How to Maximize the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

To get the most from this card, you should maintain your status in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.

Bethany WalshSeptember 1, 2020
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How to Get the Most Out of the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

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The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card offers excellent opportunities to earn valuable rewards on everyday spending. Its generous definition of travel spending means more opportunities to earn 2x points on travel purchases. Plus, the $95-annual-fee card offers lucrative travel credits, a nice range of travel and purchase protections, and extra earnings for members of the Bank of America® Preferred Rewards program.

The points you earn using the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card are worth 1 cent apiece regardless of how you redeem them — a plus for people who value simple, straightforward rewards. And you have a lot of flexibility when it comes time to redeem them: Exchange points for travel, a statement credit, a deposit into an eligible bank account and more.

Here’s an overview of the card features, followed by ways you can maximize this card to get the best rewards.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card overview

  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Bank of America® Preferred Rewards members earn a 25% to 75% points bonus.

  • Redeem points for a statement credit, a deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, a credit to eligible Merrill accounts, gift cards or as payment for Bank of America® Travel Center purchases.

  • Get up to $100 in airline credit for charges like checked bag fees, seat upgrades and more.

  • Get up to $100 back on a TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fee every four years.

  • Pay no foreign transaction fees.

  • Annual fee is $95.

Here are some strategies to get the most out of this card.

Be a loyal customer

The Bank of America® Preferred Rewards program offers a range of perks for customers who maintain a certain minimum balance, starting at $20,000, in Bank of America® accounts or Merrill-branded investment accounts.

For Preferred Rewards members who also hold an eligible Bank of America® credit card like the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, the benefits include an earnings boost on every dollar charged to the card. Preferred Rewards members are grouped into Gold, Platinum and Platinum Honors tiers, with increased credit card bonuses at each tier.

  • Gold members (qualify at $20,000) receive a 25% rewards bonus.

  • Platinum members (qualify at $50,000) receive a 50% rewards bonus.

  • Platinum Honors members (qualify at $100,000) receive a 75% rewards bonus.

Here’s how many points you’ll earn per dollar charged to the card, depending on your status in Preferred Rewards:

Travel & dining spending

Other spending

Base rewards points per dollar

2

1.5

Preferred Rewards Gold

2.5

1.875

Preferred Rewards Platinum

3

2.25

Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors

3.5

2.625

Cash in on travel credits

To get the maximum value from your Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card you should max out the two available statement credits:

  • Up to a $100 airline incidental statement credit annually for qualifying purchases like upgrades, checked bag fees, in-flight charges and lounge fees on eligible airlines.

  • Up to $100 airport security statement credit toward a TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fee (available every four years).

If you are able to get the full $100 airline incidental fee credit each year, you're already ahead compared to the $95 annual fee.

Use the travel insurance and retail protections

Many credit cards that offer travel and retail protection benefits come with hefty annual fees upwards of several hundred dollars per year. The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card comes with some very generous protection benefits at a much better price.

Travel benefits include the following emergency travel protections:

  • Trip delay and trip cancellation/interruption coverage.

  • Baggage delay and lost luggage reimbursement.

  • Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage.

Retail protections for eligible purchases include:

  • Purchase protection to repair, replace or reimburse you if an eligible item bought with the card is stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase.

  • Extended warranty covering an additional year on top of manufacturer warranties for qualifying purchases.

  • Return protection reimbursing you for costs of qualifying purchases if the retailer refuses to accept the return.

Taking advantage of generous travel bonus category

A lot of credit cards pay bonus points when you use the card to purchase travel. But what, exactly, does the card issuer consider to be a “travel purchase”? Bank of America® has an extremely generous definition of the travel purchases that pay 2x bonus points.

Purchases made on this card that qualify for the 2x bonus travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, trailer parks, motor home and RV rentals, campgrounds, car rental agencies, truck and trailer rental, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators, real estate agents, operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, boat rentals, parking lots and garages, tolls and bridge fees, tourist attractions and exhibits like art galleries, amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, aquariums, zoos and more.

That’s a lot of opportunities to maximize your points earning.

The bottom line

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is a great way to earn rewards on everyday spending if you’re able to take full advantage of its benefits.

Anyone with at least $20,000 in qualifying Bank of America® or Merrill accounts can get extra value from this card as a member of the bank’s Preferred Rewards program. But even a nonmember can come out a winner with this card by maximizing its travel credits, travel and purchase protections, and bonus points for travel and dining.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:

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