Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Worth Its Annual Fee?

Rachel SmithNovember 25, 2019
On a similar note...
On a similar note...

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Bank of America has a few different travel credit card options, including the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card. But one thing this card has that some other Bank of America cards don’t have is an annual fee. Is it worth paying? For some, the answer is a resounding yes, but others may not be so sure. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

How much is the annual fee?

Don’t let the word “premium” scare you. The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card comes with an annual fee of $95. This is within the standard range of many travel rewards and airline cards.

Do you want TSA Precheck or Global Entry?

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card holders receive up to a $100 statement credit every four years to use toward either TSA Precheck or Global Entry. This benefit alone means the card “pays for itself” the first year.

The Precheck application fee is $85, while Global Entry costs $100. Not sure which one to apply for? Read more about TSA Precheck vs. Global Entry.

Do you plan to fly with checked bags?

Another strong benefit of the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is that it gives cardholders up to $100 each calendar year for airline incidentals on domestic airline flights originating in the U.S. These incidental fees include checked baggage fees.

On Delta, American and United, a standard first checked bag now costs $30 each way on domestic flights. Use the $100 airline fee every year, and you’ll completely offset the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card’s annual fee.

Other common “incidental fees” that travelers may face include:

  • Change fees.

  • Cancellation fees.

  • Seat upgrade fees.

  • In-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi.

  • In-flight food and beverage fees.

Airline change or cancellation fees can easily be higher than $100 per trip, so this statement credit could come in handy.

Will you meet minimum spending requirement?

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card offers a nice welcome bonus. 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.

This card could easily be used in combination with other rewards programs, depending on your travel plans. And a $500 statement credit certainly makes the annual fee worth it, at least for the first year.

The bottom line

If you plan to fly at least once a year and want your TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fee covered, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is a good bet.

If you take advantage of everything the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card has to offer within the first year, the $95 annual fee could be well worth it.

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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