Advertiser Disclosure

Bank of America Preferred Rewards: More Rewards With Every Swipe

Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
With so many websites offering free financial tools, it can be hard to know whom to trust. At NerdWallet, we spend literally 1,000s of hours researching partner offers and following strict editorial integrity to match you with the perfect choice. We even share how we make money so you can enjoy our expert advice and researched recommendations with total clarity and confidence.
BankAmericard Credit Card With Preferred Rewards

Bank of America®‎ offers competitive rewards credit cards to the general public. But if you’re a banking or investment customer, the cards can become outstanding choices through the bank’s Preferred Rewards program.

That’s because the bank offers accelerated points and cash back from its rewards credit cards — along with other banking goodies — as part of its loyalty program, which can be especially lucrative for high-balance customers. Credit cards that qualify for a rewards boost of 25% to 75% are the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card and the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card.

Granted, you’ll need to house tens of thousands of banking and investment dollars with Bank of America® to qualify for what it calls a “relationship bonus.” And credit card rewards probably aren’t the foremost factor when deciding on a financial institution for your household wealth.

Still, if Bank of America® financial products appeal to you, consider its Preferred Rewards program and the accompanying boost to credit card rewards.

What is the Preferred Rewards program?

Bank of America® customers get a 10% bump to earnings on their credit card rewards, but the Preferred Rewards program offers a bigger bump if you stash mounds of cash at the bank or its Merrill Lynch-branded investment arms.

To qualify for the Bank of America®‎ Preferred Rewards program, you need:

  • A Bank of America®‎ personal checking account
  • $20,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America® accounts, which include Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch® investment accounts (calculated as a three-month average of combined balances)

Preferred Rewards tiers are labeled Gold, Platinum and Platinum Honors, based on balances. The tiers determine the credit card rewards boost.

 GoldPlatinumPlatinum Honors
Required balance$20,000-$50,000$50,000-$100,000More than $100,000
Relationship bonus25%50%75%

Once you reach a rewards tier, you can keep the program benefits for a total of 15 months if your balances drop below the thresholds.

Preferred Rewards offers more than extra credit card rewards. You can also get interest-rate boosts on money market accounts, no-fee ATM transactions, reduced mortgage origination fees and loan rate discounts, among other perks. For more information, see the Bank of America® website.

Cards that qualify

Rewards credit cards under the BankAmericard brand qualify for Preferred Rewards. Excluded are business credit cards and such non-rewards cards as the BankAmericard® credit cardthe bank’s secured cards and its non-rewards student card.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card

Apply Now on Bank of America's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • See Terms

    Bonus Offers

    20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases

    Intro APR

    • See Terms
  • Additional Information
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
    • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
    • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
    • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
    • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
    • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 15.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
    • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
    • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card offers rewards of 1.5 points on every dollar spent. With Preferred Rewards, the earnings will be 25% to 75% higher on every purchase.

Here’s how the annual rewards rack up for a consumer charging $1,000 per month on the card.

Relationship levelPoints per $1 spentAnnual points ($12,000 in spending)
None1.518,000
Banking customer1.6519,800
Gold1.87522,500
Platinum2.2527,000
Platinum Honors 2.62531,500

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

Apply Now on Bank of America's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • See Terms

    Bonus Offers

    NEW OFFER: $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

    Intro APR

    • See Terms
  • Additional Information
    • No annual fee
    • NEW OFFER: $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
    • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas up to the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
    • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
    • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases AND for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
    • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
    • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card pays 3% cash back on gas purchases and 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, for up to $2,500 in combined gas, grocery store and wholesale club purchases per quarter. It pays 1% back on all other purchases.

Assuming you max out your bonus rewards each quarter in a ratio of $1,000 on gas to $1,500 at grocery stores (and $500 on other purchases), here’s the annual rewards breakdown for a person spending $12,000 per year.

Relationship levelGas/grocery/other rewards ratesAnnual cash rewards
None3%, 2%, 1%$260
Banking customer3.3%, 2.2%, 1.1%$286
Gold3.75%, 2.5%, 1.25%$325
Platinum4.5%, 3%, 1.5%$390
Platinum Honors 5.25%, 3.5%, 1.75%$455

Nerd tip

With the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card, you’ll earn these bonus rewards only if you redeem your cash back into your Bank of America® checking or savings account or an eligible Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account®.

With the boost from Preferred Rewards, the Bank of America® cards compete well with NerdWallet’s best rewards cards.

Why you might avoid Preferred Rewards

Compare Bank of America® account offerings for banking and investing with other choices. Higher fees and expenses on some financial products — or lower savings rates — could reduce or wipe out bonus earnings from credit card rewards.

NerdWallet rates Bank of America® banking offerings as fair overall, although the bank excels at some aspects and not others.

Credit card rewards shouldn’t drive your decision on where to do banking and investing. But if your relationship with Bank of America® qualifies you for preferred status, be sure to reap your Preferred Rewards.
Gregory Karp is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: gkarp@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @spendingsmart.