- Centurion Member
- Posts: 4059
- Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
- Location: United States
The Platinum Honors tier of Preferred Rewards makes BofA Travel Rewards an excellent "statement credit travel cash back" (like Arrival/+) card for off-category spending - giving 2.625%. Cash rewards gives 3.5% on groceries and 5.25% on gas. For no annual fees, transfer partners, or swipe minimums, that's a pretty good deal.
The tradeoff is that you have to have $100k spread across BofA, Merrill Lynch, and Merrill Edge accounts. $100k would be a lot for most people to have sitting liquid in a BofA checking/savings account, Merrill Lynch has high fees for investments, and Merrill Edge has low fees but a history of major website problems making the service unreliable. Some say it has improved, but I haven't investigated in detail.
The BofA customer service is (I've gone through the CFPB stats) probably better than a lot of people here say, but it's probably inferior to Chase/Amex/Discover/US Bank/USAA.
I think Platinum and Platinum Honors can be a good value if you like simplicity. The Gold tier of Preferred Rewards doesn't add quite as much.
If someone has an Amex EDP (with an annual fee, transfer partners, and a swipe minimum for the big rewards) then the BofA cards may be less appealing if that person spends a lot and flies often internationally. International flights sometimes allow for better MR redemption value.
CSP and Freedom are geared more to transferring points to loyalty programs. You get fewer points than you do with BofA, but the value per point can potentially be much higher.
Very useful: SchwabPlat, CSP, IHG, Costco (was AA Plat), Freedom, SPG
Somewhat useful: Discover, ED (was EDP), BCE, Hyatt, Arrival
May close or PC: Prestige, BrooksBros
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech