Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Benefits & Review (September 2022)
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card can be an excellent fit for B of A customers and Preferred Rewards members. You can earn up to 2 points per $1 on purchases, have flexible redemption options, and several premium travel benefits with a $95 annual fee.
Should you apply for this travel credit card? This benefits primer can help you decide.
This card is the best fit for Bank of America customers to enjoy the most benefits. Specifically, Preferred Rewards members can earn up to 75% more rewards.
You might also consider this card if you want a $95-a-year travel rewards card offering up to $100 in airline fee statement credits and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
This card can also be attractive if most of your spending doesn’t earn bonus points. For example, you can earn 1.5x points instead of the industry-standard 1 point per $1.
Unfortunately, this card can be more challenging to qualify for as you will most likely need an excellent credit score of at least 750.
|Benefits at a Glance|
|Annual Fee: $95|
Current Bonus: 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
2x points on travel and dining
2x on grocery purchases (through 12/31/2021)
1.5x on everything else
Flexible Redemption Options
Up to $100 Airline Incidental Fee Statement Credit
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Premium Travel Benefits
APR: 15.99% to 22.99% variable APR on purchases
Excellent Credit required (750+)
Featured Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Benefits
These are the best benefits of the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card.
50,000 Bonus Points Signup Offer
You can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.
This signup bonus is worth $500 in award travel or cash rewards. However, competing cards typically offer more valuable offers.
Earn Up to 2x on Purchases
You will earn unlimited 2x points on these purchases:
- Grocery stores (only until December 31, 2021)
All non-bonus spending earns 1.5x points. That’s 50% more than most tiered rewards credit cards.
If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points. This means you can earn up to 3.5x on the bonus categories and 2.62x for base purchases.
$100 Airline Fee Statement Credit
Each year, you can receive up to $100 in statement credits for incidental airline fees. Some of the examples include checked bags, seat upgrades, and in-flight purchases.
This perk is usually only for premium credit cards with high annual fees.
Airport Security Statement Credit
No Foreign Transaction Fee
There isn’t a foreign transaction fee for overseas purchases making this an excellent option for international travel.
Additional Bank of America Premium Rewards Benefits
These travel features can make this card more enticing.
Travel Protection Benefits
The card offers several travel benefits when you run into unforeseen travel troubles:
- Trip Cancellation and Interruption: Up to $2,500 in non-refundable fares for trips canceled or shortened due to illness, severe weather, and other covered reasons.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement: Up to $500 per ticket for you and your family members for delays exceeding 12 hours.
- Baggage Delay: Up to $100 per day for 5 days on essential items when your bags are delayed at least 6 hours. Your common carrier baggage benefits apply first.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement: You can receive compensation for lost or damaged carry-on and checked bags.
- Emergency Evacuation and Transportation Coverage: You or a family may receive coverage for emergency medical services and transportation when traveling far from home.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: A service representative can coordinate medical, travel, and legal services when you’re traveling. It’s free to call, but you pay for any services provided.
These trip protection benefits are impressive as many travel credit cards have been eliminating or reducing these coverage perks recently.
Most cards continue to offer baggage insurance benefits and might provide trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
You can also enjoy a couple of car travel perks:
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Most domestic and international car rentals are eligible for secondary car rental collision and theft coverage.
- Roadside Dispatch: Receive 24/7 support for roadside assistance, towing, and locksmith services. Additional charges can apply.
You can get more purchase protection benefits than most travel cards provide:
- Purchase Security: Repair, replace, or get a refund for purchases that are stolen or damaged in the first 90 days. You can receive up to $10,000 per claim.
- Return Protection: Receive up to $250 per eligible item ($1,000 annually) when returning items within the first 90 days when the retailer refuses to issue a refund.
- Extended Warranty: Qualifying warranties of three years or less can receive up to one year of additional coverage.
The return protection perk is a novelty and can be nice to have if you make frequent purchases.
Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
As the Bank of America Premium is a Visa Signature credit card, you can enjoy special hotel travel discounts at participating properties.
Some of the benefits can include:
- Free nights on multi-night stays
- Breakfast for two
- Food and beverage credits
- In-room wifi
- Space-available room upgrades
These purchases also have the benefit of earning 2x points.
Visa Signature Concierge
A second Visa Signature benefit is getting a 24/7 concierge service to help plan travel, dining, and entertainment. It’s free to use this service but third-party fees apply.
Redeeming Bank of America Points
You have several travel and cash redemption options to choose from. Each point is worth 1 cent for these rewards although the redemption can be $25 (2,500 points).
You can redeem your points for upcoming trips through the Bank of America Travel Center. The booking portal lets you reserve flights and hotel rooms.
Sadly, this credit card doesn’t offer point transfers like the other big banks.
There are several ways to cash out your points:
- Statement credit
- Bank of America savings or checking account deposits
- Merrill Cash Management Account or 529 account
It’s common for travel rewards cards to offer cash-like redemption but at a reduced redemption value.
