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Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. POF does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Credit Card Providers determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval, you should review each Provider’s terms and conditions to determine which card works for you and your personal financial situation.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Review 2024

Editor Deepti Nickam

The market is packed with premium cards that have you jumping through hoops to calculate the best value of your points. The Bank of America Premium Elite card takes a refreshingly simple route. But does its straightforward approach justify the hefty $550 price tag?

While this card has been flying under the radar amongst its top-tier competitors, it’s time to shine a light on its features and discover if it’s a hidden gem worth exploring.

 

This article will include:

  • How the Premium Rewards Elite Card works.
  • All the Bank of America Card’s benefits and drawbacks. 
  • How the card stacks up against other premium cards. 

 

Read more:

 

Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Card: Quick Facts

LEARN MORE ABOUT APPLYING FOR THIS CREDIT CARD

 

 

Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite: On FIRE Score

Annual Fee $550 3/5
APR  20.24% – 27.24% variable 5/5
Intro Offer  Earn 75,000 online bonus points (a $750 value) after you make at least $5,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.  4/5
Maximum Rewards Unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases.  2/5
Everyday Rewards Unlimited 1.5 points per $1 on all other purchases. 4/5
On FIRE Score    3.6/5

 

 

What Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Card?

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite card is another credit card tailored to the luxury travel market. With its $550 price tag, it competes directly with other elite cards like Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve. So, how does it stack up? 

The Premium Rewards Elite card is a far cry from the complex Amex rewards system—it offers a straightforward 2x points on every dollar spent on travel and dining (a bit meh), and 1.5x points on all other purchases. But if you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%–75% more points on every purchase.

This card’s travel benefits stand up to its premium label, offering airport lounge access, travel protection, 24/7 concierge services, and hotel and car rental perks. The obvious missing link is that you can’t transfer your points to airlines or hotels—a key feature of other top-tier credit cards. 

It’s also worth pointing out that the Premium Rewards Elite and the Premium Rewards are different cards. But I wouldn’t blame you for thinking they were the same—the cards are surprisingly similar, given the latter has a much lower $95 annual fee.

 

How Does the Premium Rewards Elite Card Work?

You can earn an unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

These points take the lead for simplicity but fall short compared to other premium cards. The card_name offers 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels, and card_name lets you earn a generous 10x points on hotels. 

But if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can boost these points by 25%-75% on every purchase. To break that down, members earn up to 3.5 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1.87 to 2.62 points per dollar on all other purchases. 

To become a Preferred Rewards member, you’ll have to meet the following criteria—

  • Have an active Bank of America checking account.
  • Have a three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 or more in your Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts.

You can redeem your points for travel, gift cards, and concierge services—1 point is worth 1 cent across the board. If you prefer cash, you can receive it as a statement credit or an electronic deposit to your Bank of America account. You can also route it to an eligible Merrill cash management account 

Let’s be honest—if you’re not a Preferred Rewards member, the points aren’t anything to shout about—but there are some premium perks you should consider. 

Here’s a breakdown of all the credits and travel benefits you’ll bag—

  • Airline incidental statement credits: Get up to $300 per year for airline purchases, including baggage fees, in-flight services, seat upgrades, and airline lounge fees. 
  • Lifestyle credits: Receive $150 annual lifestyle credits covering streaming services, food deliveries, fitness subscriptions, and rideshare services. 
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Get $100 every four years in statement credit for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® application fees. 
  • Flight discount: Save 20% on domestic or international airfare when you pay with points. 
  • Airport lounge access: Unwind with unlimited access to global airport lounges and enjoy up to four complimentary Priority Pass™ Select Memberships. 

Concierge services: Access a 24/7 concierge who can help book travel, make dinner reservations, and help track down exclusive tickets.

 

Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Credit Card: Fees

Details Metric
Annual fee $550
Regular APR 20.24% to 27.24% variable
Cash advance APR  23.24% to 29.24% variable 

29.24% for Bank Cash Advances

Balance transfer APR  20.24% to 27.24% variable 
Cash advance fee  3% of the amount of each transaction
Balance transfer fee  3% of the amount of each transaction
Penalty APR Up to 29.99%
Foreign transaction fee $0
Late fee Up to $40

 

Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Card: Pros and Cons

 

Pros

  • Simple rewards system. 
  • Bonus points for Preferred Rewards members (up to 75%).
  • Wide range of redemption options. 
  • Expansive travel rewards categories. 
  • Travel insurance and protection.

