Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

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02nz
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by 02nz »

Rustum wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:02 pm I am planning to open ME trading account and get preferred rewards status. Do i need to open BofA checking account as well?
Thanks
Yes, a checking account is required, not for ME, but for Preferred Rewards. I opened one just for Preferred Rewards status, met the threshold with ME account, but because the checking account was inactive with zero balance, it was closed after a few months and I would've lost Preferred Rewards status. Thankfully a banker flagged this for me, and I opened another checking account, deposited $50, have done nothing with it since and no issues.
Eno Deb
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Eno Deb »

Rustum wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:58 pmThanks for the information. i am planning to open Joint trading account to invest our savings. That will give preferred rewards status for both if needed. We have IRA/Roth/HSA with Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab. They have options to invest money sitting in trading account into VMFXX, SPRXX and SWVXX. Vanguard and Fidelity are keeping money automatically. With Schwab, i need to see SWVXX to cover my purchase. Is there any similar options in ML.
I have a ME account. Unfortunately there are no longer any good automatic sweep options (they used to offer a money market fund, but now there's only the cash management account). But at least right now it doesn't really make a difference, since money market yields are close to zero and will probably stay that way for a while.

Personally I just transfer unused cash to an Ally savings account until I need it. It currently yields around 1%, whereas something like SPRXX sits at 0.05% ...
SS Rambo
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by SS Rambo »

whodidntante wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:18 pm
SS Rambo wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:48 pm I recently noticed they provide a 2% discount on currency exchange rates, and plan to take advantage of that before the next trip abroad. Has anyone looked into whether the quoted exchange rates at BoA are competitive (with or without the rewards discount)?
ATM once you land is less expensive. Schwab and fidelity offer accounts that refund atm surcharges, even abroad.
The ATM fee might be waived but I have found that the conversion rate used by ATMs (in Italy...) are very not favorable for the customer. You will pay double digit percent more than through an order at a US bank. Granted, this was Italy, but ATMs in general seem to be rampant money makers for their company, not much more.
Lastrun
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Lastrun »

Eno Deb wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:43 pm But at least right now it doesn't really make a difference, since money market yields are close to zero and will probably stay that way for a while.

Personally I just transfer unused cash to an Ally savings account until I need it. It currently yields around 1%, whereas something like SPRXX sits at 0.05% ...
Also remember, at 2.625% minimum spend and up to 5.25% on the top credit card cash back rewards it may actually make sense these days to hold cash at BofA ME at 0.06% if you need it to qualify for the top tier. Most of the classic cash options at ME, such as BPTXX, BIL, and SHV are at zero. Heck, even the Vanguard Federal Fund is at 0.15%. The online savings accounts will be the best options likely for a while.

I think is was Whodidntante who posted a while back that the game has changed and cash back credit cards and transfer bonuses are where the action is.
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whodidntante
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by whodidntante »

SS Rambo wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:06 pm
whodidntante wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:18 pm
SS Rambo wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:48 pm I recently noticed they provide a 2% discount on currency exchange rates, and plan to take advantage of that before the next trip abroad. Has anyone looked into whether the quoted exchange rates at BoA are competitive (with or without the rewards discount)?
ATM once you land is less expensive. Schwab and fidelity offer accounts that refund atm surcharges, even abroad.
The ATM fee might be waived but I have found that the conversion rate used by ATMs (in Italy...) are very not favorable for the customer. You will pay double digit percent more than through an order at a US bank. Granted, this was Italy, but ATMs in general seem to be rampant money makers for their company, not much more.
I seldom use the word never but NEVER accept dynamic currency conversion. That's where you went wrong. I know it's sneaky and meant to confuse you and deceive, but get to know it.

The ATM should not convert anything. You should withdraw Euros (in Italy).

The conversion rate will be close to spot rate. It's excellent.
fujiters
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by fujiters »

whodidntante wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:40 pm
SS Rambo wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:06 pm
whodidntante wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:18 pm
SS Rambo wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:48 pm I recently noticed they provide a 2% discount on currency exchange rates, and plan to take advantage of that before the next trip abroad. Has anyone looked into whether the quoted exchange rates at BoA are competitive (with or without the rewards discount)?
ATM once you land is less expensive. Schwab and fidelity offer accounts that refund atm surcharges, even abroad.
The ATM fee might be waived but I have found that the conversion rate used by ATMs (in Italy...) are very not favorable for the customer. You will pay double digit percent more than through an order at a US bank. Granted, this was Italy, but ATMs in general seem to be rampant money makers for their company, not much more.
I seldom use the word never but NEVER accept dynamic currency conversion. That's where you went wrong. I know it's sneaky and meant to confuse you and deceive, but get to know it.

The ATM should not convert anything. You should withdraw Euros (in Italy).

The conversion rate will be close to spot rate. It's excellent.
+1

I've compared the conversion rate from pulling cash from an ATM in local currency (using Schwab debit) to using TransferWise, and I've yet to have the ATM come out more expensive. I have noticed more ATMs giving the option to do dynamic currency conversion lately though--so you have to be more careful to decline it than in previous years. ATMs attached to banks seem less likely to offer it...for now.

For most purchases abroad, I simply use credit though. Great exchange rate plus 2.2+% cash back using the Premium Rewards card (or another card, if its rate is better than that for what I'm purchasing).
“The purpose of the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.” -Benjamin Graham
xerxes101
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by xerxes101 »

Lastrun wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:40 pm
xerxes101 wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:22 pm In my experience the checking account is not a requirement
I don’t think this is correct. From the ME website:

There are no fees to join or participate in Preferred Rewards. Here's all you need to enroll:
An eligible Bank of America personal checking account
Three-month average combined balances of $20,000 or more in qualifying Merrill investments accounts and/or Bank of America deposit accounts. Visit the Bank of America learning center for more information.

https://www.merrilledge.com/preferred-rewards
I stand corrected. Looks like B of A checking is indeed a requirement. Thanks for the correction Lastrun.
02nz
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by 02nz »

whodidntante wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:40 pm
SS Rambo wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:06 pm
whodidntante wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:18 pm
SS Rambo wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:48 pm I recently noticed they provide a 2% discount on currency exchange rates, and plan to take advantage of that before the next trip abroad. Has anyone looked into whether the quoted exchange rates at BoA are competitive (with or without the rewards discount)?
ATM once you land is less expensive. Schwab and fidelity offer accounts that refund atm surcharges, even abroad.
The ATM fee might be waived but I have found that the conversion rate used by ATMs (in Italy...) are very not favorable for the customer. You will pay double digit percent more than through an order at a US bank. Granted, this was Italy, but ATMs in general seem to be rampant money makers for their company, not much more.
I seldom use the word never but NEVER accept dynamic currency conversion. That's where you went wrong. I know it's sneaky and meant to confuse you and deceive, but get to know it.

The ATM should not convert anything. You should withdraw Euros (in Italy).

The conversion rate will be close to spot rate. It's excellent.
Yep, watch out for this particularly at tourist-heavy locations. I've traveled a lot in Europe but only came across this at ATMs in Rome and Prague, the two most heavily touristed cities I've been to in Europe. OTOH I've used many dozens of ATMs in Germany and never seen it.

