Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

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Topic Author
Leesbro63
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Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Leesbro63 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm

So I funded a Merrill Edge account with the required amount, opened a Bank of America checking account, and got the free Bank of America Travel Card that accumulates 2.625% rebates that I can use via credits for travel charged to the card. It's been working well, including using arbitrage to charge Federal income tax. I collected bonuses on all three...the Merrill deposit, the checking account and the credit card. I don't travel much but find enough qualifying purchases to get my points redeemed.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade/add one of the other cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages (fees, for sure), of doing so. And any nuances?

aristotelian
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by aristotelian » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:46 pm

The Cash Rewards card would give you an additional bonus on groceries (2%-->3.5%) and a bonus category of your choice (3%-->5.25%). Categories include travel and online shopping.

Lastrun
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Lastrun » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:02 pm

But note that the BofA Cash Rewards Card at the 5.25% level is limited to $2,500 of spend per quarter. For me, I am questioning whether it is worth it to run an additional card for $175 per year (5.25% versus 3.5%*$10,000).

investor997
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by investor997 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:49 pm

Lastrun wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:02 pm
But note that the BofA Cash Rewards Card at the 5.25% level is limited to $2,500 of spend per quarter. For me, I am questioning whether it is worth it to run an additional card for $175 per year (5.25% versus 3.5%*$10,000).
Why not? It's free money. The Cash Rewards card has no annual fee, plus it looks like it's got a $200 sign-up bonus available.

investor997
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by investor997 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:51 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm
So I funded a Merrill Edge account with the required amount, opened a Bank of America checking account, and got the free Bank of America Travel Card that accumulates 2.625% rebates that I can use via credits for travel charged to the card. It's been working well, including using arbitrage to charge Federal income tax. I collected bonuses on all three...the Merrill deposit, the checking account and the credit card. I don't travel much but find enough qualifying purchases to get my points redeemed.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade/add one of the other cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages (fees, for sure), of doing so. And any nuances?
I'd consider upgrading the Travel card to the Premium Rewards card. It has a $95 annual fee but you can easily make it back via the $100 travel credit and the TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit. It also has better payback on travel/dining (3.5% instead of 2.62%).

Lastrun
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Lastrun » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:05 pm

investor997 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:49 pm
Why not? It's free money. The Cash Rewards card has no annual fee, plus it looks like it's got a $200 sign-up bonus available.
Yep, good point, I got the bonus, but simplicity is also something I am interested in.

$175 is laying open on the street, why not pick it up.

Topic Author
Leesbro63
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Leesbro63 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:36 pm

investor997 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:51 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm
So I funded a Merrill Edge account with the required amount, opened a Bank of America checking account, and got the free Bank of America Travel Card that accumulates 2.625% rebates that I can use via credits for travel charged to the card. It's been working well, including using arbitrage to charge Federal income tax. I collected bonuses on all three...the Merrill deposit, the checking account and the credit card. I don't travel much but find enough qualifying purchases to get my points redeemed.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade/add one of the other cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages (fees, for sure), of doing so. And any nuances?
I'd consider upgrading the Travel card to the Premium Rewards card. It has a $95 annual fee but you can easily make it back via the $100 travel credit and the TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit. It also has better payback on travel/dining (3.5% instead of 2.62%).
Is it a travel credit or just an airline incidental credit? I rarely fly and am cheap when I do.

investor997
Posts: 517
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by investor997 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:51 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:36 pm
investor997 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:51 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm
So I funded a Merrill Edge account with the required amount, opened a Bank of America checking account, and got the free Bank of America Travel Card that accumulates 2.625% rebates that I can use via credits for travel charged to the card. It's been working well, including using arbitrage to charge Federal income tax. I collected bonuses on all three...the Merrill deposit, the checking account and the credit card. I don't travel much but find enough qualifying purchases to get my points redeemed.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade/add one of the other cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages (fees, for sure), of doing so. And any nuances?
I'd consider upgrading the Travel card to the Premium Rewards card. It has a $95 annual fee but you can easily make it back via the $100 travel credit and the TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit. It also has better payback on travel/dining (3.5% instead of 2.62%).
Is it a travel credit or just an airline incidental credit? I rarely fly and am cheap when I do.
The Premium card earns "points", but the points can be redeemed for cash back at $0.01/ea. It works just like a cash back card.

