44: Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Review

I review the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card – an easy $600+ profit in year one!

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Rough Transcript:

You’re listening to the Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast. I’m your host, Justin Vacula, here to help you travel the world at next to no cost through credit card points, miles, benefits, and rewards. Make money, save money, and take advantage of great deals!

Visit my website at HurdyGurdyTravel.com to contact me, find me on social media, and read episode transcripts. Support the show through Patreon, SubscribeStar, and referral links! Watch me on camera on YouTube and listen on many podcast platforms. More information at the end of the show…

Thanks for joining me for episode 44 – Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Review – a solid card for more than $600 value in year one!

Happy moments! Another recent credit card approval for me in addition to the Discover IT NHL card, Hilton Surpass card, and US Bank Altitude Reserve card…and I still have some pending applications.

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is a really solid personal card giving a $50,000 points signup bonus for spending only $3000 in 90 days. The 50k points can be used as statement credits worth $500 among many other options like effectively erasing travel purchases. To simplify, it may be best to just cash out points as statement credits rather than waiting to erase travel purchases especially when you’re using points and miles from other cards to travel.

Another nice perk is a yearly $100 airline incidental credit which can cover checked bags, seat upgrades, and even purchases of airline miles with Delta through the mileage boost feature. Since I got this card in August, I can use the airline incidental credit two times only paying the annual fee one time – $100 in 2020 and another $100 in 2021. The $95 annual fee is offset by the $100 airline credit especially considering one can use it twice for only paying an annual fee once.

Like many other cards, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card offers a $100 credit towards TSA Pre or Global Entry every four years – not bad for those who don’t have either…and one can also gift this to a friend or family member. TSA Pre is nice to skip lines in airports and Global Entry is even better because it includes TSA Pre, gives you another form of ID, and allows for faster transit between airports after international flights.

The points earning for everyday spend isn’t so great on the Bank of America Premium Rewards card, but the big wins are with the signup bonus and airline incidental credits. Cardholders get only two points per dollar spent on dining and travel – not horrible, but not at the top like 4x points from the Amex personal Gold Card or 3x points on travel from cards like US Bank Altitude Reserve and Chase Sapphire Reserve…and Bank of America points are only worth one cent per point which is much lower than 1.5 cents or more per point with transferable points.

However, Bank of America Premium Rewards points earnings can be better if you have balances with Bank of America qualifying for preferred rewards. At least $20,000 in Bank of America deposit accounts including investments with Merrill Edge gives a 25% bonus in rewards. $50,000 gives a 50% bonus. $100,000 gives a 75% bonus.

The money sitting with Bank of America gives bonuses, but comes with opportunity cost. Could $20,000 do more for you sitting elsewhere like other bank or investment accounts working towards cash bonuses? Could you instead actively use the $20,000 to make more money? Maybe parking money in Merrill Edge can be nice for those with lots of money who lack time to more actively have the money work for them…and the proposition is even better for those with multiple Bank of America cards although not as compelling for those with many credit cards because the category return from Preferred Rewards won’t be as appealing.

I don’t see myself parking large amounts of money with BoA because I prefer more active money-making. I spread lots of money across lots of different accounts and need to keep readily available money for reselling purposes paying down credit card balances, so keeping $20k or more in an investment account doesn’t make sense for me, but it can for others especially high spenders who will gain more from increased category bonuses.

Thanks for listening so far around the halfway point of the video! Please subscribe, like, share, and comment below especially if you’re listening on YouTube. If you’re not on YouTube, find my channel at Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast! Now, back to the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card.

One will be slightly ahead keeping the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card past year one, but not by much especially if they don’t highly value the airline incidental credits. I’ll probably use the airline incidental credits to buy miles with Delta at two cents per point, not a horrible deal, and can use them to pay for award flight taxes and fees. I won’t find great value in using airline incidental credits for seat upgrades because I find more value in offsetting taxes and fees and buying miles.

One can likely product change the Premium Rewards card after one year and perhaps slightly longer than that depending on when the annual fee hits for year two. Since I’m approved in August, I’ll get the $100 airline incidental fee for use in 2020 and it will reset in 2021. The second year annual fee will trigger in late 2021. I could pay the $95 annual fee in late 2021 and then seek to product change in January of 2022 after redeeming a third airline incidental credit.

In this case, I’ll be ahead $5, but it should be best to just product change as soon as possible rather than dealing with the airline incidental credit for a $5 profit. Even if Bank of America doesn’t allow a product change for some reason, the continued annual fee is offset by the airline incidental credit…and maybe they’ll provide a retention offer in years two and beyond with some points or annual fee waiver.

One can hopefully product change to the Cash Rewards card for the 3% bonus category of online shopping rather than likely hardly using the Premium Rewards Card after the signup bonus and using airline incidental credits. One can get 3% back on $10,000 of spend in a year if maximizing the online shopping category or $100 more than a 2% everywhere card. Not bad especially for high spenders, but low spenders won’t have as much to gain especially since they’ll benefit more from working on signup bonuses and high spending goals.

Maybe the Bank of America Premium Rewards card can be right for you. The 50,000 point or $500 signup bonus, $100 airline incidental credit, TSA Pre or Global Entry credit, and other benefits make the card a big winner even after the small $95 annual fee. I’d prioritize cards with Chase, getting cards with Chase while you still can, but this is an easy choice following the dreaded Chase 5/24 rule I talk about in many episodes including #35.

Thanks for listening and stay tuned for more content!

Visit my website at HurdyGurdyTravel.com where you can contact me, read episode transcripts, complete a free credit card questionnaire to receive tailored recommendations, follow me on social media, listen to past episodes, and subscribe to my mailing list.

Support my work through PayPal, the Cash App, and using referral links by visiting the donate tab on my website. Subscribe on my Patreon and SubscribeStar pages to receive perks including special one-on-one private consultations, a custom podcast episode, and the ability to ask podcast guests your questions!

Subscribe on YouTube at Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast; like my Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast Facebook page; follow HGtravelpodcast on Twitter, and follow Justin Vacula on Instagram.

Stay tuned to my website for announcements of upcoming YouTube livestreams – the next one should be August 25th at 9PM Eastern!

Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with full-time business coach and YouTuber Cakeologi who can help you formally establish your business, build business credit, and get premium business credit cards. When you select from various paid services after the free consultation, I will receive credit for referring you. Listen to Cakeologi on episode twelve of my podcast. Visit his websites at cakeologi.com – that’s c-a-k-e-o-l-o-g-i and burstbiz.com – b-u-r-s-t-b-i-z and tell him I sent you. E-mail him youtube@cakeologi.com

Visit my other podcast at stoicsolutionspodcast.com where you can find practical wisdom for everyday life inspired by the ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome.

Thanks to generous patrons and fans of this podcast who help support my work. Have a great day!

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