There'a similar scheme for credit cards, again common in tourist establishments like hotels and duty-free shops. You are presented with the option to be charged in USD or the local currency. The spread is typically smaller than at ATMs (I think 5-6%), but of course you should still choose the local currency. Be careful when signing receipts - sometimes it's a checkbox, and they'll charge you in USD (merchant gets a cut) even if you choose local currency. Take a snapshot with your phone and dispute with CC company if needed. And get this - if your credit card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, in many cases it will still apply even if you choose to be charged in USD, because the transaction was in a foreign country. Yeah, the whole thing is a huge scam.
Rustum
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Rustum »

xerxes101 wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:54 am
Lastrun wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:40 pm Three-month average combined balances of $20,000 or more in qualifying Merrill investments accounts and/or Bank of America deposit accounts. Visit the Bank of America learning center for more information.

https://www.merrilledge.com/preferred-rewards
I stand corrected. Looks like B of A checking is indeed a requirement. Thanks for the correction Lastrun.
I opened ML joint trading account. To qualify for bonus, we need to move money in 45 days and keep it for 90days right? I also unused individual trading account in Fidelity and RH. I am using fidility for HSA and Roth IRA. Do we need to close individual trading accounts after opening joint account. Can i continue use my individual account as well. In case if we don't like joint account structure, i would like to move money split into our bank accounts and move to individual trading account. It should be fine right? Linking external bank accounts is very complex with ME. Is it better ideal to open BofA checking account and use it to transfer funds between external banks and ML.
Rustum
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Rustum »

Hi,
I have opened joint trading account. Working on moving funds from our saving/checking accounts into ML account. We are planning to move 200k to get $600. One of us, needs to open checking account with BofA to get reward status. What is the good cash sweep option? I guess, we have to move manually between cash sweep to trading for stock purchases. We are doing the same with schwab.
MikeG62
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MikeG62 »

Rustum wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:15 am Hi,
I have opened joint trading account. Working on moving funds from our saving/checking accounts into ML account. We are planning to move 200k to get $600. One of us, needs to open checking account with BofA to get reward status. What is the good cash sweep option? I guess, we have to move manually between cash sweep to trading for stock purchases. We are doing the same with schwab.
The bonus is $900 for moving in $200,000 (for accounts opened by July 15).

I opened both a CMA and an IRA and was able to collect $1,800 in bonuses. Also, I moved securities in-kind so no issues with cash sitting and earning next to zero.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience
sycamore
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sycamore »

MikeG62 wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:17 am
Rustum wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:15 am Hi,
I have opened joint trading account. Working on moving funds from our saving/checking accounts into ML account. We are planning to move 200k to get $600. One of us, needs to open checking account with BofA to get reward status. What is the good cash sweep option? I guess, we have to move manually between cash sweep to trading for stock purchases. We are doing the same with schwab.
The bonus is $900 for moving in $200,000 (for accounts opened by July 15).

I opened both a CMA and an IRA and was able to collect $1,800 in bonuses. Also, I moved securities in-kind so no issues with cash sitting and earning next to zero.
Note there are two different offers with different sign-up codes from Merrill Edge:
https://www.merrilledge.com/cmaoffer has $600 for $200k

https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/900offer has $900 for $200k but you have to get Preferred Rewards status too so another hoop to jump through. I think this has a fallback to $600 if you end up not meeting the additional requirements.
Rustum
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Rustum »

I am not sure which code i have used. I will check with them. What is the best Cash balance account to keep the money? I got some recommendations. Wondering the one with 100k balance to start with to get high interest rate.

Thanks
Last edited by Rustum on Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
02nz
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by 02nz »

Just got my bonus deposited into my traditional (rollover) IRA at ME. This was after already getting a bonus on my Roth IRA (that's the best bonus since it's totally tax-free!), so officially I didn't qualify but I called and they gave the same Preferred Rewards offer without too much trouble. I got an email from them with the terms after enrolling.
Gadget
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Gadget »

Rustum wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:50 am I am not sure which code i have used. I will check with them. What is the best Cash balance account to keep the money?

Thanks
There are no good cash options at Merrill Edge. Most people keep ETFs like VTI or something as part of their normal stock allocation. There are no transaction fees at Merrill Edge for buying/selling ETFs.