student
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by student » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:11 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:36 pm
investor997 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:51 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm
So I funded a Merrill Edge account with the required amount, opened a Bank of America checking account, and got the free Bank of America Travel Card that accumulates 2.625% rebates that I can use via credits for travel charged to the card. It's been working well, including using arbitrage to charge Federal income tax. I collected bonuses on all three...the Merrill deposit, the checking account and the credit card. I don't travel much but find enough qualifying purchases to get my points redeemed.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade/add one of the other cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages (fees, for sure), of doing so. And any nuances?
I'd consider upgrading the Travel card to the Premium Rewards card. It has a $95 annual fee but you can easily make it back via the $100 travel credit and the TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit. It also has better payback on travel/dining (3.5% instead of 2.62%).
Is it a travel credit or just an airline incidental credit? I rarely fly and am cheap when I do.
It applies to travel expenses including parking, hotel, national park etc. You go to a page and it lists all the eligible expenses within 1 year and you pick the ones that you want the credit to apply to.

Topic Author
Leesbro63
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Leesbro63 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:32 pm

student wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:11 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:36 pm
investor997 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:51 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm
So I funded a Merrill Edge account with the required amount, opened a Bank of America checking account, and got the free Bank of America Travel Card that accumulates 2.625% rebates that I can use via credits for travel charged to the card. It's been working well, including using arbitrage to charge Federal income tax. I collected bonuses on all three...the Merrill deposit, the checking account and the credit card. I don't travel much but find enough qualifying purchases to get my points redeemed.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade/add one of the other cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages (fees, for sure), of doing so. And any nuances?
I'd consider upgrading the Travel card to the Premium Rewards card. It has a $95 annual fee but you can easily make it back via the $100 travel credit and the TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit. It also has better payback on travel/dining (3.5% instead of 2.62%).
Is it a travel credit or just an airline incidental credit? I rarely fly and am cheap when I do.
It applies to travel expenses including parking, hotel, national park etc. You go to a page and it lists all the eligible expenses within 1 year and you pick the ones that you want the credit to apply to.
Well then I guess there's no reason NOT to upgrade. Although I don't do much travel, I'll certainly do $100 worth and get back my $95 fee.

EDIT: OK, so I went to the site to perhaps sign up and here's what it says about the Premium Rewards card: "Get up to a $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit annually for qualifying purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services, and airline lounge fees – automatically applied to your card statement". So it DOESN'T seem to agree with the above. ???

student
Posts: 4250
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by student » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:01 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:32 pm
student wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:11 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:36 pm
investor997 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:51 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm
So I funded a Merrill Edge account with the required amount, opened a Bank of America checking account, and got the free Bank of America Travel Card that accumulates 2.625% rebates that I can use via credits for travel charged to the card. It's been working well, including using arbitrage to charge Federal income tax. I collected bonuses on all three...the Merrill deposit, the checking account and the credit card. I don't travel much but find enough qualifying purchases to get my points redeemed.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade/add one of the other cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages (fees, for sure), of doing so. And any nuances?
I'd consider upgrading the Travel card to the Premium Rewards card. It has a $95 annual fee but you can easily make it back via the $100 travel credit and the TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit. It also has better payback on travel/dining (3.5% instead of 2.62%).
Is it a travel credit or just an airline incidental credit? I rarely fly and am cheap when I do.
It applies to travel expenses including parking, hotel, national park etc. You go to a page and it lists all the eligible expenses within 1 year and you pick the ones that you want the credit to apply to.
Well then I guess there's no reason NOT to upgrade. Although I don't do much travel, I'll certainly do $100 worth and get back my $95 fee.