 

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee. 
  • No hotel or airline transfer partners.
  • Forgettable rewards without the Preferred Rewards membership.

 

Why I like it

 

Simple rewards system

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite offers 2x points on every dollar spent on travel and dining and 1.5x on everything else—each point is worth 1 cent. While these rewards aren’t making headlines, they get a thumbs-up for the simple approach. 

For better rewards, check out the best cash back credit cards

 

Bonus points for Preferred Rewards members (up to 75%)

If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you get 25% to 75% more points on every purchase. That’s 2.5 to 3.5 points on travel and dining and 1.87 to 2.62 points on other eligible purchases.

The exact amount depends on your Preferred Rewards tier, which can go up or down depending on your average daily balance. The different tiers are Gold, offering a 25% point boost, Platinum with 50%, and Platinum Honors with 75%. 

If you spent $50,000 a year on dining and travel (2x points), you would get 100,000 points (worth $1,000). But here’s how much you’ll get as a Preferred Rewards member—

  • Gold Tier: 125,000 points ($1,250)
  • Platinum Tier: 150,000 points ($1,500)
  • Platinum Honors Tier: 175,000 points ($1,750) 

 

Range of redemption options

Having choices is always a win, and the Bank of America delivers with its uncomplicated redemption options. There’s no need to spend hours calculating which redemption option is more valuable—every point is worth 1 cent

Here’s a breakdown—

  • Air Savings Program: Get a 20% discount on airfare costs by using points through the Bank of America Travel Center. Book the airfare online at bankofamerica.com/travel or via the Premium Rewards Elite concierge service. Keep in mind that only part of the airfare paid with points qualifies for the discount. For instance, you can use 80,000 points for a $1,000 flight (instead of the usual 100,000 points).
  • Cash back: Exchange your points for cash rewards deposited into your Bank of America® checking or savings accounts, as credits to your Merrill® investment accounts (including 529 accounts), or as statement credits to your card.
  • Concierge: Use points for travel, experiences, event tickets, and more through the concierge service.
  • Gift Cards: Choose from a wide range of gift cards from top brands, preferred retailers, and popular restaurants.

 

Expansive travel rewards category

Bank of America takes a very lenient approach to what it considers “travel and dining” rewards. This means you can earn a maximum of 2 points per purchase on more spending categories than what first meets the eye. 

Brace yourself—here are all the purchases that fall under travel and dining: 

  • Drinking establishments, such as bars or taverns.
  • Flights and cruise lines.
  • Hotels, motels, and timeshares.
  • Trailer parks, motor homes, recreational vehicle rentals, and campgrounds.
  • Car rental agencies, and truck and trailer rentals.
  • Travel agencies, tour operators, and real estate agents.
  • Operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, boat rentals, and parking lots. 
  • Garages, tolls, and bridge fees.
  • Tourist attractions like art galleries, amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, aquariums, and zoos. 

Check out more top travel cards with cash back. 

 

Travel insurance and protection

The Premium Rewards Elite card’s travel insurance and protection perks stand tall against other premium cards with extensive trip, baggage, and auto coverage. 

Here’s what you can expect: 

  • Trip delay reimbursement: Get coverage up to $500 per ticket purchased for you and your family members. The card covers reasonable expenses when your trip is delayed over six hours or requires an overnight stay.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: If your trip gets canceled or interrupted, you’ll receive reimbursement for the common carrier passenger fare.
  • Baggage delay: This covers the emergency purchases of essential items if your baggage is delayed. It also helps with the cost of food and lodging. 
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: This will protect your luggage and its contents if they’re lost or stolen due to theft or misdirection (by airlines, buses, trains, or cruise ships).
  • Emergency evacuation coverage: You’re provided up to $100,000 for evacuation expenses if you or a family member get injured or sick during a trip.
  • Travel accident insurance: While traveling on a common carrier with the entire fare charged to your card, the card covers up to $1,000,000 in accidental death or dismemberment.

