Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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We emphasize earning flexible rewards points to book luxury travel experiences that yield tens of thousands of dollars of value as our “go-to strategy.”
But what if you were willing to settle for less, as long as it was cold hard cash? What if you wanted to maximize your cash-back as a business beyond Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program?
That’s where Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards for Business comes into play! The program used to be known as Business Advantage Rewards, but thanks to the success of the Preferred Rewards program on the personal/consumer side, the bank revamped its business-focused program and gave it a new name.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to maximize your business’s cash-back potential by integrating Bank of America credit card products, lending, and banking all under 1 umbrella.
Let’s get to it!
Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards for Business mirrors the consumer Preferred Rewards program in more ways than one.
There are 3 tiers of Preferred Rewards for Business:
Platinum Honors is the highest tier. Predictably, it boasts the strongest benefits, but also the highest qualification thresholds. Gold, on the other hand, is easier to qualify for but doesn’t have the most generous perks.
The qualification tiers are determined by your business deposits and Merrill Lynch business investment balances.
There are no fees to be a part of this program, and enrollment eligibility opens 3 or more business days after the end of the calendar month in which you satisfy the qualification criteria.
To become a member of Preferred Rewards for Business, you need to have:
Benefits become effective within 30 days of enrollment or within 30 days of account opening for new accounts.
Once you qualify for a certain status, you’ll receive benefits for a year. If you no longer meet the requirements at the end of a year, you’ll have a 3-month grace period before you’re either moved to a lower tier or lose your benefits.
The Bank of America Preferred Rewards for Business features 3 elite-status tiers, each with a different set of benefits. Of course, the perks and benefits become stronger as you move to higher tiers, but the criteria for eligibility also get higher.
First, let’s take a look at the benefits you’ll enjoy as a Preferred Rewards for Business member, regardless of elite tier.
Bank of America offers its Preferred Rewards for Business members waived fees on select banking services. This includes no monthly maintenance fees on up to 4 eligible business checking and 4 eligible business savings accounts.
You’ll also enjoy waived fees on ATM/debit card replacement, cashier’s checks, check copies, check images, domestic inbound wire transfers, stop payments, and transfers through Balance Connect for overdraft protection.
The Preferred Rewards Center has a dedicated specialist team to help deliver priority customer service to you. These professionals will help you access services and help with product needs and information.
Receive a discount on your interest rate when you purchase or refinance a car, van, truck, or another automobile for your business.
One of the most important aspects of running a business is having access to financing.
When you need financing to buy inventory, materials, and supplies, to refinance debt, or to finance accounts receivables, you will get a discount on your interest rate on a variety of lending products, including Business Advantage lines of credit, term loans, and secured lending accounts.
This is particularly useful for purchases where credit cards are not accepted.
Receive a discount on your interest rate when you buy or refinance commercial real estate for your business.
You’re entitled to work 1-on-1 with a Merrill Financial Solutions Advisor who can offer you complimentary financial analysis when you need it.
Platinum Honors members will also get an annual relationship review with a Small Business Specialist who can help you focus on your specific business needs.
You’re entitled to no-fee transactions within the U.S. at Bank of America ATMs.
And, depending on which tier you qualify for, you may also get transaction fees waived at non-Bank of America ATMs in the U.S. This includes withdrawals, balance inquiries, and balance transfers.
The most exciting part of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards for Business program is that you’ll get bonus rewards with an eligible Business Advantage credit card!
When you redeem your rewards to a business checking account, you’ll get a bonus beyond your standard credit card rewards.
You need to have the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards credit card, Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card, or the recently launched Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card to qualify for these bonuses.
This perk increases the savings interest rate you’ll get on Business Advantage Savings accounts.
As a business, you may need to run payroll. Bank of America helps simplify this and other HR tasks by offering cash-back on eligible payroll service fees.
Typically, eligible services include ADP or QuickBooks Online Payroll.
If you are a healthcare professional with your own practice (or wish to open your own practice), Bank of America offers an exclusive, customized financing perk, whether you’re a dentist, physician, optometrist, or veterinarian.
This is known as Practice Solutions — if you’re a Preferred Rewards for Business client looking to get a Practice Solutions loan (business line of credit or term loan), you can qualify for an interest-rate discount.
Now that we’ve discussed the main benefits afforded to Preferred Rewards for Business members, let’s take a look at specific benefits by tier, starting with the highest: Platinum Honors.
To qualify for the top-tier Platinum Honors status, you must have a 3-month average combined balance of $100,000 or more in eligible Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill business investment accounts.
Once you qualify, you’ll get select banking services with no fee, including inbound wire transfers, cashier’s checks, and more.
Most notably, you’ll also get complimentary international inbound wire transfers, as well as 4 online outbound wire transfers per statement cycle.
You’ll receive a discount of 0.50% (or 50 basis points) on interest rates for business auto loans, a 0.50% discount on interest rates for commercial real estate loans, and a discount of 0.75% (or 75 basis points) for Business Advantage financing interest rates.
With Platinum Honors status, you’ll have access to a Merrill Financial Solutions Advisor when you need it, as well as an annual relationship review with a Small Business Specialist to focus on your business’ unique needs (unique to Platinum Honors status).
There are also no ATM transaction fees at non-Bank of America ATMs in the U.S. for an unlimited number of transactions while you hold Platinum Honors status.
Notably, having Platinum Honors status gets you a 75% bonus in credit card rewards, which means you can earn up to 5.25% cash-back on select purchases:
For those with Business Advantage savings accounts, you’ll get an interest-rate booster of 20%, which helps you earn more interest on your savings.
Finally, you’ll get $20 cash-back per month in payroll service fees, plus a Practice Solutions Lending interest rate discount of 0.35% (or 35 basis points).
