Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

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hap_ca
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:42 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by hap_ca » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:41 pm

Looks like the $900 sign up bonus is available again. I opened a taxable (CMA) and transferred a Roth IRA this year. Is it possible to get a 3rd bonus in one year by transferring a Traditional IRA?

I'd like to consolidate further but it's difficult matching some of what Vanguard offers. I haven't found an equivalent to Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX) for holding an emergency fund at any other brokerage yet.

My biggest complaint about ME so far is their mobile app doesn't allow you to sell specific lots. Vanguard's antiquated app allows you to do it easily. I checked Fidelity too and couldn't find the option. Not sure why so many of these brokerages are behind on their mobile apps.

isira
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:15 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by isira » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:48 pm

hap_ca wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:41 pm
I'd like to consolidate further but it's difficult matching some of what Vanguard offers. I haven't found an equivalent to Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX) for holding an emergency fund at any other brokerage yet.
The equivalent to VUSXX at Merrill Edge is TTTXX (BlackRock) and UTIXX (Federated) as they all invest directly into US Treasuries and not repurchase agreements. However, I have not found anyone matching the ultra low expense ratio of VUSXX so its yield will always be greater than any other fund.

Merrill Edge has a table summarizing settlement/cutoff times of their money market funds which I found very useful in making my money market fund decision. (Research->Mutual Funds->Cash Management Solutions Tab)

MisterBill
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:47 pm

I wanted to mention that I received some BankAmerideals this week that are supposedly exclusive to Preferred Rewards customers, generally for high-end clothing retailers (Club Monaco and Vince Camuto are the two I am able to find at the moment). i had not seen that before.

BlackcatCA
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:55 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by BlackcatCA » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:48 pm

Thanks to this thread I finally decided to go for Preferred Rewards linked to a Merrill Edge transfer offer (same one referred earlier in the thread). We have been banking with BofA for a while with minimum amounts in checking account to pay bills. I have a few questions still after reviewing this thread:

1) I am aiming for Platinum Honors mainly via transfer of stocks to a new Merrill account, combined with new cash to BofA checking. I went to a branch and got a Merrill person to set the new account up with bonus code, but there wasnt a place for him to enroll me in Preferred Rewards any where. How do I know I am enrolled in Preferred Rewards? Nothing is showing in the BofA site currently.

2) From reading this thread I expect to get Platinum level in 1 or 2 months. When does the clock starts for that waiting period? Does it start when I open the Merrill account? Or, it starts when the total new money reaches 100k (which will take 7+ days as various transfers converge to BofA/Merrill accounts)?

3) What is the simplest way to extend PH status to my husband? Is making him a joint owner of the brokerage account the only way? We have a joint checking account: would that count? If joint brokerage is the way to go, does it have to happen before I qualify for PH, or can I add him later? He has his own BofA Cash Back card but I’d like him to get the benefit too.

Thanks as always for the insights.

sailaway
Posts: 1829
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sailaway » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:52 pm

BlackcatCA wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:48 pm
Thanks to this thread I finally decided to go for Preferred Rewards linked to a Merrill Edge transfer offer (same one referred earlier in the thread). We have been banking with BofA for a while with minimum amounts in checking account to pay bills. I have a few questions still after reviewing this thread:

1) I am aiming for Platinum Honors mainly via transfer of stocks to a new Merrill account, combined with new cash to BofA checking. I went to a branch and got a Merrill person to set the new account up with bonus code, but there wasnt a place for him to enroll me in Preferred Rewards any where. How do I know I am enrolled in Preferred Rewards? Nothing is showing in the BofA site currently.

2) From reading this thread I expect to get Platinum level in 1 or 2 months. When does the clock starts for that waiting period? Does it start when I open the Merrill account? Or, it starts when the total new money reaches 100k (which will take 7+ days as various transfers converge to BofA/Merrill accounts)?

3) What is the simplest way to extend PH status to my husband? Is making him a joint owner of the brokerage account the only way? We have a joint checking account: would that count? If joint brokerage is the way to go, does it have to happen before I qualify for PH, or can I add him later? He has his own BofA Cash Back card but I’d like him to get the benefit too.

