The war of the wallet continues with the announcement of yet another premium rewards card. This time it's Bank of America, with a planned rewards credit card that earns bonuses in tiers - based on the amount of money you keep in a BOA checking, savings or investment account. Thanks to reporting by the Wall Street Journal, we now know some of the details of this new card.
The Quick Gist
Release Date: September Annual Fee: $95 Sign on Bonus 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in first 90 days
Standard Tier- 2 points/$ on travel and dining- 1.5 points/$ on everything else
Between $20,000 and $50,000 in a BOA account- 2.5 points/$ on travel and dining- 1.875 points/$ on everything else
Between $50,000 and $100,000 in a BOA account- 3 points/$ on travel and dining- 2 points/$ on everything else
More than $100,000 in a BOA account- 3.5 points/$ on travel and dining- 2.6 points/$ on everything else
So far, the main benefit we know is a $100/year travel incidental reimbursement, which is quite good considering the annual fee is only $95.
The Birch Take
Although the rewards setup seems a bit confusing, this is actually a really common rewards offer from Bank of America. They already have preferred reward tiers for existing cardholders, where you earn variable points based on being a Bank of America Cardholder and meeting certain account balances.
Depending on the benefits, I would hold off on applying for this card unless you hold a balance of $100,000 in one of Bank of America's accounts. Even at that top tier, it's hard to compete with a card like the Citi ThankYou Premier, which earns 3x the points on travel and can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each at minimum. Without having to worry about another account balance, that's 3.75% back on travel purchases, versus the 3.5% here even with the highest tier.
However, if you spend a lot on dining + meet that account minimum it's a good card to consider, as you would earn 3.5% back on travel and dining with 2.6% on everything else - higher then most other base earning rates available. In that case, I would combine this card with a co-branded travel card, ideally the hotel brand or airline you spend with the most.
We'll keep you updated as we know more!