Earlier this week, Bank of America confirmed some of the details related to their new Premium Rewards credit card, which will launch in September.
- $95 annual fee
- Signup bonus: 50,000 points after $3,000 in spend within the first three months
- $100 airline incidental credit (baggage, fees, food/drinks)
- No foreign transaction fees
- Base ($0-$20,000 w/ Bank of America): Earn 2x on travel and dining; 1.5x on everything else
- Gold ($20,000-$50,000): Earn 2.5x on travel and dining; 1.875x on everything else
- Platinum ($50,000-$100,000): Earn 3x on travel and dining; 2.25x on everything else
- Platinum Honors ($100,000+): Earn 3.5x on travel and dining; 2.6x on everything else
The real question is if the perks make the card worthwhile as a keeper card after the first year.
Depending on how you value the $100 airline incidental credit, this might make it a keeper card for you. If you're in the Base level, then the Citi Double Cash card is a good alternative since you can only redeem points for cash.
Since you can only redeem points at 1 cent per point, this is not the best redemption value compared to other premium cards.
Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card Worth Getting?
With the 50,000 point signup bonus, I think it's worth getting because you're coming out ahead by $500 in the first year.
- Signup bonus = 50,000 points = $500
- Net signup bonus = $500 - $95 Annual Fee + $100 airline incidental credit = $505
- Return on spend = $500 bonus / $3,000 spend = 16.7%
One of the benefits of Bank of America is if you don't see value in keeping it after the first year, then you can product change to a no annual fee card.
If you want to read more details, the Wall Street Journal and Fox Business wrote a comprehensive review about it. I have a few criticisms about the article, like how they compared the Bank of America Premium Rewards card to "real" premium cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige. With the $95 fee, it's closer to the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Amex PRG.
The gist of the article is that Bank of America is approaching the premium card market from a different angle and charging a lower annual fee. Other interesting things that are missing from the Bank of America card are the Priority Pass and Global Entry credit that most premium cards offer.
The article also didn't put a valuation on the Bank of America points. It's like comparing apples and oranges if you don't know how you can redeem points and how much they're worth.
A lot of premium cards in the market also have a "super power," which the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card lacks.