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Considering BofA Premium Rewards

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Senior Contributor

Re: Considering BofA Premium Rewards


@FinStar wrote:

@wasCB14 wrote:

@the_old_curmudgeon wrote:

I can't speak to what an advisor (was it a Merrill advisor attached to your local BoA branch or someone in Jacksonville FL?) may have told you, but I did have to wait the full 3 months even though I had moved more than $300K in new money into Merrill via a single transaction. 


But presumably you lacked any sort of asset account at BofA...no checking or savings to have already gotten the 3-month timer started?

 

I can test when PH goes into effect by setting up a trade order (specifying the stock, price, and quantity...everything short of actually hitting "place order") and see when they start to charge $0 instead of $6.95.

 

Even with them giving me $600, I'm not paying the latter when the idea is to lower costs and Fidelity/Schwab charge less.

 

Does BofA send reliable prequal offers for PR? They've sent me via USPS ads for CR and TR offers for a long time.


IME, before getting approved for Premium Rewards, I never saw one, not even online under the Special Offers & Deals which is usually where some CC pre-approved offers display.  I've been able to nab others via that method such as a biz CC several months ago, but never saw one for PR.   Most of the mailers are usually pre-selected or standard invitations, but the BoA pre-approval ones are the unicorns. 


I received two of these emails this morning; also the mobile app has been showing me a pre-approval for the Premium Rewards card a few times in the last week (its only showing pre-approvals for the other card currently).  All this after opening an Advantage Plus Banking account and a Merrill Edge cash management account three weeks ago and transferring a significant amount of cash.  I've also requested transfer of a an asset (securities) account from J.P. Morgan to BofA but they seemed to have screwed up the execution of that transfer. 

 

If these are genuine pre-approvals I might pull the trigger on the Premium Rewards. Prior to opening these new accounts my only relationship with BofA was my BofA/University of Michigan Cash Rewards card that currently has a $85,000 credit limit.  So I'm kinda reluctant to open another card since its possible they will reduce the limit on the current card to fund the new card.

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-19 at 6.03.30 PM.png





Message 31 of 53
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Senior Contributor

Re: Considering BofA Premium Rewards

So when I click through "Show Me My Offers" link from the emails it shows me offers for all four BofA cards; the PR offer is for 50,000 points for $3,000 spend.  Is that the standard offer?  By comparison, clicking on "Special Offers" in my online account only show offers for cash rewards, travel rewards, and the basic BankAmericard cards.  

 

Another reason for my reluctance to apply is that BofA appears to make it hard to pay my existing credit card from an external account (checking account at Chase).  I noticed that since I opened the Advantage Plus account, they removed the ability to pay from a non-BofA account and I had difficulty paying my card which was due yesterday and had to request an e-bill for the card account.  Previously when I paid my BofA card, it automatically populated the payment form with the two external bank accounts I had linked and I could choose where to pull the payment from.  Since opening the Advantage account, the only option available now is to pay from the Advantage account.  Further, it took 2 days to credit my card account with a transfer from the Advantage account; with other banks like Chase transfers between accounts are instantaneous.  Luckily I tend to pay my bills a few days before their Due Dates so I caught this oddity early enough.





Message 32 of 53
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Moderator

Re: Considering BofA Premium Rewards


@MaizeandBlue wrote:

If these are genuine pre-approvals I might pull the trigger on the Premium Rewards. Prior to opening these new accounts my only relationship with BofA was my BofA/University of Michigan Cash Rewards card that currently has a $85,000 credit limit.  So I'm kinda reluctant to open another card since its possible they will reduce the limit on the current card to fund the new card.


If they do reallocate, something tells me they'll give you an extra $14,900 on top of it.  Smiley Wink

 

Yes, the 50,000 points for $3k spend has been the only offer that I am aware of since the card was introduced 2 years ago.

Message 33 of 53
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Senior Contributor

Re: Considering BofA Premium Rewards


@K-in-Boston wrote:

@MaizeandBlue wrote:

If these are genuine pre-approvals I might pull the trigger on the Premium Rewards. Prior to opening these new accounts my only relationship with BofA was my BofA/University of Michigan Cash Rewards card that currently has a $85,000 credit limit.  So I'm kinda reluctant to open another card since its possible they will reduce the limit on the current card to fund the new card.


If they do reallocate, something tells me they'll give you an extra $14,900 on top of it.  Smiley Wink

 

Yes, the 50,000 points for $3k spend has been the only offer that I am aware of since the card was introduced 2 years ago.


If the "extra $14,900" were a guarantee I'd take it in a heartbeat Smiley Happy

As of now I'll think about it overnight, and if I app it will be during business hours so I can call in if needed.

 

Does Merrill offer credit cards or are they all managed through BofA now?





Message 34 of 53
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Moderator

Re: Considering BofA Premium Rewards


@MaizeandBlue wrote:

@K-in-Boston wrote:

@MaizeandBlue wrote:

If these are genuine pre-approvals I might pull the trigger on the Premium Rewards. Prior to opening these new accounts my only relationship with BofA was my BofA/University of Michigan Cash Rewards card that currently has a $85,000 credit limit.  So I'm kinda reluctant to open another card since its possible they will reduce the limit on the current card to fund the new card.


