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Bank of America Launching New Premium Rewards Card With Tiered Rewards

Aug. 09, 2017
4 min read
Bank of America Launching New Premium Rewards Card With Tiered Rewards
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Official Application Link: Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card

There have been rumors about a potential new Bank of America rewards credit card for some time, and this morning, The Wall Street Journal provided the first solid details about the new card. Here's what we know so far.

Sign Up Bonus

The new Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card will launch in September with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after new cardholders spend $3,000 in the first 90 days after being approved.

Annual Fee

The Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card will have a $95 annual fee. Its primary competitors, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Citi Premier cards, charge a similar fee at $95 each, but both of those products waive the fee for the first year.

Bonus Categories

For general cardholders, the new Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card will offer 2x points on travel and dining and 1.5x points on other purchases.

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 Card FeaturesBank of America
Premium Rewards
Chase Sapphire Preferred Citi Premier® Card
Annual Fee$95$95$95
Sign-Up Bonus50,000 points50,000 points50,000 points
Spending requirement$3,000 in first 90 days$4,000 in first three months$4,000 in first three months
Travel earnings2x points2x points3x points
Dining earnings2x points2x points2x points
Other purchases1.5x points1x points1x points

At face value, this seems like an OK product with 2% cash back. The Citi Double Cash Card provides the same value with no annual fee. But here's where it gets interesting. Not all cardholders will have the same bonus earnings. If you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account, you can potentially get a much larger bonus — depending on the value of your combined accounts:

  • $20,000-$49,999 account value: 2.5x on travel/dining and 1.875x on other purchases
  • $50,000-$99,999: 3x on travel/dining and 2.25x on other purchases
  • Over $100,000: 3.5x on travel/dining and 2.625x on other purchases

By doing this, the bank is clearly indicating that it's targeting wealthy clients and rewarding cardholders who are loyal to Bank of America beyond just opening a credit card account. This is, in fact, the richest consumer banking bonus. Certain Citi checking accounts, by comparison, earn ThankYou Points for qualifying activities, but their bonuses amount to no more than 650 points per month. And, unlike this new BofA credit card, having a Citi checking account doesn't multiply the points you earn from a Citi credit card.

What We Don't Know Yet

We know that this new card will earn Bank of America Preferred Rewards points. Currently, BofA offers these rewards on its Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. Points can be redeemed "for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees" at one cent per point. Right now, it's unclear if this new card will only offer redemptions at one cent per point or provide a more lucrative redemption option — or perhaps even transfer partners.

In addition, there's no word yet if this card will offer additional travel benefits, such as a travel credit, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee rebates. While these benefits are offered by cards with high annual fees, the Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card's annual fee is $355-455 per year cheaper than those from Chase, Citi and American Express.

TPG Take

All in all, this card has huge potential. I'm depositing $100,000 into a joint BofA checking and savings account immediately since it takes three months on average for the bank to grant Platinum Honors status. I'm optimistic, especially since I currently have no BofA card (I let it go during my spring cleaning). If nothing else, it will help me diversify my portfolio, but I still have a lot of questions about the rewards and the travel benefits. So stay tuned — we've reached out to BofA for details and will report back as soon as we know more.

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