EDIT: OK, so I went to the site to perhaps sign up and here's what it says about the Premium Rewards card: "Get up to a $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit annually for qualifying purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services, and airline lounge fees – automatically applied to your card statement". So it DOESN'T seem to agree with the above. ???
Sorry. I misunderstood as I did not read your post carefully enough. I thought your meant the reward points.

Topic Author
Leesbro63
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Leesbro63 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:07 pm

student wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:01 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:32 pm
student wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:11 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:36 pm
investor997 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:51 pm


I'd consider upgrading the Travel card to the Premium Rewards card. It has a $95 annual fee but you can easily make it back via the $100 travel credit and the TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit. It also has better payback on travel/dining (3.5% instead of 2.62%).
Is it a travel credit or just an airline incidental credit? I rarely fly and am cheap when I do.
It applies to travel expenses including parking, hotel, national park etc. You go to a page and it lists all the eligible expenses within 1 year and you pick the ones that you want the credit to apply to.
Well then I guess there's no reason NOT to upgrade. Although I don't do much travel, I'll certainly do $100 worth and get back my $95 fee.

EDIT: OK, so I went to the site to perhaps sign up and here's what it says about the Premium Rewards card: "Get up to a $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit annually for qualifying purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services, and airline lounge fees – automatically applied to your card statement". So it DOESN'T seem to agree with the above. ???
Sorry. I misunderstood as I did not read your post carefully enough. I thought your meant the reward points.
So I'm back to trying to figure out how spending $95 per year will put me ahead of the current no-fee Travel Card. The 50,000 point bonus certainly does. But after that, why would I keep this card? I'm not sure the bump for special categories would save me $95.

student
Posts: 4250
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by student » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:09 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:07 pm
student wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:01 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:32 pm
student wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:11 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:36 pm


Is it a travel credit or just an airline incidental credit? I rarely fly and am cheap when I do.
It applies to travel expenses including parking, hotel, national park etc. You go to a page and it lists all the eligible expenses within 1 year and you pick the ones that you want the credit to apply to.
Well then I guess there's no reason NOT to upgrade. Although I don't do much travel, I'll certainly do $100 worth and get back my $95 fee.

EDIT: OK, so I went to the site to perhaps sign up and here's what it says about the Premium Rewards card: "Get up to a $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit annually for qualifying purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services, and airline lounge fees – automatically applied to your card statement". So it DOESN'T seem to agree with the above. ???
Sorry. I misunderstood as I did not read your post carefully enough. I thought your meant the reward points.
So I'm back to trying to figure out how spending $95 per year will put me ahead of the current no-fee Travel Card. The 50,000 point bonus certainly does. But after that, why would I keep this card?
I don't use the premium version, just the regular version that you have and the cash rebate card where I pick online shopping to be my 3% (which becomes 5.25% with the preferred rewards).

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dogagility
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by dogagility » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:32 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:07 pm
student wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:01 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:32 pm
student wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:11 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:36 pm


Is it a travel credit or just an airline incidental credit? I rarely fly and am cheap when I do.
It applies to travel expenses including parking, hotel, national park etc. You go to a page and it lists all the eligible expenses within 1 year and you pick the ones that you want the credit to apply to.
Well then I guess there's no reason NOT to upgrade. Although I don't do much travel, I'll certainly do $100 worth and get back my $95 fee.

EDIT: OK, so I went to the site to perhaps sign up and here's what it says about the Premium Rewards card: "Get up to a $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit annually for qualifying purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services, and airline lounge fees – automatically applied to your card statement". So it DOESN'T seem to agree with the above. ???
Sorry. I misunderstood as I did not read your post carefully enough. I thought your meant the reward points.
So I'm back to trying to figure out how spending $95 per year will put me ahead of the current no-fee Travel Card. The 50,000 point bonus certainly does. But after that, why would I keep this card? I'm not sure the bump for special categories would save me $95.
Become Platinum Honors and get 3.5% cash back on dining/travel and 2.6% back on all other purchases.
"The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient" -- Warren Buffett

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dodecahedron
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:15 am

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:07 pm
So I'm back to trying to figure out how spending $95 per year will put me ahead of the current no-fee Travel Card. The 50,000 point bonus certainly does. But after that, why would I keep this card? I'm not sure the bump for special categories would save me $95.
Leesbro63, I was wondering exactly the same thing as you. I have had the no-fee BoA Travel Card for years effectively getting 2.65% cash back on all my purchases.

