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- Solid sign-up bonus
- Travel benefits and perks
- Can redeem points for 20% savings on airfare
- High annual fee
- Lackluster base rewards rate
- Limited redemption options
What you should know about the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite credit card
Offering a number of upscale perks, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite credit card is a luxury travel rewards card from Bank of America that comes with a hefty $550 annual fee. If you’re considering adding this card to your wallet, here are a few important things to consider.
Decent sign-up bonus
For starters, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite credit card offers a 50,000-point sign-up bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. Depending on how you redeem your points, this bonus can have a value between $500 and $600.
The sign-up bonus could make up for the cost of the card’s annual fee in the first year. But remember this bonus is only a one-time offer and you’ll have to spend quite a bit to qualify.
Rewards rates are lackluster
You might expect a credit card with a high annual fee to offer outstanding rewards rates for purchases. But that’s not the case with the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite credit card. It offers just two points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points per $1 on all other purchases.
There’s no cap on the number of points you can earn, and points don’t expire. But compared to some other premium travel cards, these rates aren’t that great.
Bonus rewards for Bank of America Preferred Rewards members
If you want to boost your rewards-earning potential by up to 75%, you might want to consider joining Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. While the program is free to join, you’ll have to have an active Bank of America checking account and retain a combined daily balance of at least $20,000 in a mix of qualifying Bank of America accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts.
Here’s how the requirements and bonus rewards break down for each tier.
- Gold (25% bonus rewards) — $20,000 minimum 3-month combined average daily balance
- Platinum (50% bonus rewards) — $50,000 minimum 3-month combined average daily balance
Platinum Honors (75% bonus rewards) — $100,000 minimum 3-month combined average daily balance
At first glance, this seems like a potentially lucrative benefit. But keep in mind that qualifying for membership in the Preferred Rewards program may not be easy.
You can earn automatic statement credits
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite credit card offers automatic statement credits that can help offset its high annual fee. Every year, you can receive up to $300 in credits for airline incidentals like seat upgrades, baggage fees, lounge fees and in-flight services.
You’ll also get up to $150 in annual lifestyle convenience credits for things like streaming services, food delivery, fitness subscriptions and rideshare services. You can also get up to $100 in statement credits every four years to help cover application fees for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
There are some travel benefits and perks
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite credit card offers several benefits that can pay off for frequent travelers. With this card, you’ll receive a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that you can use at participating airport lounges around the globe.
The card also gives you access to a concierge service that can help you find tickets, book travel or make dinner reservations.
The card’s travel protection benefits include …
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- Reimbursement for delayed bags
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Emergency evacuation coverage
- Common carrier travel accident insurance
- Primary auto rental collision damage waiver coverage
Other items to note with the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite credit card
Here are a few more things you may want to consider if you’re thinking about applying for this card.
- No points-transfer partners — Points earned can’t be transferred to airline or hotel partner programs.
- No foreign transaction fees — If you plan to use the card to make purchases abroad, it won’t cost you anything extra.
- Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection benefits — Get access to late checkouts, free breakfast daily for two, automatic upgrades and other benefits based on availability.
- Visa Infinite car rental benefits — Enjoy VIP amenities, complimentary status upgrades and discounts with participating car rental companies.
Understanding your points and redemption
You can redeem your points a variety of ways, including statement credits, cash back, travel, experiences or gift cards.
According to Credit Karma’s point valuations, Bank of America rewards points are worth a penny each. But if you redeem your points for airfare booked through the Bank of America Travel Center, they have a value of 1.2 cents.
Who this card is good for
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite credit card may be a good fit people who are Bank of America enthusiasts and are already members of the Premium Rewards program. It might also be a solid choice for frequent travelers who plan to take advantage of some of the card’s travel perks or those who don’t mind booking airfare through the Bank of America Travel Center.
Depending on the perks and rewards you use, other premium travel credit cards could offer more value — especially for such a high annual fee.
Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: This may be the right card for people who want a premium rewards card that offers flexibility to use points with several travel partner programs.
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: This card may better fit the needs of frequent travelers who prefer to use a travel credit on items other than airline incidentals.
- Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card: People looking for similar rewards rates without the hefty annual fee may prefer this card.