At a rather modest price, the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card can provide excellent value, thanks to its impressive list of benefits.
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is a mid-tier travel credit card. At $95 per year, it earns 2 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases.
The card also offers a few desirable perks, which can make it a solid choice for frequent travelers who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars in annual fees on premium rewards cards. The benefits include TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credits, airline incidental credits, travel protections and more.
In this benefits guide, you’ll learn what the Bank of America Premium Rewards card has to offer and how you can use the card to maximize its value.
Bank of America Premium Rewards card benefits
For a credit card with a comparatively modest annual fee, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card has a few exciting things going on.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credits
Credits to reimburse the cost of a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership are a popular credit card perk among travelers. However, it’s typically associated with more expensive credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.
If like most travelers, you like the idea of expedited airport security screening, you can get up to $100 in statement credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry once every four years with the Bank of America Premium Rewards card. Considering that offsets the card’s fee, that’s an excellent deal.
Annual credits for airline incidentals
Another premium-level benefit on the Premium Rewards is statement credits for airline incidentals, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments. Once again, this is a perk typically reserved for the most expensive travel card offerings.
The Amex Platinum, for instance, offers up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year on airline incidental charges. But Amex makes it somewhat complicated to use this benefit: You need to pick an eligible airline in January and stick to it throughout the year.
With the Bank of America Premium Rewards, on the other hand, you’ll get up to $100 in annual credit for airline incidentals which you’ll be able to use with any airline.
Not too bad for a mid-tier rewards card, especially considering the difference in annual fees – the Amex Platinum is a whopping $600 more expensive.
The Bank of America Premium Rewards also comes with some valuable travel protections, including:
- Trip delay reimbursement, which allows a cardholder and their family members to receive coverage for delays in eligible cases.
- Trip cancellation or interruption protection, which provides coverage for eligible prepaid travel expenses for canceled trips due to a covered reason.
- Baggage delay insurance, which covers essential items when bags are delayed.
- Lost baggage reimbursement, which covers luggage and its contents stolen or lost due to misdirection by an airline.
- Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage, which covers eligible medical services and transportation if a cardholder or their family member is injured or sick while traveling.
- Roadside dispatch program, which provides emergency roadside assistance.
- Rental car insurance, which kicks in when you decline the collision damage waiver offered by the car rental agency.
Better rewards for Preferred Rewards program members
The Preferred Rewards program is available to Bank of America and Merrill customers with large checking, savings and investment account balances. The program offers appealing benefits like discounts on fees, higher rewards rates and interest rates on savings and more.
There are three tiers in the Preferred Rewards program, based on combined qualifying balances:
- Gold – $20,000 to $49,999
- Platinum – $50,000 to $99,999
- Platinum Honors – $100,000
If your combined balances meet any of these thresholds, here are what your rewards rates on the Premium Rewards card may look like:
|Preferred Rewards tier||Points boost||Points per $1 spent on travel and dining||Points per dollar on general purchases|
|Not a Preferred Rewards member||None||2||1.5|
Simple rewards redemption
Speaking of rewards, the Premium Rewards card makes redeeming your points easy. You don’t have to worry about the point value – whichever redemption option you choose, you’ll get 1 cent per point.
You can redeem for travel, gift cards, statement credit or direct deposit. To pay for travel with points, you can use Bank of America’s Travel Center. Alternatively, you can get reimbursement for travel you’ve already purchased.
Unfortunately, Bank of America doesn’t have transfer partners, limiting your ability to maximize the point value. If you’re interested in transferring points, look into another mid-tier travel card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. At the same $95 per year, it offers outstanding perks and allows access to Chase Ultimate Rewards and the program’s excellent transfer partners.
No foreign transaction fees
The Bank of America Premium Rewards is also a good card to take with you abroad. Since it’s on the Visa network, it’s widely accepted internationally – and you won’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees.
Maximizing the Bank of America Premium Rewards card
Now that you know everything the Bank of America Premium Rewards card has to offer, you can get the most out of it.
Here are some tips to help you maximize the card’s potential:
- Use the Premium Rewards on dining and travel – unless you have another card that earns more in these categories.
- Use the card on general purchases outside of the bonus categories on your other cards to earn more than 1 point per dollar.
- Read through terms and conditions to understand all travel protections available to you, as they sometimes can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
- Sign up for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and make sure to use the Premium Rewards to pay for the membership.
- Have the card handy when you travel to pay for airline incidentals and take advantage of the annual $100 credit.
For an affordable travel card, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card has plenty to offer, from popular perks like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credits to less flashy but valuable benefits like rental car insurance.
If you already have the card, it’s a good idea to keep these benefits in mind so you can use it to its full potential. If you’re still shopping around, make sure to consider your options and see what kind of perks other similar cards provide.