Redeeming your points for the same value can be an easy way to pay cash for travel purchases, earn bonus points, and request a statement credit. In this instance, it would be a travel statement credit.
A third redemption option is for retail and restaurant gift cards. However, you must be comfortable with the high minimum redemption of $25 and not earning purchase rewards on these purchases.
Here is the lowdown of the card fees:
- Annual Fee: $95
- Additional Cards: $0
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
- Late Payments: Up to $40
- Purchase APR: 15.99% to 22.99% variable APR
Bank of America Premium Compare to Similar Cards
Here is a closer look at how the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card matches up to other consumer travel credit cards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card:
A glimpse of the best perks include:
- Earn up to 5x Ultimate Rewards on purchases
- Points are worth 25% more for award travel bookings (1.25 cents each)
- Cash and gift card redemptions (1 cent each)
- 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
- Up to $50 in annual hotel credits
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance (up to $10,00 per person and $20,000 per trip)
- Trip delay reimbursement (up to $500 per ticket)
- Primary rental car collision damage waiver
The annual fee is $95.
Make sure you comply with the Chase 5/24 guidelines if you decide to apply for this card instead.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card:
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is the no annual fee version of the Premium Rewards Credit Card.
Instead of having tiered rewards categories, you earn 1.5x points on every purchase. Your redemption options are similar for travel, cash, and gift cards at 1 cent each.
Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can also earn up to 75% more points on purchases.
What are the tradeoffs? You won’t get the airline fee or Global Entry/TSA PreCheck statement credits. Nor will you get the premium travel and purchase protections.
The Citi Premier also has a $95 annual fee and earns Citi ThankYou points. You will get the most value by booking award flights through the credit card travel portal or transferring to an airline. It’s also possible to save $100 on a single $500+ hotel stay yearly.
Featured benefits include:
- Earn 3x on air travel, hotels, gas stations, dining, and supermarkets
- $100 annual hotel savings (on one $500+ stay per year)
- 1:1 airline point transfers
Each point is worth 1 cent when booking award travel through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center and retail gift cards.
Capital One Venture:
The Capital One Venture earns unlimited 2x miles on every purchase. Each point is worth 1 cent for travel statement credits or booking upcoming flights.
You can also transfer your points to several airlines and hotels. Most partners now offer a 1:1 transfer ratio versus a 2:1 or 2:1.5 ratio like before.
One additional benefit is a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit worth up to $100 every 4 years.
The annual fee is $95.
American Express Gold Card:
The American Express Gold Card offers travel and dining rewards but has a relatively high $250 annual fee.
Benefit highlights include:
- 4x Membership Rewards on dining worldwide
- 4x at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 per year then 1x)
- 3x on flights booked directly from airlines and at AmexTravel.com
- Up to $120 in Uber Cash credits per year ($10 per month)
- Up to $120 in annual dining credits ($10 per month)
- 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
Each point is worth 1 cent when booking award flights through Amex Travel and for gift cards as well.
The annual fee is $95 for the primary card and $0 for secondary cards.
The fee is 0% for foreign purchases.
Travel and dining purchases earn 2x miles and non-bonus purchases earn 1.5x.
Through 12/31/2021, grocery store purchases earn 2x.
Most travel-related purchases qualify, including flights, hotels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rentals, cruise lines, parking lots and garages, tourist attractions, museums, and amusement parks.
The dining category includes restaurants, fast food, and bars.
Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn 25%, 50%, or 75% more points on any purchase, depending on their loyalty tier.
Each point is worth 1 cent for award travel, cash redemptions, and gift cards. The redemption minimum is 2,500 points ($25) for cash and gift cards.
Your points balance won’t expire as long as your account remains active.
The first $100 in annual seat upgrades, ticket changes, cancellation fees, in-flight entertainment, onboard food and beverage, and airport lounge fees are eligible for reimbursement.
You won’t have to preselect an airline. However, the purchases must be for domestic flights with a United States-based carrier like American, Delta, United, or Southwest.
You will receive one application fee credit every 4 years for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85).
The emergency travel benefits include trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/interruption, baggage delay, lost luggage reimbursement, emergency evacuation, travel/emergency assistance services.
Purchase benefits include purchase security for theft and damage, extended warranty, and return protection.
Automotive protections include roadside dispatch (service fees apply) and car rental secondary collision damage waiver.
Applicants can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. This bonus is worth up to $500.
Previous cardholders are ineligible for this offer.
It’s best to apply with an excellent credit of at least 750 to have the highest approval odds.
No, each Bank of America credit card is plastic.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card may not have the most exciting rewards program as the bonus categories are relatively limited and you can’t transfer points to frequent flyer accounts.
It can be a different story if you’re one of the bank’s Preferred Rewards members that can earn 25% to 75% more points.
However, this card offers several travel statement credit and purchase protection benefits that rewards cards with a similar $95 annual fee do not provide.
You will get the most value from this card if you’re a Bank of America or Merrill customer. However, this card is also a good option if you use the travel statement credits and travel insurance perks.
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