Via The Frequent Miler, the MERRILL+® Visa Signature® Card from Bank of America will be discontinued in mid-September. This is a pretty big loss as this is a unique card with a very valuable sign-up bonus and no annual fee.
As a reminder, this card comes with:
- No annual fee
- 50,000 sign-up bonus after $3,000 spend (25,000 standard public offer)
- 50,000 points worth up to $1,000 in airfare
- Spend $50,000 in a year and choose either: Delta SkyClub membership or $200 travel credit for incidentals
- 1X earned on all purchases
- Gift card/cash back redemptions at one cent per point
The sign-up bonus is a little tricky to maximize. The way the redemption works is that for any flights $500 or less, it costs 25,000 miles to redeem. So for example, a $300 flight and a $500 flight both require 25,000 miles to book. So you can only earn 2 cents per point on a redemption when the flight costs exactly $500. If the flight costs more than that, the redemption rate drops to 1 cent per point. Thus, in order to get the maximum $1,000 in value you need to book two $500 flights.
I”m not a fan of these tiered redemption structures because they make things confusing for people, although if you know what you’re doing it’s a great way to maximize value of this card.
But the biggest issue (for me) with this card is that it’s issued with Bank of America. Out of over 30-something credit card applications, Bank of America is the only bank that has outright denied me for a new card. If you don’t have a bank account with them, then can be a lot harder to get on board with them. At the same time, if you have a lot of cards with them already then that can also raise red flags, so you have to be careful with Bank of America.
Also, many data points show that Bank of America has had “accidental” approvals for these cards and subsequently shut down cards for folks. Some times people didn’t even know about these shut downs until they tried to use their card and realized that it wouldn’t work.
So this card is a bit of a wild card.
To apply, you’ll need to call into the following number and use the application code to get the phone representative to pull up the offer for 50,000 points.
- Phone Number: 866-751-1257
- Application Code: BAABZX
Some reports show that agents will deny that they are taking new applications. If that happens when you call then just call back a few minutes and be sure to inquire about the application with somebody else.
It’s sad to see this card go because it was a very valuable travel rewards credit card. For a while many people did not even know about this card but over the past year or so it grew in popularity, as people started to see how much value could be offered by it. That might have contributed to it’s demise, we’ll never know since it also coincides with the launch of their “Premium” travel card. The good news is that you still have roughly one month to take advantage of this offer so you can still maximize the value.