Thanks as always for the insights.
The joint checking does not confer any status to the other person. My husband just put me as an authorized user on his cards, so now I carry those cards in my wallet, instead of my own cards.

fujiters
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:17 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by fujiters » Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:09 pm

BlackcatCA wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:48 pm
Thanks to this thread I finally decided to go for Preferred Rewards linked to a Merrill Edge transfer offer (same one referred earlier in the thread). We have been banking with BofA for a while with minimum amounts in checking account to pay bills. I have a few questions still after reviewing this thread:

1) I am aiming for Platinum Honors mainly via transfer of stocks to a new Merrill account, combined with new cash to BofA checking. I went to a branch and got a Merrill person to set the new account up with bonus code, but there wasnt a place for him to enroll me in Preferred Rewards any where. How do I know I am enrolled in Preferred Rewards? Nothing is showing in the BofA site currently.

2) From reading this thread I expect to get Platinum level in 1 or 2 months. When does the clock starts for that waiting period? Does it start when I open the Merrill account? Or, it starts when the total new money reaches 100k (which will take 7+ days as various transfers converge to BofA/Merrill accounts)?

3) What is the simplest way to extend PH status to my husband? Is making him a joint owner of the brokerage account the only way? We have a joint checking account: would that count? If joint brokerage is the way to go, does it have to happen before I qualify for PH, or can I add him later? He has his own BofA Cash Back card but I’d like him to get the benefit too.

Thanks as always for the insights.
There is a monthly update (possibly tied to the date your checking account was opened-mine seems to be the same day of the month I opened my checking account, but it may just be a coincidence) to your daily average holdings over the past 3 months. You'll be eligible to click to join Preferred Rewards after this average goes over $20k. You will not be enrolled until you are eligible and elect to join.

No idea on joint account details (spouse and I joined separately to both get transfer bonus in Roth IRA).
“The purpose of the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.” -Benjamin Graham

vm81
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:24 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:51 am

I would appreciate if anyone has any input on this.

I have been Bank of America checking customer for 15 years (never preferred rewards member). End of January I opened Merrill Lynch account and moved $360k+ in the account. Funds were transferred on Feb 4th, so makes it 25 days till the end of the month. If I take that balance for 25 days and whatever little balance I have in checking account and average it over last 90 days (1st 60 days almost $0) - I am over $100k in average balance.

February ended and I still did not get invitation to join, which I should have. Bank of America keeps saying that even though my Merrill and BofA accounts are linked online, they have to be linked some other way as Merrill Balance is not counting towards average balance on their screen. Merrill says there is no linking that happens - it all just goes by you social security. So not sure what to do here.

I paid for my annual safe deposit box on March 1st. I was hoping that benefit of preferred rewards would give me credit towards that but thats obviously not going to happen now. My bigger concern is that I need to make a huge tax payments and I opened Premier Rewards card for that and hoping to qualify for top level of preferred rewards before I make that payment. I can wait till end of this month and make the payment in early April, but I want to make sure I do qualify at the end of this month.

student
Posts: 4963
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by student » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:00 am

vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:51 am
I would appreciate if anyone has any input on this.

I have been Bank of America checking customer for 15 years (never preferred rewards member). End of January I opened Merrill Lynch account and moved $360k+ in the account. Funds were transferred on Feb 4th, so makes it 25 days till the end of the month. If I take that balance for 25 days and whatever little balance I have in checking account and average it over last 90 days (1st 60 days almost $0) - I am over $100k in average balance.

February ended and I still did not get invitation to join, which I should have. Bank of America keeps saying that even though my Merrill and BofA accounts are linked online, they have to be linked some other way as Merrill Balance is not counting towards average balance on their screen. Merrill says there is no linking that happens - it all just goes by you social security. So not sure what to do here.

I paid for my annual safe deposit box on March 1st. I was hoping that benefit of preferred rewards would give me credit towards that but thats obviously not going to happen now. My bigger concern is that I need to make a huge tax payments and I opened Premier Rewards card for that and hoping to qualify for top level of preferred rewards before I make that payment. I can wait till end of this month and make the payment in early April, but I want to make sure I do qualify at the end of this month.
When you open the ME account, did they assign you a specific person? Do you have a BoA branch? I would talk to one of them in person or via email.

SS Rambo
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by SS Rambo » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:01 am

Do you see your Merrill accounts on the BoA homepage (mobile app or desktop version)? It’d be down at the bottom.

vm81
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:24 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:07 am

student wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:00 am
vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:51 am
I would appreciate if anyone has any input on this.