That said, cash isn't making money anywhere right now. So it probably doesn't matter much.
invstar
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by invstar »

I have 150k sitting in a bank savings account (not BoA). I also have a Roth IRA account at Vanguard with around $30k balance and my wife has a trad IRA with a a balance of around $30k. The total will be above 200k. Will it allow us utilize the bonus offer if we open a joint checking account? I already have the preferred rewards card. Couldn't find more info on this on their site. Thank you.
MikeG62 wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:17 am
Rustum wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:15 am Hi,
I have opened joint trading account. Working on moving funds from our saving/checking accounts into ML account. We are planning to move 200k to get $600. One of us, needs to open checking account with BofA to get reward status. What is the good cash sweep option? I guess, we have to move manually between cash sweep to trading for stock purchases. We are doing the same with schwab.
The bonus is $900 for moving in $200,000 (for accounts opened by July 15).

I opened both a CMA and an IRA and was able to collect $1,800 in bonuses. Also, I moved securities in-kind so no issues with cash sitting and earning next to zero.
02nz
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by 02nz »

Gadget wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:03 pm That said, cash isn't making money anywhere right now.
It is if you put it to work, with bank (and brokerage) bonuses! :moneybag
DrGrnTum
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by DrGrnTum »

Interesting write-up from a travel credit card churning site.
The writer talks about retirement investing and The Preferred Rewards program.
The writer also mentions a "Larry".

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/ ... esFeed.com
sycamore
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sycamore »

In case anyone wonders about a timeline for getting enrolled in Preferred Rewards, here's my experience:

June 18: opened BAC checking and Merrill Edge accounts
June 19: initiated transfer request from Merrill Edge to pull funds from my other brokerage account
June 23: funds showed up in Merrill Edge account
July 21: BAC notified me I'm enrolled in Preferred Rewards

So far so good.

Edited to add: I deposited $200k to reach a certain bonus level, which seems to explain the quick enrollment time for me.
Last edited by sycamore on Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MisterBill
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill »

invstar wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:12 pm I have 150k sitting in a bank savings account (not BoA). I also have a Roth IRA account at Vanguard with around $30k balance and my wife has a trad IRA with a a balance of around $30k. The total will be above 200k. Will it allow us utilize the bonus offer if we open a joint checking account? I already have the preferred rewards card. Couldn't find more info on this on their site. Thank you.
Yes, that will work. However, be aware that BofA's interest rates are terrible. Of course, I'm not sure what you are earning now. You might consider transferring much of that cash into a Merrill Edge account so you can get a large signup bonus. You could always buy CD's or leave it as cash.
MisterBill
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by MisterBill »

sycamore wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:13 pm In case anyone wonders about a timeline for getting enrolled in Preferred Rewards, here's my experience:

June 18: opened BAC checking and Merrill Edge accounts
June 19: initiated transfer request from Merrill Edge to pull funds from my other brokerage account
June 23: funds showed up in Merrill Edge account
July 21: BAC notified me I'm enrolled in Preferred Rewards

So far so good.
Wow, that's faster than usual. Did you add a large amount of money so your 3 month average with only one month of balances was still high?
sycamore
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sycamore »

MisterBill wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:44 pm
sycamore wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:13 pm In case anyone wonders about a timeline for getting enrolled in Preferred Rewards, here's my experience:

June 18: opened BAC checking and Merrill Edge accounts
June 19: initiated transfer request from Merrill Edge to pull funds from my other brokerage account
June 23: funds showed up in Merrill Edge account
July 21: BAC notified me I'm enrolled in Preferred Rewards

So far so good.
Wow, that's faster than usual. Did you add a large amount of money so your 3 month average with only one month of balances was still high?
MisterBill, you're right about that - I deposited $200k to reach a certain bonus level. Makes sense that had something to do with it.
arsenal_fan
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by arsenal_fan »

Lastrun wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:40 pm
xerxes101 wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:22 pm In my experience the checking account is not a requirement
I don’t think this is correct. From the ME website:

There are no fees to join or participate in Preferred Rewards. Here's all you need to enroll:
An eligible Bank of America personal checking account
Three-month average combined balances of $20,000 or more in qualifying Merrill investments accounts and/or Bank of America deposit accounts. Visit the Bank of America learning center for more information.

https://www.merrilledge.com/preferred-rewards
Any one know which is the best hassle-free checking account to open? Don't wish to use this account for anything other than Preferred Rewards status which I want to sign up for in the coming month.
02nz
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by 02nz »

arsenal_fan wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:06 pm
Lastrun wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:40 pm
xerxes101 wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:22 pm In my experience the checking account is not a requirement
I don’t think this is correct. From the ME website:

There are no fees to join or participate in Preferred Rewards. Here's all you need to enroll:
An eligible Bank of America personal checking account
Three-month average combined balances of $20,000 or more in qualifying Merrill investments accounts and/or Bank of America deposit accounts. Visit the Bank of America learning center for more information.

https://www.merrilledge.com/preferred-rewards
Any one know which is the best hassle-free checking account to open? Don't wish to use this account for anything other than Preferred Rewards status which I want to sign up for in the coming month.
I have a checking account that shows up on BoA's website as "ADV RELATIONSHIP BANKING" and it's been fine, I keep $50 in it to keep it open and fulfill the requirement for Preferred Rewards. I haven't been charged any maintenance fees. No direct deposit or any other requirements.
arsenal_fan
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by arsenal_fan »

02nz wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:39 pm
arsenal_fan wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:06 pm
Lastrun wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:40 pm
xerxes101 wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:22 pm In my experience the checking account is not a requirement
I don’t think this is correct. From the ME website:

There are no fees to join or participate in Preferred Rewards. Here's all you need to enroll:
An eligible Bank of America personal checking account
Three-month average combined balances of $20,000 or more in qualifying Merrill investments accounts and/or Bank of America deposit accounts. Visit the Bank of America learning center for more information.

https://www.merrilledge.com/preferred-rewards
Any one know which is the best hassle-free checking account to open? Don't wish to use this account for anything other than Preferred Rewards status which I want to sign up for in the coming month.
I have a checking account that shows up on BoA's website as "ADV RELATIONSHIP BANKING" and it's been fine, I keep $50 in it to keep it open and fulfill the requirement for Preferred Rewards. I haven't been charged any maintenance fees. No direct deposit or any other requirements.
Thanks!
SS Rambo
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by SS Rambo »

Does anyone know if BoA categorizes Amazon Fresh payments as Online Shopping or as Grocery/Wholesale for the category spend bonus?
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dodecahedron
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by dodecahedron »

SS Rambo wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:22 am Does anyone know if BoA categorizes Amazon Fresh payments as Online Shopping or as Grocery/Wholesale for the category spend bonus?
I don't know for sure but strongly suspect it is online shopping. If I order groceries online from local grocer or from Target, it counts as Online for BoA Cash Rewards. It even counts as online if I buy or reload a *gift card* online from my local grocer, which is what I do if I plan to shop there in person.

Online is a very all-encompassing umbrella category for BoA Cash Rewards. (E.g., if you buy a train, bus, or plane ticket online--as opposed to standing in line at a ticket counter to pay for it F2F, it will count as Online for BoA, even though it is also Travel.)
sailaway
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sailaway »

dodecahedron wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:08 am
SS Rambo wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:22 am Does anyone know if BoA categorizes Amazon Fresh payments as Online Shopping or as Grocery/Wholesale for the category spend bonus?
I don't know for sure but strongly suspect it is online shopping. If I order groceries online from local grocer or from Target, it counts as Online for BoA Cash Rewards. It even counts as online if I buy or reload a *gift card* online from my local grocer, which is what I do if I plan to shop there in person.

