Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
User avatar
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 5816
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat May 12, 2018 11:30 am

Funancials wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:03 am
Having said that, I’ve crunched the numbers and I would be better off (if I favored optimization over convenience) by spreading out my accounts. For example, investing directly with Vanguard, using a Chase CC and opening an online savings with Synchrony, GS or Ally. But, having everything in one place keeps it simple for me.
How would direct investing with Vanguard save money? Do you shun ETFs?
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

hale2
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:54 pm

Re: Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Post by hale2 » Sat May 12, 2018 1:23 pm

fourwheelcycle wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:48 am

We do not use BoA's Merrill Edge programs at all, since they cannot hold Vanguard's Admiral mutual funds and we don't use any ETFs.

You might want to take a look at ME again. I transferred VTSAX and VTMSX from Vanguard to ME. Both are Admiral funds. I don't know if they will accept all Admiral funds but they took these. I don't plan to sell any shares so I'm not worried about any transaction costs. I just plan to leave them there to keep me qualified for Preferred Rewards.

LeanHogs
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 5:15 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by LeanHogs » Sat May 12, 2018 5:19 pm

Sfynx wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:16 pm
as a prior merrill edge employee i'd enlighten you to a few things:

-you can get higher bonuses. the bank will pay bonuses on 250k,500k, 1 million. the usual rule of thumb is a household could receive 2500$ in bonuses a year. (2500 was the bonus on 1 million, 1200 on 500k at the time) i've seen them also give bonuses on 350k etc...

-in california, they were giving .25 and .5% off your new mortgage rate (yes the rate, not a rate credit) if you transferred over 250k or 500k, this was on top of the merrill sign up bonuses. this was a no brainer for clients with an etrade or TDA account since they got cheaper stock trades, and good savings on the mortgage.

-spousal IRA cannot be added for PR benefit rewards, but you can sign a spousal IRA POA and it will merge the spouse IRA on your online, so you can see all the accounts under one login.

-their cash card (the red one) has a signup bonus that gets the 75% boost, but the travel and the premium card signup bonuses do not get the boost.

i believe the OP from years ago asked about how they make money if you basically just use their credit cards and free etf trades and don't keep high balances in cash, they make money off margin loans on your positions to other clients.
What does this mean?

xerxes101
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:25 am

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by xerxes101 » Sat May 12, 2018 8:27 pm

-their cash card (the red one) has a signup bonus that gets the 75% boost, but the travel and the premium card signup bonuses do not get the boost.

I am not sure if this is true. I believe the travel card does get the 75% boost if you are a Preferred Rewards Platinum. Can someone verify that?

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 4305
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by whodidntante » Sat May 12, 2018 8:30 pm

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:27 pm
spacecadet610 wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:32 pm
i have preferred rewards but never bothered getting a safe deposit box. What are people storing in there?
Mine is full of gold and silver.
Diamonds are more space efficient, so you don't have to upgrade your box.

mageedge
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:39 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by mageedge » Sat May 12, 2018 8:52 pm

xerxes101 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:27 pm
-their cash card (the red one) has a signup bonus that gets the 75% boost, but the travel and the premium card signup bonuses do not get the boost.

I am not sure if this is true. I believe the travel card does get the 75% boost if you are a Preferred Rewards Platinum. Can someone verify that?
Sorry to say the the initial comment is accurate. The way the cash card works is that the Platinum Honors bonus(75%) gets applied to any redemption of accumulated rewards into your BOA bank account (or Merrill Edge CMA account). So, if I've accumulated $100 in rewards and redeem it into my BOA checking account the actual deposit will be $175.
When I got the Cash Rewards card it showed a $200 sign up bonus on the card but, once redeemed, that became a $350 deposit.

The Premium and Travel cards generate the Platinum Honors bonus points on each monthly statement. So the sign up bonus for each of those is the advertised amount (50k or 20k points) with no additional boost.

SlowMovingInvestor
Posts: 915
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Sun May 13, 2018 1:10 pm

I posted before about asking BoA for a small safe deposit box (which I should get free as I am Platinum Honors).

I tried 3-4 branches, but they all said they had none available. A little frustrating. I don't have status at another bank to get a free box. I did get callbacks from almost all branches asking me about investment possibilities -- etc. etc.

