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Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® Credit Card Review: Is It the Top Travel Card?

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® Credit Card Review: Is It the Top Travel Card?

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is a competitive travel rewards credit card with a solid earning rate, valuable sign-up bonus and top travel benefits.

Editor's Rating

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Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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Quick facts

More details

Rates & fees

  • Credit needed: 680-850
  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 online bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earning rate: 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.
  • Annual fee: $95
  • APR: 16.24% - 23.24% Variable APR on purchases
  • Redeeming points: Points are unlimited, don't expire and can easily be redeemed for statement credits
  • Preferred Rewards members bonus: Earn 25% to 75% more points on every purchase
  • Premium travel benefits: $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit, $100 yearly credit toward airline incidentals, travel insurance, None foreign transaction fees, Visa Signature concierge, Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

Quick facts

  • Credit needed: 680-850
  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 online bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earning rate: 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.
  • Annual fee: $95
  • APR: 16.24% - 23.24% Variable APR on purchases
  • Redeeming points: Points are unlimited, don't expire and can easily be redeemed for statement credits
  • Preferred Rewards members bonus: Earn 25% to 75% more points on every purchase
  • Premium travel benefits: $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit, $100 yearly credit toward airline incidentals, travel insurance, None foreign transaction fees, Visa Signature concierge, Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

More details

  • Receive 50,000 online 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 for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 3.5 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases.
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire.
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill® accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center.
  • Get up to $100 in Airline Incidental Statement Credits annually and TSA PreCheck®/Global Entry Statement Credits of up to $100, every four years. 
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Low $95 annual fee.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Rates & fees

  • Intro Purchase APR: N/A
  • Regular Purchase APR: 16.24% - 23.24% Variable APR on purchases
  • Intro BT APR: N/A
  • Regular BT APR: 16.24% - 23.24% Variable APR on balance transfers
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

Pros

  • Solid earning rate
  • High sign-up bonus
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Points are unlimited and don't expire
  • Various redemption options
  • $200 in travel statement credits
  • Variety of travel and safety protections
  • Preferred Rewards members earn more rewards

Cons

  • No annual fee
  • No airport lounge access
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Is the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card Review worth it?

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is well worth its annual fee, especially for Bank of America Preferred Rewards program members.

It's competitive with current top travel cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. In fact, for many it may be considered one of the top travel rewards cards: The card offers a strong earning rate on travel and dining and a better-than-average rate for all other purchases. While there is a $95 annual fee, cardmembers can get up to $200 in travel statement credit rewards to effectively negate it.

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card comes with a slew of valuable travel perks and benefits, including travel protections and access to the Visa Signature® Luxury Hotel Collection. However, it's missing airport lounge access, which is often included with other travel rewards credit cards.

Sign-up bonus

New cardholders can get 50,000 online bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

This is an incredibly generous sign-up bonus, as you have several options that allow you to easily redeem your points for their exact value.

What's it worth? $500

Who's eligible to earn it? Customers opening a new account are eligible to receive this one-time promotion. This bonus will NOT apply to existing accounts being converted to this card. In order to receive this offer, your account must be open with active charging privileges.

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Earning rate

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is a general travel rewards credit card that provides extra rewards to those that already have a relationship with the bank.

For all cardmembers, it offers unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

This is a pretty solid deal on travel and dining purchases. The best thing about this earning rate, however, is that it offers 1.5 points per dollar spent on all other categories, while the majority of rewards cards only tend to offer 1 point per dollar on all other non-bonus categories. This ensures you'll always be earning an increased amount of rewards whenever you use your card.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards members

For consumers that already bank with Bank of America, you can earn 25% to 75% more points on every purchase as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member. This means you could earn up to 3.5 points per dollar spent on travel and dining, and up to 2.6 points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

In order to enroll in Preferred Rewards, you'll need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have an active, eligible Bank of America checking account
  • Have a three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill® investment accounts.

Once you meet these requirements, you can enroll yourself in the program and start earning.

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Redeeming rewards

The nice thing about the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is that it offers cardholders a number of simple, flexible and valuable redemption options. You can redeem your rewards for:

  • Cash back, which you can receive directly as a deposit into your Bank of America® checking or savings accounts or for credit to eligible Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch® accounts (including 529 accounts)
  • A statement credit on your card
  • Gift cards and purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center

Because each point is worth 1 cent, no matter how you choose to redeem your rewards, you can be sure you're getting a great value.

Up to $200 in travel statement credits in your first year

One of the best perks of the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is the travel statement credits you'll get as a cardholder (up to $200). You can get up to a $100 in statement credit toward either TSA Precheck® or Global Entry Application fees, every four years. (We recommend putting that credit towards Global Entry, as membership includes TSA Precheck® but not vice versa.)

Cardholders will also get up to $100 in airline incidental statement credits each year — this covers ancillary fees like:

  • Baggage fees
  • In-flight food and drink
  • Flight change fees
  • Airline lounge fees

This credit will automatically be applied to your card statement. While this credit can be useful, it can't be applied to actual travel costs, like an airline ticket.

Travel benefits

This card comes with a number of Visa Signature travel benefits for cardholders to take advantage of.

Travel protections

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card offers a variety of useful travel protections which help to make this card competitive with other top ranking travel credit cards. These include:

  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Trip cancellation/interruption coverage
  • Baggage delay coverage
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage

Visa Signature® Luxury Hotel Collection

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card members will have access to premium benefits when booking a stay at one of the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection's 900-plus properties. Special benefits include complimentary breakfast for two and VIP guest status, among others.