I have been Bank of America checking customer for 15 years (never preferred rewards member). End of January I opened Merrill Lynch account and moved $360k+ in the account. Funds were transferred on Feb 4th, so makes it 25 days till the end of the month. If I take that balance for 25 days and whatever little balance I have in checking account and average it over last 90 days (1st 60 days almost $0) - I am over $100k in average balance.

February ended and I still did not get invitation to join, which I should have. Bank of America keeps saying that even though my Merrill and BofA accounts are linked online, they have to be linked some other way as Merrill Balance is not counting towards average balance on their screen. Merrill says there is no linking that happens - it all just goes by you social security. So not sure what to do here.

I paid for my annual safe deposit box on March 1st. I was hoping that benefit of preferred rewards would give me credit towards that but thats obviously not going to happen now. My bigger concern is that I need to make a huge tax payments and I opened Premier Rewards card for that and hoping to qualify for top level of preferred rewards before I make that payment. I can wait till end of this month and make the payment in early April, but I want to make sure I do qualify at the end of this month.
When you open the ME account, did they assign you a specific person? Do you have a BoA branch? I would talk to one of them in person or via email.
They assigned me a person but obviously once the funds got transferred I deleted his email as I didnt think needed it anymore. Mistake.

I will possibly go to a branch and see what they say but its just getting to be too much time wasted on this. Thanks for your advice though about going to the branch and talking in person.

vm81
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:24 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:08 am

SS Rambo wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:01 am
Do you see your Merrill accounts on the BoA homepage (mobile app or desktop version)? It’d be down at the bottom.
I see Bank of America accounts in my ML login and I see ML accounts in my BofA login.

Leesbro63
Posts: 6647
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Leesbro63 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:18 am

My advice is to stay on it and call daily until it's fixed. I did something similar last year with BofA/Merrill and there were a number of glitches getting it together. Continuous calls was the solution. The wheel that squeaks the most gets the grease.

SuzBanyan
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:20 am

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by SuzBanyan » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:18 am

vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:08 am
SS Rambo wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:01 am
Do you see your Merrill accounts on the BoA homepage (mobile app or desktop version)? It’d be down at the bottom.
I see Bank of America accounts in my ML login and I see ML accounts in my BofA login.
You should try calling the Preferred Rewards specialist. Per the website, the number is : Call 888.888.RWDS (888.888.7937)

Talking to a local rep is unlikely to help. Our local rep called to enroll us, but we got a follow up call from the Preferred Rewards Department saying we weren’t yet eligible ( hadn’t been a customer for 90 days). The local rep was able to get the cost of the checks we ordered reversed, so a local rep might get your safety deposit box comped.

Leesbro63
Posts: 6647
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Leesbro63 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:20 am

SuzBanyan wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:18 am
vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:08 am
SS Rambo wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:01 am
Do you see your Merrill accounts on the BoA homepage (mobile app or desktop version)? It’d be down at the bottom.
I see Bank of America accounts in my ML login and I see ML accounts in my BofA login.
You should try calling the Preferred Rewards specialist. Per the website, the number is : Call 888.888.RWDS (888.888.7937)

Talking to a local rep is unlikely to help. Our local rep called to enroll us, but we got a follow up call from the Preferred Rewards Department saying we weren’t yet eligible ( hadn’t been a customer for 90 days). The local rep was able to get the cost of the checks we ordered reversed, so a local rep might get your safety deposit box comped.
I'd call both the Preferred Rewards department AND the local rep. Daily.

MisterBill
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:22 am

vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:51 am
I would appreciate if anyone has any input on this.

I have been Bank of America checking customer for 15 years (never preferred rewards member). End of January I opened Merrill Lynch account and moved $360k+ in the account. Funds were transferred on Feb 4th, so makes it 25 days till the end of the month. If I take that balance for 25 days and whatever little balance I have in checking account and average it over last 90 days (1st 60 days almost $0) - I am over $100k in average balance.
You need to give it more time. You likely just got your first Merrill statement. I'm not sure when your checking account statement closes but they only do the PR stuff on a monthly statement basis, not based on daily balances. And my experience is that the invite showed up on the 4th or 5th of the month (a few days after the ME statement closed) so you might get it this month, but maybe not until next month.

That said, you could check with your branch and see if they would be willing to waive the safe deposit fee, or at least agree to refund it once you get the PR status on your account.

vm81
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:24 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:33 am

Thank you everyone for your input on this. I will keep on it and hopefully they will fix it in time if it doesnt happen on its own in few days.

