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TravelHow to maximize your earning with the Bank of America Premium Rewards...

How to maximize your earning with the Bank of America Premium Rewards card


Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.  

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is a trusty travel rewards card with a $95 annual fee.

Often overshadowed by competing cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card shouldn’t be ignored if you want simplicity in earning and redeeming rewards.

There’s even more value to be found with the card if you’re an existing Bank of America customer and qualify for the Preferred Rewards program. The Preferred Rewards program provides undeniable value for those who qualify and can make your Premium Rewards card the frontrunner in your wallet — including up to a 75% rewards bonus on your eligible credit card.

If you already carry this card — or were thinking about applying for it — here’s a rundown of how to maximize your earning potential with the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card.

Overview of the Bank of America Premium Rewards card

First, we’ll go over all of the benefits and perks you’ll find on the Bank of America Premium Rewards card, which charges a $95 annual fee:

THE POINTS GUY
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 online bonus points (a $600 value) after you make at least $4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Rewards rate: Earn unlimited 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining purchases. Earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Up to $100 in annual airline statement credit: Eligible for incidental or ancillary airline purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, inflight food and drink, airline lounge fees and more.
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: You’ll receive reimbursement for your application to Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.
  • Travel protections: When you pay for travel with your card, you’ll receive complimentary coverages such as trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay and lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services, emergency evacuation and transportation protection, secondary rental car insurance and roadside dispatch program.
  • Shopping protections: You’ll receive purchase protection, extended warranty, and return protection when you buy eligible items with your card.
  • Premium benefits: You’ll have access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and a concierge service.
  • No foreign transaction fees

Strategies for maximizing the Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Beyond the 60,000-point sign-up bonus, you’ll want to know when to use the Bank of America Premium Rewards card for maximum impact. Here are our suggestions:

See if you qualify for the Preferred Rewards program

A Bank of America branch in the Brickell neighborhood of Miami, Florida. EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

As mentioned above, Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program is an exceptional way to find even more value from this card. The program has three levels: Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Honors.

Gold Platinum Platinum Honors
Required balance $20,000 to $49,999 $50,000 to $99,000 $100,000 or greater
Credit card bonus 25% rewards bonus on eligible Bank of America Card

  • 2.5 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 1.88 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
50% rewards bonus on eligible Bank of America Card

  • 3 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 2.25 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
75% rewards bonus on eligible Bank of America Card

  • 3.5 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 2.63 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases

These are some solid earning rates, especially as you move up the ranks of the Preferred Rewards program. For instance, the Platinum Honors level offers you a whopping 2.63 points per dollar on all other purchases, an earning rate that simply can’t be beaten for non-bonus purchases. For context, cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards offer 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers 1.5% cash back (1.5 points per dollar) on non-bonus categories.

Then, use your Premium Rewards card to pay for travel, dining and even non-bonus purchases

Whether you qualify for Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors, the Premium Rewards is unmatched for travel (2.5-3.5 points per dollar) and non-bonus purchases (1.88-2.63 points per dollar).

Many rewards credit cards restrict you to earning bonus points on flights and hotels only. But with the Premium Rewards card, you have a broad travel category that includes — but isn’t limited to — car rentals, motor home and recreational vehicle rentals, travel agencies and tours, boat rentals, tolls and parking fees and tourist attractions such as art galleries, amusement parks, zoos and more.

Similarly, the non-bonus multiplier is enormous with the Premium Rewards card. While it’s nice to have cards in your wallet that offer bonus categories, there can be many exclusions.

On non-bonus category spending, the Premium Rewards card 1.5 points per dollar spent, and even more if you’re a Preferred Rewards banking customer with the bank (1.88 to 2.63 points, depending on your tier), so there’s not much of an opportunity cost to using these cards for day-to-day purchases.

When not to use the Bank of America Premium Rewards card

That said, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card isn’t for everyone. Here are some scenarios where you’ll want to avoid using this card.

Don’t use the Premium Rewards card if you want access to airline and hotel transfer partners

Although a travel rewards card, Bank of America doesn’t have any transfer partners yet. Instead, your points are worth 1 cent each, and you can get cash back deposited into a Bank of America checking or savings account or eligible Merrill investment account, receive a statement credit, or redeem for gift cards or purchases through the Bank of America Travel center.

With transfer partners, you can book unbelievable business and first-class seats. ZACH GRIFF/THE POIMTS GUY

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This card is a much-needed breath of fresh air for those who want to maximize their purchases but don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of airline and hotel transfer programs.

Points and miles can be a bad long-term investment, and those who prefer having cash back that can be put toward an infinite number of possibilities will enjoy this flexibility. Plus, many travel expenses can’t traditionally be redeemed with points, such as ski lessons or museum tickets.

Don’t use the Premium Rewards card for dining purchases

This one isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, as the Premium Rewards still offers a great return on all dining purchases. However, I can name a few cards off the top of my head that I’d consider much more rewarding, such as the American Express® Gold Card that offers 4 points at restaurants (8% return based on TPG’s July 2024 valuations) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred with 3 points (6.15% return).

But there certainly comes a point in life where maximizing every purchase to its full potential loses its luster. While you could open the cards above for better earning rates on dining, that means another card (and annual fee) to keep up with. Thanks to its strong earning rates — especially if you’re eligible for Preferred Rewards program bonuses — the Bank of America Premium Rewards card is still a good enough option for dining.

Bottom line

Whether or not you qualify for the Preferred Rewards program, there’s tons of value to be found with the Bank of America Premium Rewards card. The up-to-$100 in an airline incidental statement credit each year alone makes up for the $95 annual fee, but the rewards rate keeps the card a strong contender.


Apply here: Bank of America Premium Rewards card


For rates and fees of the Amex Gold, click here. 

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