Bank of America has recently clarified its guidelines on who can apply for one of their cards and have a chance of approval. Unfortunately, I have been approved for more cards in the last two years than their rules allow. (3 for non-depositors or 7 for depositors with BofA or Merrill)
I wish I qualified for the Bank of America Premium Rewards card. It pays a basic 1.5% on regular spend and 2% on travel and dining, BUT, if you have a substantial deposit relationship with the Bank or their affiliated investment firm Merrill Lynch those percentages go up to 2.625% or 3.5% for dining and travel.
The annual fee is $95 and you get a $100 airline fee credit each year to offset the cost in addition to reimbursement of Global Entry or TSA Precheck every four years. There are also no foreign transaction fees and the points you earn (worth 1 cent each) never expire.
I have my IRA with Merrill Lynch, bank with BofA, and qualify for the highest bonus as Platinum Honors depositor, BUT I have the wrong card. I hold the Travel Rewards card which only allows points redemptions to reimburse charges to the card for eligible travel purchases. The Premium Rewards card pays the same high return but allows you to redeem into a checking or savings account with Bank of America or your Merrill Lynch investment accounts.
I’d recommend the Premium Rewards card with its 50,000 point ($500) bonus over the Travel Rewards card (25,000 point bonus) not only for the higher signup but also the more flexible redemption options.
I personally struggle with the idea of trying a product change with no signup bonus. That’s just against my frugal nature.
Source: frugal travel guy