Auto rental collision damage waiver: Get primary coverage up to $75,000 for damage due to collision or theft, up to the actual cash value of most rental cars.

 

Why you may want a different card

 

Steep $550 annual fee

At $550, the Premium Rewards Elite card isn’t exactly pocket-friendly. This annual fee puts it firmly in the premium cards category, so there’s more pressure to deliver what other top-tier credit cards are offering. 

Having an average rewards system (for non-members) and no airline or hotel transfer partners definitely works against the card when justifying the yearly fee. 

 

No hotel or airline transfer partners

Unlike other top-tier cards, this one doesn’t let you transfer points to hotel or airline partners. So, if you’re big on maximizing points through transfers, this limitation could be a big letdown. 

Keen on this feature? card_name lets you transfer to most airlines and hotels at a 1:1 ratio, with 50,000 points adding up to around $950. 

 

Forgettable rewards without Preferred Rewards Membership

When it comes to travel perks and insurance, this card makes a decent competitor—but it falls behind with its maximum 2x points per purchase. 

Here’s a glimpse of the maximum rewards offered by other premium cards—

Credit Card  Annual fee Maximum rewards 
card_name annual_fees 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels 
card_name annual_fees 10x points on hotels and car rentals 
card_name annual_fees 10x miles on hotels and rental cars
US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite $400 5x points on prepaid hotels and car rentals 

Sure, the 75% more value works out well for existing Preferred Rewards members—but it’s pretty lackluster for the rest of us.

 

Premium Rewards Elite Credit Card: Additional Things to Know

 

Bank of America Premium Rewards card vs. Premium Rewards Elite card

Since being released, people have quickly spotted the surprising similarities between these two cards—and I use the word “surprising” as the Premium Rewards card has a much lower annual fee of $95. 

You can see the similarities for yourself—

Details  Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite credit card card_name
On FIRE score 3.6/5 3.8/5
Annual fee $550 annual_fees
APR  20.24%–27.24% variable 20.24% – 27.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Welcome bonus Earn 75,000 online bonus points (a $750 value) after you make at least $5,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.  bonus_miles_full
Rewards Unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases. 

Unlimited 1.5 points per $1 on all other purchases.

Preferred Rewards members earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase.

Unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases 

Unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Preferred Rewards members earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. 

Benefits  $300 annually in Airline Incidental Statement Credits.

$150 annually for lifestyle conveniences. 

$100 in statement credits for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® application fees.

Save 20% on airfare and get unlimited access to airport lounges. 

Up to 4 complimentary Priority Pass™ Select Memberships.

$100 annually in Airline Incidental Statement Credits.

$100 in statement credits for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® application fees.

Learn more  Learn more

 

The main difference is the annual fee, with the Premium Rewards Elite card at $550 vs. the Premium Rewards at $95. 

So, what’s justifying that $455 price difference? 

Well, it’s certainly not the rewards, which are identical. However, the Elite card does offer more benefits, including the additional $350 statement credits—though that still doesn’t cover the price difference. 

Then there’s Elite’s 20% airfare savings and airport lounge access—this is where the fee difference starts making sense—especially for frequent travelers. Plus, the complimentary Priority Pass membership ensures you can save $25 to $60 per visit to an airport lounge ( these savings can add up over time). 

The bottom line—for those who travel a lot and appreciate downtime in airport lounges, the Elite Card is a reasonable upgrade. But if you’re on a tight budget and won’t take full advantage of Elite’s benefits, the standard Premium Rewards card can get you the same points at a much lower price.

 

What is the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program?

If you have a Bank of America checking, savings, or investment account—the Preferred Rewards program dishes out benefits based on the combined balances in those accounts.

The higher your combined balance, the better the benefits become. Once you hit certain balance tiers, you unlock a range of perks. From bonus rewards on credit cards to home and car discounts and some nifty perks on banking services—being part of this club has clear advantages.

