Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Nov 06

Bank Of America Hits With Premium Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America recently announced a Premium Rewards card that is going to offer some great benefits for those who qualify. And if you don’t? Well, they’ll still pay you $5 to hold the card.

The Deal

bank of america premium rewards

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

The new Premium Rewards card offers some upscale benefits with its $95 annual fee and is a step up from the free Travel Rewards card. You get a $100 airlines incidental statement credit each year (bag fees, upgrades, etc.), so you’ve already offset the annual fee. You also get a $100 credit toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, so you’ll save another few bucks there, as well.

In terms of rewards, the card pays okay, but not great. You earn two points per dollar spent on travel and dining, as well as 1.5 points per dollar elsewhere. Redeem at the rate of one point equals once cent.

The sign-up bonus is 50,000 points, or $500, after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days.

The Hook

Bank of America itself has a less well-known rewards program based on your balances with the bank, including any money you may have in a Merrill Edge or Merrill Lynch account. In addition to the usual free  ATM charges and rate discounts/premiums, you get a bonus on your credit card spending, ranging from 25% (at $20,000 in assets) to 75% (at $100,000 in assets with the bank). What that means is that if you fall into the highest category, you earn 3.5 points per dollar on travel and dining expenses, as well as 2.625 points per dollar on all others.

If you have some money tied up at Bank of America, you may want to look into the card, since it immediately becomes your best everyday spend card.


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    • Jerome on November 7, 2017 at 10:44 pm
    • Reply

    If I hold the card and purchase a flight for my daughter, can this incidental statement credit be applied to her bag fees or upgrades?
    Thanks ~ jam77

    “You get a $100 airlines incidental statement credit each year (bag fees, upgrades, etc.), so you’ve already offset the annual fee.”

      • Mike on November 10, 2017 at 8:41 am
      • Reply

      Good question, so I called Bank of America. What the representative told me was consistent with the T&C: As long as you are the one buying the ticket, they will reimburse the fees. They’re concerned with the method of payment, not the actual passenger.

      The only requirement is that the fee has to be paid separately. Don’t buy the ticket, bag fee and upgrade all in one blow. Rather, buy the ticket and then pay the fees at a later date, or pay for the bag fee at the airport (assuming it isn’t more expensive). Different airlines handle the fees differently (e.g., at Delta, if I use cash to upgrade the same day as I purchase the ticket, they’ll often fold the ancillary charge into the total purchase, meaning that I wouldn’t be reimbursed.), so check with them on how they will manage the charge.

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