Merrill+ Visa Signature 50,000 Point Bonus Offer Worth Up to $1000

Merrill Lynch was acquired by Bank of America during the financial crises. It was effectively a bail out. Of course that put Bank of America on the hook for a good deal of liability. It also means that they issue the Merrill Lynch credit card, and they apparently want new cardmembers because they’ve got an aggressive sign up bonus for the product: 50,000 points after $3,000 in spend within the first 90 days.

This is a no annual fee card that will give you a Delta SkyClub membership after $50,000 spend in a year (or choose a $200 travel credit instead). I wonder how they’re able to do this given Delta’s co-brand exclusivity with American Express or rather I’m surprised that they’re able to do this and that the American Express agreement doesn’t preclude it.

Seattle SkyClub

Points are worth a penny apiece as statement credits or two cents apiece towards travel under some specific circumstances, so the signup bonus can buy $1000 in travel.

  • You have to redeem 25,000 at a time. So a $500 ticket can be redeemed for 25,000 points. But your points are only worth a penny apiece towards amounts over $500 in airfare (redeemed in 2500 point increments).

  • The 2 cent value for your first $500 only applies to American, British Airways, Delta, and United. Other carriers get you just 1.67 cents in value for that first $500 (30,000 points for up to $500 in airfare).

Basically you want to play ‘Price is Right’ with this card’s redemptions: as close to a $500 airline ticket as possible without going over, and restricted to airlines where you get the best value.

It’s a good signup bonus from an issuer many don’t have a ton of cards from, but there are some hoops to go through to maximize value.

(HT: Doctor of Credit)

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, 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. Are there transfer partners, and/or can the points be redeemed against other forms of travel than airfare for more than $.01/each?

    Additionally, I would imagine you would have covered it in the post but are there any MS Opportunities with this card? (2x at gas stations, etc)

  2. This sounds great as a use and ditch scenario for two domestic trips with the 0.02 value per point. Other than that the programs seems a bit inflexible with the 25k threshold for travel redemptions.

  3. Is it restricted to redemption for economy class, or can it be used for first class tickets?

  4. Can you buy Southwest tickets with these points. I have companion pass for BOGO. I’m also way over 5/24 so my options to get large future chunks of Southwest points from Chase credit card bonuses are locked shut for nearly 2 years.

  5. I had this car forever. Used be good for AA membership or Delta. Now Delta only but they had this benfit for many years. There are some other minor perks at the 50K level as well.The card used to have all sorts of other major perks at eh 50K spending level

  6. So, if I want a ticket for $1,200, and I have 50K in points, will they let me pay the balance with a CC?

  7. Got the card and got my 50,000 sign up points. Went to their travel portal to look at booking a flight on Southwest. But didn’t see SW listed as one of the airlines. Do you know if they participate?

  8. Gary, do you know if flights booked using the points from the Merrill Lynch card will earn points? I.e. are they treated as a normal paid fare ticket?

  9. No flights found when searching for intra-island in French Polynesia, i.e. flights on Air Tahiti: this is via the website and by calling in

  10. I saw this article and applied for the card immediately… met the min spend and got the points immediately. Shortly after that I saw an ad for $450 flights from my home airport to Amsterdam and was able to convert my 50k points to 2 tickets to Amsterdam with absolutely no problems

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