However, FrugalProf pointed out that I could use the Premium Rewards annual $100 incidentals credit to purchase American Airline gift cards. I certainly travel enough each year on that airline to make an American gift card worthwhile.

In my first 12 months of membership (which straddled two calendar years but only involved one $95 fee), I was able to get $100 in free American gift cards in 2019 and another $100 in free gift cards in January 2020. (Not only that, but I got credited 3.5% on each of these ¨travel purchases¨ and the offsetting statement credit for the incidentals did not claw back that 3.5%.) I used the American gift cards to purchase an already-planned trip to visit my mother.

So in my first twelve months of membership for one $95 fee, I got the $500 bonus and $200 of gift cards and $7 in bonus rewards statement credit.

Ongoingly, it looks like I can get $100 per year in usable American Airlines gift cards which will also generate a $3.50 bonus reward statement credit.

A little bit of gymnastics, and I did have to meet a $3,000 spend in the first three months to get the $500 bonus, but I timed it so that the lion´s share of the required spend was met by my annual auto/homeowners/umbrella premium (approx $2K) and three months worth of routine other stuff (utilities, public transit, etc.) made up the rest.

So long as the American gift card option continues, I will hold on to the card. (Interesting note: FrugalProf says he actually sell his American gift card online at a discount for $85, so his card costs him $10 per year.) Given the bonus described above, I will actually get paid $8.50 per year for my card going forward.

Also, every four years, I can also get them to pay for my TSA Pre or Global Entry fee.
Last edited by dodecahedron on Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:25 am, edited 4 times in total.

Jags4186
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:16 am

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm
So I funded a Merrill Edge account with the required amount, opened a Bank of America checking account, and got the free Bank of America Travel Card that accumulates 2.625% rebates that I can use via credits for travel charged to the card. It's been working well, including using arbitrage to charge Federal income tax. I collected bonuses on all three...the Merrill deposit, the checking account and the credit card. I don't travel much but find enough qualifying purchases to get my points redeemed.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade/add one of the other cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages (fees, for sure), of doing so. And any nuances?
1) book refundable travel
2) take statement credit against travel charge
3) cancel booking and get refund

I do this once a year for cards with that restriction.

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dodecahedron
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:21 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:16 am
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm
So I funded a Merrill Edge account with the required amount, opened a Bank of America checking account, and got the free Bank of America Travel Card that accumulates 2.625% rebates that I can use via credits for travel charged to the card. It's been working well, including using arbitrage to charge Federal income tax. I collected bonuses on all three...the Merrill deposit, the checking account and the credit card. I don't travel much but find enough qualifying purchases to get my points redeemed.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade/add one of the other cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages (fees, for sure), of doing so. And any nuances?
1) book refundable travel
2) take statement credit against travel charge
3) cancel booking and get refund

I do this once a year for cards with that restriction.
Other cards may give generic travel credit for booking travel in general, but BoA Premium does not work this way.

It has to be a specific category called ¨travel incidentals.¨ Just booking a ticket won´t work. But baggage fees, trip change fees, onboard food purchases do count. And apparently purchases of American airline gift cards also count as ¨travel incidentals.¨

Jags4186
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:15 am

dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:21 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:16 am
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm
So I funded a Merrill Edge account with the required amount, opened a Bank of America checking account, and got the free Bank of America Travel Card that accumulates 2.625% rebates that I can use via credits for travel charged to the card. It's been working well, including using arbitrage to charge Federal income tax. I collected bonuses on all three...the Merrill deposit, the checking account and the credit card. I don't travel much but find enough qualifying purchases to get my points redeemed.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade/add one of the other cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages (fees, for sure), of doing so. And any nuances?
1) book refundable travel
2) take statement credit against travel charge
3) cancel booking and get refund

I do this once a year for cards with that restriction.
Other cards may give generic travel credit for booking travel in general, but BoA Premium does not work this way.

