More Info on BofA’s New Premium Card & Why I Will Be Applying on Day 1!

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Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Earnings & Bonus

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Earnings & Bonus

In case you haven’t heard, Bank of America is going to be throwing their hat into the premium credit card market….sort of. Coming in September, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card calls itself “premium” but comes with a less than premium annual fee.

Unlike the cards it aims to compete with (Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, Amex Platinum), the new BofA card will only have a $95 annual fee compared to $450. This fee is more in line with Chase’s Sapphire Preferred, although the rewards are somewhat different.

As of now we don’t know exactly how the points will work with this new card (how much they will be worth in cash or to book travel or if they will be transferable, etc.), but we do know how this card will earn points. Similar to their Travel & Cash Rewards cards, your earnings will be based on how “valuable” of a client you are to Bank of America.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Earnings

The Bank of America Premium Rewards card earns points based on your status in the Preferred Rewards program. Status is determined by your combined balances in Bank of America & Merrill Lynch accounts including investment and retirement accounts.

  • Base Cardmember: 1.5X everywhere, 2X on travel & dining
  • Gold Cardmember: (20K-50K in the bank): 1.875X everywhere, 2.5X on travel & dining
  • Platinum Cardmember: (50-100K in the bank): 2.25X everywhere, 3X on travel & dining
  • Platinum Honors Cardmember: (Over 100K in the bank): 2.625X everywhere, 3.5X on travel & dining

Bonus

We also now know what the sign-up bonus will be on this card.

  • Bank of America Premium Rewards sign-up bonus: 50,000 points after $3K spend in the first 3 months.

What It’s Missing

While we now know how many points this card will earn and that it has a $100 travel credit, there is a lot we don’t know.

  • Is there lounge access? (Probably not)
  • What sort of Visa benefits will cardmembers get? (Probably standard Visa Signature)
  • Is there a fee for additional cards (Probably not)
  • Will points be worth a higher value for booking travel?
  • Can points be combined with points from other BofA cards?
  • Is there a Global Entry credit?

None of that info is a deal breaker for me, but it is still worth noting that we don’t know everything about this new card.

Why I Am Applying

As PDX Deals Guy and I have written about before, we both moved some money around in order to gain Platinum Honors status with Bank of America. I use that status to earn 2.625% cashback with my Travel Rewards card. While the everyday cashback with the Premium Rewards card will be the same, getting 3.5X on travel & dining will be great, especially for those without the Sapphire Reserve.

So the decision for me is whether or not the extra bonused earnings on travel & dining will be worth the $100 annual fee. Luckily there will be some additional benefits as well including a $100 travel credit. That credit combined with a very attractive sign-up bonus will be enough to entice me to get this card and probably keep it as long as I have top-tier BofA status.

Is This Card Good for Others?

If you are not a Preferred Rewards member then this card probably isn’t going to be a keeper for the long term and that probably is by design. I think Bank of America really wants to attract and retain high value customers which is why they are willing to compensate you in the form of higher returns.

With that said, a 50,000 point bonus (presumably worth $500+) combined with the $100 travel credit and other small benefits is probably going to be enough to attract a wide range of people in the first year. In my opinion Bank of America has both a winner and a loser here and that is probably by design. On one hand they have created a ho-hum card for the masses while on the other, they have created an amazing card for their best customers.

What are you thoughts? Are you going to be applying for the Premium Rewards card from Bank of America? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

HT: Wall Street Journal


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5 COMMENTS

  1. for people who complain that this card is nothing vs the CSR dont know wtf they are talking about. its not even in the same weight class.

    for a $95 AF + $100 Travel Credit, this CC is WOW. but the key is to have Plat Honors. without it, many cards stress the BofA card. such as CFU 1.5x, Cap one venture + Citi DBC 2x, CSP 2x and even the Citi Premier. 3x TYP on travel and 2x on dining.

  2. I have always gotten large CL from BOA and never any issues with CL size etc. I keep wondering why they did not step up their game. I think this card can do well. For a long time BOA has not really added much product to their lineup etc.

  3. The tiered structure is an interesting idea but for most under 5/24 I don’t think this card is worth a pull. The big issue is to get these rewards you must transfer 100k just to get better rewards than the CSR/CFU combo (3x dining, 2.25% after UR transfer on all else). BoA has some of the worst savings rates, too. Say you move in $100k from a high yield savings like Discover or Ally. You will lose a full 1% in interest, or $1k per year. If you happen to have that much cash/investments to transfer and want to MS the crap out of the card, then sure. Go for it. But to me and probably most, taking tax hits to transfer investments to Merill and large sums of cash to BoA is not worth it.

  4. I’d also be interested to see if the card would waive foreign exchange fees. Right now leaning towards “yes” for applying. Would the tiering really include retirement account though? Maybe IRA’s in Merrill Edge? however i highly doubt 401K balance would be part of the consideration.

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