Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Review: Should You Apply?

(4 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

The pool of travel rewards credit cards to choose from is constantly growing and changing.

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is one of them.

You might be considering it as your travel credit card.

The card provides an elevated rewards rate, especially on travel and dining.

Plus:

It offers a list of other valuable perks -- in an effort to make up for the card's $95 annual fee.

This review of the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card will break down the rewards program, the value of the card benefits, and costs.

Flexible Rewards Program

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is part of the reason that it may be attractive to you.

The rewards program offers:

  • 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining
  • 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all other purchases

Compared to other credit cards that target the same audience, these rewards rates may appear slightly inferior.

Other travel cards tend to offer a flat 2 points/miles per dollar on all spending.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards Card Bonus

Tier Combined balances in Bank of America bank and investment accounts Rewards bonus Total points earned on $20,000 in annual spending Value of points earned
None - 0% 30,000 $300
Bank of America checking or savings - 10% 33,000 $330
Gold Preferred Rewards client $20,000 25% 37,500 $375
Platinum Preferred Rewards client $50,000 50% 45,000 $450
Platinum Honor Preferred Rewards clients $100.000 75% 52,500 $525

Boost your rewards

One way to make this card more lucrative is by having a large amount of deposits in a Bank of America checking account.

Why?

Bank of America has the Preferred Rewards program, which rewards customers with relationship bonuses based on their deposit and investment balances.

If you qualify, you’re eligible to receive bonus rewards between 25 percent and 75 percent each time you make a purchase.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Earn more rewards on travel and dining
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Travel statement credits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee
  • Rewards booster requires high deposit balance

What does this mean for you?

Instead of earning 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, you can earn up to 3.5 points. Similarly, you can earn up to 2.62 points for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

Once you are ready to redeem your points, request a statement credit or get cash back into your Bank of America account.

Or, use your points to purchase travel or a gift card.

Annual Fee

This card does have a $95 annual fee.

The cost must be considered because you should be getting more value from the card than the cost.

As you think about each benefit offered by the card, you should calculate the approximate value that it brings you.

This way:

You make the annual fee worth paying.

Sign-Up Bonus

Another benefit of the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is that there’s also an opportunity to earn bonus points when you sign up.

Here’s how it works:

Spend a certain amount of money with the card in the first 90 days of opening the account and you’ll receive a sign-up bonus.

Typically, the value of this bonus is several hundred dollars (may change without notice).

This bonus may already be worth the annual fee.

Travel Statement Credits

As if earning a sign-up bonus isn’t enough, this credit card also gives you up to $200 in travel statement credit.

You can get up to a $100 airline incidental statement credit each year.

Use it to pay for baggage fees, in-flight services, seat upgrades, or use the credit to cover the cost of airline lounge fees.

In addition, every four years you’re eligible to receive an airport security statement credit up to $100. This can go toward your TSA pre-check or Global Entry Application Fee.

Again, these will help to make up the cost of the annual fee.

But, remember:

You must use them. Otherwise, you're not getting maximum value from the card.

Interest Rates

As you shop around and compare different credit cards, you’ll find that some cards offer an introductory APR.

Unfortunately, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card doesn’t have an intro APR.

However, it's no surprise:

Many premium credit cards don't offer intro APRs.

It’s also important to note that the card’s regular interest rate is comparable to similar travel rewards credit cards.

If you're considering the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card (or any other premium travel card), you should not be paying interest at all.

You should be paying off the entire balance every month.

Cardholder Perks

Annual fees are common with many credit cards, particularly those that offer customers a wealth of benefits and perks.

For example, many credit cards charge customers an annual fee to offset the cost of a rewards program.

Consider how likely you are to take advantage of the card’s benefits before applying.

For the annual fee to make sense from a financial standpoint, you should be able to save considerably using some of the card’s premium features.

These include:

Travel protection

Get assistance for trip cancellations, trip delays, trip interruptions, lost luggage, or emergency evacuation.

Purchase protection

Purchase an item with the card and receive a complimentary extended warranty.

You’ll also receive purchase security that repairs or reimburses the cost of a product that’s damaged or stolen within 30 days of the purchase.

With return protection, you’re reimbursed if you’re dissatisfied with an item after 90 days and the retailer doesn’t accept the return.

Automotive protection

Use your credit card to book a car rental and receive free collision/loss damage protection.

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

Enjoy luxury hotel benefits. These include complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, VIP guest status, late checkout, and room upgrades

Concierge services

Receive assistance with trip planning, dining reservations, and event tickets.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

It’s important to have the right credit card in your wallet when traveling abroad. Or else you could end up paying more for each purchase.

Ideally, you want a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

This is an extra fee charged to purchases made outside of the United States.

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about this extra cost when using the card in another country.

How Does the Credit Card Compare to Others?

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card has features that you might not find elsewhere.

For example, few reward credit cards give customers the opportunity to earn bonus reward points on dining, travel, and all other purchases.

With this card, you can potentially earn up to 3.5 points per dollar for dining and travel, as opposed to a maximum 1 to 2 points with another card.

In addition, many credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee, which averages about 3 percent of each transaction. This fee makes every purchase more expensive when abroad.

To reiterate, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card doesn’t charge this fee.

On the other hand, the credit card does have a $95 annual fee, which isn’t the most attractive feature.

Plenty of reward credit cards don’t charge annual fees or charge lower fees. So it’s certainly possible to save in this area.

But to be fair, many credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee also don’t offer as many benefits as this card.

Final Verdict: Should You Apply for This Card?

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is a strong contender because you can earn more points per dollar, plus there’s the option to receive a sign-up bonus, bonus reward points, and extra travel statement credits.

But while this card has excellent features, it isn’t the right choice for everyone.

Individuals who don’t travel often might not take advantage of the card’s many premium benefits.

It’s these benefits that really justify the annual fee. As a result, they could end up paying for services they’ll never use or only use occasionally.

The bottom line:

The ideal customer is someone who uses their credit card often, travels frequently, and commits to paying off their credit card balances in full every month. They can enjoy everything the card has to offer and avoid interest charges.

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