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Guide to Bank of America Preferred Rewards

How to save on auto loans and mortgages and boost your credit card rewards rate

Summary

Bank of America Preferred Rewards comes with many perks, and it is particularly valuable for customers who also have a Bank of America rewards credit card – as they can boost their earning potential.

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Keeping a significant balance with a bank has its perks, but Bank of America takes rewarding loyal customers above and beyond with its Preferred Rewards program. Through this program, account holders with large sums in Bank of America, Merrill Lynch or Merrill Edge accounts can unlock all kinds of savings – including better interest rates, discounts on auto loans and even a higher credit card rewards rate.

If you bank with Bank of America or carry one of their rewards cards, understanding the Preferred Rewards program can help you take advantage of all the perks it has to offer.

What is Preferred Rewards?

Preferred Rewards is a program available to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers with a significant balance – designed to reward loyal users with discounts on fees, higher rewards rates and more.

Based on how much money you keep in your portfolio of Bank of America checking and savings accounts, as well as any Merrill investment accounts, you can advance through different tiers of Preferred Rewards membership and unlock even better benefits.

This program is particularly valuable for Bank of America customers who also have a Bank of America rewards credit card, as they can boost their earning potential. Read on to learn more about Preferred Rewards perks and eligibility requirements.

Enrollment requirements

To qualify for Preferred Rewards, you must have a minimum of $20,000 across Bank of America and/or Merrill accounts. You’ll also have to maintain a daily average of that balance for at least three months to qualify.

Once you’ve achieved the required balance, you’ll automatically earn the corresponding status in the program (no need to enroll) and maintain your status for 12 months – even if your average balance dips below the requirements in that period.

You can also advance through higher tiers as your balance grows, detailed below.

Preferred Rewards tierBalance requirement
Gold$20,000-$49,999
Platinum$50,000-$99,999
Platinum Honors$100,000+

Credit card benefits

Preferred Rewards membership comes with a bevy of great perks for Bank of America customers (which we’ll dive into later in this guide), but perhaps the most valuable among these are offered to Bank of America Rewards cardholders.

If you qualify for a Preferred Rewards tier and also carry a Bank of America credit card, you might be eligible for a boost on all the rewards you earn – up to 75 percent more points or cash back.

Preferred Rewards tierPoints boost
Gold25%
Platinum50%
Platinum Honors75%

For example, consider if you have the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and qualify for the Platinum tier of Preferred Rewards. Instead of earning 2 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points per dollar on other purchases, you’ll earn the following rewards rate:

  • 3 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 2.25 points per dollar on other purchases

With this inflated rewards rate, Premium Rewards cardholders can earn more points than even luxury rewards cards offer.

Thanks to a generous boost on rewards earning, Bank of America credit cardholders with a significant account balance have a lot to gain by keeping their money with the bank.

Bank of America credit cards

If you qualify for Preferred Rewards, but don’t yet have a Bank of America credit card, it might be time to consider applying. The rewards boost provided at each tier of membership can significantly improve the amount of points or cash back you can bring in each year.

Here’s a quick look at some of our most popular rewards cards issued by Bank of America.

CardRewards rateAnnual fee
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
  • 3% cash back on a category of choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings)
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • $2,500 combined limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
$0
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card1.5 points per dollar on every purchase$0
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
  • 2 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 1.5 points per dollar on other purchases
$95

Other benefits

Beyond a higher rewards rate for credit cardholders, Preferred Rewards customers can enjoy plenty of other benefits as they advance through tiers.

Preferred Rewards tierBenefits
Gold
  • 5% interest rate boost on eligible savings accounts
  • 0.05% fee discount on Merrill Guided Investing
  • $200 discount on origination fee for mortgages
  • 0.25% discount on auto loan interest rates
Platinum
  • 10% interest rate boost on eligible savings accounts
  • Up to 12 transactions at a non-Bank of America ATM for no fee per year
  • 0.1% fee discount on Merrill Guided Investing
  • $400 discount on origination fee for mortgages
  • 0.35% discount on auto loan interest rates
Platinum Honors
  • 20% interest rate boost on eligible savings accounts
  • Unlimited transactions at non-Bank of America ATMs for no fee
  • 0.15% fee discount on Merrill Guided Investing
  • $600 discount on origination fee for mortgages
  • 0.5% discount on auto loan interest rates

While these perks don’t show as much immediate value as a boost on a credit card rewards rate, benefits like a higher interest rate on your savings account can save you significant money in the long-term.

Final thoughts

If you are Bank of America credit cardholder, the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program offers a unique opportunity to maximize your rewards potential. As you build up your balance in Bank of America or Merrill Lynch accounts, you’ll advance through tiers that let you earn even more from your rewards cards. Plus, you’ll enjoy discounts on other products, like mortgages and auto loans.

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: October 16th, 2019
Business
15.18%
Airline
17.11%
Cash Back
17.25%
Reward
17.13%
Student
17.29%

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