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- One of the best features of this card is its flexible redemption options. You can redeem rewards for travel, gift cards, statement credits or deposits to eligible accounts, all for the same value.
- This card also includes a low annual fee for a travel card, a welcome offer and the ability to boost rewards earnings through Bank of America Preferred Rewards membership.
- You'll also get other convenient travel benefits like travel-related statement credits, travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card technically falls under the travel category, but cardholders also have the option of redeeming their points for cash back or gift cards — with the same redemption value for travel rewards. With all of the travel industry changes over the last few years, this card’s redemption flexibility has become one of its greatest attractions.
While the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card may not be as revered in the travel card world as other options, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, it still may be an option worth considering.
What to love about the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card
We searched for an everyday user of the Bank of America Premium Rewards card and found attorney Stewart Guss, who loves using his card for two main reasons: its redemption flexibility and its low annual fee. Here’s how Guss maximizes the card’s value and makes it work for his lifestyle.
Flexible redemption options
While you earn 2X points for travel and dining purchases, and 1.5X points on everything else, you can redeem your rewards points in several ways. Cardholders can redeem their points for travel booked through the Bank of America Travel Center, gift cards, statement credits or deposits into eligible Bank of America or Merrill accounts. What makes this ideal is that each redemption option has the same value — 1 cent per point.
Some travel credit cards boost your rewards when you redeem your points through a card’s travel portal. This card doesn’t offer that point-boosting perk, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good rewards card option for some.
“I used some [points] for cash back around Christmastime to have more flexibility with gifts,” says Guss. “Since the start of 2022, I’ve just been accumulating the points… […] [I]n the summertime, I’ll be glad I have those points.”
Its welcome offer
The card’s current welcome offer is 60,000 online bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening (worth about $600).
Guss was able to take advantage of the welcome offer with his card, noting that “you have to focus your spending a bit to hit that bonus, forgoing cash or other credit cards where you might have otherwise used them.” But in the end, it worked out for him, and he earned the bonus.
Low annual fee
You’ll see annual fees of up to $695 with some of the top travel credit cards, which makes the $95 annual fee with this card worth highlighting. Guss used this exact point when comparing the fees of other travel cards.
Since he knew he wasn’t traveling as much as he normally does — which would help him to take advantage of the perks other travel cards offer — the $95 annual fee was more reasonable, and he could choose to redeem his rewards for cash back instead.
Ability to boost rewards
Bank of America offers the Preferred Rewards program, which is available to those with at least a $20,000 average rolling balance within a qualifying Bank of America or Merrill account.
One of the perks of the program is a 25 percent to 75 percent boost in rewards points for qualifying Bank of America credit cards, depending on your membership tier. Although Guss is not a Preferred Rewards member, he wants to learn more about it so he can take advantage of this substantial bonus.
Other travel perks
In addition to the card’s rewards, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card includes other convenient travel benefits. As a cardholder, you can enjoy up to $100 in statement credits for airline incidentals, up to $100 in statement credits toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (every four years) and various travel insurance protections — such as trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance and lost luggage reimbursement.
Further, the card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which is a big perk if you find yourself traveling overseas. Overall, if a cardholder is able to take advantage of even half of these card benefits, that will more than make up for the $95 annual fee.
The bottom line
At first glance, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card may seem a little lackluster considering that you’ll get the same redemption value whether you use rewards for travel or cash back. However, considering the volatility of the travel industry over the last few years, this flexibility can work to the cardholder’s advantage — you won’t have to worry about saving your rewards for high-value options. Instead, you can redeem your rewards for any option that works best for you, whether that’s travel, cash back or gift cards.
The information about the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card was last updated on June 5, 2023.