Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Review

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Quick Take: Bank of America is ranked among GOBankingRates' top five picks for the Best National Banks of 2022, so it's not surprising the financial institution also has some of the best rewards credit cards available today. The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is a travel rewards card with a straightforward, generous rewards structure and a host of travel benefits.
  • Bonus Offer
    4.9
  • Rewards Program
    4.7
  • Travel Benefits
    4.8
  • Additional Benefits
    4.8
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Earn 2x points on travel and dining; 1.5x points on other purchases
  • Points don't expire
  • Variety of redemption options
  • No limit to how many bonus points you can earn
  • Sign-up bonus worth $500
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Bank of America and Merrill customers can earn up to 3.5x points

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Earn more on travel and restaurant dining than other spending, which may not be good for those who don't travel
  • High interest rate if you don't pay your card off each month
  • Must have a Bank of America bank account or Merrill investment account to maximize rewards

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Overview

Delivering 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining and 1.5 points for every $1 on other purchases, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card delivers tremendous value in the crowded space of travel rewards credit cards. Bank of America customers will gain even more value. If you have a Bank of America bank account or Merrill investment account and you qualify for the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you can collect 3.5 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining, and as much as 2.62 points for every $1 in other purchases.

You can redeem the points for cash back as a statement credit, a direct deposit into your Bank of America checking or savings account, or use it to fund your Merrill investments, including a 529 college savings plan.  You can also redeem points for travel or gift cards. A host of other travel benefits and perks round out this Visa Signature card.

Who Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Best For?

Bank of America customers looking for a flexible travel rewards credit card that is great for travel domestically or abroad can benefit from the Premium Rewards card. If you do not qualify for the Preferred Rewards, you may be able to find a better travel rewards card, such as Citi Premier, which offers 3x rewards in many travel- and leisure-related categories, as well as groceries.

Features of the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

Here’s what you need to know about the best features the Bank of America Premium Rewards card has to offer.

Bonus Offer

Bank of America Premium Rewards offers 50,000 online bonus points, worth $500, if you make at least $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. This is competitive with Citi Premier’s sign-up bonus, which provides 60,000 points (worth $600) when you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

The bonus offer exceeds that of the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex cards, which offer a $200 bonus, and the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card, with a $250 sign-up bonus. However, you only have to spend $500 and $2,000, respectively, to qualify for the bonus offers with these cards.

Rewards Program

If you are looking for a travel credit card and don’t intend to use the card much beyond your trips, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card is a solid choice. That’s because you can earn 2 points for every dollar on travel and dining purchases and just 1.5 points on all other purchases. Bank of America or Merrill customers who qualify for Preferred Rewards can earn up to 3.5 points for every dollar on travel and dining purchases and up to 2.62 points on all other purchases.

The program is extremely flexible, however, giving you the option to cash in those points for a statement credit, a direct deposit into your Bank of America account, or even credit to your Merrill investment account. You can also trade them in for gift cards or travel through the Bank of America Travel Center. Points never expire, but you must have at least 2,500 points in order to start redeeming them. When you trade points for cash, they are worth 1 cent per point, so 2,500 points would equal $25 in cash back.

Travel expenditures that earn 2 to 3.5 points include tourist attractions, amusement parks, art galleries, zoos, aquariums and other experiences, as well as transportation and hotels.

Travel Benefits

In addition to earning up to 3.5 points on travel purchases, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card also offers statement credits of up to $100 per calendar year for airline incidental purchases. These include seating upgrades, ticket change or cancellation fees, checked baggage fees, onboard food and beverages, and in-flight entertainment purchases on certain domestic airline carriers. Since virtually every airline today charges for checked bags, this savings can pay off in just one or two flights. And, since the Bank of America Premium Rewards card carries a $95 annual fee, if you use this travel benefit you know that fee is covered yearly through this perk alone.

Bank of America Premium Rewards also provides travelers with up to $100 in statement credits every four years to pay the application fee for the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry program. TSA PreCheck costs just $85 every five years, while Global Entry costs $100 every five years, so this is another benefit that’s well worth it for frequent flyers.

The card also provides trip cancellation, delay and interruption insurance, and baggage delay and lost luggage insurance, so you can have the peace of mind of knowing that if something goes wrong, you won’t lose all you invested in the trip.

Additional Benefits

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is a Visa Signature card, which means it comes with a host of benefits exclusive to the Visa Signature line. Visa recently unveiled an array of new benefits, including same-day delivery of many items with Shipt, access to exclusive live music events through Sofar Sounds, access to online classes through Skillshare, and access to NortonLifeLock.

Other Visa Signature benefits include rental car and hotel deals, access to exclusive luxury experiences, and a personal concierge to assist with travel planning, event tickets and other assistance whether you are at home or on the road.

What Sets Bank of America Premium Rewards Apart From the Competition?

While the rewards and sign-up bonus are both very good, the travel benefits, including the exclusive experiences and perks offered to Visa Signature cardholders, set the Bank of America Premium Rewards card apart from others in its class. Here’s a look at how it compares to one of its competitors.

Bank of America Premium Rewards vs. Citi Premier Card

Both the Citi Premier and Bank of America Premium Rewards cards carry a $95 annual fee, but that fee will quickly pay for itself with how quickly points can accrue. Citi Premier offers 3x points in several spending categories: air travel and hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations. It also offers 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. When deciding which card is a better match for your needs, you’ll want to consider your spending habits and whether you intend to use your card for both everyday purchases and travel.

Whereas the Premium Rewards card offers up to $100 in statement credits for airline incidental purchases each year, the Citi Premier card offers an annual hotel savings benefit that lets you take $100 off an eligible hotel stay of at least $500. If you take advantage of this benefit, you’ll offset the cost of the card’s $95 annual fee.

For frequent travelers, either card could be a good value. The choice might come down to whether or not you are a Bank of America customer, or wish to set up an account there, to maximize the rewards.

Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Right for You?

If you’re a Bank of America customer who travels a lot, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card should be one to consider. The concierge service and travel benefits make it worthwhile, and the possibility of 3.5x rewards on a broad range of travel expenses means you can put substantial dollars in your pocket with every trip you take.

Good To Know

Keep in mind that the Premium Rewards card has a variable APR of 16.24% – 23.24% based on your creditworthiness. Cash advances carry an APR of 18.99% to 25.99%. If you make a late payment, you could incur a penalty of up to $40.

Bank of America Premium Rewards FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about the Bank of America Premium Rewards card.
  • Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards card a top-of-the-line credit card?
    • The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is a highly rated card designed for consumers with good to excellent credit. But it is not Bank of America's top-level offering. That honor belongs to the Premium Rewards Elite card, with a $550 annual fee. Although the perks and benefits that come with the Premium Rewards Elite card may have more value, the regular Premium Rewards card delivers excellent rewards and benefits, too.  
  • Does the Bank of America Premium Rewards card have foreign transaction fees?
    • No. One of the many travel benefits of Premium Rewards is that there are no foreign transaction fees, making this a great card to carry abroad.
  • Can you transfer points with the Premium Rewards card?
    • You cannot transfer points accrued to airline or hotel loyalty programs with the Bank of America Premium Rewards card. However, you can book travel through the Bank of America Travel Center using your points, or redeem points for cash back or statement credits.

Information is accurate as of March 13, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Bank of America. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Bank of America.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

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