It has to be a specific category called ¨travel incidentals.¨ Just booking a ticket won´t work. But baggage fees, trip change fees, onboard food purchases do count. And apparently purchases of American airline gift cards also count as ¨travel incidentals.¨
You need to be more creative :happy

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:06 am

Are you guys sure that the American Airline gift cards still trigger the travel incidentals credit? I have heard it stopped working on the Amex Platinum about eight months ago, but I don't know if that's unique to Amex or applies to cards issued by other banks that have similar travel credits.

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dodecahedron
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:50 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:06 am
Are you guys sure that the American Airline gift cards still trigger the travel incidentals credit? I have heard it stopped working on the Amex Platinum about eight months ago, but I don't know if that's unique to Amex or applies to cards issued by other banks that have similar travel credits.
There is a small lag, but yes, still good as of January 2020 for BoA Premium Card.

I bought a $100 American Airlines gift card with my BoA Premium on January 3. The hundred dollar travel incidental credit just showed up yesterday. Statement cycle does not end until 1/23, so this transaction nets out to zero before cycle closes and as added bonus generates a $3.50 cash back on the purchase (with no clawback on the cash back for the offsetting incidental credit.)

Topic Author
Leesbro63
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Leesbro63 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:02 am

What about Southwest or Spirit?

MAJIC9
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by MAJIC9 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:41 am

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:06 am
Are you guys sure that the American Airline gift cards still trigger the travel incidentals credit? I have heard it stopped working on the Amex Platinum about eight months ago, but I don't know if that's unique to Amex or applies to cards issued by other banks that have similar travel credits.
Yes, this still works..

deltaneutral83
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:20 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:07 pm
So I'm back to trying to figure out how spending $95 per year will put me ahead of the current no-fee Travel Card. The 50,000 point bonus certainly does. But after that, why would I keep this card? I'm not sure the bump for special categories would save me $95.
?, the $95 annual fee is offset by the $100 for incidentals and another poster mentioned the way to do this to capture the $100 without having to spend any money. This website isn't the best for those tactics as FlyerTalk is your spot for that. The 2.625% cash back on anything with no limits (if Platinum Honors) is the best in the game today (Also comes with 3.5% on dining no limit). You can imagine having a small business and paying taxes with something close to a 1.8-2% credit card fee can add up on six figures worth of taxes if you're getting 2.625% on this card. The other cash rewards cards are great too as you can designate your categories to get 5.25% cash back (up to $2,500 quarterly on dining/travel/online purchases/gas/drug stores for whichever category you select). Many people who prefer simplicity have the premium rewards and 2-4 cash rewards cards and designate the category they most use on the cash rewards cards. Straight cash back, zero points schemes to worry about, etc etc for those that like this route.