Does anyone know how much do they reimburse you for safe deposit box if you already have one? I would like to get a free one straight but none of the branches around me have any boxes. If they reimburse you for existing box, how much is that? I read somewhere $30 and another place $75, so not sure. It sucks if they do $30 because a small box in their branch is almost $80 so not sure why they will reimburse $30 only for your existing box.

Retired1809
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Retired1809 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:35 am

What incentives is B of A/ME offering today for opening the Preferred Rewards account? And would the fact that I earned the reward two years ago and closed my accounts because I didn't like the branch disqualify me from the incentive reward today?

student
Posts: 4963
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by student » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:38 am

Retired1809 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:35 am
What incentives is B of A/ME offering today for opening the Preferred Rewards account? And would the fact that I earned the reward two years ago and closed my accounts because I didn't like the branch disqualify me from the incentive reward today?
ME gives new account bonus.

SS Rambo
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by SS Rambo » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:40 am

Retired1809 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:35 am
What incentives is B of A/ME offering today for opening the Preferred Rewards account? And would the fact that I earned the reward two years ago and closed my accounts because I didn't like the branch disqualify me from the incentive reward today?
https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred-rewards/

I doubt they’d credit you for the past. They seem pretty strict on their trailing 90 days. But the financial benefits can be nice if you have the right cards and premium rewards to get 5% cash back on some nice categories. As mentioned above a free deposit box can save you a lot per year.

vm81
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:24 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:42 am

Free safe deposit box if you can find one.

MikeG62
Posts: 2811
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Location: New Jersey

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MikeG62 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:43 am

MisterBill wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:22 am
vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:51 am
I would appreciate if anyone has any input on this.

I have been Bank of America checking customer for 15 years (never preferred rewards member). End of January I opened Merrill Lynch account and moved $360k+ in the account. Funds were transferred on Feb 4th, so makes it 25 days till the end of the month. If I take that balance for 25 days and whatever little balance I have in checking account and average it over last 90 days (1st 60 days almost $0) - I am over $100k in average balance.
You need to give it more time. You likely just got your first Merrill statement. I'm not sure when your checking account statement closes but they only do the PR stuff on a monthly statement basis, not based on daily balances. And my experience is that the invite showed up on the 4th or 5th of the month (a few days after the ME statement closed) so you might get it this month, but maybe not until next month.
MisterBill is correct. BofA updates the status on the 4th business day of each month. Should show up tomorrow for you.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

Retired1809
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Retired1809 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:46 am

A free safe deposit box is the only incentive they're giving on bringing in a large deposit or stock portfolio? As I recall I received a $1200 bonus two years ago before I closed my accounts.

They're not offering similar offers now? Not even a free toaster?

vm81
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:24 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:48 am

Those are Merrill promotions and still exist in some flavors.

Free safe deposit box is a benefit on Preferred Rewards, which you qualify for based on your assets. There are other benefits in addition to that which are much more lucrative if you can take advantage.

Retired1809
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Retired1809 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:53 am

The B of A branch I used when I was a customer had long lines to see the one teller on duty who was behind bullet proof glass. I felt like I was in a third world country and closed all my accounts and thought I'd never walk into another B of A branch again. Since then, I've discovered their main office is much better staffed without the bullet proof glass. Much more inviting environment. But I guess I'll wait until I see another good $$$ bonus offer.

SS Rambo
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by SS Rambo » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:54 am

You can find a different new account bonus just by playing with the URL

https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/900offer
https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/1000offer

The two highest I found.

MisterBill
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:59 am

vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:42 am
Free safe deposit box if you can find one.
My daughter actually was able to get one at her local branch. Very convenient since it was a block from their apartment. I know they're hard to find in some areas.

MisterBill
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:59 am

SS Rambo wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:54 am
You can find a different new account bonus just by playing with the URL

https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/900offer
https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/1000offer

The two highest I found.
The $1000 offer has expired.

MisterBill
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:00 am

Retired1809 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:46 am
A free safe deposit box is the only incentive they're giving on bringing in a large deposit or stock portfolio? As I recall I received a $1200 bonus two years ago before I closed my accounts.

They're not offering similar offers now? Not even a free toaster?
Up to 75% multiplier on your credit card rewards is the best thing, IMHO (other than the transfer bonus).

vm81
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:24 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:05 am

MisterBill wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:00 am
Retired1809 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:46 am
A free safe deposit box is the only incentive they're giving on bringing in a large deposit or stock portfolio? As I recall I received a $1200 bonus two years ago before I closed my accounts.

