Credit Cards Reviews

My Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program Review

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Bank of America has a very unique rewards program for both their Bank of America and Merrill Lynch account holders. The Bank of America Preferred Rewards program offers more benefits and rewards, for account holders that conduct their everyday banking and investment activities within the bank, more than ever. For Bank of America credit card holders, the program boasts a 75% credit card rewards bonus for eligible account holders at their highest rewards tier, Platinum Honors. There is a perk for every account holder.

What are these special benefits of the Preferred Rewards program you speak of?

Below is an overview of the reward tiers and their highlighted benefits.

Rewards Tiers:Gold TierPlatinumPlatinum Honors
Required combined balance$20K – $50K$50K – $100K$100K+
Savings Interest Rate Booster 5% 10% 20%
Credit Card Rewards Bonus25%50%75%
$0 online stock and ETF trades up to 10/monthup to 30/monthup to 100/month
Auto loan discount0.25%0.35%0.50%
Home equity discount0.125%0.250%0.375%

I didn’t list all the benefits, only the major ones to look out for in each rewards tier. However, if you would like a comprehensive look at all the benefits, you can find them here.

What are the rewards tiers with Bank of America Preferred Rewards?

There are three tiers in the Preferred Rewards program: Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Honors. Once enrolled, your combined qualified balances of both your Bank of America checking and savings accounts and or Merrill Lynch investment accounts get counted towards the next rewards tier based on an average of a 3-month balance. In other words, there is a major incentive to do all your banking activity on Bank of America if you opt to participate in the Preferred Rewards program.

When is the Preferred Rewards program worth it?

Any individual who qualifies for the Platinum rewards tier, or has on average 3-month of investment activity on their banking account, will easily benefit greatly from the program. The credit card rewards bonus alone makes the program a game changer for everyday spending to accumulate cashback on regular everyday spending.

My personal review on the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program

The main takeaway from the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program is that if you currently have investments, emergency funds, checking accounts all scattered, you may want to look into consolidating and allocating the funds to Bank of America in the near future to reap the credit card rewards benefits alone. The potential 75% credit card bonus is that much of a game-changer.

The way I see it is that the only difference is that I’m using Bank of America’s services for both my banking and investment needs without much inconvenience. In return, all the balances get counted towards the rewards tiers, which is insanely helpful considering all of Bank of America’s cashback credit cards get the credit card bonus.

Yes. You read right. All the credit cards linked above will be eligible for the 75% credit card bonus perk if you qualify for Platinum Honors.

For example, if you are looking at the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card, the 3% will effectively become 5.25% back for every dollar you spend.

The game plan

Now that you have now imagined a world of possibility, where you are earning 5.25% on each $1 spent, you are probably wondering how you can best take advantage of the Preferred Rewards program.

What if I told you that there will be no annual fees and you are able to earn 5.25% on any of the following categories: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings? Now, you are thinking.

Any of the credit cards under the “Cash Back” section are fair game and are unique entity accounts. In other words, you are able to apply for multiple credit cards for each category since Bank of America treats them as unique accounts.

So for example, if you are looking for 5.25% on gas and dining, you may want to apply for both the Bank of America Cash Rewards and the Susan G. Komen Cash Rewards Visa credit cards to have both categories covered during the same quarter (although I would space out the credit card applications and wait 2 months to apply again). The spending categories can be changed and rotated every quarter of the year so the program is extremely flexible.

For every other spend that doesn’t qualify for a spending category, you may consider getting the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card to get 1.5% (an effective 2.62% if Platinum Honors) back on all other non-category spendings.

The possibilities are endless with the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone

The content of this website is for informational purposes only and does not represent investment advice, or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security, investment, or product. Investors are encouraged to do their own due diligence, and, if necessary, consult professional advising before making any investment decisions. Investing involves a high degree of risk, and financial losses may occur.

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