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Bank Of America Rewards Program Adds Experiential Spa, Travel And Shopping Perks - Forbes

Author: Forbes

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ramseyqubein/2023/10/31/bank-of-america-rewards-program-adds-experiential-spa-travel-and-shopping-perks/

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Manhattan, New York USA - July 9, 2011: People and tourist walking by the colorful electronic sign ...[+] of Bank of America.The sign is one of many colorful signs in Times Square.gettyPreferred Rewards, in operation since 2014, is the loyalty program for Bank of America’s top customers.It recognizes those that have at least $20,000 in a Bank of America or Merrill account across their deposit accounts, investments, credit cards, mortgage and auto loans.Its first iteration delivered benefits that mostly centered around financial perks for the program’s nearly 11 million members. This year, the program is rolling out an entirely new roster of rewards in the form of luxury experiences and lifestyle benefits for the top-tier Diamond and Diamond Honors members.Like airlines, hotels and credit card programs, banks use loyalty programs to encourage business.Preferred Rewards takes a slightly different approach to loyalty offering experiences, discounts and services rather than miles or points.Chris Curtin, social media and rewards executive for Bank of AmericaBank of AmericaChris Curtin, social media and rewards executive for Bank of America, describes the Preferred Rewards program of today as a game changer in the industry by rewarding customers across all areas of their life: financial, personal and professional.Curtin explains what is being added on the rewards front and how the bank uses the program to develop stronger, life-long relationships with customers.What are the different tiers of Preferred Rewards?The more people invest, the higher their status tier.gettyThere are five levels in this no-fee program that come with benefits that progress the higher you go.We often see members move to higher tiers, especially when they discover the value and money-saving aspect of these rewards.Gold members have between $20,000 and $50,000 with the bank; Platinum is for members with between $50,000 and $100,000. The Platinum Honors tier is for members that have up to $1 million while Diamond is for those with up to $10 million.Diamond Honors is the top level for those with more than that.Why did you choose to not offer a traditional, points-based loyalty program?Loyalty programs often attract more customers to a business.gettyThose programs are well-recognized by consumers, but they don’t have the same relationship approach that this experiential platform offers.When you redeem points through a mileage or credit card program, the feeling is that those points belonged to you.There is no tie or emotion that goes back to the company.Aron Levine, president of preferred banking, was the brain behind this program.He actually dreamed up the first draft of the program on a cocktail napkin! He wanted it to be an emotional tie with the customer, which is where these experiential perks come into play.With this program, when a customer enjoys vacation benefits or has access to certain experiences that are not traditionally for sale, they start to build a greater emotional connection with our brand.That is important to us.What are some of the new experiential benefits reserved for Diamond and Diamond Honors members?NEW YORK - JUNE 2:Bottles of 1996 Dom Perignon at "Unveil The Night With Dom Perignon And Karl ...[+] Lagerfeld" event at Skylight Studios June 2, 2005 in New York City.(Photo by Getty Images For Moet & Chandon)Getty ImagesThrough the program, we have created relationships with many of the most elite consumer brands out there like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Canyon Ranch, Lindblad Expeditions, Moet Hennessy, Caviar Russe, Bang & Olufsen and many more.This year alone, there are nine new brand partnerships.Among the benefits for members are the services of a private advisor to purchase top-shelf bottles from brands like Moet Hennessy.There are special savings for private jet travel via jets.com and a complimentary year of StewardShip Perks from wine.comAre there new travel benefits?PETRA, JORDAN - OCTOBER 29:The Treasury Building, Petra, Jordan.(Photo by Tim Graham/Getty ... [+] Images)Tim Graham/Getty ImagesThis is a strong focus of recently expanded program, and post-pandemic, customers repeatedly say that they are looking for new experiences that help them to travel better and deeper.January is a peak travel booking period, and rolling out these perks now is part of the strategy to give members benefits when they want them, especially with some upcoming holiday deals in the works.For example, boutique travel planner Indagare designs unique experiences for high-net-worth clients like a private tour through Petra in Jordan to have the world wonder all to themselves.These kinds of behind-the-scenes experiences are what Indagare specializes in for their clients, and that is a benefit available to Diamond Honors members.Canyon Ranch wellness resorts have expanded to five locations in the U.S.Canyon RanchMembers also get a discount on Clear membership so they can speed through airport security faster.When they are looking for a recharge and some pampering, members can book a stay at Canyon Ranch and receive an automatic suite upgrade at booking as well as a $200 resort credit.For stays of at least four nights, members also receive one complimentary wellness service. Private jet and yacht rentals are another perk of the program where members receive discounts.ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 14:A general view of the green on the par 3, 11th hole with the ...[+] green on the par 4, seventh hole behind on The Old Course at St Andrews on August 14, 2021 in St Andrews, Scotland.(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)Getty ImagesWith the rise in “bleisure travel,” the program is adding partners that meet this trend.This includes a free, one-year membership to WorldVantage for access to some of the best private golf courses and resorts plus free tickets to the Ft.Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Miami Boat Shows.What are some of the automotive benefits?Hamburg, Germany – October 11, 2018: Mercedes-Benz EQC stopped on the public parking.This model is ... [+] the first electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz.gettyIn the past three years, electric car sales have almost tripled, and the program wants to meet members where there interests lie.Members receive discounts when purchasing an electric vehicle from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Volvo.One hesitation that consumers share when looking to buy an electric car is not easily finding a place to plug in their vehicle.Bank of America will soon be adding free charging stations at banking centers around the country to meet that need.What is the concierge service?"Berlin German - March 31, 2012: Collection of Rolex watches on display in a showcase of a dealer in ...[+] Berlin."gettyHigh-net-worth consumers are often looking for the latest luxury goods, which sometimes may be difficult to find when brands produce a limited number or something is in such high demand. Diamond members works with 1stDibs.com and 24S.com to gain access to concierge services that can source these items without having to wait as long as the general public.They work with brands like Chanel, Rolex and Tiffany and Co.Are there perks for Bank of America credit cardholders?New York City, New York – March 1, 2020: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER airplane at New York JFK ...[+] airport (JFK) in New York.gettyPreferred Rewards members can boost their cash back or points earnings by between 25%-75% depending on their member tier.The opportunity to boost earnings is a popular perk of the program.This means that if you earn 3% cash back earned on a particular category, a Diamond Honors member would earn a 75% bonus translating to 5.25% cash back.Eligible Bank of America credit cards include the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card, Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card and the Bank of America Premium Rewards card, and the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card among others. Most co-branded cards are not part of the program, however.What are the financial benefits of the program?NEW YORK - JUNE 30:People use ATMs at a Bank of America branch is seen June 30, 2005 in New York ...[+] City.(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)Getty ImagesMembers accrue a host of discounts based on their status tier.These include up to a 20% interest rate on Advantage savings accounts, no-fee transactions at any ATM, interest rate discounts on home equity and auto loans, fewer banking fees, a foreign exchange rate discount of up to 2% among other things.Why does a free program like this make sense for a financial institution?Charlotte, NC, USA - June 18, 2022: Front view of the Bank of America Tower in Charlotte, North ...[+] Carolina. The Bank of America Corporation is an American investment bank and financial services company.gettyIt’s a way to reward and thank customers for keeping and growing their investment strategy with Bank of America.As a business, the bank serves more than 67 million households, and nearly 25 million of those are high-net-worth customers.There is tremendous opportunity to reach more people through Preferred Rewards.Bank of America does not compete on price, but it does compete on value.This unique and free program does just that.

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