Bank of America has announced a rewards program for business customers that is similar to their consumer Preferred Rewards program (the program that makes it possible to earn up to 2.625% in rewards for all spend). I wrote about this program earlier today based on some inside info I had learned and a bunch of my guesses, but we now have actual facts from a website: promo.bankofamerica.com/RelationshipRewards (thanks Mike!).
- Program Name: Business Advantage Relationship Rewards (BARR)
- Expected Launch Date: Early 2018 (My source says March 2018)
- Types of Rewards: Tiered business credit card bonuses, and more
- Tier Names: Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Honors (same names as with the consumer program)
- Program qualification requirements: You must have an eligible Bank of America business checking account and 3-month average combined business balances of $20,000 or more in qualifying BOA business deposit account and Merrill Edge business investment accounts.
Like BOA’s consumer program, the business program offers up to a 75% rewards bonus on eligible credit cards:
Eligible Credit Cards
The following cards are eligible for the rewards bonus:
- Business Advantage Cash Rewards
- Business Advantage Travel Rewards
- WorldPoints Rewards for Business credit cards (I can’t find these on the BOA website, so maybe they’re no longer available)?
Cards not eligible for the rewards bonus:
- Non-rewards credit cards (Bank of America Platinum and Platinum Plus for Business cards)
- Personal or consumer purpose credit cards
- Business Advantage Cash Rewards 123 w/50% Bonus
- Business Advantage Travel Rewards w/50% Bonus
- Merrill Lynch branded Merrill Rewards for Business Card
- Alaska Airlines®
- Asiana Airlines®
- Spirit Airlines®
- Business Banking, Global Commercial Banking, Global Corporate Investment Banking or Institutional clients are not eligible to participate in the program.
How useful is this?
Given the 75% bonus on the two business credit cards identified above (the one’s I can find info on!), they would then earn the following rewards:
Usual rewards: Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% on purchases at restaurants, and 3% on purchases at gas stations and office supply stores (up to $250,000 each calendar year, 1% after that)
With a 75% bonus: Earn 1.75% cash back on every purchase,
3.5% on purchases at restaurants, and 5.25% on purchases at gas stations and office supply stores (up to $250,000 each calendar year, 1.75% after that). All of the above are strong earnings for a no-fee business credit card. 5.25% for gas stations, though, is terrific. No other business card comes close to that.
UPDATE: The fine print now shows that the 75% bonus is only on the base 1%, so at most it will earn 1.75% on every purchase, 2.75% on purchases at restaurants, and 3.75% on purchases at gas stations and office supply stores (up to $250,000 each calendar year, 1% after that)
- Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases
- Earn 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center – powered by Orbitz®
With a 75% bonus:
- Earn unlimited 2.625 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases
- Earn 5.25 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center – powered by Orbitz®
The rewards for this card are identical to the consumer Travel Rewards card. Both offer great value for everyday spend for those with Platinum Honors status.
How good were my guesses?
I’d say I did fairly well! Earlier today, I made the following guesses:
- Given that the top tier of the new program has the same name as the top tier of the consumer program, it seems a safe bet that the business program will also have Gold and Platinum tiers. Correct!
- Each tier will probably offer the same credit card bonuses as corresponding tiers in the consumer program, but the bonuses will apply only to select business credit cards:
- Gold: 25% bonus Correct!
- Platinum: 50% bonus Correct!
- Platinum Honors: 75% bonus Correct!
- The following business credit cards should qualify for increased rewards with the new BARR program:
- Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard Correct!
- Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard Correct!
- The only cards I missed were the elusive WorldPoints Rewards for Business credit cards.
- Bank of America will introduce a new business credit card similar to their consumer Premium Rewards card. Most likely it will be called Business Advantage Premium Rewards and it too will qualify for increased rewards with the business rewards program. Correct? We don’t know yet!