|Rewards Rating:||4.2 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||2.9|
|Issuer Customer Experience||1.6|
In a Nutshell:
The new Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card combines the features of a cash back card with the features of a premium travel card for a great value.
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend, 3 year average)
Bank of America Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, up to $100 statement credit for airline incidentals annually, up to $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck statement credit, 25%-75% points bonus for preferred customers, trip delay insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, Visa Signature concierge, purchase protection, return protection, extended warranty, car rental insurance, roadside dispatch
For a card that costs just $95 a year to own, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is unusually generous – especially if you’re a Bank of America customer.
The card offers up to a $100 annual statement credit that you can use for airline incidental expenses, an application fee credit for TSA Pre-check or Global Entry and a solid points program that rewards a variety of spenders.
What really sets this card apart, though, is its loyalty bonus: If you have a healthy amount of savings set aside in a Bank of America deposit account, you’ll be rewarded with an additional 25 percent to 75 percent redemption bonus on all your earnings – making the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card exceptionally lucrative. In addition, this card offers some of the strongest travel insurance benefits you can get on a similarly priced rewards card.
The card also offers a competitive sign-up bonus. If you charge $3,000 to your Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card within 90 days of opening your account, you’ll be awarded 50,000 online bonus points – which, for the average cardholder, is worth up to $500 in free travel.
Unlike some travel rewards cards, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money on travel to earn a fair number of points either. You’ll earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining – which is equivalent to what some competitors, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card* offer, as well as 2 points for every dollar spent on grocery store purchases (through 12/31/21). But you’ll also earn a flat 1.5 points for every other dollar you spend, allowing you to earn a bonus on every single purchase, including those that don’t typically earn a rewards bonus.
Bank of America is also unusually generous in its definition of what counts as a travel or dining purchase. For example, qualifying travel purchases not only include airfare, hotel rooms, car rentals, cruises, ferries, public transportation, parking fees, tolls and taxis. You’ll also get 2 points per dollar spent at amusement parks and other tourist attractions, such as art galleries, aquariums, zoos, circuses, carnivals and more. Meanwhile, qualifying dining purchases include sit-down restaurants, fast-food eateries and bars.
What are points worth?
If you redeem your points for travel, gift cards or cash back, each point is worth 1 cent each. So if you earn 10,000 points, you’ll essentially have $100 worth of rewards to spend.
You’ll also have a fair number of earning opportunities. We estimate that you’ll earn roughly 1.61 points for every dollar that you charge to the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card (based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) .
That said, some similarly priced credit cards are even more generous. For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers 2 miles per dollar spent. However, it doesn’t offer a $100 airline incidental credit.
When you take into account the Bank of America card’s airline credit, which essentially cancels out the annual fee, some of its fiercest competitors are the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card*, which offers an estimated 1.78 points for every dollar you spend, and the Citi Double Cash card, which offers up to 2 percent cash back – 1 percent when you make a purchase and 1 percent as you pay for your purchases.
Although the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is marketed as a travel rewards card, you can also redeem your points for gift cards or cash. No matter how you redeem them, your points will be worth 1 cent each. You have to go through Bank of America’s Travel Center to pay for your travel with rewards points. But if you’ve already purchased travel and want to be reimbursed for it, you can request a statement credit or have Bank of America deposit cash directly in your account.
Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card redemption options
|Minimum points required||Points value (cents)|
|Travel||2,500||1 cent each|
|Cash (statement credit or deposit into a checking or eligible savings account)||2,500||1 cent each|
|Gift cards||2,500||1 cent each|
Preferred rewards program
What really sets this card’s rewards program apart from other premium rewards cards is its Preferred Rewards program. Depending on how much money you have saved with Bank of America, you could earn a substantial bonus on all your earnings.
For example, if you have between $20,000 and $49,999 saved, you’ll earn a 25 percent rewards bonus. If you have between $50,000 and $99,999 stashed away, you’ll earn a 50 percent bonus, and if you have more than $100,000 tucked away in a Bank of America account, you’ll earn a 75 percent bonus.
|Tier||Balance required||Rewards boost||Estimated earning rate|
$100 travel statement credit
The Premium Reward’s up to $100 annual travel statement credit for airline incidental purchases is also unusual for a card that costs just $95 to own. However, the purchases that qualify for the credit are fairly limited. Qualifying incidental purchases include baggage fees, seat upgrades, ticket changes or cancellation fees, in-flight entertainment, food and beverage purchases and airport lounge purchases. So if you’re a frugal traveler who never checks baggage or spends money on airport extras, then you may not have much use for the travel credit.
See related: Make the most of your card’s travel credits
TSA Precheck/Global Entry credit
Bank of America will also reimburse you up to $100 for your application to Global Entry or TSA Precheck, so you can zip through airport security more quickly. (You can reapply, with reimbursement, every four years.) This is also unusually generous for a midtier travel card. Currently, the only other major competitor with a similar fee that offers it is the Capital One Venture card.
