Benefits of pairing BofA Cash and Travel Rewards Cards?

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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chefsteph
 
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Benefits of pairing BofA Cash and Travel Rewards Cards?

Postby chefsteph » Wed May 27, 2015 7:24 pm

Hey everyone,

Just wondering if there were any crossover benefits of pairing the BankAmericard Cash Rewards with the BankAmericard Travel Rewards? With the recent introduction of there Preferred Rewards program I've been considering a BankAmericard especially since I've been pre-approved for both Travel and Cash rewards but don't know too much about the in depth benefits. Would the pairing of those two cards be comparable to the pairing of the Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire combination? Or should I just stick with just one of the BankAmericards?


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Benefits of pairing BofA Cash and Travel Rewards Cards?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun May 31, 2015 11:52 am

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.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

takeshi
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Re: Benefits of pairing BofA Cash and Travel Rewards Cards?

Postby takeshi » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:41 am

chefsteph wrote:Would the pairing of those two cards be comparable to the pairing of the Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire combination? Or should I just stick with just one of the BankAmericards?

It really takes a more in-depth analysis of your spend and preferences versus just attempting to compare the different cards. The best solution isn't just a matter of the cards themselves but of the requirements of the specific individual. You'd really have to run the numbers to compare and see which you would stand to benefit most from. For Chase you need to carefully look at the UR transfer partners and ensure that you can leverage them to make the most value of UR points.



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