While we frequently berate Bank of America for their customer-gouging ways, and often speculate that they might go out of business, their position as the second-biggest bank in the United States does offer them some unique capabilities. Their Museums on Us program is an excellent example of the benefits of banking with the multinational megabanks.
In 30 states and Washington DC, Bank of America can get you free access to some impressive cultural institutions, just for having a valid credit or debit card with the bank.
Bank of America customers get free entry to 150 museums all across the nation on the first full weekend of every month. If you miss the First Friday party many of these institutions likely hold, you can catch them on Saturday, for free, with your debit card.
2012 marks the program’s fifteenth season, and the roster has grown to include a number of storied institutions.
In San Francisco, Bank of America’s original home, your card gives you free access to the new de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor, both of which would otherwise cost $11 for one adult ticket. Down in sunny Southern California, your BofA debit card can get you into the largest art museum on the West Coast, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), normally $15.
Here in New York City, free access to the Whitney Museum of American Art will save you a neat $18, while free access to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a nice gesture, but cheapskate New Yorkers already know you can get in there for next to nothing (the $25 admission is only suggested; you can pay what you want).
Or, hop down to Philly for free access to the National Constitution Center (normally $12) or run up the Rocky stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and skip the $16 admission.
Check out BofA’s full list of cultural institutions that Museums on Us covers, and consider the minor benefits that banking with a behemoth like BofA offers. If you actually take advantage of this offer, you can save a whole lot of money, and expand your horizons in the process.