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Bank of America Travel Rewards + Preferred Rewards = Up to 2.775% everywhere card?

Bank of America Travel Rewards + Preferred Rewards = Up to 2.775% everywhere card?

Old Mar 1, 14, 12:50 am
  #1  
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Bank of America Travel Rewards + Preferred Rewards = Up to 2.775% everywhere card?

Hello everyone,

I hesitate to post this as I have a lurking feeling this deal is too good to be true or last. Nevertheless, I just got approved for the Bank Americard Travel Rewards that earns 1.5x on everything when redeemed for flight, rental car, etc (similar to the BarclayCard Arrival).

In addition, I also opened a checking and savings at Bank of America, which automatically gives me a 10% annual bonus on points earned, bringing the rewards up to 1.65x.

Finally, with enough deposits, Bank of America offers 3 tiers of "Preferred Rewards" accounts, which results in an additional bonus on points earned. I've listed the tiers and hypothetical rewards below:
>$20k: 25% bonus meaning: 1.5 * 1.25 + 0.15(the 10% annual bonus) = 2.025x
>$50k: 50% bonus = similar math to above = 2.4x
>$100k: 75% bonus = 2.775x

I do realize many will not want to tie up between $20k and $100k at Bank of America but you can choose to hold your deposits in a Merrill EDGE self-directed investment account. As I like to keep a portion of my liquidity in the markets I will be going for the 75% bonus on credit card rewards.

So if I have my math right, it results in a 2.775x card with no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, and an EMV chip to boot. This sounds too good to be true so I am asking the fine people of flyertalk to share their experiences with this card and perhaps shed light upon what I have overlooked.

UPDATE:
Originally Posted by joelmeu View Post
Very interesting rewards program. So far just for people who live in KS, MO, NV, SC and WA it seems.
The "preferred rewards" program seems to be in it's infancy, and it's currently not available nationally so I'll share any strange experiences I have using this card. Thanks!

Last edited by halfleafclover; Mar 1, 14 at 12:01 pm
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Old Mar 1, 14, 12:58 am
  #2  
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Thanks for posting OP. Checking into this one now for my next AOR and might just be time to open a 10th bank acct
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Old Mar 1, 14, 7:44 am
  #3  
dw
 
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Preferred Rewards is the replacement for BofA's Platinum Privileges, but has only rolled out to a few states so far. Supposedly it's to be rolled out nationwide by the end of the year.
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Old Mar 1, 14, 11:20 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by dw View Post
Preferred Rewards is the replacement for BofA's Platinum Privileges, but has only rolled out to a few states so far. Supposedly it's to be rolled out nationwide by the end of the year.
Very interesting rewards program. So far just for people who live in KS, MO, NV, SC and WA it seems.

In NV and WA the Marukai Premium JCB card (~3% on all spending) still wins IMO.
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Old Mar 1, 14, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by joelmeu View Post
Very interesting rewards program. So far just for people who live in KS, MO, NV, SC and WA it seems.

In NV and WA the Marukai Premium JCB card (~3% on all spending) still wins IMO.
Thanks for the clarification! I live in WA so that explains alot.

Definitely agree about the JCB card for the rewards. I actually looked into this after reading your post but my job sees me moving to Canada for a few years where acceptance is supremely spotty.
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Old Dec 7, 14, 7:30 pm
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Exclamation 10% not stacked

According to the BoA terms and conditions, the 75% replaces the 10%, so these bonuses are not stacked as suggested in the above post. Thus, with the 1.5 points/$1 travel card, you earn 2.625 points. Still a nice deal, though.
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Old Jan 8, 15, 12:16 pm
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BofA Cash Rewards 3.5% on Groceries and 5.25% on Gas

I was comparing the Travel card and the Cash Rewards cards and the combination of the 2 would be best. Cash cash gives 2% on Groceries and 3% on Gas - the top tier gives 75% bonus for total of 3.5% and 5.25%. Use the Travel card for everything at 2.65%.
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Old Jan 8, 15, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by foody1000 View Post
I was comparing the Travel card and the Cash Rewards cards and the combination of the 2 would be best. Cash cash gives 2% on Groceries and 3% on Gas - the top tier gives 75% bonus for total of 3.5% and 5.25%. Use the Travel card for everything at 2.65%.
Yes, but this card has a cap of the first $1,500 in combined grocery store and gas purchases each quarter. Can't really be scaled for MS.
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Old Jan 8, 15, 6:55 pm
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Penny wise and pound foolish. Tying up $100000 in funds in a Merrill Lynch account compared to keeping it in a Vanguard low expense index fund/ETF will cost you dearly to earn that extra 0.65%. Better to stick to the FIA Amex or Barclay Arrival instead. How much spend (MS or real) do you plan to do on this card anyways?
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Old Jan 8, 15, 8:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Campath View Post
Penny wise and pound foolish. Tying up $100000 in funds in a Merrill Lynch account compared to keeping it in a Vanguard low expense index fund/ETF will cost you dearly to earn that extra 0.65%. Better to stick to the FIA Amex or Barclay Arrival instead. How much spend (MS or real) do you plan to do on this card anyways?
You get up to 100 free trades per month depending on the Preferred Rewards tier.
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Old Jan 8, 15, 9:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Campath View Post
Penny wise and pound foolish. Tying up $100000 in funds in a Merrill Lynch account compared to keeping it in a Vanguard low expense index fund/ETF will cost you dearly to earn that extra 0.65%. Better to stick to the FIA Amex or Barclay Arrival instead. How much spend (MS or real) do you plan to do on this card anyways?
Well that assumes you can't have Vanguard low expense index funds in your Merrill Lynch (ML) account. Not sure if it is still possible to purchase vanguard funds if you didn't previously hold them, but I know those who purchased Vanguard funds previously are still able to keep and add money via automatic investments to their Vanguard mutual funds in a ML brokerage account.
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Old Jan 9, 15, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by Campath View Post
Penny wise and pound foolish. Tying up $100000 in funds in a Merrill Lynch account compared to keeping it in a Vanguard low expense index fund/ETF will cost you dearly to earn that extra 0.65%. Better to stick to the FIA Amex or Barclay Arrival instead. How much spend (MS or real) do you plan to do on this card anyways?

There's absolutely no reason tahat you couldn't buy Vanguard ETFs in your Merrill Edge account. In fact, you'd even buy them with no transaction fee. You'd actually be saving Vanguard $$ by not having them service the account.
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Old Jan 11, 15, 1:07 am
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Merrill is also giving away up to $600 if you put $200k in. Periodically they've had $1000 bonuses but I haven't been able to find a link for that in 2015.
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Old Jan 11, 15, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by calwatch View Post
Merrill is also giving away up to $600 if you put $200k in. Periodically they've had $1000 bonuses but I haven't been able to find a link for that in 2015.
It was $1000 a few days ago. Looks like they reduced it.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 1:26 pm
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I live in Florida, and i checked to see what i qualify on the rewards you can do so here.

https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred-rewards/
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