If they do reallocate, something tells me they'll give you an extra $14,900 on top of it.  Smiley Wink

 

Yes, the 50,000 points for $3k spend has been the only offer that I am aware of since the card was introduced 2 years ago.


If the "extra $14,900" were a guarantee I'd take it in a heartbeat Smiley Happy

As of now I'll think about it overnight, and if I app it will be during business hours so I can call in if needed.

 

Does Merrill offer credit cards or are they all managed through BofA now?


Unfortunately, the Merrill+ is no longer available for new applications.  If you ever decide to become a Private Wealth Management client, the Merrill Lynch Octave AmEx may be offered (last known minimum required investments/deposits ~$10MM).  And, it is a metal card Smiley Tongue

Message 35 of 53
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Senior Contributor

Re: Considering BofA Premium Rewards


@FinStar wrote:

@MaizeandBlue wrote:

@K-in-Boston wrote:

@MaizeandBlue wrote:

If these are genuine pre-approvals I might pull the trigger on the Premium Rewards. Prior to opening these new accounts my only relationship with BofA was my BofA/University of Michigan Cash Rewards card that currently has a $85,000 credit limit.  So I'm kinda reluctant to open another card since its possible they will reduce the limit on the current card to fund the new card.


If they do reallocate, something tells me they'll give you an extra $14,900 on top of it.  Smiley Wink

 

Yes, the 50,000 points for $3k spend has been the only offer that I am aware of since the card was introduced 2 years ago.


If the "extra $14,900" were a guarantee I'd take it in a heartbeat Smiley Happy

As of now I'll think about it overnight, and if I app it will be during business hours so I can call in if needed.

 

Does Merrill offer credit cards or are they all managed through BofA now?


Unfortunately, the Merrill+ is no longer available for new applications.  If you ever decide to become a Private Wealth Management client, the Merrill Lynch Octave AmEx may be offered (last known minimum required investments/deposits ~$10MM).  And, it is a metal card Smiley Tongue


LOL...I can only dream





Message 36 of 53
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Valued Contributor

Re: Considering BofA Premium Rewards

Thanks for all the additional info,  @K-in-Boston!  That was very helpful.

 

I see now that I misread the Travel Rewards disclosure in terms of purchasing versus redeeming, so I appreciate that clarification.

 

It’s interesting that you were approved for Premium Rewards with credit cards and a checking account, since I had the impression it often took investments too.  I wonder if that is still the case today?

 

Also good to know that BofA hasn't CLD your $90K Travel Rewards card with no swipes in 12 years and only BTs, which I assume didn’t use the majority of that limit at one time. 

 

I have heard on the forums about your ‘infamous’ $99.9K limit but are there others who have hit that ceiling also?  Even with Merrill investments?  I know about @MaizeandBlue having an $85K limit although it sounds like he had heavy usage to drive the limit higher.  @CreditCuriosity was denied increase above $61.5 on a Merrill card. hit a $68.9K limit with them and has been denied two increases since February.  I apparently hit an $70K total limit with high FICOs, low DTI, thick file, and high income (over $350K) but that was without any current accounts with them and no current heavy spend or BTs.  There's some very similar numbers here from $60K to $99.9K that seems to be unusual to exceed, although I don't know how many of those are one card versus multiple cards.  I'm just wondering how much relationship factors into this versus income versus the depth of relationship (only credit vs banking vs different levels of investments).  I’m wondering if I invested and they approved me for PR if they would borrow from my CR limit to fund PR or give me a higher total limit.

 



Updated 10/08/2020
Total Length of Credit = 35+ years; AoOA (Currently open accounts) = 27+ years;
AAoA = 8+ years; AoYA = less than 1 year (Aug 2020)
Total Open Credit Lines Over $538K. Utilization Less Than 1%.
Inquiries until Nov 2020 (TU:3 -- EQ:4 -- EX:9)
New Accounts: 3/6 months; 8/12 months; 12/24 months (as of 10/15/20)
*Hover cursor over each card to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 37 of 53
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Established Contributor

Re: Considering BofA Premium Rewards


@MaizeandBlue wrote:

 

Does Merrill offer credit cards or are they all managed through BofA now?


It appears to be managed by BoA now. If you are with Merrill Lynch, you'll get a PR card with extra wording saying Merrill Lynch with a small picture of the bull. The PR card (in my opinion) is already a horrible design of offset words. Mine now has another row of offset words saying Merrill Lynch.

 

Funnily enough I was sent an email 3 days ago from my wealth advisor about applying for the Merrill Lynch PR card. I responded by telling him I already have it and that the design is horrible and it would have been better with the old design on the Merrill Lynch card. He said my opinion is shared with many others and he hopes they'll change it in the future. I won't hold my breath on BoA.