They're not offering similar offers now? Not even a free toaster?
Up to 75% multiplier on your credit card rewards is the best thing, IMHO (other than the transfer bonus).
Which cards are best (in addition to premium rewards) to take advantage of 75% multiplier. I am trying to see if I should open another card once I have this preferred rewards enrollment worked out.

sailaway
Posts: 1829
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sailaway » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:07 am

vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:05 am
MisterBill wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:00 am
Retired1809 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:46 am
A free safe deposit box is the only incentive they're giving on bringing in a large deposit or stock portfolio? As I recall I received a $1200 bonus two years ago before I closed my accounts.

They're not offering similar offers now? Not even a free toaster?
Up to 75% multiplier on your credit card rewards is the best thing, IMHO (other than the transfer bonus).
Which cards are best (in addition to premium rewards) to take advantage of 75% multiplier. I am trying to see if I should open another card once I have this preferred rewards enrollment worked out.
We have a cash rewards Visa that we use at Costco and for online purchases, and we have a cash rewards MC that we use for dining.

MisterBill
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:09 am

vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:05 am
Which cards are best (in addition to premium rewards) to take advantage of 75% multiplier. I am trying to see if I should open another card once I have this preferred rewards enrollment worked out.
The Cash Rewards card that does 3% on one category (dining, travel, online and others). Becomes 5.25% if you are at the top tier and get the 75% multiplier. Also it gives 2% (3.5%) on groceries and warehouse clubs.1% (1.75%) on everything else, so not worth using on those. You can get more than one so you can select different 3% categories on each.

vm81
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:24 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:21 am

Thanks for the advice on cash rewards and especially the idea to get multiple (as long as they approve). I get 5x on dining from Citi Prestige so that will stay there, but online shopping category is interesting - I wonder if costco.com counts as warehouse or online shopping. This $2500 limit sucks but I guess something is better than nothing.

MisterBill
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:38 am

vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:21 am
Thanks for the advice on cash rewards and especially the idea to get multiple (as long as they approve). I get 5x on dining from Citi Prestige so that will stay there, but online shopping category is interesting - I wonder if costco.com counts as warehouse or online shopping. This $2500 limit sucks but I guess something is better than nothing.
It counts as both. Just as Uber and Lyft count as both travel and online. For Costco, you can buy gift cards online and use them in the store to get the 5.25%.

For Cash Rewards, be sure to apply for different types of cards. They have an MLB card that is a Mastercard, Susan B.Komen Visa, WWF Visa and the regular CR Visa. I would give it some time between applying for the different cards.

vm81
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:24 pm

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:52 am

MisterBill wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:38 am
vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:21 am
Thanks for the advice on cash rewards and especially the idea to get multiple (as long as they approve). I get 5x on dining from Citi Prestige so that will stay there, but online shopping category is interesting - I wonder if costco.com counts as warehouse or online shopping. This $2500 limit sucks but I guess something is better than nothing.
It counts as both. Just as Uber and Lyft count as both travel and online. For Costco, you can buy gift cards online and use them in the store to get the 5.25%.

For Cash Rewards, be sure to apply for different types of cards. They have an MLB card that is a Mastercard, Susan B.Komen Visa, WWF Visa and the regular CR Visa. I would give it some time between applying for the different cards.
Thats exactly what I was thinking - if costco.com counts as online shopping for 3% category - then I can just buy $2500 gift each quarter and be done with that card. Then can open another card or two for other categories. Is $200 bonus for account opening best it has ever had?

SS Rambo
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by SS Rambo » Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:13 pm

vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:52 am
MisterBill wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:38 am
vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:21 am
Thanks for the advice on cash rewards and especially the idea to get multiple (as long as they approve). I get 5x on dining from Citi Prestige so that will stay there, but online shopping category is interesting - I wonder if costco.com counts as warehouse or online shopping. This $2500 limit sucks but I guess something is better than nothing.
It counts as both. Just as Uber and Lyft count as both travel and online. For Costco, you can buy gift cards online and use them in the store to get the 5.25%.

