Bank of America Premium Rewards card

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hmw
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Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by hmw » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:53 pm

I just got an offer for the card in the mail. It looks like a really good card with good flexible reward if I get to the platinum honors (+100K deposited with B of A/Merrill Edge). We primarily use capital one venture card with 2% back, with a $59 annual fee.

I think if I get the B of A Premium rewards card, and get to the platinum honor level with B of A, the new B of A card can become our primary card.

I have no banking relationship with B of A right now. It appears that I will need to open a checking account with them, and open a brokerage account at Merrill Edge. I can just put 100k into Merrill Edge, and buy a ETF and leave it there. There are bonuses for opening checking account and Merrill Edge. They look like very good deals to me.

Has anyone done this? Any experience with opening/maintaining accounts with B of A and Merrill Edge? Thanks

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tooluser
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by tooluser » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:50 pm

Look for the "Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy" thread elsewhere on this site - lots of info there.

My own experience was that I was already a longtime BofA customer :happy, and decided I would also open a Merrill Edge account to get the cash bonus and other rewards you mention. The ME account opening and funding from another brokerage did not go very smoothly. :x ME made some trivial but meaningful mistakes along the way that delayed my account (mostly meaningful typographical errors in data entry). ME appoints an "on-boarding advisor" to your new account, and that was helpful in getting issues resolved :happy once they occurred :oops: .

It seems to have all worked out after about 2 1/2 months of back and forth, and I expect to be happy enough going forward :|. Free checks, free safe deposit box, free ATM usage anywhere, and extra credit card rewards at BofA :P. A cash bonus in 90 days and free trades immediately at ME (but not consistently until my average daily balance goes up to my actual daily balance) :?. ME grants the initial free trades for 90 days upon opening the account, but given the 75 days it took to fund the account, this is a very limited window and it will take another month to get monthly free trades. :annoyed

So basically, lots of "gotchas". I expect they will cheapen the deal over time, and that will make me re-evaluate the deal at some point in the future. After all, no business these days values a loyal customer. Chasing these deals adds complexity to ones life and financial plans. One must determine whether it is worth it, and that may take some experimentation. :confused Be prepared for it to be a temporary situation.
"A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness." -- Albert Einstein, just before he won the Nobel Prize.

beehappy
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by beehappy » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:33 am

My experience with ME was very smooth. Only hiccup was my on-board advisor didn't tell ME that I couldn't trade with money from a newly linked account for 7 days after linking. As a result, the cash I moved to ME after linking that account, using electronic transfer, sat in cash for 7 business days before I could use it to trade. Other brokerages have similar restrictions, but they generally restrict withdrawal, snd so you can trade with the funds. This is only the case the first time you use electronic transfer from a new account. My on-board advisor said that wouldn't have been the issue if I used wire transfer (ME would have reimbursed the fee). And it's not been an issue with subsequent electronic transfers.

There are no gotchas that I'm aware of. BofA premium rewards is a great deal.

LifeIsGood
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by LifeIsGood » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:24 am

I had several problems with BofA and Merril Edge. It took several emails before they finally credited the correct bonus ($900) to my account . I also tried to get the $300 for opening a BofA checking account. It required a couple of direct deposits in the first 60 days. It is virtually impossible to change Social Security direct deposits in less than 60 days. I called them to explain but they weren't sympathetic.

student
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by student » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:20 am

Here is my experience with Merrill Edge. A.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=214753

Here is my recent experience with BoA. F. (Overall, C)

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=232483

radiowave
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by radiowave » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:48 am

One of the nice features of this card (and BoA) is ShopSafe. This allows you via the bank web site to generate a new one time CC number to use for online purchases. If the number gets hacked, it can't be used again.

