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The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card continues to fly under the radar despite having the potential to offer the highest base cash-back rate of any rewards credit card. If you hold $100,000 or more in assets with Bank of America and/or Merrill Lynch, you qualify for Platinum Honors in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. This gives you a 75% bonus on all rewards, equating to a minimum of 2.625x points on all purchases and 3.5x points on all dining and travel purchases. The card is currently offering 50,000 points after spending $3,000 on the card in the first 90 days of account opening, and it carries a $95 annual fee.

On top of large cash-back rewards, the card offers a $100 annual statement credit (by calendar year) for airline incidental fees charged to the card. Like with the other credit cards that offer statement credits for airline incidentals, it can often be a guessing game if a purchase will qualify.

Bank of America officially lists preferred seating upgrades, ticket change/cancellation fees, checked baggage fees, in-flight entertainment, onboard food and beverage charges and airport lounge fees as counting, but we know the list to be a lot more inclusive. Eligible travel expenses that qualify for the Airline Incidental Credit must appear under one of the following airline MCCs (merchant category codes): 3000, 3001, 3057, 3058, 3063, 3066, 3132, 3174, 3196 or 3256.

The reimbursement is only good for domestic-originating flights on US carriers, but reportedly not all. Spirit and Sun Country are reportedly excluded according to this FlyerTalk member and reader data points. The following airlines are known to work:

  • Alaska
  • American
  • Delta
  • Frontier
  • Hawaiian
  • Jet Blue
  • Southwest
  • United

When it comes to the mechanics of Bank of America reimbursing you, it’s not as quick as when American Express covers the incidental charges on its cards. Rather than getting the credit as soon as the charge posts, you sometimes have to wait for the statement to close. Bank of America officially says to wait seven days, but reported times for reimbursement have been shorter and sometimes much longer. There’s a handy tracker under your online log-in showing how much of the $100 you have used.

There are a few things to remember and be aware of when trying to use your credit. First, the purchase needs to be processed by an airline. For example, buying points from most airlines is processed by a third party like and will not count for the credit. Second, the amounts of your purchase can sometimes delineate whether your purchase counts. For some airlines, a $20 award fee may count, but a $125 fee may not trigger the credit. There are some purchases you can be sure will always count, while others will continue to be a toss-up.

Based on data points from readers and across online communities, at the time of publishing, the following charges have counted toward the $100 incidental:

American Airlines

  • $50 and $100 gift cards
  • Award-booking taxes and fees
  • Main Cabin Extra fees
  • Inflight drinks
  • Checked baggage fees
  • Admirals Club day passes

Alaska Airlines

  • In-flight drinks
  • Award change fees


  • First-class buy-ups
  • Checked bags
  • Inflight entertainment and drinks
  • Award-booking taxes
  • Comfort+ fees


  • Seat selection
  • Exit row
  • Checked bags


  • Even More Space seats
  • Checked bags


  • Internet
  • Early Bird check-in
  • $5.60 award taxes
  • Drinks
  • Small fees under $60


  • Award-booking taxes and fees
  • Checked bags
  • Economy Plus seat fees

The following purchases did not work for reimbursement:

Alaska Airlines

  • Gift cards


  • Gift cards


  • Gift cards


  • Large award taxes
  • $75 close-in award booking fees

Finally, inflight Wi-Fi purchases processed by Gogo do not count.

Bottom Line

Airlines can change the merchant category code of a certain transaction, Bank of America could update what merchant codes and charges count, and airlines can change whether or not something is processed by a third party. This means what counts toward the credit will be a living list year by year based on what’s currently working.

If you’ve charged what you believe to be a qualifying airline fee and it’s not automatically reimbursed, you can call Bank of America and ask for a manual credit. If you hold the Premium Rewards credit card, we’d love you to share your own experiences in the comments below so we can keep the list up to date.

Know before you go.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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