Online is a very all-encompassing umbrella category for BoA Cash Rewards. (E.g., if you buy a train, bus, or plane ticket online--as opposed to standing in line at a ticket counter to pay for it F2F, it will count as Online for BoA, even though it is also Travel.)
Other than the things they explicitly exclude, like insurance and government payments, the only thing that I have done online that doesn't count as online is paying for yoga with mindbody.com. It's a nice boost to charitable giving, though!
soobaerodude
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by soobaerodude »

It looks like the 100 free trades per month is gone from Preferred Rewards. Does anyone know when this happened?

I'm currently at Wells Trade, and was grandfathered in with their 100 free trades per month, but those disappeared too.
Nummerkins
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Nummerkins »

soobaerodude wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:13 pm It looks like the 100 free trades per month is gone from Preferred Rewards. Does anyone know when this happened?
Uh, it went to unlimited free trades almost a year ago like every other broker.
Today's high is tomorrow's low.
Hyperchicken
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Hyperchicken »

This happened on October 1st, 2019, if I remember correctly. Free trades for all since then.

Fun fact - I opened ME account in September 2019, and even though I have Preferred Rewards status, it took few days for my free trades to activate. I bought some ETF without realizing that, and was charged $6. :oops: A day or two later, Preferred Rewards kicked in, and I got my X free trades per month (I forgot what that number was). Another few days later unlimited free trades for everyone started. At least that $6 got added to the cost basis. :mrgreen:
soobaerodude
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by soobaerodude »

Nummerkins wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:16 pm
soobaerodude wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:13 pm It looks like the 100 free trades per month is gone from Preferred Rewards. Does anyone know when this happened?
Uh, it went to unlimited free trades almost a year ago like every other broker.
I should've specified, free trades including any mutual fund. This is what Wells Trade used to offer. Did Merrill include mutual funds too?
tj
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by tj »

soobaerodude wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:19 pm
Nummerkins wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:16 pm
soobaerodude wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:13 pm It looks like the 100 free trades per month is gone from Preferred Rewards. Does anyone know when this happened?
Uh, it went to unlimited free trades almost a year ago like every other broker.
I should've specified, free trades including any mutual fund. This is what Wells Trade used to offer. Did Merrill include mutual funds too?

Merrill never included free mutual funds trades other than the ones on their ntf list.
student
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by student »

tj wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:59 pm
soobaerodude wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:19 pm
Nummerkins wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:16 pm
soobaerodude wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:13 pm It looks like the 100 free trades per month is gone from Preferred Rewards. Does anyone know when this happened?
Uh, it went to unlimited free trades almost a year ago like every other broker.
I should've specified, free trades including any mutual fund. This is what Wells Trade used to offer. Did Merrill include mutual funds too?

Merrill never included free mutual funds trades other than the ones on their ntf list.
That's my understanding too.
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Callisto
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Callisto »

In case anyone is considering this, there's a better code than the 900 referenced above.

The best code I found was 1000ME, which is 1k for 200k and 500 for 100k, held for 6 months. It seems like they actively advertise the 600 offer, where you only need to keep funds in for three months.

Unfortunately, they don't allow UPRO/TMF in IRAs. Oddly, I've heard people say they were allowed to hold them at Merrill. Don't know why its inconsistent, but important for those of us in Hedgefundie.
xerxes101
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by xerxes101 »

Does anyone know, if you have two separate accounts say one with a 200K balance and one with a 100K balance, can you collect $1500 total bonus, or there is a limit on the number of bonuses you could claim?
tj
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by tj »

xerxes101 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:55 pm Does anyone know, if you have two separate accounts say one with a 200K balance and one with a 100K balance, can you collect $1500 total bonus, or there is a limit on the number of bonuses you could claim?
You can do an IRA and a taxable brokerage.
RobotsRock
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by RobotsRock »

Thought I'd post my experience given all the information I've gotten from this thread and the forum:

June 8th - Account Opened / Transfer Initiated from Vanguard
June 11th - $200k+ posted in Merrill Edge
July 16th - Bank of America Advantage Plus bank account opened
July 27th - Expected automatic enrollment in preferred rewards based on 45 days from $200k+ posting in Merrill Edge
September 3rd - Preferred Rewards page says I'm "making progress"
September 4th - Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors eligibility and manual enrollment (85 days since transfer posted on June 11th / 88 days from Merrill Edge account opening / 50 days since opening checking account)
September 14th - $900 Bonus posts (95 days since transfer posted on June 11th)

Couple of notes:
The 45 day promotional automatic enrollment in Preferred Rewards from the date of the $200k+ deposit was not honored. After hours on the phone, raising multiple tickets on both the Bank of America and Merrill Edge sides, and exchanging documentation of the terms when I enrolled in the program, they claimed I had to open the bank account by July 15th for that offer. The terms only mentioned enrolling in the offer by July 15th. Not a great customer service experience, with differing explanations nearly every time I called in and finger pointing between the different divisions.

I did not need to wait 3 months from when the Bank of America checking account was opened; I've seen conflicting reports about that on this forum. I qualified for Preferred Rewards based on having 3 calendar months worth of funds by September 4th in Merrill Edge and having my checking account open for about 50 days.

Outside of promotional enrollment offers, it appears that the Preferred Rewards qualification runs on the 3rd business day of each month (given the 'making progress' message on September 3rd) and allows enrollment on the 4th business day of each month. So if you don't have Preferred Rewards status at the time of enrollment in the Merrill Edge offer, probably best to open up the account / transfer funds towards the mid to end of any given calendar month versus beginning - I barely made it to have Preferred Rewards status at the 90 day mark from when the funds were transferred in per the terms. Talk about blood pressure swings checking obsessively to make sure I enrolled in time!
sycamore
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sycamore »

RobotsRock wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:52 pm Thought I'd post my experience given all the information I've gotten from this thread and the forum:
...
RobotsRock, welcome to the forum, and thanks for sharing your experience.

My experience was smoother -- appears the main difference was I opened the BofA checking accounts earlier (actually, did it on the same day as the Edge account in mid June). I don't remember what the terms stated about when the checking account had to be opened but it's entirely possible the terms had some wiggle room rather than being totally clear. That's annoying but one of the things I've learned to watch out for with these offers (not just from BofA).

Glad you got the $900 bonus; mine should be showing up soon.
likashing
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by likashing »

I qualify for Platinum through my IRA at ME. I have a 5.25% cashback cards and my spouse has another cashback card, but my spouse does not qualify for Platinum.

If we change my spouse's credit card to be a "joint" card, will it become another 5.25% cashback card?

It is probably more straight forward for me to get another card from BoA. Just wondering though.
Tingting1013
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Tingting1013 »

likashing wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:42 pm I qualify for Platinum through my IRA at ME. I have a 5.25% cashback cards and my spouse has another cashback card, but my spouse does not qualify for Platinum.

If we change my spouse's credit card to be a "joint" card, will it become another 5.25% cashback card?

It is probably more straight forward for me to get another card from BoA. Just wondering though.
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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by FrugalProfessor »

likashing wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:42 pm I qualify for Platinum through my IRA at ME. I have a 5.25% cashback cards and my spouse has another cashback card, but my spouse does not qualify for Platinum.

If we change my spouse's credit card to be a "joint" card, will it become another 5.25% cashback card?

It is probably more straight forward for me to get another card from BoA. Just wondering though.
I'm not sure if boa does joint credit cards. If you are referring to authorized users, that won't solve your problem.

Both my wife and I have a joint brokerage at Merrill Edge with 100k of VTSAX. Given that it is a joint brokerage account, both of our individual credit cards qualify for the platinum honors. We are each authorized users on each other's cards.
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.
eukonomos
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by eukonomos »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:02 pm
likashing wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:42 pm I qualify for Platinum through my IRA at ME. I have a 5.25% cashback cards and my spouse has another cashback card, but my spouse does not qualify for Platinum.

