don’t know yet.

  26. Mr G says:

    And I also asked whether points from the Travel Rewards card could be moved over to the Preium Rewards or vice versa and was told no, they cannot.

    • Mike says:

      That really sucks. I was hoping to be able to transfer between these cards. I guess I’m going to have to stick with thIs new one

  27. YRK says:

    After recently been locked out of CSR sign up, I guess its a good choice to apply. Though dont see any benefit of holding onto after YEAR 1 unless 100$ credit can be used on gift cards 😉

  28. NinjaZ says:

    Any mention of Priority Pass benefit for this card?

  29. Jian says:

    I have 3 BoA cards, should I cancel one card (the regular Travel Rewards) to get this one and perhaps Alaska Airlines later? I heard BoA might started with a 4 card maximum rule since the MBL app-o-ramas last year. And anyone knows when it comes to new accounts whether BoA looks at 6months of history or a full 12 months? I have many accounts opened between 6-12 months ago. Thanks for sharing any data points!

  30. Y says:

    No thank you, BoA.

  31. gene says:

    HI. Does any one know if I got a bonus on the merill care less than a year ago. Can I qualify for the bonus on another account? Can I qualify for bonus on the new card that is coming out from B Of A described here which is also like $500 bonus. I am confused and appreciate any help.

  32. L says:

    I wonder if there will be a minimum redemption like with the BofA Cash Rewards ($25 minimum to redeem cash back).

  33. Chiris says:

    Is this a 1% card or 1.5%? kinda of misleading, say’s 1.5% on everyday purchases but also say 1% redemption on all other option. what does “all other option mean”? is it the same as cb redemption?

    • madage says:

      The card earns 1.5 points (2 on dining and travel). Each point can be redeemed for $0.01 in cash. This is different from the existing Travel Rewards card, where points can only be redeemed for $0.01 when applied to travel purchases made with the card.

  34. Mike says:

    Any update of how soon this card will be available? I called cs a couple of times and both reps said they didn’t know when card is coming out. All they said was in Sept. They said to keep an eye on BofA site for release. One of the reps told me the check the site on Sept 15. Not sure if he slipped or just came out lol

  35. Mr G says:

    Just called again but no information other than “It’ll be available in September”

    The waiting continues.

  36. Rebekka says:

    I just called their CC application line and she said it would probably be available on Sept 22nd. I will look tomorrow, hopefully 9/15 is the real deal. I am leaving to go overseas on the 22nd and really wanted this card for both my spouse and myself for the trip.

    If anyone else hears about it being before the 22nd, please let me know!

    • Steven says:

      Just called their line too; after a brief hold to look up some info, the specialist told me that applications for the card will be available beginning Monday, 9/18. Hallelujah!

  37. Gordon Hawley says:

    I’m Preferred Rewards with B of A. They told me to call after my application is approved and they will overnight me a card. Not sure how it would work for non / new customers since this is a benefit I enjoy for getting duplicate cards.

  38. Mike says:

    I’m a prefferred client too. I usually get my cards overnighted by request. At first they’ll say it’s 15 but then they’ll come back with a waiver

  39. Mike says:

    Another data point. I just hung up with CS. She said to check their website on Sept 18 🙂

  40. Rebekka says:

    I’m also Preferred! Things are looking up! Thanks for all the additional DP’s!

  41. Gordon Hawley says:

    The 18th makes sense since the Merrill+ card is being discontinued on the 18th or 19th.

    Good luck everyone getting the card.

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