Overall, my experience with BoA, ME, and the rewards card have been mixed. I've been at the bank for nearly two decades and it helps keep my credit score high for length of credit history. I was going to fill ME for the full 100K but never got around to it, felt the web interface was difficult to use and prefer mutual funds to ETFs. Also, I have my other credit cards to text me as soon as any charge is made - a nice feature. But BofA will only do that for online purchases. Not a big deal. Also, I have a love-hate relationship with BoA. They nickel and dime you for a lot of things which means you have to keep on top of things as the posts above show. OTOH, I do like having a brick and mortar building to go to especially to bring my coins every couple of months and they seem very friendly when I go to the local branch. Thinking ahead, I may just join the local credit union and drop BoA to simplify things.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by JDCarpenter » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:46 pm

I'm in the "it was a breeze" camp. We had a barebones checking account with BoA. Had a large sum in it for a short time to fund a real estate purchase that didn't happen. When the money was sitting there, they alerted me to the rewards program, which I then funded by buying a couple of etfs at M.E. I don't think I ever heard from an advisor--if I did, it was a non-event. (this was five years ago m/l)

It is our primary card for everything not "travel" and "restaurant/dining." (Sapphire Reserve fills that task.). The 2.625 points and easy redemption is nice. So too, if we ever use the HELOC that we set up just prior to retirement, the rates are a bit better than we otherwise would get.
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travellight
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by travellight » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:58 pm

I also had an easy experience. I don't know if I am getting 1.65 or 2.65x. I put 200k in ME but don't have a ME credit card.

I don't like BofA web interface. It's not easy to set up autopsy on credit cards.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:49 pm

My experience with BOA/Merrill has been very positive. I have received several bonuses over the years, always accurate and on-time. Most transfers can be performed online from the web site. I have said that if bonuses go away, I'd consolidate at Edge just for the Preferred Rewards.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

j0nnyg1984
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:00 pm

I love it. Have had the highest tier status for a year or two now. I put ~$10k of work expenses on my card monthly, so I really rake in the cash back. I moved my tIRA from vanguard for a bonus - a year later I moved my rIRA for another bonus.


The setup currently cannot be beaten anywhere else.

hmw
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by hmw » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:39 pm

Thanks to everyone who replied.

Is it absolutely necessary to open a checking account with B of A to get the platinum honor level? Can I just open a ME account with 100k?

There is an offer to get $300 bonus to open a checking account. But it is a targeted offer. I vaguely remember that I actually got the offer in the mail several months ago. I threw it away. :oops:

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:07 pm

hmw wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:39 pm
Thanks to everyone who replied.

Is it absolutely necessary to open a checking account with B of A to get the platinum honor level? Can I just open a ME account with 100k?

There is an offer to get $300 bonus to open a checking account. But it is a targeted offer. I vaguely remember that I actually got the offer in the mail several months ago. I threw it away. :oops:
Yes, a checking account is necessary. You aren't required to use it much. I put in an initial $25 that is still there. If would contact them and explain about the offer letter, see if they'll still give it to you.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

student
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by student » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:07 pm

hmw wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:39 pm
Thanks to everyone who replied.

Is it absolutely necessary to open a checking account with B of A to get the platinum honor level? Can I just open a ME account with 100k?

There is an offer to get $300 bonus to open a checking account. But it is a targeted offer. I vaguely remember that I actually got the offer in the mail several months ago. I threw it away. :oops:
It is my understanding that you must have a checking account.

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JDCarpenter
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Re: Bank of America Premium Rewards card

Post by JDCarpenter » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:09 pm

hmw wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:39 pm
...

Is it absolutely necessary to open a checking account with B of A to get the platinum honor level? Can I just open a ME account with 100k?

...
That's my understanding. From the FAQs:
To [obtain and] maintain your status, you need an eligible Bank of America personal checking account and a three-month average combined balance of at least $20,000 for the Gold tier, $50,000 for Platinum tier, or $100,000 for Platinum Honors tier in qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch® investment accounts.
https://info.bankofamerica.com/preferred-rewards/faqs/

ETA: And further down, in the first part of the grey box with fine print: You are eligible to enroll in the Preferred Rewards program if you have an active, eligible Bank of America® personal checking account and maintain a 3-month average combined balance ...
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