The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card technically falls into the travel category, but cardholders also have the option to redeem their points for cash back or gift cards, with the same value of redemption for travel rewards. While this card may not have the recognition in the world of travel cards like other options, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, it may still be an option worth considering.
With ever-changing travel restrictions over the past two years, the redemption flexibility offered by the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card has become one of its biggest attractions.
Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Details
Before we get into why this travel rewards card works so well despite all the uncertainty surrounding real-world travel these days, we need to highlight this card’s key offerings:
- Reward rate: 2X points on travel and dining purchases, plus 1.5X points on all other purchases
- welcome bonus: 50,000 bonus points online after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
- Annual subscription: $95
- Regular APR: 15.99% to 22.99% (varies)
Reasons Why the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Stands Out
We searched for a daily Bank of America Premium Rewards card user and found a lawyer Stewart Guss, who likes to use their card for two main reasons: repayment flexibility and low annual fees. Here’s how Guss maximizes the value of the card and fits it into his lifestyle.
Flexible repayment options
While you earn 2X points for travel and dining purchases, and 1.5X points on everything else, there are a number of ways you can redeem your points. Cardholders can redeem their points for travel booked through the Bank of America Travel Center, gift cards, or cash back in the form of statement credit or deposit to eligible accounts. What makes this ideal is that each call option has the same value, 1 cent per point.
Some travel credit cards increase your rewards when you redeem your points through a card’s travel portal. This card doesn’t offer that points-earning benefit, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good rewards card option for some.
“I used [points] for cash back around Christmas to have more flexibility with gifts,” says Guss. “Since the start of 2022, I’ve just been accumulating the points… If we have a more open world, or at least a COVID-free USA in the summer, I’ll be happy to have those points.”
The welcome offer
The card’s current welcome offer is 50,000 bonus points online after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days (worth around $500).
Guss was able to take advantage of the welcome offer with his card, noting that “you have to concentrate your spending a bit to get this bonus, giving up cash or other credit cards where you might have used them. otherwise”, but in the end it worked for him, and he won the bonus.
Average annual fees
You’ll see annual fees of up to $695 with other travel rewards cards, which makes the $95 annual fee with this card worth pointing out. Guss used this exact point to compare the fees of other travel cards.
Since he knew he wasn’t traveling as much as he normally does to take advantage of the benefits other cards may offer, the $95 annual fee was more reasonable and he could choose to redeem it for cash back. in place.
Possibility to increase rewards
Bank of America offers the Preferred Rewards program, which is currently available by invitation only to those with an average rolling balance of at least $20,000 in an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account.
One of the benefits of the program is increased rewards points for eligible Bank of America credit cards, and your points can earn up to 75% in value as a program member.
Although Guss is not a member of Preferred Rewards, he wants to know more about it so he can take advantage of this substantial bonus.
Other Travel Benefits
In addition to card rewards and potential cash back, the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card includes other convenient travel benefits. As a cardholder, you can get up to $100 credits on your statement for airline incidental charges, up to $100 credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and various travel coverages, such as such as trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance and reimbursement for lost baggage.
Plus, the card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which is a big plus if you’re traveling abroad. All in all, if a cardholder is able to take advantage of these multiple benefits, it more than makes up for the $95 annual fee.
The bottom line
At first glance, the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card may seem a little lackluster given that the redemption value of each point is the same whether you use it for travel or cash back. However, given the volatility in the travel industry over the past two years, this may be to the cardholder’s advantage; you don’t have to feel pressured to use your rewards based on what has the highest redemption value – you can simply choose whether you want to redeem for travel, cash back or gift cards .