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Bank of America Relaunches Card with New Rewards

by on October 22, 2007

Apparently Bank of America believes that one of its cards is an oldie but goodie that deserves a second go around. On Tuesday, the company announced that it would be relaunching its BankAmericard, which first hit the market almost 50 years ago.

When the BankAmericard was first introduced to the world, it was considered revolutionary because it was the first credit card to be a nationally accepted bank credit card. The new BankAmericard offers much more than its predecessor, however, with the only real similarity between the two being the name they share.

The new BankAmericard is more properly known as the BankAmericard Rewards Visa. As the name implies, the reintroduced card will offer its cardholders a new rewards program that was not included with the original card. The bank claims it will be “offering one of the industry’s richest and most flexible rewards programs.”  I have heard of claims like this before from banks and card issuers and rarely are they legitimate so we shall see about that. But, the good thing is that there is no annual fee for the card and, if the rewards fit your lifestyle, it just might be a great rewards card for you.

The new card is particularly lucrative for those who already maintain a Bank of America account somewhere. So if you have a checking account, a savings account, a loan, or investments through Bank of America, you will receive greater rewards with the BankAmericard Rewards Visa.

More specifically, if you have what they refer to as a “non-card” account with Bank of America, you’ll receive 50% more back with every purchase you make with the card. In other words, every dollar spent with the card will earn 1.25 reward points. In addition, cardholders receive a reward bonus every years of 25% as a thank you for maintaining a banking relationship with the company.

There are also no limits on the points you can earn with the BankAmericard, which is a pet-peeve of mine that I have with some other reward cards on the market. In addition, the card offers some nice perks such as a no fee concierge service, which means cardholders gain access to a personal assistant to help with obtaining difficult dinner reservations, tickets to great shows, and more.

After earning points with the new card, cardholders can redeem them in a number of ways. For example, you can use the points for merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards and certificates, cash, charitable donations, unique experiences and more. In 2008, cardholders will also be able to apply their reward points toward savings, deposit, loan, and brokerage accounts as well.

“Customers should expect simplicity, flexibility and unlimited benefits from rewards cards,” said Ric Struthers, an Executive at Bank of America. “And, that is what we are delivering with the BankAmericard Rewards program. No gimmicks – just choice, convenience and more rewards for our customers.”

I like what he has to say, now we will see if the card lives up to its promises.

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