For Cash Rewards, be sure to apply for different types of cards. They have an MLB card that is a Mastercard, Susan B.Komen Visa, WWF Visa and the regular CR Visa. I would give it some time between applying for the different cards.
Thats exactly what I was thinking - if costco.com counts as online shopping for 3% category - then I can just buy $2500 gift each quarter and be done with that card. Then can open another card or two for other categories. Is $200 bonus for account opening best it has ever had?
I think it was $150 when I opened that card about 5 years ago. And never seen it above $200. They converted an old discontinued credit card to Cash Rewards as well, so yeah I bounce between two categories on two cards as well. Then their black card for all else (that one pays for itself with the travel credit).

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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by FrugalProfessor » Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:30 pm

vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:52 am
MisterBill wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:38 am
vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:21 am
Thanks for the advice on cash rewards and especially the idea to get multiple (as long as they approve). I get 5x on dining from Citi Prestige so that will stay there, but online shopping category is interesting - I wonder if costco.com counts as warehouse or online shopping. This $2500 limit sucks but I guess something is better than nothing.
It counts as both. Just as Uber and Lyft count as both travel and online. For Costco, you can buy gift cards online and use them in the store to get the 5.25%.

For Cash Rewards, be sure to apply for different types of cards. They have an MLB card that is a Mastercard, Susan B.Komen Visa, WWF Visa and the regular CR Visa. I would give it some time between applying for the different cards.
Thats exactly what I was thinking - if costco.com counts as online shopping for 3% category - then I can just buy $2500 gift each quarter and be done with that card. Then can open another card or two for other categories. Is $200 bonus for account opening best it has ever had?
I have 4 versions of the cash rewards card (across my wife and me), opening the door for 10k of 5.25% rewards per quarter. I do precisely what you suggest; 100% of my Costco spend occurs via Costco Cash (rebranded as Costco Shop) card. Good for use in pharmacy, gas station, tire center, food court, eyeglasses kiosk, and of course normal warehouse purchases.

It's a bit of a nuissance carrying around the extra Costco Shop card in the wallet, but I think it's worth it for the incremental 1.75% cash back. Not too much of a hassle if you buy one with $2k (the max limit).

https://www.frugalprofessor.com/best-cr ... 9-edition/
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.

Bobby206
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Bobby206 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:06 pm

They appear to still have $900 deal active right now on their website for people thinking to open new account. I haven't read all the fine print....

https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/900offer

MisterBill
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:11 pm

vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:52 am
Thats exactly what I was thinking - if costco.com counts as online shopping for 3% category - then I can just buy $2500 gift each quarter and be done with that card. Then can open another card or two for other categories. Is $200 bonus for account opening best it has ever had?
Well, if you spend $2500 per quarter at Costco and do no other online shopping, I guess that works. And yes, $200 is the best I have seen (it only requires a $500 purchase). Actually, "in the old days", the $200 used to qualify for the 75% multiplier, but that changed last year when they applied the 75% at the time of purchase rather than at time of redemption.

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:13 pm

FrugalProfessor wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:30 pm
It's a bit of a nuissance carrying around the extra Costco Shop card in the wallet, but I think it's worth it for the incremental 1.75% cash back. Not too much of a hassle if you buy one with $2k (the max limit).
I only buy $100 gift cards. I rarely spend more than that in a single visi at Costco, and don't like carrying around something with so much money on it should I lose the card. Would be nice if you could save it to a digital wallet and use it from there.

vm81
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:11 am

Thanks for all the help. As suggested - preferred rewards qualification showed up today - on 4th business day.

I just clicked on enroll and went through the steps. So any charge I make now counts for 75% bonus or is there a waiting period?

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MikeG62 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:27 am

vm81 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:11 am

Thanks for all the help. As suggested - preferred rewards qualification showed up today - on 4th business day.

I just clicked on enroll and went through the steps. So any charge I make now counts for 75% bonus or is there a waiting period?
Depends on what tier you are enrolled at. Like you I opened two Merrill Edge accounts in Feb (one is IRA and one is taxable brokerage). Moved $400,000 in assets to those accounts. You’d think a simple three month average would have me at $133,000, but I show as only gold level. I’ve got an e-mail into my contact at Merrill Edge to see if he can explain why I was not enrolled right at the platinum honors level. Will post back when I get his response.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

vm81
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:40 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:27 am
vm81 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:11 am

Thanks for all the help. As suggested - preferred rewards qualification showed up today - on 4th business day.

