Oh, look who decided to roll in fashionably late to the premium rewards card party. We’re glad you came, Bank of America. While Bank of America has already been in the travel rewards market for quite some time with their Bank of America Travel Rewards card, Premium rewards is a superior product at a reasonable $95 annual fee price point. It's a nice addition to a crowded field of premium rewards credit cards which often carry annual fees north of $400.
While a 50,000 bonus point offer may make it look like this card showed up wearing the same outfit as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, a closer look will reveal some major differences. In addition to the standard 50,000 point new customer bonus, the Premium Rewards card also comes with a $100 credit for incidental fees on airlines, as well as a $100 credit for Global Entry or PreCheck. This sets the card apart in the sub-$100 annual fee credit card market. As long as you're able to use the $100 annual airline credit, then you're effectively paid $5 to carry this card, which cannot say.
In addition to the welcome bonus and other ongoing card perks, you’ll earn 2x points on travel and dining with 1.5 points on everything else. Let's take a deeper look at why this is one of our favorite travel rewards credit cards, but also one of our favorite cash back cards.
The basics on this one are simple. 2x points on dining and travel, 1.5 points on everything else. Points are good for a penny a piece when you redeem for a statement credit. This is where being a Bank of America customer really pays off. Existing customers that carry balances in their checking, savings, or investment accounts will enjoy accelerated awards based on the tiers below. You wouldn't get this from any other bank. The real sweet spot here is if you have money invested with Merrill Lynch. It’s hard to justify keeping any amount of money in a Bank of America savings account. As of 2/18/19, the rate on a Bank of America savings account is .03%, where industry standard is closer to 2.2%.
BOA Preferred Rewards
|Spend Category||Base Level|
$0 - $19,999
$50,000 - $99,999
We like this card for more than just the everyday earning potential for Bank of America customers. Here are some other things you should consider:
First off, consider your credit. This card is best for someone with excellent credit. This means a score of 700-720 without any delinquencies on your report.
This card is good at its base tier and it's even better if you are able to hit the Platinum Honors tier. Bank of America is all about loyalty with this card, and that relationship can really pay off. This card is good for someone that can hit the gold tier, great for someone in the platinum tier, but really best for someone with 100k in the bank. This card is not only good fro travelers, it’s also good for those that prefer cash back over redeeming points with airlines or hotels. Bank of America has a flat cash back rewards system that is easy to use and pretty fool proof.
With that being said, some of the travel additional travel benefits do mean that this card is strongest for someone that is going to make use of the annual travel credit to help negate that annual fee. If you're not flying 1-3 times a year, this card probably isn't the best for you.
This card is for a pretty specific group of people, so there are a number of folks that would be better suited with another card:
This is going to vary based on your situation, but does stashing $100k with Bank of America make sense to you? There are many good options for storing cash within the Bank of America family, but please, please, please do not open a Bank of America savings account. Their abysmal interest rate will negate any credit card rewards you may receive.
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is a breath of fresh air in the premium card space. The $100 travel credit that easily justifies the annual fee AND offers a competitive rewards structure that is straightforward for cash back statement credits. If you’ll use the $100 airline credit each year, this card is an easy win. If you bank with Bank of America and have over 100k in assets with them you’ll earn 2.625 cents per dollar on every purchase, which is a best in class earn rate. There are not many instances where this card will do you wrong.
$95 annual fee
Earn a 50,000 point welcome bonus
$100 annual airline incidental statement credit
PreCheck/Global Entry credit
Best for current Bank of America customers