Bank of America offers a handful of rewards credit cards worth considering solely on the merits of the rewards you can earn. They offer strong cash back categories that many consumers will appreciate.
When you add in some of the unique benefits that Bank of America offers on some or all of their credit cards, it makes the decision to apply for one of their credit cards much easier. Here are some of the best Bank of America credit card benefits you should know about.
Museums on Us
Love visiting museums but hate the entry fees? Bank of America’s Museums on Us credit card benefit can help. Simply present your Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, or U.S. Trust credit card or debit card with a matching photo ID and you’ll get one free admission to participating museums.
This benefit only works on the first full weekend of every month and only for the named cardholder. Check out Bank of America’s directory of participating museums to see if there is one near you. Keep in mind, special exhibitions, ticketed shows, and fundraising events aren’t included in this benefit.
Choose your top cash back category
Bank of America recently revamped its rewards program. Now, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card allows you to pick your top earning cash back category.
You’ll earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice. You can choose from the following categories:
- Online shopping
- Drug stores
- Home improvement/furnishings
What makes this feature even better is you can switch the category once each calendar month. This allows you to optimize your rewards based on your anticipated spending each month.
This card also offers 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Unfortunately, the 3% and 2% cash back is limited to the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter. Thankfully, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases, including those over the $2,500 limit.
Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program allows you to earn bonus points
25% – 75% bonus on your rewards
If you want to earn even more cash back or credit card rewards, you’ll love the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. This program offers bonus credit card rewards based on your combined qualifying balances in Bank of America banking and/or Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts.
There are currently three tiers based on your balances which are as follows:
- Gold – $20,000 to $49,999
- Platinum – $50,000 to $99,999
- Platinum Honors – $100,000+
If you qualify for the Gold tier, you’ll get a 25% bonus on your rewards. The bonus increases to 50% for the Platinum tier and 75% for the Platinum Honors tier.
The cards that qualify for this bonus are:
Non-rewards credit cards, business credit cards, and cards branded with other companies that Bank of America issues do not qualify.
10% Bank of America customer bonus points
If you want to earn bonus rewards but don’t have enough money to qualify for Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program, one of their other credit cards can help.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers 10% bonus points on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America checking or savings account.
Of course, if you do qualify for the Preferred Rewards program, the higher 25% to 75% bonus will apply instead of the 10% bonus.
Flexible rewards redemption options on certain cards
Depending on the particular credit card you choose, you may have a few options to redeem the credit card rewards you earn. Here are a few highlights to consider.
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card allows you to redeem your cash back for:
- Statement credits or deposits directly to your Bank of America checking or savings account or for credit to eligible accounts with Merrill Lynch or Merrill Edge
- Contributions to a qualifying 529 account with Merrill Lynch or Merrill Edge or for a check starting at $25
- Automatic redemptions into an eligible Bank of America, Merrill Lynch or Merrill Edge account starting at $25.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card redemption options are as follows:
- Travel statement credits starting at 2,500 points for a $25 credit
- Gift cards starting at 3,125 points for a $25 gift card
- Cash starting at 4,166 points for a $25 cash reward
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards credit card offers many ways to redeem your points including:
- Booking travel through the Bank of America Travel Center at a value of a penny per point
- Cash through direct deposit, 529 college savings plan or statement credit at a penny per point value
- Gift cards starting at a value of a penny per point
Sign-up bonus offers
The three major Bank of America rewards credit cards currently offer sign-up bonuses that can help you earn a bunch of points quickly. When you apply and get approved for one of their credit cards, you have a limited time after approval to spend a certain amount of money to earn a large bonus.
Here are the current sign-up bonuses available that you may want to consider.
- The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card currently offers a $200 cash rewards bonus for spending at least $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days from opening your account.
- You can earn 25,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 within the first 90 days with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card.
- Finally, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards credit card’s sign-up bonus is 50,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 within 90 days from opening your account. Unfortunately, this card does come with a $95 annual fee that is not waived in the first year.
Travel statement credits
The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card offers two travel statement credits you can take advantage of. First, you can get up to a $100 airport security statement credit once every four years to offset the costs for signing up for TSA Precheck or Global Entry.
Additionally, you can get up to $100 in travel statement credits to offset airline incidental purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services and airline lounge fees. These credits should be automatically applied to your account once the charges post, but double check your statements to make sure they’re applied.
Travel benefits you might actually use
Bank of America credit cards offer a host of travel benefits, but the specific benefits offered on each credit card vary. Typically, you have to make your purchase with a qualifying card to get these benefits.
Trip delay reimbursement
If you’ve ever had a delay on a trip, trip delay reimbursement would have come in handy. This benefit provides up to $500 per ticket purchased for you and your eligible family members.
The benefit covers reasonable expenses if a covered trip is delayed due to a covered hazard for more than twelve hours. This can really help out if a flight you purchased with your qualifying credit card is delayed and results in a 12 hour or more overnight delay.
Trip cancellation coverage
Another super helpful feature is trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage. This benefit offers up to $5,000 per person, per trip for unused portions of prepaid and non-refundable travel expenses such as passenger fares, tours and hotels.
This benefit only kicks in if the cancellation or interruption is for a covered reason.
Baggage delay coverage
If your trip is canceled or interrupted, your baggage might get lost, too. Baggage delay coverage offers up to $100 per day for up to five days when your bags are delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for more than six hours. The coverage is for essential items including clothing and is secondary to any carrier based coverage.
Sadly, sometimes your luggage ends up permanently lost. In this case, lost luggage reimbursement covers your luggage and its contents if they are lost or stolen due to theft or misdirection by the common carrier subject to policy limits and exclusions.
Some of the other travel benefits offered include:
- Common carrier travel accident insurance
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage
When you make purchases, your Bank of America credit card can help protect them. In particular, the purchase security feature can repair, replace or reimburse you if an eligible item you purchased using your card is stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase. This coverage amount is up to $10,000 per claim.
Bank of America also offers a warranty manager service which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty for up to an additional year on eligible items purchased with your card. This service allows you to register your receipt and warranty info for warranties of three years or less.
The return protection benefit reimburses you for the cost of an eligible item if you’re dissatisfied with the item within 90 days of your purchase and the retailer won’t accept your return attempt. This coverage is on up to $250 per item and $1,000 per year. Items returned must be in like-new condition and in good working order.
If you’re renting a car, certain Bank of America credit cards offer auto rental collision damage waiver. This feature provides you reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft, but it is supplemental and in excess of other insurance coverage you may have such as your primary car insurance. In order to qualify for this benefit, you must decline the collision or loss damage waiver offered by the auto rental company.
Additionally, Bank of America offers a roadside dispatch program in case you’re driving your car or a rental car and you need assistance. The program can provide emergency assistance, towing and locksmith services, but you have to pay for the cost of the service provided.
Free FICO Score
All eligible Bank of America credit card customers get access to their FICO credit score for free. In particular, you get your TransUnion FICO Score 8 version. You can easily view your FICO credit score and its history in your online banking account.
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to having a Bank of America credit card. Carefully consider which perks are most important to you before applying for one of their credit cards as not all perks are available on every Bank of America credit card.
Once you’ve found the perfect fit for you, apply today. If you’re approved, you can start earning rewards and using the perks you qualify for as a Bank of America cardholder.