I just clicked on enroll and went through the steps. So any charge I make now counts for 75% bonus or is there a waiting period?
Depends on what tier you are enrolled at. Like you I opened two Merrill Edge accounts in Feb (one is IRA and one is taxable brokerage). Moved $400,000 in assets to those accounts. You’d think a simple three month average would have me at $133,000, but I show as only gold level. I’ve got an e-mail into my contact at Merrill Edge to see if he can explain why I was not enrolled right at the platinum honors level. Will post back when I get his response.
My average balance was close to that as well. I was enrolled at Platinum Honors.

Only thing I can think of is that I have had a checking account for more than a decade. Have you had checking account for a while?

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MikeG62 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:47 am

vm81 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:40 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:27 am
vm81 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:11 am

Thanks for all the help. As suggested - preferred rewards qualification showed up today - on 4th business day.

I just clicked on enroll and went through the steps. So any charge I make now counts for 75% bonus or is there a waiting period?
Depends on what tier you are enrolled at. Like you I opened two Merrill Edge accounts in Feb (one is IRA and one is taxable brokerage). Moved $400,000 in assets to those accounts. You’d think a simple three month average would have me at $133,000, but I show as only gold level. I’ve got an e-mail into my contact at Merrill Edge to see if he can explain why I was not enrolled right at the platinum honors level. Will post back when I get his response.
My average balance was close to that as well. I was enrolled at Platinum Honors.

Only thing I can think of is that I have had a checking account for more than a decade. Have you had checking account for a while?
Yup, since the 1990’s. My assets were transferred toward the end of Feb, but still made it by month end. Maybe they are using average daily balance in the calculation?
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

vm81
Posts: 50
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by vm81 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:58 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:47 am
vm81 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:40 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:27 am
vm81 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:11 am

Thanks for all the help. As suggested - preferred rewards qualification showed up today - on 4th business day.

I just clicked on enroll and went through the steps. So any charge I make now counts for 75% bonus or is there a waiting period?
Depends on what tier you are enrolled at. Like you I opened two Merrill Edge accounts in Feb (one is IRA and one is taxable brokerage). Moved $400,000 in assets to those accounts. You’d think a simple three month average would have me at $133,000, but I show as only gold level. I’ve got an e-mail into my contact at Merrill Edge to see if he can explain why I was not enrolled right at the platinum honors level. Will post back when I get his response.
My average balance was close to that as well. I was enrolled at Platinum Honors.

Only thing I can think of is that I have had a checking account for more than a decade. Have you had checking account for a while?
Yup, since the 1990’s. My assets were transferred toward the end of Feb, but still made it by month end. Maybe they are using average daily balance in the calculation?
Yes its daily balance - 90 days balance. Its not 3 month balance.

MikeG62
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MikeG62 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:07 am

vm81 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:58 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:47 am
vm81 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:40 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:27 am
vm81 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:11 am

Thanks for all the help. As suggested - preferred rewards qualification showed up today - on 4th business day.

I just clicked on enroll and went through the steps. So any charge I make now counts for 75% bonus or is there a waiting period?
Depends on what tier you are enrolled at. Like you I opened two Merrill Edge accounts in Feb (one is IRA and one is taxable brokerage). Moved $400,000 in assets to those accounts. You’d think a simple three month average would have me at $133,000, but I show as only gold level. I’ve got an e-mail into my contact at Merrill Edge to see if he can explain why I was not enrolled right at the platinum honors level. Will post back when I get his response.
My average balance was close to that as well. I was enrolled at Platinum Honors.

Only thing I can think of is that I have had a checking account for more than a decade. Have you had checking account for a while?
Yup, since the 1990’s. My assets were transferred toward the end of Feb, but still made it by month end. Maybe they are using average daily balance in the calculation?
Yes its daily balance - 90 days balance. Its not 3 month balance.
Ok that explains it then. I’ll get updated on April 4th. Thanks!
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

SS Rambo
Posts: 143
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by SS Rambo » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:53 am

I saw that BoA recalculated my trailing three month balance in the last couple days. Their website still says "Your program balance is updated each calendar month and determines your Preferred Rewards eligibility and benefits". I noticed this because the effect was me going up a tier (rolled a balance to Merrill ~60 days ago) and I should have had to wait until April 1st for the next recalculation.

But I was thinking, a vast majority of clients are seeing their three month average balance go down, potentially to a lower tier. So why break protocol and recalculate everyone's reward status in the middle of the month (during a downturn) unless they're trying to mitigate rewards?