Funancials
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:09 pm

Re: Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Post by Funancials » Sun May 13, 2018 3:15 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 11:30 am
Funancials wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:03 am
Having said that, I’ve crunched the numbers and I would be better off (if I favored optimization over convenience) by spreading out my accounts. For example, investing directly with Vanguard, using a Chase CC and opening an online savings with Synchrony, GS or Ally. But, having everything in one place keeps it simple for me.
How would direct investing with Vanguard save money? Do you shun ETFs?
You’re spot on that I wouldn’t save money. I thought I would be “better off” with the ability to automate contributions into a portfolio.

NoHeat
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Post by NoHeat » Sun May 13, 2018 5:28 pm

hale2 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 1:23 pm
fourwheelcycle wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:48 am

We do not use BoA's Merrill Edge programs at all, since they cannot hold Vanguard's Admiral mutual funds and we don't use any ETFs.

You might want to take a look at ME again. I transferred VTSAX and VTMSX from Vanguard to ME. Both are Admiral funds. I don't know if they will accept all Admiral funds but they took these. I don't plan to sell any shares so I'm not worried about any transaction costs. I just plan to leave them there to keep me qualified for Preferred Rewards.
Merrill Edge accepted three out of my four Vanguard Admiral funds when I transferred accounts from Vanguard to ME in 2015.

Only one fund (Vanguard Emerging Markets Government Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares VGAVX) was turned away by ME as they said they could not hold it. No problem -- I just liquidated it from my Vanguard IRA and then bought a comparable Vanguard ETF at ME using the proceeds, with no commission or fee at either end.

Three years later, I’m still happy with my move from Vanguard to ME. It provided me the banking and credit-card perks of BoA’s Platinum Honors level, which are better than I could find elsewhere. At ME I like the free research reports, including Morningstar's. The cash bonus for opening the ME accounts was nice, too.

fareastwarriors
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:31 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by fareastwarriors » Sun May 13, 2018 5:38 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 1:10 pm
I posted before about asking BoA for a small safe deposit box (which I should get free as I am Platinum Honors).

I tried 3-4 branches, but they all said they had none available. A little frustrating. I don't have status at another bank to get a free box. I did get callbacks from almost all branches asking me about investment possibilities -- etc. etc.
Same. My local branches don't have boxes available. People must have too many diamonds to store...

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 49144
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by LadyGeek » Sun May 13, 2018 7:02 pm

I merged skseud's thread into here.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

SlowMovingInvestor
Posts: 915
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am

Re: Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Sun May 13, 2018 7:12 pm

NoHeat wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:28 pm

Three years later, I’m still happy with my move from Vanguard to ME. It provided me the banking and credit-card perks of BoA’s Platinum Honors level, which are better than I could find elsewhere. At ME I like the free research reports, including Morningstar's.
ME has Morningstar research reports (for MFs or ETFs) ? I don't see them.

ME does have research reports (including Merill Lynch reports) for many stocks.

drk
Posts: 853
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:33 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Post by drk » Sun May 13, 2018 7:20 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:12 pm
NoHeat wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:28 pm

Three years later, I’m still happy with my move from Vanguard to ME. It provided me the banking and credit-card perks of BoA’s Platinum Honors level, which are better than I could find elsewhere. At ME I like the free research reports, including Morningstar's.
ME has Morningstar research reports (for MFs or ETFs) ? I don't see them.

ME does have research reports (including Merill Lynch reports) for many stocks.
It has it for ETFs, albeit a little hidden. This is for IEMG:

Image

NoHeat
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Post by NoHeat » Sun May 13, 2018 8:53 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:12 pm
ME has Morningstar research reports (for MFs or ETFs) ? I don't see them.
Yes, “profile” reports for mutual funds and ETFs alike. But it’s similar to what you can view for free on the Morningstar website.

Just look for the quote feature and enter a symbol. If I enter VTSAX for example I am offered a Morningstar “profile” which is a three-page pdf file with a recent date. This works with the ME mobile app and the ME website accessed with a desktop computer and browser.

SlowMovingInvestor
Posts: 915
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am

Re: Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Mon May 14, 2018 9:29 am

NoHeat wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 8:53 pm
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:12 pm
ME has Morningstar research reports (for MFs or ETFs) ? I don't see them.
Yes, “profile” reports for mutual funds and ETFs alike. But it’s similar to what you can view for free on the Morningstar website.

Just look for the quote feature and enter a symbol. If I enter VTSAX for example I am offered a Morningstar “profile” which is a three-page pdf file with a recent date. This works with the ME mobile app and the ME website accessed with a desktop computer and browser.
I found them. But, as you say, these are the same as the data available on the free Morningstar website.

