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
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.