Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card review: Does it offer what the name promises?

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In a Nutshell

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card stands out compared to many other travel rewards cards thanks to the travel perks it offers for a relatively low annual fee. It’s hard to go wrong with the generous sign-up bonus, above-average rewards for everyday spending, and travel credits that help pay for incidental airline fees and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. At the same time, it’s not on the same playing field as the upper-echelon premium cards that its name implies.

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Pros Cons
Good sign-up bonus No Priority Pass™ airport lounge access
Airline incidental fee credit No airline or hotel point transfer partners
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee credit No bonus for travel redemptions
Above-average rewards for everyday spending
Low annual fee for the rewards offered

 

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See Details, Rates & Fees

4 things you need to know about the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

1. The annual fee is within reach

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card charges a reasonable $95 annual fee for the rewards it offers.

You usually see this kind of annual fee on mid-tier travel rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers fewer travel perks overall for the cost. By contrast, some other premium credit cards charge annual fees above $400.

So the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card could serve to lower the barrier to entry for many people who are turned off by the annual fees charged by more expensive competitors in the premium rewards space.

2. The travel credits add a nice touch

The travel credits are what set the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card apart as a premium rewards card.

For one thing, you’ll receive a $100 airline incidental fee statement credit. While it won’t cover airfare, it can be used to help pay for things like baggage fees, lounge fees, seat upgrades and onboard purchases of food, drinks or entertainment.

You’ll also qualify for a $100 airport security statement credit, which can be used once every four years to cover the cost of applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

While you might be able to get more valuable travel credits from other premium credit cards, you won’t find either of these benefits offered by most traditional travel rewards cards with a comparable annual fee.

3. The sign-up bonus is competitive

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card offers 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases during the first 90 days after opening the account. That sign-up bonus is worth $500.

That’s certainly not chump change, but it is possible to find a more valuable sign-up bonus from another credit card. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card features a 60,000-point sign-up bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases during the first 3 months after opening the account. If you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, the sign-up bonus is worth $750 toward travel.

4. Score above-average rewards for everyday spending

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card offers competitive rewards for everyday spending.

You’ll earn two points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining, and 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. Many travel rewards cards offer a base rate of only one point per $1, so this is among the best offers for everyday spending that we have seen.

But even with earning an elevated 1.5 points on everyday spending, you’d still have to spend around $33,334 on everyday purchases to earn 50,000 points.

What’s missing for a premium rewards card?

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card bills itself as a premium rewards card, and it certainly offers a wide range of benefits. But compared with true premium rewards cards with higher annual fees, the real story is what it doesn’t offer.

  • The travel credits are less generous and less flexible than the credits you could receive with some other premium rewards cards. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® features $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for a broader range of travel purchases each account anniversary year.
  • There is no Priority Pass™ membership offering complimentary access to airport lounges around the world.
  • You can’t transfer points to partner airlines or hotels for other redemption opportunities.
  • You don’t earn a bonus for redeeming your points toward travel.

Understanding your points and redemption options

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card makes it easy to redeem your points for a statement credit, cash back, bank deposit or a gift card. You can also use your points to book airfare, hotels or rental cars through the Bank of America® Travel Center.

In most cases, each point is worth 1 cent. But if you have a minimum of $20,000 saved with Bank of America or another qualifying account, when you make purchases on your card for a bank deposit you’ll earn 1.25 cents per point. Cardholders with a minimum of $50,000 saved will earn 1.5 cents per point, and those with at least $100,000 saved will earn 1.75 cents per point.

We recognize these thresholds are high, so think of them as an added benefit rather than an essential aspect of using the card.

There’s no limit on how many points you can earn from using your Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card. But you can only redeem them when your account shows a minimum of 2,500 points.

Last, your points won’t expire as long as you keep your credit card account open and in good standing.

Who this card is good for

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card is great for frequent flyers who want more than what a typical travel rewards card offers but don’t want to pay an especially expensive annual fee.

It may not be the best option for people looking for more elite travel benefits and redemption options. Less-frequent travelers without the need for TSA PreCheck or the travel credits may be able to get more value out of a card with a lower annual fee.

Not sure this card is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card doesn’t float your boat, one of these other travel cards might be a better fit for your wallet.