Here’s a rundown of the tiers, their eligibility requirements, and their benefits—

 

Tier  3-month combined average daily balance  Key benefits 
Gold  $20,000 to $50,000 25% more points value with the Premium Rewards Elite 

5% interest rate booster with the Advantage Savings account. 

$200 reduced origination fee on a new purchase or mortgage.

0.125% interest rate discount on a new home equity line of credit.

0.25% interest rate discount for new auto loan applications.

Platinum  $50,000 to $100,000 50% more points value with the Premium Rewards Elite

10% interest rate booster with the Advantage Savings account. 

$400 reduced origination fee on a new purchase or mortgage.

0.250% interest rate discount on a new home equity line of credit.

0.35% interest rate discount for new auto loan applications.

Platinum Honors  $100,000 to $1 million  75% more points value with the Premium Rewards Elite

20% interest rate booster with the Advantage Savings account. 

$600 reduced origination fee on a new purchase or mortgage.

0.375% interest rate discount on a new home equity line of credit.

0.50% interest rate discount for new auto loan applications.

Diamond  $1 million to $10 million 75% more points value with the Premium Rewards Elite

20% interest rate booster with the Advantage Savings account. 

0.250% interest rate reduction on a mortgage with PayPlan

0.625% interest rate discount on a new home equity line of credit.

0.50% interest rate discount for new auto loan applications.

If you’re an existing member, the Premium Rewards Elite can make a nice extension—just remember you’ll need a high balance to score maximum points.

 

How to Maximize Points With the Premium Rewards Elite Card

First up, pay attention to bonus categories. You’ll get 2x points on dining and travel—but that covers a wide range of purchases. So, read the fine print to avoid missing out on bonus points

If you’re already a Bank of America customer, sign up for the Preferred Rewards program to get that 25% to 75% rewards boost. Remember, the more accounts you have (including Merill investment accounts), the higher your combined balance, helping you climb the tiers and earn more points. 

To give you a better idea—if you spend $40,000 on dining and travel and earn the 2x points, here’s the value based on the different tiers: 

  • No membership: $800
  • Gold: $1,000
  • Platinum: $1,200 
  • Platinum Honors: $1,400 

Next, take advantage of all the statement credits—as well as the 20% discount on airfare and unlimited airport lounge access. If you use up all the statement credits, you can easily offset the annual fee. 

Another loophole (which feels illegal) is that you can trigger the Airline Incidental credits by booking cheap flights (under $100) with certain airlines, such as Southwest and United Travel—even if you later cancel the flight.

Timing is also key—keep an eye on welcome bonuses and promotional offers. Often, credit card companies roll out deals for new cardholders, so grab those opportunities to earn extra points while they’re hot.

 

Best Cards to Pair With the Premium Rewards Elite Credit Card

If you want to stick to simplistic rewards, the Capital One Spark Cash Select offers a painless 1.5% unlimited cash back on all business purchases. Plus, you get 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Looking for everyday rewards? The American Express® Gold Card makes a handy catch-all card as it offers 4x points on groceries, 4x on restaurants, and 3x on flights. You can also transfer your points to a bunch of airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. 

Check out the best business credit cards for more alternatives. 

 

Alternatives to the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Card

If the Premium Rewards Elite doesn’t float your boat, here are some other premium cards worth checking out—

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite credit card card_name card_name card_name
3.6/5 4.4/5 4/5 3.8/5
$550 annual_fees annual_fees annual_fees
20.24% – 27.24% variable reg_apr,reg_apr_type reg_apr,reg_apr_type 21.24% to 29.24% variable
Earn 75,000 online bonus points (a $750 value) after you make at least $5,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.  bonus_miles_full bonus_miles_full bonus_miles_full
Unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases. 

Unlimited 1.5 points per $1 on all other purchases.

Get 10,000 bonus miles every year.

$300 annual travel credit.

10x miles on hotels and rental cars.

Earn 5x points on flights.

$300 Annual Travel Credit.

10x points on hotels and car rentals.

5x points on flights. 

5x points on prepaid hotels. 

1x points on other purchases.

Learn more  Learn more  Learn more  Learn more 

Find out more about Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Sapphire Reserve.