If we change my spouse's credit card to be a "joint" card, will it become another 5.25% cashback card?

It is probably more straight forward for me to get another card from BoA. Just wondering though.
I'm not sure if boa does joint credit cards. If you are referring to authorized users, that won't solve your problem.

Both my wife and I have a joint brokerage at Merrill Edge with 100k of VTSAX. Given that it is a joint brokerage account, both of our individual credit cards qualify for the platinum honors. We are each authorized users on each other's cards.
My experience is that BoA does "joint" - there is a co-borrower, rather than an authorized user. Each co-borrower can view the account on their login. Either co-borrower will maintain the card on the death of the other.

I'd suggest calling to ask whether spouse's card will qualify for the 75% bonus if you are added as co-borrower,
sailaway
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by sailaway »

I am an authorized user on DH's credit cards. I cannot see any details when I use my login to access our joint checking. I have to get him to login to change categories.
atdharris
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by atdharris »

On a somewhat related note - I just got a call from a Merrill Financial Solutions advisor saying it was time for my "periodic review." I am currently with the self-directed ME service. I assume he is just calling to try to get me to sign up with an advisor? I have never received a call like this before and I've been a platinum honors client now for about 4 years.
Lee_WSP
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Lee_WSP »

likashing wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:42 pm I qualify for Platinum through my IRA at ME. I have a 5.25% cashback cards and my spouse has another cashback card, but my spouse does not qualify for Platinum.

If we change my spouse's credit card to be a "joint" card, will it become another 5.25% cashback card?

It is probably more straight forward for me to get another card from BoA. Just wondering though.
The Merrill edge account and credit card need to be linked via their online voodo. I'm not sure if they link spouses accounts or if you're able to link multiple accounts, but its worth a call.
drk
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Location: Seattle

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by drk »

atdharris wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:48 am On a somewhat related note - I just got a call from a Merrill Financial Solutions advisor saying it was time for my "periodic review." I am currently with the self-directed ME service. I assume he is just calling to try to get me to sign up with an advisor? I have never received a call like this before and I've been a platinum honors client now for about 4 years.
One of the reasons for Merrill Edge's existence is grooming potential Merrill clients. They call once in a while to make sure that you're having a positive experience and make you aware that they're available in case you want to learn about everything on offer. Personally, I've never felt pressured to upgrade the relationship.
atdharris
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by atdharris »

drk wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:57 pm
atdharris wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:48 am On a somewhat related note - I just got a call from a Merrill Financial Solutions advisor saying it was time for my "periodic review." I am currently with the self-directed ME service. I assume he is just calling to try to get me to sign up with an advisor? I have never received a call like this before and I've been a platinum honors client now for about 4 years.
One of the reasons for Merrill Edge's existence is grooming potential Merrill clients. They call once in a while to make sure that you're having a positive experience and make you aware that they're available in case you want to learn about everything on offer. Personally, I've never felt pressured to upgrade the relationship.
That's what I assumed. Perhaps it's worth a call back in that case. I wanted to avoid having something pushed on me at present.
Leesbro63
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by Leesbro63 »

atdharris wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:48 am On a somewhat related note - I just got a call from a Merrill Financial Solutions advisor saying it was time for my "periodic review." I am currently with the self-directed ME service. I assume he is just calling to try to get me to sign up with an advisor? I have never received a call like this before and I've been a platinum honors client now for about 4 years.
I get those calls and generally let them go to voicemail. They might call again but after I ignore them a few times they stop. Sometimes I'll email the "advisor du jour" (they come and go quickly) and let him know I got his call and I'm fine and will contact him if needed. My quality of life has improved, by the way, since I quit answering most phone calls. I'll take calls from good friends but others I call back, or not, at my discretion.
drk
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Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Post by drk »

atdharris wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:07 pm That's what I assumed. Perhaps it's worth a call back in that case. I wanted to avoid having something pushed on me at present.
You can if you like, but I would second Leesbro63's approach.
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