Message 38 of 53
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Established Contributor

Re: Considering BofA Premium Rewards


@wasCB14 wrote:

As I look forward 12 months, I find I have a lot of what I'll call "perishable travel":

 

- Marriott's $300 credit and annual night will renew in 6 months

- Hyatt's annual night will renew in about a month

- IHG's annual night will expire in 9 months

- Delta's companion pass will arrive in 9 months

- CSR's $300 travel credit renews in 9 months

- Schwab Platinum's "airfare extras" credit will renew in 3 months

 

I don't think I'll have trouble using these, so there's not really a need to close any of them.

 

But when I think in terms of:

 

Total travel

(less) certificates and credits

(less) travel at independent places, or with no reasonably-priced award availability

(equals) travel with points

 

With various accumulated miles/points and lots of MRs/URs available for transfer, it seems like it will be a while before the MRs and URs I earn today actually translate to award flights and hotel stays. So even though I have gotten a bunch of award redemptions at good cpp point values, I think I may get a BofA Premium Rewards card in the next few months.

 

I opened a Merrill Edge account yesterday which will give me a $600 bonus (moving shares, not cash which I know will yield next to nothing at BofA), and a Premium Rewards card would give me another $500 and give 2.625% cash back. So even if I go back to earning MRs and URs, I'll still have nice cash bonus.

 

I would not necessarily close any of my AF travel cards. They have given me a good value. I'd still want them for perks and credits, and my revenue flights/hotels and Uber spend would keep CSR worthwhile. I'd just move my Costco spend and off-category spend to a Premium Rewards card.

 

It's possible that by earning more cash back and fewer MRs/URs I'll lack the miles needed for some exotic premium redemption, but when dealing with other people, so much travel ends up getting booked at the last minute (when award availability can be limited). At present, I feel like I'd rather have cash I can spend or invest rather than points that I may not actually get around to using for a while, the value of which can always change. It's not that I dislike miles at all...it's that I'm uneasy with earning more miles when I already have all I will likely use in the near future...and cash is such a readily available alternative for much of my spend.

 

Can anyone see a flaw in my thinking?


Looks well thought out. We are platinum honors members for going on a year. A couple things that may help you. I have not read all 4 pages here, so I apologize for any redundancy. 

1. Open a BofA Advantage Relationship Checking Acct. ASAP. Your 90 day clock doesn't start until you open it. We got a $300 SUB but that was 11 months ago. If you can open the account inside the bank you may get it too. YMMV.

2. Merrill Edge offers $900 cash for $100K deposited often. The 90 day average is 90 days, whether you deposit a million or a billion. Unless you have a previous current personal banking relationship, then it can be shorter. 

3. BofA cash rewards cards. The 3% becomes 5.25%. We got 3 of them to cover most catagories. My Paypal acct points to BofA cash rewards. Ebay gets 5.25 off as does any retail that takes Paypal.(even some charitable donations got full rebate) 

4. Costco online offers Cash/Shop cards. We buy them in lots of $500 with our BofA cash card set to Online Shopping. Everything is 5.25% off at Costco including gasoline. We never refill the cash card, always buy new. 

 

I think year-to-date, we've recieved almost $2000 just in SUB's from BofA. No doubt there's tax consequences, but free money is free money. 

Good luck! 

Message 39 of 53
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Super Contributor

Re: Considering BofA Premium Rewards


@Turbobuick wrote:


Looks well thought out. We are platinum honors members for going on a year. A couple things that may help you. I have not read all 4 pages here, so I apologize for any redundancy. 

1. Open a BofA Advantage Relationship Checking Acct. ASAP. Your 90 day clock doesn't start until you open it. We got a $300 SUB but that was 11 months ago. If you can open the account inside the bank you may get it too. YMMV.

2. Merrill Edge offers $900 cash for $100K deposited often. The 90 day average is 90 days, whether you deposit a million or a billion. Unless you have a previous current personal banking relationship, then it can be shorter. 

3. BofA cash rewards cards. The 3% becomes 5.25%. We got 3 of them to cover most catagories. My Paypal acct points to BofA cash rewards. Ebay gets 5.25 off as does any retail that takes Paypal.(even some charitable donations got full rebate) 

4. Costco online offers Cash/Shop cards. We buy them in lots of $500 with our BofA cash card set to Online Shopping. Everything is 5.25% off at Costco including gasoline. We never refill the cash card, always buy new. 

 

I think year-to-date, we've recieved almost $2000 just in SUB's from BofA. No doubt there's tax consequences, but free money is free money. 

Good luck! 


1. I'll see what promos I can find and get on opening one.

2. Unfortunately I wasn't aware of that but did get a $600 offer I had often seen before. The Edge account is already open and funded.

3. I may get a CR card. I've passed on it so far due to the smaller bonus, but haven't really looked since the old gas/groceries/other days.

4. I'll look into that. My Costco takes contactless payments and Samsung/Chase Pay on Freedom should cover me for at least October.

 

Thanks!

Spend: BofA PR + WWFCR, BBP, Schwab Platinum, CFF+CF, Costco, Discover
Perks: IHG49, Hyatt75, Delta Platinum, "Old" SPG95
SD/AAoA Ballast: Arrival, CFU, DC
Upgrade/downgrade games: BCE, EDP
SUB: JetBlue, Amex Platinum
Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 40 of 53
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