Bank Of America Launches Luxury Credit Card, Expands Preferred Rewards Program
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Bank of America is entering the luxury credit card space with its new Bank of AmericaÂ® Premium RewardsÂ® EliteÂ® credit card. The Premium Rewards Elite credit card, launched November 22, has an annual fee of $ 550 and offers 2X points on travel and meals and 1.5X points on all other qualifying purchases (with 25-75% cash back). additional money for Bank of America’s Preferred Members Rewards).
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The credit card issuer isn’t the only issuer entering the luxury credit card space this year: Capital One launched the Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card, with an annual fee card $ 395 with a host of perks like a statement of up to $ 300 credit for bookings through Capital One Travel and an annual anniversary bonus of 10,000 bonus miles (equivalent to $ 100 for travel). It’s already a crowded market with popular choices like the Chase Sapphire ReserveÂ® and Platinum CardÂ® from American Express. Conditions apply.
Below, Select takes a look at the features of the Premium Rewards Elite card and changes to BoA’s Preferred Rewards program to help you decide if the Premium Rewards Elite card is better for you than other luxury cards on the market.
Bank of America’s new luxury card
The Premium Rewards Elite card has a steep annual fee of $ 550, but it comes with a lot of benefits. Cardholders get an annual credit of $ 300 for incidental airfare and an annual credit of $ 150 for lifestyle. The Premium Rewards Elite card offers 2X points on travel and meals and 1.5X points on all other eligible purchases to all cardholders. The redemption value is one cent per point.
The Premium Rewards Elite card offers a decent welcome bonus: cardholders can earn 50,000 points (worth $ 500; but can be worth up to $ 600 if redeemed for travel). they spend $ 3,000 within 90 days of opening the account. Yet the the welcome bonus is not as generous as other existing offers
For example, the Citi PremierÂ® card has an annual fee card of $ 95 and a more lucrative welcome bonus. New cardholders can earn 80,000 points (valued at $ 800) when they spend $ 4,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months after opening the account. And the Sapphire Reserve is offering a welcome bonus of 50,000 bonus points (valued at $ 750 if redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.Â®) after spending $ 4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening the account. The Premium Rewards Elite Card welcome bonus is okay, but given the high annual fee, there are other cards that offer bigger welcome bonuses and better benefits.
Still, the benefits of the card may not justify the expense for many people. While the Premium Rewards Elite card has an annual credit of up to $ 300 on the airline’s incidental statement and an annual lifestyle credit of $ 150, the credit on the airline’s incidental statement Airline incidentals are not like the credit on the travel statement offered by cards like Venture X or Sapphire Reserve.
The Venture X offers cardholders a $ 300 credit for travel, such as flights and hotels, booked through the Capital One travel portal. The Sapphire Reserve also offers a $ 300 refund for travel purchases, and you don’t even have to book through the Chase Travel portal.
With the Premium Rewards Elite card, you get an airline incidental expense credit that can only be used on purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, and airline lounge fees. If you prefer a luxury credit card with flexible travel credit, the Premium Rewards Elite card is not the best option for you.
The Premium Rewards Elite card also includes an annual credit of $ 150 on the lifestyle statement, which can be used for certain streaming services, food delivery, fitness subscriptions, and ridesharing services – and a $ 100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheckÂ® membership (once every four years). Cardholders will receive access to the Priority Pass Select lounge.
The Premium Rewards Elite credit card is essentially a deluxe version of the Bank of AmericaÂ® Premium RewardsÂ® credit card. The Premium Rewards card has an annual fee of $ 95, no overseas transaction fees, and offers perks such as a $ 100 credit on the airline’s incidental statement and a credit on the 100 statement. $ for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Application (once every four years).
There is also no introductory 0% APR period, so the interest rate on purchases and balance transfers can range from 15.99% to 22.99%.
The Premium Rewards card also has the same cash back rate as the Premium Rewards Elite card: 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and catering purchases and 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all other qualifying purchases (25 75% more money back if you are a Preferred Rewards member). In other words, the main advantages of the Premium Rewards Elite card over the Premium Rewards card are the airline’s accessory and lifestyle credits, so if those credits aren’t worth much to you, you might instead consider the Premium Rewards card.
You can redeem points for travel, cash back, statement credit, experiences, or gift cards. If you redeem your points for airline tickets using the Bank of America Travel Center or Concierge, your points will be worth 20% more or 1.2 points per dollar.
Benefits of the Preferred Rewards Program
The real benefit of the Premium Rewards Elite Card is for Members of the Preferred Rewards Program. To be eligible for the Preferred Rewards program, you must have a combined three-month average daily balance of $ 20,000 or more in a BoA deposit account and / or Merrill investment account.
If you are a member of the Preferred Rewards program, you can earn up to 75% additional cash back with the card. Here’s how the extra cash back breaks down by tier:
- Gold Tier Rewards member, with at least $ 20,000 in deposit or investment accounts, is eligible for 25% additional cash back
- Platinum level rewards members, with at least $ 50,000 in deposit or investment accounts, are eligible for 50% cash back.
- The Platinum Honors level, with at least $ 100,000 of deposit or investment accounts and above, is eligible for an additional 75% cash back.
BoA has announced that it will be creating additional tiers of the Preferred Rewards program. The Diamond level is available to people with $ 1 million or more in deposit and investment accounts, and the Diamond Honors level is for those with $ 10 million or more. Diamond and Diamond Honors levels will also receive a higher interest rate on Bank of America Advantage savings accounts and a reduced annual fee for Merrill Guided Investing accounts.
For Platinum Honors members and above, they can earn 3.5 points per dollar spent on travel and meal purchases and 2.62 points per dollar spent on all other qualifying purchases on the Premium Rewards Elite card.
At the end of the line
If you’re in the market for a new premium travel credit card, the Premium Rewards Elite Card pales in comparison to most others. luxury cards available in the market, especially due to the limited use of airline ancillary credit and the lack of airline and hotel loyalty transfer options for Bank of America reward points. Preferred Rewards members will enjoy higher cash back rates, but to become a Preferred Rewards member, cardholders will need at least $ 20,000 in deposit and investment accounts through Bank of America and Merrill.
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Information about the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Bank of AmericaÂ® Premium RewardsÂ® EliteÂ® Credit Card, Bank of AmericaÂ® Premium RewardsÂ® Credit Card was independently collected by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer before publication.
Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.