- The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card is a great option if you’re looking for a simple but solid rewards credit card.
- This card has a low $95 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
- You’ll earn 2x points on travel and dining purchases, and 1.5x points on all other purchases.
- If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member with at least $20,000 in banking or investment accounts, you can earn up to a 75% points bonus.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
In recent years, rewards credit cards have become more competitive than ever. The sign-up bonuses are sky-high and a growing list of attractive benefits makes it difficult to choose which credit card to add to your wallet.
To help make your choice easier is the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card. As one of the best mid-tier cards, you can expect cash back for redemptions, a flexible rewards program, a low $95 annual fee, and above-grade benefits.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It’s important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back.
Bank of America Premium Rewards card details
Annual fee: $95
Sign-up bonus: 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of opening the card.
Points earning: 2x points on travel and dining, 1.5x points on everything else
Foreign transaction fee: None
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days from opening the card. Essentially, the value of the 50,000 points is $500.
We'll get more into your various options for using points later, but simply put the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card acts more like a cash-back card rather than a travel rewards card that earns transferable points. Points from the Premium Rewards can be used for anything, including flights, gym memberships, or a new laptop. You will receive a statement credit that will post automatically, and the earning potential is virtually limitless.
Bonus categories and points-earning
The Premium Rewards card offers 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases - and because it doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, you can earn 2x points in these categories no matter where you travel. For all other purchases, you'll earn 1.5 points per dollar spent.
But that's not where your earning potential ends.
As a Bank of America customer, you can increase your earnings by taking advantage of the Preferred Rewards Program. Basically, depending on how much you have invested with Bank of America, you can qualify for a higher points-earning rate.
The Bank of America Preferred Rewards program
If you have an eligible Bank of America checking account and three-month average combined balances of $20,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America or Merrill investment accounts, you can enroll in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.
The Preferred Rewards program offers benefits like no-fee transactions at non-Bank of America ATMs and various interest rates discounts, and it also offers a rewards bonus on eligible Bank of America credit cards.
Here's how that breaks down with the various tiers of the Preferred Rewards program:
- Preferred Rewards Gold ($20,000 to $49,999 in qualifying balances): 25% rewards bonus
- Preferred Rewards Platinum ($50,000 to $99,999 in qualifying balances): 50% rewards bonus
- Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors ($100,000+ in qualifying balances): 75% rewards bonus
So as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member with the Bank of America Premium Rewards card, you can get to up to a 75% points bonus on your spending.
Here's how that breaks down for both bonus and non-bonus category spending on the Premium Rewards card:
- Preferred Rewards Gold: 2.5x points on travel and dining purchases; 1.875x points on non-bonus spending
- Preferred Rewards Platinum: 3x points on travel and dining purchases; 2.25x points on non-bonus spending
- Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors: 3.5x points on travel and dining purchases; 2.62x points on non-bonus spending
If you have at least $50,000 in eligible balances with Bank of America to qualify for the Preferred Rewards Platinum tier, you'd earn 3 points per dollar on travel and dining - the same earning rate for these categories offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express® Green Card.
Redeeming points from the Premium Rewards card
No matter what you choose to redeem your points for, each point is worth 1 cent. That means you won't have to spend copious amounts of time researching "sweet spots" in award charts to get the maximum value from your rewards.
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is simple and convenient, especially for users who like the idea of points functioning like cash. For example, you can redeem points as a statement credit against large purchases that aren't covered by points, such as a car, new television, airline flight, or lavish meal out.
The most popular way to redeem points with this card is through cash back. Cash-back redemptions can be received in the form of a statement credit, as a deposit it into an eligible Bank of America checking or savings account, or into a Merrill or 529 college savings account.
If you have vacation plans, you can book flights directly through the Bank of America travel portal. This works similarly to other redemption portals, where you can search flights as you would on a carrier website and complete your booking by redeeming points. You will still earn award miles and elite credits; however, you should always check the carrier website in the case of finding a better fare class at the same value. You could always purchase airfare and opt to receive cash back if you find a lower price elsewhere.
Another option allows you to redeem points for gift cards at Amazon, Whole Foods, Starbucks, and more. Out of your three redemption options, this is the least appealing for the fact that purchasing the items outright and redeeming your points as a statement credit would earn you more value, especially if you have to make a return.
Bank of America Premium Rewards card benefits
You can take advantage of some terrific benefits with your Bank of America Premium Rewards card, especially considering the card only has a $95 annual fee.
Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
If you don't already have either of these, Global Entry is definitely the better option, as it includes TSA PreCheck. Your $100 credit will benefit you for the duration of up to five years, and you will save some serious time bypassing long lines when flying to international destinations. If you already have Global Entry, you can still apply this credit toward the application of a family member or friend.
Up to $100 in airline incidental credits each year
This credit can be used toward purchases like seat upgrades, baggage fees, and in-flight services. It will automatically apply to your account each year, so make sure you get your money's worth when taking to the skies.
With this benefit alone you're recouping the annual fee, but add in up to $100 in value from the Global Entry credit, and you come out $105 ahead, before factoring in the value of the points you can earn from the Premium Rewards card.
Baggage delay insurance
If you have to wait more than six hours for your luggage, you will be reimbursed up to $100 a day for five days. Note that you will have to keep the receipts of any purchases on essentials like toiletries and clothing and submit a claim to be reimbursed.
Trip delay insurance
If your flight is delayed more than 12 hours, you're eligible for reimbursement of up to $500 in expenses per ticket. This includes lodging and meals for those times when travel plans that go awry. You can also rest easy knowing you will be reimbursed up to $5,000 for any unused travel expenses like tours and hotels.
If you buy a new valuable that becomes damaged or lost, you can take advantage of purchase protection. You will be covered for repairs, replacements, or reimbursements up to $10,000 per claim.
Other credit cards to consider
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card stands out from other rewards credit cards by offering more value in annual statement credits than the cost of the annual fee. The Bank of America Preferred Rewards program is also a unique way to maximize your earnings with the Premium Rewards card and other Bank of America cards.
If you want a card that earns more flexible travel rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card draws an obvious comparison to the Premium Rewards card. Both cards offer 2x points on travel and dining purchases with no foreign transaction fees, and both cards have a $95 annual fee. The Sapphire Preferred earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to hotel and airline loyalty programs. Chase points can be worth more than 1 cent apiece depending on how you use them, but it does take some time and effort to find the highest-value ways to use these rewards. With the Premium Rewards card, you'll always get 1 cent per point, so there's no need to fret over redemption options.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is another card with a $95 annual fee (but in this case it's waived the first year). Like the Premium Rewards card, it lets you redeem rewards to cover purchases at a rate of 1 cent per Capital One mile - though you can also transfer miles to more than 10 airline partners.
With more and more airlines and hotels cutting the value of miles and points, it's all the more difficult to find available flights and hotel stays that maximize rewards. The Bank of America Premium Rewards card stands out amongst restrictive competitors - it's flexible, you don't need to scour award charts, and your earning (statement credits) post automatically. It's a great option for anyone looking for a simple but solid rewards credit card.