To achieve Platinum status in the Preferred Rewards for Business program, you’ll need to have between $50,000 and $99,999 in combined balances across your business deposit accounts and investment accounts with Bank of America and/or Merrill Lynch.
Those who qualify will get fees waived for select banking services, including international inbound wire transfers. However, fees are not waived for outbound wire transfers like they are with Platinum Honors.
You’ll receive an interest-rate discount of 0.35% for Business Advantage auto loans and commercial real estate loans, as well as a 0.50% interest-rate discount for Business Advantage financing. Plus, you’ll be able to access a Merrill Financial Solutions Advisor on-demand.
Platinum status entitles you to up to 12 no-fee transactions at non-Bank of America ATMs in the U.S.
Receive a 50% credit card rewards bonus, which means you could get up to 4.5% cash-back:
Finally, enjoy an interest-rate booster of 10% on your Business Advantage Savings account balances, $15 per month in cash-back on eligible payroll service fees, and a 0.30% interest rate discount on Practice Solutions Lending.
The final tier we’ll discuss is Gold, which requires combined balances of $20,000 to $49,999 in Bank of America business deposits or Merrill business investment accounts.
With Gold status, you’ll still get access to select banking services with no fee, and you’re entitled to priority client service, as well. However, only domestic inbound wire transfers are free (not international inbound or international outbound).
The interest rate discount on Business Advantage auto loans, commercial real estate loans, business financing, and Practice Solutions loans is 0.25%.
You’ll have access to your on-demand Merrill Financial Solutions Advisor, plus no ATM transaction fees as Bank of America ATMs in the U.S. However, you will pay a fee to use non-Bank of America ATMs.
The credit card rewards bonus is 25%, bringing your rewards rate to the following:
Further, there’s a 5% interest-rate booster on Business Advantage Savings accounts and you’ll receive $10 monthly cash-back on eligible payroll service fees.
As you can probably tell, the biggest perk you can get from Preferred Rewards for Business is the credit card rewards bonus.
Here’s the table for each status tier and eligible business credit card’s earnings structure for the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash card:
|Spending Categories||No Preferred Rewards Status||Gold||Platinum||Platinum Honors|
|Category of Your Choice||3% cash-back (up to $50,000 in combined category and dining purchases every calendar year)||3.75% cash-back||4.5% cash-back||5.25% cash-back|
|Dining||2% cash-back (up to $50,000 in combined category and dining purchases every calendar year)||2.5% cash-back||3% cash-back||3.5% cash-back|
|All Other Purchases||1% cash-back||1.25% cash-back||1.5% cash-back||1.75% cash-back|
Here’s the earnings table for the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel card:
|Spending Categories||No Preferred Rewards Status||Gold||Platinum||Platinum Honors|
|Travel booked through the Bank of America Travel Center||3 points per $1||3.75 points per $1||4.5 points per $1||5.25 points per $1|
|All Other Purchases||1.5 points per $1||1.87 points per $1||2.25 points per $1||2.62 points per $1|
The ability to earn 5.25% cash-back on a category of your choice or travel is impressive, especially for no annual fee credit cards!
And finally, the Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash card earns a flat cash-back rate that is amplified based on the status level:
|No Preferred Rewards Status||Gold||Platinum||Platinum Honors|
|All Purchases||1.5% cash-back||1.87% cash-back||2.25% cash-back||2.62% cash-back|
Beyond these bonuses, though, check out this quick reference table of benefits for Preferred Rewards for Business members:
|No-fee banking services||Included||Included, plus waived fees for incoming international wire transfers||Included, plus waived fees for incoming international wire transfers and 4 online outbound wire transfers per statement cycle|
|Interest rate discounts on Business Advantage auto loans||0.25%||0.35%||0.50%|
|Interest rate discounts on Business Advantage financing||0.25%||0.50%||0.75%|
|Payroll service cash-back (eligible services only)||$10 per month||$15 per month||$20 per month|
|Interest rate discounts on commercial real estate loans||0.25%||0.35%||0.50%|
|Interest rate discounts on practice solutions lending||0.25%||0.30%||0.35%|
|Complimentary advice from Merrill Financial Solutions Advisor||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Yearly Relationship Review with a Small Business Specialist||No||No||Yes|
|Fee-free ATM transactions at U.S. non-Bank of America ATMs||None||Up to 12 per year (1 per statement)||Unlimited|
|Business Advantage credit card rewards bonus||25% (up to 3.75% cash-back)||50% (up to 4.5% cash-back)||75% (up to 5.25% cash-back)|
|Rewards Savings interest-rate booster||5%||10%||20%|
Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards for Business program is exemplary.
Being able to get more than 5% cash-back on a bonus category of your choice or travel is noteworthy, especially when you consider that these business credit cards have no annual fee.
Beyond that, though, Preferred Rewards for Business boasts a suite of lending discounts, including commercial real estate loans, business loans, auto loans, and so much more.
All you need to do to qualify is hit a minimum balance threshold for 3 months, and you’ll have that status for a year!
Overall, we’re a big fan of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards for Business program if you’re less interested in travel rewards and keen on receiving cash-back.
The information regarding the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards credit card and Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
All you need to do to qualify is have:
Preferred Rewards for Business is an elite status program that allows certain bank account and/or investment account holders to enjoy better perks and benefits at Bank of America.
This includes credit card rewards bonuses, interest rate boosters on savings accounts, and interest-rate discounts on lending services.
Yes, it’s free to participate as long as you meet the qualification criteria!
One of the easiest ways to avoid maintenance fees on Bank of America accounts is to have deposits in high enough amounts to qualify for the Bank of America Preferred Rewards for Business program.
In doing so, you get waived maintenance fees on 4 eligible business checking accounts and 4 eligible business savings accounts.
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