Morningstar has analyst reports for several larger ETFs and funds (i.e. they include some commentary by humans). Unfortunately, ME doesn't seem to have those. Scottrade used to have them, but after the merger with TDAM, they don't any more.

jrbdmb
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:27 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by jrbdmb » Tue May 15, 2018 7:44 am

bgf wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:07 am
Justin W wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:49 pm
jrbdmb wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:29 pm
What I'm curious about is if her new ME IRA balance would be combined with my existing accounts (IRA and taxable) for Preferred Rewards purposes. If they are kept separate then moving her IRA to ME doesn't make much sense. Feedback appreciated from anyone who has ME accounts in their name and their spouse's name.
I had the same thinking about my wife's and my IRAs, asked ME this question (if, hypothetically, we both had a $25k IRA, would we qualify together for the $50k+ Preferred Rewards level?), and got the following response:

"Each individual has to qualify and enroll within Preferred Rewards. Eligibility is based on accounts in which the individual is listed as an owner. Accordingly, using a jointly owned Bank of America checking account you would qualify for the Gold tier within Preferred Rewards with an individually owned IRA worth $25,000.00. Similarly, your wife would qualify for the Gold tier within Preferred Rewards with her individually owned IRA worth $25,000.00."

So the answer is "no," spouse IRA balances can't add together to reach a higher tier of rewards.
my wife and I have our taxable account listed as a Joint CMA, so it 'counts double.' when combined with my IRA it pushes me over the top tier and when combined with my wife's IRA it does the same.

we just switched our accounts over a few months ago and so far so good. we've received the account bonuses and just signed up with the cash back rewards credit card because we now get a 75% boost to all cash back rewards.

so, you should make your taxable account a joint account if it is not already.
Thanks for the feedback. Since my initial post in February I had called a rep at ME and been told that as long as our BoA accounts were jointly held, all BoA and ME accounts including both our IRAs would be included in my Preferred Rewards balance. Apparently that information was at least partially incorrect.

Since I am the primary for our BoA credit cards, the goal is to keep my total balance over $100K. Since my wife's IRAs will have no impact on that, no rush to move her money over.

User avatar
triceratop
Moderator
Posts: 5750
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: la la land

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by triceratop » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:08 am

One thing I just realized -- Merrill Edge with preferred rewards has no fees on incoming wire transfers (and for international for platinum and platinum honors). Meanwhile, Marcus Online Savings has no outgoing wire transfer fees. Therefore this is a frictionless and fast way to execute a transfer between the accounts.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 4305
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by whodidntante » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:25 pm

triceratop wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:08 am
One thing I just realized -- Merrill Edge with preferred rewards has no fees on incoming wire transfers (and for international for platinum and platinum honors). Meanwhile, Marcus Online Savings has no outgoing wire transfer fees. Therefore this is a frictionless and fast way to execute a transfer between the accounts.
I buy on margin and initiate an ach transfer in on T for the amount of the margin debit. No interest.

User avatar
triceratop
Moderator
Posts: 5750
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: la la land

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by triceratop » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:36 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:25 pm
triceratop wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:08 am
One thing I just realized -- Merrill Edge with preferred rewards has no fees on incoming wire transfers (and for international for platinum and platinum honors). Meanwhile, Marcus Online Savings has no outgoing wire transfer fees. Therefore this is a frictionless and fast way to execute a transfer between the accounts.
I buy on margin and initiate an ach transfer in on T for the amount of the margin debit. No interest.
That's a good idea; I have never had a margin account before (but I could always ask ME to change my account type), I'm not sure if there are any downsides. Is it pretty seamless?
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 4305
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by whodidntante » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:42 pm

triceratop wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:36 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:25 pm
triceratop wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:08 am
One thing I just realized -- Merrill Edge with preferred rewards has no fees on incoming wire transfers (and for international for platinum and platinum honors). Meanwhile, Marcus Online Savings has no outgoing wire transfer fees. Therefore this is a frictionless and fast way to execute a transfer between the accounts.
I buy on margin and initiate an ach transfer in on T for the amount of the margin debit. No interest.
That's a good idea; I have never had a margin account before (but I could always ask ME to change my account type), I'm not sure if there are any downsides. Is it pretty seamless?
I have margin accounts at several brokers and have not seen any downsides in practice, other than brokers using different terms and moments of slight confusion on my part. I always ask for margin when I open an account.

Post Reply