The 4 Best Bank of America Rewards Cards

Bank of America has several lesser-known but still excellent rewards credit cards. They will approve at most 2 cards every 2 months, 3 cards every 12 months, and 4 cards every 24 months. That limit applies to Bank of America cards only, rather than being like Chase which looks at the cards you’ve opened from all sources.


Copyright: wolterk / 123RF Stock Photo

Here are, in my opinion, the 5 best rewards cards from Bank of America:

  1. Asiana Visa Signature Credit Card. Asiana has some of the most valuable miles in the world, but they’re tough to earn, you can’t transfer from any of the major bank currencies to Asiana. That makes this $99 annual fee card super valuable.

    They’re a member of Star Alliance and charge just 80,000 miles roundtrip in https://viewfromthewing.com/?p=110355&preview=truebusiness class or 100,000 in first class between the US and Europe and allow 7 stopovers in addition to your destination.

    The Asiana Visa comes with a 30,000 mile initial bonus (10,000 each year at renewal), double miles on gas and groceries, and a $100 annual rebate on Asiana purchases (taxes/fees on award tickets). (There’s also an Asiana small business card.)

  2. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature 40,000 Mileage Plan miles and a $100 statement credit after $2000 spend within 3 months. The card has a $75 annual fee.

    Alaska Airlines miles are super valuable, they have eclectic partners and generally good award prices plus allow a stopover on one way awards. You cannot transfer from any bank program to Alaska, so earning the miles directly makes sense.

    And as for keeping the card, the annual $99+tax companion ticket is valuable since it can be used for any seat — but one seat, the second one is discounted without restrictions (the $99 companion even earns miles).

  3. Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard there’s regularly been offers of up to 90,000 miles (75,000 usually requires $12,000 spend, and there’s a 15,000 mile anniversary bonus based on spend as well.) However I haven’t seen that offer in a few months.

    I consider Virgin’s miles to be worth less than other miles but there are incredible values like 110,000 – 120,000 mile roundtrips to Tokyo in ANA first class; 50,000 Delta miles each way between the US and Europe (60,000 for Asia); 125,000 miles roundtrip between the US and New Zealand on Air New Zealand — which is rarely available.

    Virgin partners with bank transferable currencies so you don’t need this card to earn their miles, and those cards can earn faster too, so I generally recommend transferring points into Virgin when you need them rather than spending on this card.

  4. Bank of America® Premium Rewards® this earns travel rebate points, not points that transfer to frequent flyer miles. However there’s solid value here for BofA investment clients though. Through Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program earning on the card ramps up based on assets on deposit:

    • $20,000-$49,999: 2.5x on travel and dining, 1.875x on other spend
    • $50,000-$99,999: 3x on travel and dining, 2.25x on other spend
    • $100,000+: 3.5x on travel and dining, 2.625x on other spend

  5. Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard has decent earning (1.5 miles per dollar on spend) and spend can earn elite qualifying miles. However you’ll earn points faster with bank transferable currencies and Air France KLM partners with everyone so there’s no shortage of ways to top off on their points (which I value largely for the extra availability they offer their own members versus award space offered to partner airlines).

Some will be partial to the Amtrak card, though the program no longer offers superior value and I consider it to be untrustworthy.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. What’s the status of getting multiple Alaska Air personal cards these days? It used to be easy, but I have a vague recollection that they cracked down on that. Thanks.

  2. I applied for the Alaska Airlines card 2-3 weeks ago, received an online message that it was being reviewed, and have heard nothing since–either through email or postal mail. And the link where I could supposedly check on its status always says the application is unavailable. Rather frustrating. I have no other Bank of America cards, and my credit rating is excellent, so I’m not sure what the problem is.

  3. Susan,
    After almost 30 years of having BofA accounts of all sorts, I’m slowly pulling out entirely — slowly only for my own convenience. They have made two gigantic mistakes which caused me hours and hours of complicated work on their behalf and crawling to buyers and sellers I dealt with. The customer service side of the bank is in total disarray. If something doesn’t work by magic robot, then it doesn’t work at all.
    Every branch has fewer workers, long lines and has become more and more DIY. Next week will be a whole new cast of characters.
    I honestly think they have completely given up on dealing with individual customers and must have moved to some sort of all business to business model.
    One of their mistakes was so egregious that the new director of my state’s central region came to see me and apologize. I thanked her and pointed out #1. this was not the first similar error from BofA, only the worst and most recent and #2. that corporate apologies are absolutely worthless on the open market.
    What you are getting on your credit card application is par for the course.

  4. @Cassandra,
    Thanks for that warning. Perhaps it would be best to just let this one go and not even bother with the card, if it is just an omen of things to come…

  5. Bank of America does look at cards opened with other banks to deny their own issued credit cards as it recently happened to me.
    I was denied a hotel card because I had opened “too many cards” from other banks recently.

    I have only one BoA Alaska business card which I have had for 3 years. The other “too many cards” were 3 chase cards opened in last 2 years.

    They would not budge.
    Norita

  6. @Norita, I guess that would explain the card being denied, as I have slightly more than you. But it would be nice if they at least let me know it is denied.

  7. @Gary you forgot to mention the Spirit card, for those who value travel on Spirit… I’ve even heard they have more award space at the saver level than some major airlines!

  8. I’d watch out. BofA has a sneaky website to try to trick you into not paying in full. My first action on new cards is to set up autopay and I did so on my Alaska card by saying “pay full amount due”. Unfortunately they have 3(!) options: minimum, full amount due, and whole balance. If you pick “full amount” it just pays the minimum (“plus fees”). I noticed after three months and not too much interest, but the system/bug is only there because people screw it up. Definitely not ethical, and worth avoiding the bank altogether.

  9. Interesting. That Alaska Airlines credit card I applied for over two weeks ago was just approved. I got an email saying it’s on its way. That’s the longest it’s ever taken me to have a credit card approved. And @Mitchmill, I will be very careful how I set up my autopay. Thanks for the warning.

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