This Credit Card Rewards Hack Helps You Save on Everything From Taxes to Gas

This Credit Card Rewards Hack Helps You Save on Everything From Taxes to Gas
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the issuer’s affiliate program. These user responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. User responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
14104500

We've written about the benefits of Bank of America's credit cards in the past, but if you really want to maximize your relationship with Bank of America, see if you qualify for Preferred Rewards. The coveted rewards program can earn you up to 2.62% cash back, and even give the opportunity to pay less on your taxes.

Bank of America offers several cards with traditional cash back rewards, including the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card. This card offers a "3,2,1" cash back bonus structure: 3% cash back on one category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement /furnishings), 2% cash back on all grocery and wholesale club purchases, and 1% cash back on everything else. While you'll only earn bonus cash back on the first $2,500 you spend on your combined 3% category choice and 2% grocery/wholesale club spending quarterly (it drops to 1% after that), if you can find a way to spend all $2,500 on gas alone, you can make $300/year in cash back rewards.

All of these things are great, but if you qualify for Preferred Rewards, Bank of America's program for those with larger balances in their checking or savings accounts, or those who have Merrill Lynch accounts, these rewards can get even sweeter. There are three levels of Preferred Rewards: Gold, Platinum and Platinum Honors. Here's what you get with each.

Gold Level

To qualify for Gold Level status, you must have a three-month average balance of $20,000-$50,000 across your bank or Merrill Lynch accounts. Gold Level membership gets you:

  • A savings rate of 0.04% – This is 0.01% more than the normal savings rate of 0.03%
  • A 25% credit card rewards bonus – This means that, for example, the "3,2,1," bonus offer on the Cash Rewards card becomes 3.75% on gas, 2.5% on groceries, and 1.25% on everything else.
  • Priority client customer service
  • Mortgages benefits – a $200 reduction in origination fees for Bank of America purchase or refinance loans.
  • A 0.125% discount on a new Home Equity line of credit
  • A 0.25% discount on interest rates for new Bank of America auto purchases or loan refinances

Additional perks of Gold Level membership include no monthly maintenance fees on up to four eligible checking, and four eligible savings accounts from Bank of America, and no fees on select services, like standard check orders, cashier's checks, stop payments and more.

Platinum Level

To qualify for Platinum Level status, you must have a three-month average balance of $50,000-$100,000 across your bank or Merrill Lynch accounts. Platinum Level membership gets you:

  • A savings rate of 0.05% – This is 0.02% more than the normal savings rate of 0.03%
  • A 50% credit card rewards bonus – This means that, for example, the "3,2,1," bonus offer on the Cash Rewards card becomes 4.5% on gas, 3% on groceries, and 1.5% on everything else.
  • Non-Bank of America Transactions – Up to 12 (one each per cycle) non-Bank of America fees, like withdrawals, balance inquiries, and balance transfers reimbursed.
  • Merrill Lynch Trades Up to 30 $0 online equity and ETF trades per month. (Other fees may apply.)
  • Priority client customer service
  • Mortgages benefits – a $400 reduction in origination fees for Bank of America purchase or refinance loans.
  • A 0.25% discount on a new Home Equity line of credit
  • A 0.35% discount on interest rates for new Bank of America auto purchases or loan refinances

Additional perks of Platinum Level membership are the same as those in Gold Level: no monthly maintenance fees on up to four eligible checking and four eligible savings accounts from Bank of America, and no fees on select services, including standard check orders, cashier's checks, stop payments and more.

Platinum Honors Level

To qualify for Platinum Honors Level status, you must have a three-month average balance of more than $100,000 across your bank or Merrill Lynch accounts. Platinum Honors Level membership gets you:

  • A savings rate of 0.06% – This is 0.03% more than the normal savings rate of 0.03%
  • A 75% credit card rewards bonus – This means that, for example, the "3, 2, 1" bonus offer on the Cash Rewards card becomes 5.25% on gas, 3.5% on groceries, and 1.75% on everything else.
  • Non-Bank of America Transactions – Unlimited non-Bank of America fees, like withdrawals, balance inquiries, and balance transfers reimbursed.
  • Merrill Lynch Trades Up to 100 $0 online equity and ETF trades per month. (Other fees may apply.)
  • Priority client customer service
  • Mortgages benefits – a $600 reduction in origination fees for Bank of America purchase or refinance loans.
  • A 0.375% discount on a new Home Equity line of credit
  • A 0.50% discount on interest rates for new Bank of America auto purchases or loan refinances

Additional perks of Platinum Honors Level membership include no monthly maintenance fees on up to four eligible checking and four eligible savings accounts from Bank of America, and no fees on select services, including standard check orders, cashier's checks, stop payments and more.

Moving up these levels can mean big savings!

piggy-bank

A small business owner who qualifies for Platinum Honors Level membership and maxes out the 5.25% return on fuel purchases can get up to $525 in cash back every year. For a family that qualifies for Platinum Honors Level membership, a 3.5% cash back bonus can mean an amazing – $350 – yearly savings on groceries.

Obviously most people don't have an extra $100,000 lying around waiting to be plopped into a Bank of America account, but it's important to note that Merrill Lynch investment accounts count towards Preferred Rewards membership. This isn't an unreachable threshold for anyone who's saved a good amount for retirement and is using the stock market to boost these savings.

Are you a Preferred Rewards member? Let us know in the comments!