Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Review

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The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is packed with travel benefits, offers a decent sign-up bonus, and pays competitive rewards on travel, dining, and everyday purchases. You can’t transfer rewards to any travel partners, but cardholders still have several worthy redemption options to choose from.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

overall rating
3.7
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.8
for Fees
2.8
for Rewards
4.1
for Credit
4.0

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play
    Road Warrior
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things
    Adventure Seeker

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card is best for consumers who want a travel rewards credit card with a simple redemption program. Bank of America customers with good to excellent credit and hefty deposits in a Bank of America checking or savings account or Merrill Lynch investment account (or have the funds available to transfer) will get the maximum benefit from this card.

Pros

  • Good earnings rate on everyday purchases

  • Rewards bonus for higher deposit or investment account balances

Cons

  • No opportunity to transfer points to travel partners

Pros Explained

  • Good earnings rate on everyday purchases: Similar travel rewards credit cards only pay 1 point per $1 on non-bonus category spending. The Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card pays 1.5 points—50% more than comparable credit cards.
  • Rewards bonus for higher deposit or investment account balances: Cardholders with a Bank of America checking, savings, or Merrill Lynch investment account can earn up to 75% bonus rewards.

Cons Explained

  • No opportunity to transfer points to travel partners: When it comes to taking advantage of your rewards, you’re limited to Bank of America’s options. There’s no opportunity to combine your points with rewards you’ve earned from other loyalty programs.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus 

You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. The bonus is valued by Bank of America at $500, which makes each point worth 1 cent each. If you’re approved, your minimum credit limit will be at least $5,000, which gives you enough room to meet the spending balance.

While you may have enough available credit to meet the spending requirement right way, you should only spend what you can pay off immediately to avoid the risk of paying interest.

This may not be the biggest welcome offer valuewise—some cards offer bonuses worth up to $750—but it’s one of the easier offers to earn and redeem.

Earning Points & Rewards

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card pays 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining and 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on everything else. There are no blackout dates or restrictions and your points don’t expire.

This card’s definition of travel purchases is expansive, covering things you would expect like airfare and hotel nights, but also parking, tolls, and even amusement park tickets.

Redeeming Rewards

Redemption values are a flat 1 cent per point when redeemed, which takes some of the guesswork out of trying to figure out the best way to maximize your rewards. You can redeem your points for cash back via a deposit into a Bank of America checking or savings account, credit to eligible Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch accounts including 529 accounts, as a statement credit to your credit card, or for gift cards and other purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Use your credit card for all your purchases to earn the most rewards. And because you’ll earn 1.5 points on all your non-bonus category purchases instead of the standard 1 point per $1, it’s a better option for everyday purchases than many similar credit cards.

Having a banking relationship with Bank of America may qualify you for the Premium Rewards program where you can earn up to 75% more on each purchase, but you’ll need to maintain a three-month average balance of at least $20,000 in your qualifying accounts. You’re eligible to enroll if you have an active Bank of America personal checking or Advantage Banking account and maintain a combined balance in a qualifying Bank of America deposit account or Merrill investment account.

Here’s how the bonus breaks down:

  • Earn 25% bonus rewards at the Gold tier: requires a $20,000 combined balance.
  • Earn 50% bonus rewards at the Platinum tier: requires a $50,000 combined balance.
  • Earn 75% bonus rewards at the Platinum Honors tier: requires $100,000 combined balance.

You could earn up to 2.25, 3, or 3.5 points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining and 1.87, 2.25, or 2.62 points for every dollar you spend on other purchases.

When you apply, Bank of America may consider any other credit card accounts you have with the bank. If you have a Bank of America credit card with a lower interest rate than your new card, the bank may transfer your old credit card balance to the new, higher-APR account, without raising your credit limit.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card’s Excellent Perks 

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card has a few perks that the editors at The Balance consider “excellent”:

  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement: Get a statement credit every four years to cover the application cost for one of these airport security shortcuts: $85 for Precheck and $100 for Global Entry. 
  • Insurance coverage for lost or delayed luggage: If your luggage is lost or stolen, you can be reimbursed for the value of the bag and its contents. If your baggage is delayed six hours our more, you’ll be reimbursed for the cost of replacing essentials up to $100 per day, for up to five days.
  • Insurance coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, or delay: If a trip is delayed 12 or more hours, you can be reimbursed for your costs, up to $500 per day, per ticket. For canceled trips you will be reimbursed for up to $5,000 per traveler. 
  • Emergency medical/dental and evacuation benefits: This benefit covers you if you or a family member become sick or injured while traveling and require emergency medical transportation and services.

For these benefits to kick in, you’ll need to have used your card for the original purchase. Also, check your benefits guide for additional benefit terms and coverage details.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card’s Other Features 

  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Extended warranties
  • Refund when merchant won’t accept returned item
  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
  • Travel and emergency hotline

Customer Experience

Bank of America ranked seventh in J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, scoring 798 out of a possible 1,000 (the industry average was 806). The credit card issuer received about average marks in all categories: overall satisfaction, interaction, credit card terms, communication, benefits and service, rewards, and key moments.

Primary cardholders can opt-in to access their FICO score at no additional cost. The score is updated each month and available within the app or online. The Bank of America mobile app ranks third in overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card App Satisfaction study.

Customer service options include online chat and the ability to schedule an appointment for a telephone call to avoid waiting on hold for a customer service representative.

Security Features 

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card offers standard security features like zero fraud liability and chip technology.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card’s Fees

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card’s fees are in line with industry standards for travel rewards credit cards. It charges a $95 annual fee and no fees on foreign transactions.

For Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
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CURRENT CARD
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
overall rating
3.7
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.