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Frequent travelers looking for flexibility in credit card rewards ought to take a look at the Bank of America® Premium Rewards credit card — especially if they’re already Bank of America® customers with significant balances in their accounts. For a relatively modest annual fee, cardholders can earn a great sign-up bonus, good reward rates and points that have the same value regardless of how you redeem them.
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- Recommended Credit Score
- Card Details
- Sign-up bonus
- No foreign transaction fee
- Earn more points on travel and dining
- Premium travel protections
- Higher rewards rates for Bank of America, Merrill Lynch customers
- Annual fee
- Highest rewards rate limited to certain customers
- APR: 16.99% – 23.99% Variable APR
- Penalty APR: up to 29.99% APR
Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
- Additional Information
- Receive 50,000 bonus points- a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
- Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you can get a 25%-75% rewards bonus on every purchase.
- No limit to the points you can earn and your points don’t expire
- Flexibility to redeem for a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® or Merrill Lynch® accounts like checking, savings, and 529, for gift cards or use at the Bank of America Travel Center.
- Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Low $95 annual fee
Bank of America® Premium Rewards: The basics
Unlike other Bank of America® cards, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards credit card has an annual fee: $95. But it also offers you more in rewards than other Bank of America® cards.
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards credit card gives you:
- 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining
- 1.5 points per dollar on all other spending
There is no limit to the rewards you can earn, and your points never expire.
Keep in mind that Bank of America® has one of the broadest definitions of “travel” of any credit card issuer. It includes not just the usual airlines, hotels and car rental agencies, but also attractions like museums, carnivals, amusement parks and zoos, as well as common transportation expenses like passenger trains, buses, taxis, parking lots and garages, tolls and bridge fees. So you have ample opportunities to earn 2X rewards on weekend outings, staycations and even your morning commute.
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards card doesn’t give Bank of America® banking customers an automatic 10% rewards boost like the issuer’s standard cash-back and travel cards do. But it does boost your rewards by 25% to 75% if you’re a member of bank’s Preferred Rewards program, open to those with at least $20,000 in combined balances in Bank of America®, Merrill Lynch® or Merrill Edge® accounts:
Points can be redeemed for a credit on your statement, gift cards, a deposit into a Bank of America® or Merrill Lynch® account (checking, savings or 529 plan) or travel booked through the Bank of America Travel Center. No matter how you redeem, each point is worth 1 cent, which means you could use the card as a cash-back card or a travel card without any loss in value.
The minimum number of points you need to redeem is 2,500.
BONUSES AND Travel perks
Despite its name, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards credit card doesn’t give you perks on the level of premium cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠. But it doesn’t charge an annual fee of $450 or more, like those cards do. For a fraction of the fee, it gives you plenty of value on top of its rewards rates:
- A big sign-up bonus gives you a head start on points: Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. The bonus alone will cover your annual fee for the first five years.
- Up to $100 in statement credit each year to cover incidental airline fees such as for checked bags, seat upgrades, ticket changes, lounge access or in-flight refreshments or entertainment.
- A statement credit of up to $100 every four years for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
- No foreign transaction fees.
Cardholders have access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and get perks like room upgrade when available, late checkout, complimentary WiFi and daily breakfast, and a $25 food or beverage credit.
Purchases made with the card carry the Visa Signature protections, including purchase and return protection. Travel protections include trip insurance for delays, cancellations, interruptions, baggage delay or lost luggage, and emergency evacuation. And the Visa Signature concierge is at your service for other needs.
Bank of America® Premium Rewards vs. the competition
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards credit card has plenty to recommend it, especially if you’re already doing business with Bank of America®. But depending on how you spend and how you travel, a different card may be a better fit. For example:
You can’t transfer points
The points you earn on the Bank of America® Premium Rewards credit card are worth a penny apiece, and you can’t convert them to points in airline or hotel loyalty programs. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, by contrast, allows you to transfer points on a 1:1 basis with a number of programs, including United, Southwest, Marriott and Hyatt. It charges an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95. You earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining and 1 point for all other spending. Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel booked through Chase. There’s also a great sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
You may want simpler rewards
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card earns 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere. Miles are redeemable for credit against any travel purchase — just book travel however you want, then use your miles to “erase” the charge. This card has an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $59 and comes with a decent sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $400 in travel.
Also, you can see how this card stacks up against other top travel cards by checking out our best credit cards page.
Is Bank of America® Premium Rewards right for you?
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards credit card offers rewards and perks equal to or better than the competition in its weight class, and it beats them all if you’re a Bank of America® customer. The bonus points you earn will pile up quickly, and you’ll be packing your bags in no time.
Information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
Last updated Oct. 9, 2017.