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You’ve applied for the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and were accepted. Once you receive it in the mail, what should you do next?
1. Plan your next vacation over dinner
Cardholders receive 2 points per $1 on travel and dining and 1.5 points per dollar on other spending. Enjoy a leisurely dinner and plan an exciting vacation to make the most of these points. In addition to the bonus points, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card comes with travel benefits like trip delay and cancellation/interruption protection, lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, emergency evacuation and transportation coverage, as well as rental car collision coverage.
Low on vacation time for the year? Plan a staycation. Bank of America has a generous definition of travel spending. In addition to hotels, airlines and travel agencies, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 for tourist attractions like art galleries, amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, aquariums, zoos and more. Even if a staycation isn’t in the cards for you, earn 2 points per $1 on your morning commute, as toll fees and parking are also coded as travel.
2. Join the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program
Arguably the best perk for cardholders is the bonus perk for Bank of America customers with larger balances.
If you have a $20,000 combined balance, you can sign up for Bank of America Preferred Rewards. You’ll get a 25% boost on your rewards points, resulting in 2.5 points per $1 for travel and restaurants and 1.85 points per $1 on all other spending. For those with balances over $50,000, the reward point boost is 50%, for 3 points per $1 on travel and dining and 2.25 on everything else. Those with balances over $100,000 receive a whooping 75% rewards points boost, making their travel and restaurant spending worth 3.5 points per $1 and all other spending 2.625 points per $1.
To receive these perks, you need to be a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. If you have an eligible Bank of America personal checking account and 3 months with an average combined balance of $20,000 or greater in qualifying Merrill Lynch, Merrill Edge and Bank of America accounts, you can enroll in Preferred Rewards online.
Once you qualify for a tier, you’ll maintain it for 12 months. If you meet the minimum qualifications for the next tier, Bank of America will automatically bump you up and you’ll see the bonus reflected in your next statement.
3. Get a generous sign-up bonus
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card has an annual fee of $95 and has the following sign-up bonus: Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. You can redeem this sizable bonus a number of different ways.
Once you have at least 2,500 points, you can receive cash back to your statement or into your Bank of America account, deposit your credit to eligible Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch accounts, redeem for gift cards or use your points at the Bank of America Travel Center.
4. Apply for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card comes with a $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee credit, valid every four years. Frequent travelers know the benefit of TSA Precheck and Global Entry when it comes to speeding through security and shaving precious time off waiting in lines at the airport. Plus, the $100 reimbursement for this will cover the card’s $95 annual fee for the first year.
5. Bring extra luggage and get paid to have this card
If the TSA Precheck or Global Entry fee credit wasn’t enough to entice you, there’s also an annual $100 credit for airline incidental fees. This means you can bring extra bags on your trip, upgrade your seat, enjoy in-flight purchases, or relax in the airline lounge, knowing these fees will be covered with the $100 credit.
This perk, as well as your 2 points per $1 earned on travel, applies to airlines with specific merchant category codes, so be sure to read up before assuming your bag fee will be covered. The $100 credit is automatically applied to applicable purchases each year, essentially eliminating the expense of the $95 annual fee.
» Learn more: Airline credit cards that offer free checked bags
Still not sure if the Bank of America Premium Rewards card is for you? Look at our reviews of top travel credit cards to see other options.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
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