Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card Review: Great for Travelers, Foodies and BoA Customers

Updated: June 21, 2024

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MoneyGeek’s Take

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is a solid pick if you’re a frequent traveler who likes to dine out and enjoy carnivals, museums and other fun experiences. The card offers high rewards on travel and dining. You may earn bigger rewards if your account Bank of America (BoA) and/or Merrill is over $20,000. Despite having an annual fee and a high credit score requirement, it is still a strong travel card due to its sign-up bonus, travel perks and consistent points value.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Rewards RateEarn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on trav...
Annual Fee$95
Recommended Credit670-850 (Good to Excellent)

BofA Premium Rewards Overview

The BofA Premium Rewards caters to those who frequently spend on travel and dining, offering two points per dollar spent in these categories. All other purchases get 1.5X points. Unlike other travel cards, which reduce the value of your points when redeemed for non-travel purposes, redeeming points is more flexible with the BofA Premium Rewards — one point is always worth one cent.

The card becomes more appealing for Bank of America Preferred Rewards members, who can earn 25% to 75% more points on every purchase. To qualify, the deposit on your BoA and/or Merrill account must be at least $20,000.

The BofA Premium Rewards also comes with travel perks and a generous sign-up bonus worth $600, which requires a $4,000 spend in 90 days. However, it may not be a fit if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card or your credit is below good to excellent.

>> MORE: MoneyGeek's Best Travel Credit Cards

BofA Premium Rewards Card Details

Features
Details

Card Uses

  • Travel
  • Cash Back

Annual Fee

$95

Introductory Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 90 days

Introductory APRs

None

Rewards

  • 2 points per $1 on travel and dining
  • 1.5 points per $1 on all other purchases

Rewards Program Overview

The BofA Premium Rewards lets you earn unlimited two points per dollar on travel and dining purchases. For all other spending, you earn 1.5 points per dollar.

Under the travel category, Bank of America includes airlines, hotels, rental cars, taxi, bus, ferries, tolls, art galleries, amusement parks and more. Meanwhile, the dining category includes restaurants, fast food and drinking establishments.

Bank of America and Merrill customers have special rewards opportunities. They can receive a 25% to 75% bonus on points earned, depending on their account balances:

Amount in Accounts
Additional Rewards
Rewards Rate

Below $20,000

0%

Travel and dining: 2X All other purchases: 1.5X

$20,000–49,999

25%

Travel and dining: 2.5X All other purchases: 1.875X

$50,000–99,999

50%

Travel and dining: 3X All other purchases: 2.25X

$100,000 or more

75%

Travel and dining: 3.5X All other purchases: 2.625X

When it comes to redemption, BofA Premium Rewards is more flexible than other travel cards. Points can be redeemed as gift cards, travel, statement credit and account deposits, all at a consistent value of one cent per point. Points don’t expire as long as your account is active. You can redeem points by using Bank of America’s app or directly in its travel portal.

Why You Might Want This Card

The BofA Premium Rewards is a great pick if you often travel and eat out. It offers big rewards in these categories and comes with relevant perks.

    travel icon

    High Travel and Dining Rewards

    All your travel and dining purchases earn two points for every dollar spent. Notably, Bank of America has a broad definition of travel expenses. Beyond the usual airlines, hotels and rental cars, travel includes transportation expenses and entrance fees for art galleries, amusement parks and carnivals.

    signupBonus icon

    Generous Sign-Up Bonus

    The BofA Premium Rewards lets you earn 60,000 bonus points (equal to $600) after spending $4,000 within 90 days from account opening. Unlike other travel cards, you have flexible options and consistency when redeeming points, so you can treat this bonus as a 15% discount.

    points icon

    Bonus for BoA and Merrill Customers

    If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you may get a rewards boost of up to 75%, significantly increasing the points you earn. This feature can make your travel and dining rewards rate 3.5 points per dollar.

    noFee icon

    No Foreign Transaction Fees

    This card eliminates foreign transaction fees, saving you money on international expenses.

Why You Might Want a Different Card

The BofA Premium Rewards is a solid travel and dining card. However, consider these factors before you get the card:

    annualFee icon

    Annual Fee

    The card has a $95 annual fee. To cover the fee, you need to spend at least $4,750 per year on travel and dining expenses. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers high rewards on travel and dining without the annual fee.

    excellentCredit icon

    Credit Requirements

    Like other travel cards, this card requires applicants to have good to excellent credit. If you’re still working on your credit, consider getting a cash back card or a card for fair credit.

    piggyBank icon

    Rewards Boost Deposit

    You’ll need a substantial balance in a BoA or Merrill account to qualify for Preferred Rewards and access the higher rates. Existing customers could easily satisfy this requirement, but it could be a considerable adjustment for those who do their banking elsewhere. If you’re looking for big travel rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers 5X points on travel booked through Capital One Travel.

How BofA Premium Rewards Compares

We compare the BofA Premium Rewards with similar cards to help you decide if it's the right card for you.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® lets you earn 5% cash back on travel purchases using Chase Travel℠, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases. This card doesn’t have an annual fee, making it a great alternative for travel and dining rewards without an additional yearly cost.

Credit Card logo for Chase Freedom Unlimited®
MoneyGeek Rating
4.4/ of 5
Rates & Fees

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Venture card offers 5X points for hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X points on all other purchases. It also comes with a welcome bonus of 75,000 miles once they spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening (worth $750), which is higher than what you get with the BofA Premium Rewards. With the same $95 annual fee, the Venture card is a versatile travel card for non-BoA customers.

Credit Card logo for Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Rates & Fees

Card to Pair With the BofA Premium Rewards

If you want to maximize your rewards, pair the BofA Premium Rewards with a card that offers high rewards on uncovered categories.

For example, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a no-annual-fee card with 3% cash back on U.S. supermarkets, gas stations and retail. Pairing these two cards could cover various spending categories, ensuring you earn high rewards on your purchases.

Is BofA Premium Rewards Right for You?

The BofA Premium Rewards is great for frequent travelers and diners looking for a no-fuss card to earn rewards on their purchases. If you're a Bank of America or Merrill customer with a substantial deposit, the additional rewards boost could make this card particularly lucrative.

However, if you have a limited budget for travel and dining or the $95 annual fee seems steep relative to your expected rewards, you might want to consider other options. This card is most rewarding for those who can effectively leverage its high earning potential and redeem points.

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BEST TRAVEL CARDS OF 2024

For other options beyond the BofA Premium Rewards, explore our ranking of the best travel credit cards to help you find one that matches your spending habits and lifestyle.

How We Evaluated the BofA Premium Rewards

In evaluating the BofA Premium Rewards, MoneyGeek considered various features important to cash back cardholders. Our evaluation process included 60 cards and considered the following factors, from highest to lowest percentage:

  • Effective Reward Rate (50%): High cash back value per dollar.
  • Annual Fee (10%): No cost for card ownership.
  • Offer Return on Investment (10%): Excellent introductory offer value.
  • Intro Purchase (5%): Long-term 0% APR on purchases.
  • Recommended Credit (5%): Broad credit score accessibility.
  • Issuer Satisfaction (5%): Exceptional customer service.
  • Penalties (5%): No penalty rates or fees.
  • Regular APR (5%): Low ongoing interest rate.
  • Foreign Transaction (5%): No fees on international transactions.

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


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*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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