The second largest credit card issuer in the U.S., Bank of America, has now come forth with more details on its new “premium” card called the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card. We’ve known about some of the details for a few weeks but now we’ve got an even better idea of what they are going to offer and here it is:
- 50,000 point bonus after spending $3,000 (worth $500)
- $95 annual fee
- $100 for airline incidentals, (baggage fees, in-flight drinks but excludes airfare)
- Coming in September
The bonus earning on this card is tiered and increases based on the size of your bank account with Bank of America. This is presumably to increase loyalty and decrease customers from dropping their cards after they reach a sign-up bonus.
Bonus earning for those without a Bank of America account or less than $20,000 in an account:
- 2X on dining and travel
- 1.5X on everything else
For those with $20,000 to $50,000 in an account
- 2.5X on dining and travel
- 1.875X on everything else
For those with $50,000 to $100,000 in an account
- 3X on dining and travel
- 2.25X on everything else
For those with over $100,000 in an account and enrolled in Preferred Rewards Program
- 3.5X on dining and travel
- 2.6X on everything else
Thoughts on the card
This card is pretty much exactly what we expected it to be based on the leaked rumors. In my eyes, this could still be a worthwhile card to pick up since it offers $500 worth of travel but beyond that I don’t see much use for it.
Even at the top tier of bonus category earning it only earns 3.5X on dining and travel and 2.6X on everything else. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Freedom Unlimited, it’s possible to earn 4.5X on dining and travel and 2.25X on everything else and that’s only valuing Ultimate Rewards at 1.5 cents per point. Plus, with Chase you get to transfer points out to travel partners.
If you’re only in the market for a cash back card then these rates do get pretty impressive. However, the standard 2X on dining and travel and 1.5X on everything else is easily beat out by other cards that offer a straight 2% back. It’s only when you climb the tiers and start earning higher bonus rates that the earning rates on the card becomes impressive.
I honestly don’t see this as a premium card. It’s much more in line with the a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The $100 travel credit is a nice way to offset the low $95 annual fee so that should help people hold on to the card, but I don’t think I would be giving the card much use if I had it.
Overall, there’s nothing too exciting to see here. It’s a new way to get $500 worth of travel but beyond that I don’t see it getting heavy use from savvy miles and points folks who are primarily concerned with maximizing travel rewards.