Topic Author
Leesbro63
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Leesbro63 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:25 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:20 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:07 pm
So I'm back to trying to figure out how spending $95 per year will put me ahead of the current no-fee Travel Card. The 50,000 point bonus certainly does. But after that, why would I keep this card? I'm not sure the bump for special categories would save me $95.
?, the $95 annual fee is offset by the $100 for incidentals and another poster mentioned the way to do this to capture the $100 without having to spend any money. This website isn't the best for those tactics as FlyerTalk is your spot for that. The 2.625% cash back on anything with no limits (if Platinum Honors) is the best in the game today (Also comes with 3.5% on dining no limit). You can imagine having a small business and paying taxes with something close to a 1.8-2% credit card fee can add up on six figures worth of taxes if you're getting 2.625% on this card. The other cash rewards cards are great too as you can designate your categories to get 5.25% cash back (up to $2,500 quarterly on dining/travel/online purchases/gas/drug stores for whichever category you select). Many people who prefer simplicity have the premium rewards and 2-4 cash rewards cards and designate the category they most use on the cash rewards cards. Straight cash back, zero points schemes to worry about, etc etc for those that like this route.
I've pretty much concluded this is too much work for too little benefit. And I can't remember the last time I flew American. I'll just keep my free BOA Travel Rewards card and enjoy the 2.625% rebate that I get as a Premium customer (or whatever they call me). Thank you all for the input here.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:51 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:25 pm
I've pretty much concluded this is too much work for too little benefit. And I can't remember the last time I flew American. I'll just keep my free BOA Travel Rewards card and enjoy the 2.625% rebate that I get as a Premium customer (or whatever they call me). Thank you all for the input here.
I think there may be some confusion. The 2.625% on anything is from the premium card + platinum honors, not the travel rewards card. Not sure why you referenced American, that certainly is not what I was talking about with regards to the premium card and the $100 credit for incidentals, buying an American gift card wouldn't do you much good unless you flew American in the future.... You can book refundable flights with "incidentals" and then cancel it the next week and the incidentals will still track on the BoA site. This is the aspect I was referring to that another poster mentioned as well. I'm like you in that I have no idea why one would buy a gift card. As far as the cash rewards cards, these are as straightforward as it gets for someone trying to maximize cash back on categories they most frequently use.

Topic Author
Leesbro63
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by Leesbro63 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:59 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:51 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:25 pm
I've pretty much concluded this is too much work for too little benefit. And I can't remember the last time I flew American. I'll just keep my free BOA Travel Rewards card and enjoy the 2.625% rebate that I get as a Premium customer (or whatever they call me). Thank you all for the input here.
I think there may be some confusion. The 2.625% on anything is from the premium card + platinum honors, not the travel rewards card. Not sure why you referenced American, that certainly is not what I was talking about with regards to the premium card and the $100 credit for incidentals, buying an American gift card wouldn't do you much good unless you flew American in the future.... You can book refundable flights with "incidentals" and then cancel it the next week and the incidentals will still track on the BoA site. This is the aspect I was referring to that another poster mentioned as well. I'm like you in that I have no idea why one would buy a gift card. As far as the cash rewards cards, these are as straightforward as it gets for someone trying to maximize cash back on categories they most frequently use.
I’m getting 2.625% with the free Travel Rewards card.

deltaneutral83
Posts: 1404
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:07 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:59 pm
I’m getting 2.625% with the free Travel Rewards card.
I'm sure that it does, what I was getting at is the premium comes with that and 3.5% on dining/travel, the decent sign up bonus ($500), decent insurance if you're flight or travel is delayed 12 hours or more, free TSA/GE statement credit, and the $95 AF is mitigated with a 3 minute refundable booking and 30 second cancellation a week later + $5. I haven't looked at the suite of BoA cards in a year or two, but if you have access to the platinum honors this card is a no brainer if cash back is your thing.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:16 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:51 pm
You can book refundable flights with "incidentals" and then cancel it the next week and the incidentals will still track on the BoA site. This is the aspect I was referring to that another poster mentioned as well.
I'm sure Bank of America will shut down that kind of chicanery in the not too distant future.

deltaneutral83
Posts: 1404
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: Upgrade Bank of America Credit Card?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:50 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:16 pm
deltaneutral83 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:51 pm
You can book refundable flights with "incidentals" and then cancel it the next week and the incidentals will still track on the BoA site. This is the aspect I was referring to that another poster mentioned as well.
I'm sure Bank of America will shut down that kind of chicanery in the not too distant future.
Eh, Southwest offers refundable flights on all of their bookings. I book with them frequently over the course of the year and have at least 3 or 4 bookings that don't materialize for one reason or the other. I would think BoA (and let's face it the others too) would crack down on buying the airline gift card first as they can tell that's not an incidental. Merrill also faces stiff competition as now everyone else offers no comissions on ETFs so if they are no where near the only game in town. I'm sure most have seen the brokerage bonus topics on here where people call in and basically tell BoA/Merrill they are out unless they hand out a retention bonus and the institution usually yields. They're usually happy to give out a couple hundred bucks to keep people happy.

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