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What is the Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program

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Bank of America offers the Preferred Rewards program that rewards long-term customers, as well as Merrill Edge customers for using the service for their investment needs.

Simply put, keep more money in Bank of America and Merrill Edge accounts and you'll get special bonuses and perks.

"Preferred Rewards is the first program of its kind to offer clients benefits and rewards for everyday banking," said Dean Athanasia, president of Preferred Banking at Bank of America. "It is the result of deep client research to develop and deliver a simple program that provides clients benefits and rewards they will actually use, and shows them how much we appreciate it when they choose to do more business with us."

Who is Eligible for the Program?

The Bank of America Preferred Rewards program is eligible to customers with a Bank of America personal checking account who has maintained at least an average of $20,000 or more for three months across their checking, savings, and/or Merrill Edge Investment accounts.

The more a customer's balance begins to grow, the better benefits and rewards they are offered. There is a three-tier structure system offered by Bank of America -- Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Honors.

Available perks for opening and maintaining a Preferred Rewards account include, bonus points or cash back bonuses on linked Bank of America credit cards, higher interest rates on Rewards Money Market Savings accounts, priority banking services, no fees on select banking services, home equity interest rate discounts, mortgage relationship credit (for instance, $200 for a gold account) when purchasing a mortgage or refinancing and more.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Preferred Rewards status Gold Platinum Platinum Honors
Money market savings 5% interest rate boost 10% interest rate boost 20% interest rate boost
Credit card 25% rewards bonus 50% rewards bonus 75% rewards bonus
ATMs - Up to 12 no-fee transactions at non-Bank of America ATMs per year Unlimited no-fee transactions at non-Bank of America ATMs per year
Online investing - $0 equity and ETF trades (up to 30 per month) $0 equity and ETF trades (up to 100 per month)
Client service level Priority Priority Priority
Mortgage $200 reduction in origination fee $400 reduction in origination fee $600 reduction in origination fee
Auto loan 0.25% interest rate discount 0.35% interest rate discount 0.50% interest rate discount
Select banking services No fees No fees No fees

Preferred Rewards Compared to Premium Banking

Bank customers who are familiar with premium banking services will find Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program similar in terms of the types of perks being offered.

The biggest difference with this program (compared to a typical premium checking or savings account) is that there is an incentive for maintaining an account for an extended period of time.

If you manage a Merrill Edge account and regularly bank with Bank of America, the perks offered from this program can be beneficial, especially for those that are interested in investing money into a Rewards Money Market Savings account.

As of now, there are no groundbreaking incentives for switching your money over to a new Bank of America account Preferred Rewards program, as opposed to a premium checking account elsewhere.

However, if you are already maintain relations with the bank, or are interested in moving your banking services elsewhere, this new account can be appealing.

Is It Worth It?

There are some valuable perks from the Preferred Rewards program.

The credit cards bonuses, mortgage fees savings, and auto loan rate reductions can have a massive impact over time. But, they may not justify keeping a large number of deposits or investments with Bank of America.

Many online banks can provide greater returns on your large deposits strictly with a market-leading interest rate.