The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card also advertises an unusually generous suite of travel and purchase benefits, including:
- Trip delay reimbursement. For every ticket you purchase using the Premium Rewards credit card, you may be reimbursed for up to $500 worth of expenses if your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours.
- Trip cancellation or interruption protection. You may also be reimbursed for up to $5,000 worth of travel expenses if you’re forced to cancel or cut short a trip.
- Baggage delay insurance. If your baggage is delayed by your airline or other common carrier for more than six hours, you’ll be reimbursed up to $100 a day for a maximum of five days.
- Lost luggage reimbursement. You may be reimbursed for lost belongings if your baggage is permanently lost or stolen.
- Rental car insurance. Bank of America offers secondary car rental insurance if you use your card to pay for your rental car and decline your car rental company’s coverage.
- Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage. In addition, Bank of America will help you pay for medical services and emergency transportation if you or a loved one falls ill or becomes injured while traveling.
- Purchase security. You’ll be reimbursed up to $10,000 if a purchase is lost or stolen within 90 days of buying it.
- Return Protection. Bank of America will also reimburse you up to $250 per item if you buy something that you’re unhappy with and are unable to return it.
- Extended warranty. Bank of America may extend a manufacturer’s warranty for up to one more year.
- Roadside Dispatch. Bank of America will also help you find roadside assistance, towing or locksmith services when you’re in a jam.
You’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for the Premium Rewards credit card. We estimate that you’ll need at least a 670 credit score in order to qualify.
If you have questions about a card or need help from customer service, you shouldn’t have any trouble reaching a Bank of America representative. You can even text Bank of America to get information about your account or monitor your credit card. J.D. Power ranked Bank of America third for customer satisfaction in its 2020 Credit Card Satisfaction Study.
How does the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card compare to other travel cards?
The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card doesn’t offer nearly as many rewards points per dollar spent as some competitors, such as the Capital One Venture card. But it offers significantly more perks than many of its similarly priced competitors, including stronger travel insurance protections.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
80,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
20,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
100,000 miles if you spend $20,000 in first 12 months, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
Like the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card sets itself apart by offering some of the most generous travel insurance protections you can get on a card that costs less than $100 a year to own. In addition, it lets you transfer your points on a one-to-one basis to a variety of travel rewards programs.
But unlike the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, the Sapphire Preferred card doesn’t offer as many rewards opportunities, nor does it offer comparable travel credits. You’ll only receive double points on travel and dining purchases. All other purchases earn just one point per dollar spent.
This no annual fee credit card offers a ton of rewards value for a card of its kind, significantly outperforming the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card. You could potentially get triple points on everything from hotel and airfare purchases to public transportation, taxis, restaurant purchases, gas station purchases and even select streaming charges. It also offers unusually strong travel and purchase benefits for a no annual fee card.
If you compare cards based on rewards alone, the Venture card offers significantly more value than the Premium Rewards credit card. By offering two miles on every dollar you spend, the Venture card makes it easy to rack up lot of miles quickly. It also offers the same application fee credit for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry, which is a rare benefit for a mid-tier travel card. However, it doesn’t offer a travel credit, nor does it advertise nearly as many travel insurance benefits.
Who should apply for the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card?
- You’re a frequent or occasional air traveler who’s looking for a single, straightforward rewards card you can use for all or most of your purchases.
- You’re looking for strong travel insurance benefits, as well as reliable points on everyday purchases.
- You’re a Bank of America customer with at least $20,000 tucked away in a Bank of America deposit account.
How to use the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card
- Use this card for all of your travel and restaurant purchases as well as any miscellaneous purchases that don’t earn a bigger return with other cards.
- Charge at least $1,000 a month for the card’s first 90 days in order to earn a sign-up bonus.
- If you have a large amount of cash reserves, consider moving those savings to Bank of America to earn more card rewards.
- Take advantage of BankAmeriDeals to earn extra rewards on qualified purchases.
- Pair the Bank of America Premium card with the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card to earn extra rewards at wholesale clubs and on a category of your choice.
Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card worth it?
With such a generous travel credit, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card doesn’t require much of a commitment – as long as you spend enough on incidental purchases, such as baggage fees, to use your travel credit. Its strong rewards rate, especially on general purchases, make it a good everyday credit card. Meanwhile, its superior travel insurance benefits make it a great card for purchasing travel. Just one severely delayed flight or lost piece of luggage could make you glad you used it.
But unless you’re a Bank of America customer with a ton of savings, you may not earn nearly as much as you would if you charged more of your purchases to a competitor card with a higher rewards rate. Bank of America doesn’t let you transfer your rewards earnings either. So if you’re a frequent flyer looking to boost your travel miles, you’re better off seeking a different card.
*All information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
*All information about Wells Fargo Propel American Express card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card is no longer available.
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