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Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards card annual fee worth it?

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Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards card annual fee worth it?

Joseph HostetlerIs the Bank of America Premium Rewards card annual fee worth it?Million Mile Secrets Team

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With “Premium Rewards” in its name, you might assume the Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card comes with a crazy annual fee like other upscale rewards credit cards. This isn’t the case. Not only is the Bank of America Premium Rewards card annual fee just $95, but you’ll get extremely valuable benefits and a hefty welcome bonus.

Currently, the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card comes with a welcome bonus of 50,000 Bank of America points after meeting minimum spending requirements. Bank of America points value is 1 cent each, meaning this sign-up bonus is worth $500. But if 50,000 points aren’t enough to justify paying that low annual fee, then the benefits probably will.

The card comes with excellent travel benefits both in the air and on the ground. The card also includes Visa Signature benefits which include perks great for travel and everyday spending. Finally, the card features straightforward earning rates and there’s no cap on how many points you can earn.

So, is the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card annual fee worth it? You bet, and not just for frequent flyers. I have no plans to get rid of my card any time soon.

The welcome bonus alone easily makes the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card annual fee worth it. The card’s benefits, which are great for travel, add even more value! (Photo by illpaxphotomatic/Shutterstock)

Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card annual fee worth it?

If you’re not quite sure if the Bank of America Premium Reward credit card is for you, the annual fee is just $95. The welcome bonus makes the card a no-brainer for the first year, but there are lots of reasons why you’ll want to keep the card in your wallet for the long term. When you open the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, you’ll earn a welcome bonus of 50,000 points (worth $500) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of opening an account.

Bank of America points are also flexible. The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card might earn points, but you can also redeem them for cash back. Bank of America points from this card are worth 1 cent each toward cash back, travel and gift cards.

If you’re not planning on booking a trip with your points, you can opt for cash back and transfer your points from the Premium Rewards card into an eligible Bank of America checking or savings account, or other various accounts (we’ll go over this in a minute).

Excellent earning rates at restaurants and for everyday purchases

With the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, you’ll earn tons of extra points for everyday purchases, including dining out:

  • 2 points per dollar spent on travel
  • 2 points per dollar spent on dining
  • 1.5 points per dollar spent everywhere else

This card is fantastic not just for booking flights, hotels, or rental cars. Earning 2 points per dollar spent at restaurants makes it a good card for dining out. Plus, the card earns 1.5 points per dollar spent everywhere else, with no caps on what you can earn.

Earn 2 points per dollar spent when you dine out and use your Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card. (Photo by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

If you’re like me and dine out a little too much, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is a good pick if you don’t have another card that earns a better bonus at restaurants. The tab for a late night out becomes easier to take when you’re earning 2 points per dollar spent – equivalent to 2% back.

Flexibility (No Need to Rely on Award Availability)

When you redeem points linked to your Bank of America Premium Rewards card through the Bank of America travel portal, you won’t have to worry about blackout dates as you’ll be booking a standard ticket, just using points.

Redemptions offered by the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card are great if you’re not super flexible with your travel plans. However, it’s always better just to use your card to purchase a ticket (because you’ll earn 2 points per dollar) and redeem points for cash back to offset the charge. Here’s more about why in our post about Bank of America points value.

Also, you can turn your points into cash back or a statement credit with a minimum redemption of $25 (2,500 points). Here’s how:

  • Transfer points at a rate of 1% to an eligible Bank of America checking or savings account
  • Transfer points to a Merrill Lynch Wealth or Cash Management Account
  • Transfer points to a 529 College Savings Plan
  • Turn points into a statement credit

Travel benefits

In addition to solid travel coverage options if something goes wrong, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card offers some extremely valuable perks for frequent flyers:

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Application Fee Credit – Every four years, you’ll receive a credit when you use your card to apply for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85)
  • Up to $100 Airline Statement Credit – Every year, you’ll receive up $100 in credits for incidentals on domestic-originating flights on many U.S. airlines. This credit can be used to select preferred seats, check a bag, or even purchase a day pass at popular airline clubs and lounges. If you make the most of the benefit each year, it will more than offset the annual fee
Use the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card’s up to $100 in airline statement credits for things like a day pass to an airline’s airport clubs and lounges. (Photo by Tony Mecia)

Great perks for shoppers

My favorite therapy is retail therapy, and I love having peace of mind on purchases. When you use your Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, you’re covered with benefits like:

  • Extended warranty — Use your card for an eligible purchase and you can receive extended warranty protection double the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one additional year
  • Return protection — If you try to return an eligible item within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, you could be covered up to $250 per item and up to $1,000 each year
  • Purchase security — When an eligible item you’ve purchased with the card is accidentally broken or stolen within 90 days of purchase, you could receive up to $10,000 per claim

Travel protection

If your trip takes a turn for the worse, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card has you covered. You’ll get coverage for:

  • Trip Delay — Receive up to $500 per ticket when you’re stuck for more than 12 hours due to a covered hazard or event. You can then use the money you receive for the delay on things like meals, hotels, or ground transportation.
  • Baggage Delay — You can receive up to $100 per day for five days if your bags are delayed six hours or more for essential items like clothing and toiletries
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement — When you use your card to pay for your ticket, you could be covered for luggage and its contents if they are lost or stolen due to theft or misdirection by the common carrier (airline, bus, train, cruise ship)
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption — Should your trip be interrupted or canceled for a covered reason, you may be eligible for up to $5,000 per person, per trip in reimbursement if you’ve booked a common carrier ticket with your card
  • Rental Car Insurance — Secondary/supplemental coverage in the U.S. and primary abroad, or if you don’t have your own personal automobile insurance

Bank of America Preferred Rewards

If you bank with Bank of America or Merrill Edge (Bank of America’s affiliate investment company), you could earn bonus points depending on how much you have invested with them:

  • $20,000 to < $50,000 – 25% bonus
  • $50,000 to < $100,000 – 50% bonus
  • $100,000+ – 75% bonus

You can check out the Bank of America Preferred Rewards website for more details.

Bottom line

Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card worth the annual fee? Yes, especially if you’re not a flexible traveler or are looking for a card with a relatively low annual fee that still comes with substantial benefits.

Aside from the 50,000 points (worth $500) you’ll earn after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card comes with a variety of ongoing perks and benefits that make it worth keeping, such as:

  • Up to $100 airline statement credit for incidentals on domestic-originating flights on many US airlines
  • Simple earning rates including 2 points per dollar on travel and dining
  • No cap on how many points you’ll earn, even for other purchases for which you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar spent
  • No blackout dates for travel booked through Bank of America’s travel portal
  • The ability to turn points into cash back or even a long-term investment with wealth-management or college fund accounts
  • Protection for shoppers, like extended warranty coverage and purchase protection
  • Travel coverage for when things take a turn for the worse, like trip interruption/cancellation coverage, secondary rental coverage and baggage loss/delay coverage
  • Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck applications every four years

While the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card annual fee isn’t waived for the first year, you should get more than enough value out of the card each year to more than offset the $95 annual fee cost.

You can apply for the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card here.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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