 

Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Card: Useful Links

LEARN MORE ABOUT APPLYING FOR THIS CREDIT CARD

 

  • Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite card application
  • Learn more about the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite website
  • Reach out to Bank of America Elite card customer service
  • Find out more on the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite FAQ page
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website.

 

Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Card Customer Reviews

If you want some more firsthand insights, here’s some food for thought—

“I am a BofA Elite card holder—it’s a very slept-on card. I have two young kids, so at this phase in my life, I really can’t justify switching to Amex for the ‘higher lifestyle perks’. We never have an issue making up the Elite credits, and as long as you can book $2000/year in airline tickets with points, the card is a no-brainer.”

“I have diamond status at Bank of America (75% add-on bonus), and I constantly use the extensive benefits of my Premium Rewards Signature Visa, which costs $95 a year and more than pays for itself. But $550 per year for Elite? I don’t travel enough to justify it, and the streaming/lifestyle credit isn’t enough to sweeten the deal for me. If I started traveling and eating out more, I would consider this card, even with the high fee.”

“If you regularly fly Southwest, United, or Delta and have Platinum Honors, this card is incredible—it’s probably one of the easiest high-value cards to get. It equates to getting 1.75-2 points with Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, etc, but with no hassle, which I think is incredibly valuable.”

 

Is the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Card Good for Me?

The Premium Elite’s offer of 2x points on extensive dining and travel purchases is a solid rate, especially if you get up to 75% value boost with the Preferred Rewards program. 

But if you’re not a Preferred Rewards member, the base rewards rate doesn’t stack up to its competitors, especially with the steep $550 price tag. The fact you can’t transfer points to airline and hotel partners can be a big let-down for those looking to maximize points. 

But the real value lies in the card’s perks, such as statement credits, travel protection, airport lounge access, and up to four Priority Pass™ Select Memberships. If you take full advantage of these benefits, you can offset the annual fee and make some savings.

Apply for the Bank of America Premium Elite credit card here

 

FAQ

 

What credit score do you need for a Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite card?

To snag the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite card, aim for a credit score in the good to excellent range—around 670 or higher. And you can boost your chances even more with a FICO score of 700 or above. But it’s not just about the score—your income, existing debts, and overall financial health also play a role.

 

Is there a limit on Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite card?

The minimum credit limit for the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite credit card is $10,000. But there isn’t a predefined cap, and your spending limit can adjusted based on your creditworthiness and spending habits. Some cardholders reportedly get up to $50,000.

 

Is the Bank of America Premium Elite a metal card?

Yes, the Bank of America Premium Elite is a metal credit card with a simple and sleek black design.

 

Is the Bank of America Rewards program worth it?

For Bank of America customers, the Preferred Rewards program can bring interest rate boosters on savings accounts, savings on mortgages, and discounts on auto loans and new home equity.

With a $20,000 monthly spend, you can get around $594 worth of benefits a year and $1,020 for a $50,000 monthly spend. Plus, you get a 25% to 75% points boost on the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit cards.

However, if your spending doesn’t align with the program’s focus areas, it might not deliver as much value. It’s all about weighing the perks against your spending patterns to decide if it’s the right fit.

 

Our Methodology

Our credit card reviews aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of both quantitative and qualitative factors. The quantitative analysis focuses on the financial costs and benefits associated with each card, including interest rates, fees, rewards programs, cash back offers, and other monetary perks. However, we also consider qualitative aspects that impact the everyday use and value of the card. These include the simplicity of the application process, the structure of the rewards program, the likelihood of utilizing certain card features, and the suitability of the card for frequent or infrequent use. Our On FIRE rating system allows for quick comparisons between cards within a particular category. When choosing a new credit card, consumers should weigh the quantitative dollar amounts along with qualitative ease-of-use factors to select the best overall option for their needs.

Terms and Restrictions Apply
Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. POF does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Credit Card Providers determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval, you should review each Provider's terms and conditions to determine which card works for you and your personal financial situation.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

 

User-Generated Content Disclosure: Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

A generous and temporarily increased welcome bonus of 80,000 points & Peloton membership credits on the Chase Sapphire Preferred & premium card perks with the Chase Sapphire Reserve!


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