Visa Signature Concierge Service

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card members have access to concierge services that can help with restaurant recommendations, reservations, travel planning and more.

Other Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card benefits

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee. The absence of foreign transaction fees is an essential feature for all travel cards. This allows cardholders to avoid paying an extra 3% on all foreign transactions.

This card comes with a host of valuable purchase protections:

  • Purchase security: You can have lost, broken or stolen items repaired, replaced or reimbursed if you purchased them with your card.
  • Warranty manager service: Your original manufacturer's warranty period can get doubled, up to one additional year.
  • Return protection: You can be reimbursed for an eligible item within 90 days of purchasing it with your card, up to $250 per item and up to $1,000 per year.

This card provides 24/7 emergency roadside assistance which can help you with services like towing and locksmiths.

This card provides reimbursement for damages from collision or theft. However, you must decline the other collision/loss damage waiver offered by the car rental service.

This card automatically blocks and alerts you to suspected fraudulent activity and offers a $0 liability guarantee. Cards also come with contactless chips, overdraft protection, account alerts, mobile banking and more.

When you opt in, you can get free access to your FICO Score which will be updated monthly through the Mobile Banking app or with online banking.

Drawbacks

  • $95 annual fee: Unfortunately, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card charges a $95 annual fee; for consumers who prefer not to pay a fee, consider getting a no-annual-fee credit card instead. However, it should be noted that the travel statement credits offered with this card (for up to $200) more than make up for its annual fee.
  • No airport lounge access: Other travel credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express, offer airport lounge access with locations all over the world. The fact that the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card doesn't offer any lounge access is certainly an area where it's lacking.

What credit score do you need for the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card?

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card requires a Excellent/Good credit score. You'll want to make sure you have a high enough credit score and can afford the $95 annual fee before applying for this credit card to increase your chances of approval and avoid damaging your credit score.

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How does The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card compare to other credit cards?

When evaluating a credit card, it's important to look at how it stacks up against the other available options. We took a look at how the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card stacks up against some of its competition to help consumers make the best choice for their needs.

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Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
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Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Editor's Rating?
Annual Fee
$95
$0
$95
$550
More card details
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Not available on ValuePenguin
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On Chase's Secure Website
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card vs. Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Verdict: A good option if you don't want to pay an annual fee

For consumers looking for a no-annual-fee travel card, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card could be a solid option. The card offers a flat rate of 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. It also comes with a low intro APR offer: Introductory 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases. After that, a 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases applies.

That said, if you're a frequent traveler, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card will likely be a much better option. It offers significantly more rewards. Not to mention, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is missing the travel credits and the majority of the travel benefits that come with the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card highlights

  • Earning rate: Get 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
  • Sign-up bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Other features: Introductory 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases. After that, an APR of 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Verdict: More rewarding overall than the Bank of America credit card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is much more rewarding for cardholders when it comes to both travel and dining than the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card. The Chase credit card offers 5X points per dollar spent on travel and 3X points per dollar on dining out, which beats the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card's 2X per dollar in those categories.

In addition, Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are more valuable than BofA rewards points, as you can use them to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal for increased value. Points can also be transferred to numerous participating airline and hotel partners, including Marriott Bonvoy and Southwest.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card highlights

  • Earning rate: 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Other features: 1:1 point transfer to airline and hotel loyalty programs

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website

Verdict: More expensive but also a much more valuable travel card

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card has been compared to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, though the two are in completely different leagues. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a premium credit card with a $550 annual fee. The card focuses on providing a mix of luxury travel benefits and general travel rewards. It provides Priority Pass™ membership, which gives access to over 1,300 airport lounges.

In addition, cardholders get a $300 annual travel credit that is far more flexible than the travel credit on the Bank of America card: It can be used toward any travel expenses, and is applied automatically to the account, easily wiping out more than half of the annual fee each year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® highlights

  • Earning rate: 5x points on flights and 10x points on hotels and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Other features: $300 annual travel credit, complimentary access to 1,000-plus airport lounges worldwide, 1:1 Point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

Should you get the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card?

If you don't mind the moderate $95 annual fee, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card could be a great choice, both for frequent travelers and those who tend to spend significantly on dining. It has a few great travel perks and offers a higher than normal earning rate on all purchases made with the card.

That said, if you're looking for a travel card with enhanced rates for its bonus categories and more travel perks like lounge access, you may want to check out other travel rewards cards before making your decision.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card FAQs

Does Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card have foreign transaction fees?

No, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees.

Does Bank of America have a luxury card?

Yes, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card can be considered Bank of America's luxury card.

What are premium rewards?

The premium rewards offered by the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card include access to the Visa Signature® Luxury Hotel Collection, the Visa Signature Concierge, travel protections and other special benefits.

How do I redeem my Bank of America Cash Rewards?

The card allows cardholders to redeem their cash rewards for statement credits, deposits into a Bank of America® checking or savings account or credit to a Merrill account.

What triggers the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card $100 travel credit?

The $100 travel credit Airline Incidental Statement Credit is automatically applied to your credit card statement. The $100 TSA Precheck or Global Entry credit is applied when you use your card to pay the application fee.

The information related to Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

Editor's Rating

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