MisterBill
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:44 pm

SS Rambo wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:53 am
But I was thinking, a vast majority of clients are seeing their three month average balance go down, potentially to a lower tier. So why break protocol and recalculate everyone's reward status in the middle of the month (during a downturn) unless they're trying to mitigate rewards?
I don't think that they typically downgrade people, especially if they have not withdrawn money.

Hyperchicken
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Hyperchicken » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:53 pm

You can only get downgraded once a year after annual review + 3 months of grace period.

Annual review is always in the month when you first enrolled into preferred rewards.

For example:
  • March - my current balance drops below the threshold
  • April or May - 3 month rolling average drops below the threshold (this will depend on how close I was)
  • Let's assume September is my annual review - 3 months grace period starts ticking
  • December - I actually get downgraded
So depending on the timing, you may get over a year of a preferred rewards tier while actually being below its required balance.

charis23
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by charis23 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:11 pm

FrugalProfessor wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:30 pm
vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:52 am
MisterBill wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:38 am
vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:21 am
Thanks for the advice on cash rewards and especially the idea to get multiple (as long as they approve). I get 5x on dining from Citi Prestige so that will stay there, but online shopping category is interesting - I wonder if costco.com counts as warehouse or online shopping. This $2500 limit sucks but I guess something is better than nothing.
It counts as both. Just as Uber and Lyft count as both travel and online. For Costco, you can buy gift cards online and use them in the store to get the 5.25%.

For Cash Rewards, be sure to apply for different types of cards. They have an MLB card that is a Mastercard, Susan B.Komen Visa, WWF Visa and the regular CR Visa. I would give it some time between applying for the different cards.
Thats exactly what I was thinking - if costco.com counts as online shopping for 3% category - then I can just buy $2500 gift each quarter and be done with that card. Then can open another card or two for other categories. Is $200 bonus for account opening best it has ever had?
I have 4 versions of the cash rewards card (across my wife and me), opening the door for 10k of 5.25% rewards per quarter. I do precisely what you suggest; 100% of my Costco spend occurs via Costco Cash (rebranded as Costco Shop) card. Good for use in pharmacy, gas station, tire center, food court, eyeglasses kiosk, and of course normal warehouse purchases.

It's a bit of a nuissance carrying around the extra Costco Shop card in the wallet, but I think it's worth it for the incremental 1.75% cash back. Not too much of a hassle if you buy one with $2k (the max limit).

https://www.frugalprofessor.com/best-cr ... 9-edition/
Are you worried about theft or losing that Costco Cash card with a $2k balance?

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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by FrugalProfessor » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:20 pm

charis23 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:11 pm
FrugalProfessor wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:30 pm
vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:52 am
MisterBill wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:38 am
vm81 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:21 am
Thanks for the advice on cash rewards and especially the idea to get multiple (as long as they approve). I get 5x on dining from Citi Prestige so that will stay there, but online shopping category is interesting - I wonder if costco.com counts as warehouse or online shopping. This $2500 limit sucks but I guess something is better than nothing.
It counts as both. Just as Uber and Lyft count as both travel and online. For Costco, you can buy gift cards online and use them in the store to get the 5.25%.

For Cash Rewards, be sure to apply for different types of cards. They have an MLB card that is a Mastercard, Susan B.Komen Visa, WWF Visa and the regular CR Visa. I would give it some time between applying for the different cards.
Thats exactly what I was thinking - if costco.com counts as online shopping for 3% category - then I can just buy $2500 gift each quarter and be done with that card. Then can open another card or two for other categories. Is $200 bonus for account opening best it has ever had?
I have 4 versions of the cash rewards card (across my wife and me), opening the door for 10k of 5.25% rewards per quarter. I do precisely what you suggest; 100% of my Costco spend occurs via Costco Cash (rebranded as Costco Shop) card. Good for use in pharmacy, gas station, tire center, food court, eyeglasses kiosk, and of course normal warehouse purchases.

It's a bit of a nuissance carrying around the extra Costco Shop card in the wallet, but I think it's worth it for the incremental 1.75% cash back. Not too much of a hassle if you buy one with $2k (the max limit).

https://www.frugalprofessor.com/best-cr ... 9-edition/
Are you worried about theft or losing that Costco Cash card with a $2k balance?
The customer service desk has told me that they can cancel and reissue the card in the event of loss. Presumably this would only work with timely reporting. In the event of non timely reporting I suppose there would be a paper trail of what member stole your card.
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.

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