Diving Into the Lesser-Known Gems: Here are the 5 Best Rewards Cards from Bank of America

I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, and other banks are advertising partners of this site. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

Earlier in the month I laid out my argument for the 5 best all-around rewards credit cards.

But there are different cards which meet each of the (3) main reasons to carry a card:

  • Those you get just for the signup bonus, but you may not want to keep spending on the card after you’ve earned the bonus.
  • Those you get for the benefit of having the card, the benefits are great, but it may not be one you actually want to put spend on.
  • Those that are most rewarding for everyday spending.
  • That’s why I separately laid out the five best credit card bonuses, the five cards with the best benefits, and the 5 most rewarding cards for spending.

    There are a lot of cards that don’t get featured, that may work in specific cases for many of my readers. One of the things I frequently get asked, there are so many great Chase cards but there’s only so many cards that you’re going to get approved for from a single issuer in a given time span. What about Bank of America and other issuers?

    While I do receive referral credit from several banks when readers use my links and apply, that’s not the case with Bank of America which is the first bank I’m focusing on in this series.

    I looked at the best cards from Bank of America earlier in the year, but the offers are better now than they were at the time.

    1. Bank of America Travel Rewards normally is pretty mediocre, 1.5 points per dollar on spend and no foreign transaction fees. But pair it with the new Preferred Rewards program at BofA and customers who keep $100,000 or more in funds with the bank actually earn a return of over 2.6%.

    2. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature. 25,000 bonus miles after approval, and a $100 statement credit after $1000 spend within 90 days. $75 annual fee. Card comes with a $99+tax companion certificate valid for any coach seat in conjunction with a pad ticket (both tickets earn miles). Alaska miles can be used on partners like Qantas, Emirates, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, Air France, American, and KLM.

    3. Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express. This is a 2% cash back card on all spending with no annual fee, the gold standard of cash back, with funds deposited into a Fidelity account. It’s issued by FIA Card Services, the former MBNA, which is part of Bank of America.

    4. Virgin Atlantic MasterCard. Up to 90,000 miles as a signup bonus, but that requires way too much spend, I look at this as an 82,5000 mile signup bonus card. Virgin Atlantic miles aren’t one of the better currencies but there are ways to maximize their value, and the card does earn 1.5 miles per dollar on all spend.

    5. Asiana American Express. 25,000 miles after $2500 purchases within 90 days. Asiana is a Star Alliance airline with distance-based award chart which does hit you with fuel surcharges on award tickets. Each year you get 2 Asiana Airlines lounge invitations, a 10,000 bonus Miles certificate, and a $100 automatic rebate on Asiana Airlines tickets. While they no longer offer the card with double miles on all spending, there’s still hidden value in the Asiana award chart.

    Honorable mention of course continues to go to the Spirit Air World MasterCard. Just kidding. Yes, I know the card lets you redeem a very low number of points for Spirit flights that would have cost a very little amount of cash anyway, and then you’re flying Spirit.

    Since Bank of America hasn’t been all that active in the rewards space, outside of the Alaska and Virgin cards, I haven’t been as close a follower of their offerings as I have been with other banks. So I’d love to hear from my readers if I’m missing a stellar offer. Personally I’ve just had a lot of Alaska and Virgin cards over time.

    Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.

    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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    1. Gary — Asiana completely revamped their award chart earlier this year. The chart is now zone based, and the real gem is US-Europe r/t in F for 100,000 miles.

    2. I’ve had a bunch of these also but my next one is a Spirit card. Simple reason is that they just started flying out of MCI, They have been giving away points like candy and I will need to fly them some (can you say the only MCI-DTW sexy non-stop) and you need the card to redeem for any sort of value. It’s like having the grocery store key fob. You might not love it but you need it to get the best price 🙂 The Key Fob of Credit Cards I say.

    3. The Virgin Atlantic card hasn’t been amex for quite some time now. Mastercard these days…

    4. The Preferred Rewards program also extends across several other BofA cards. I have upgraded my Cash Rewards card from them. The program is tiered, depending on how much money you have on deposit with them (including Merrill Lynch accounts)and is not available in all states yet. Anybody who does have at least $20,000 on deposit with them probably should call 888-888-7937 or check BofA website and find out the particulars.

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