Merrill Lynch is a well-known wealth management company that was founded in 1914 in New York City, New York. The company was acquired by Bank of America in 2013. Merrill Lynch offers an extensive range of financial products and services, including Visa Signature credit cards with no annual or foreign transaction fees and various reward benefits. The financial services company is not FDIC-insured and its financial products and services are not bank-guaranteed.

Rank Chart
APR
Reward Options
Our Score
#1
6.99 - 10.5%
Yes
4.1
#2
0 - 24.99%
Yes
4.0
#3
0 - 23.24%
Yes
3.0
#21
Merrill-Lynch
0 - 16.49%
Yes
1.9

The Good

  • Visa Signature benefits
  • Financial education resources
  • Online banking services

Visa Signature Benefits

Merrill Lynch’s Visa Signature credit card offers several benefits to cardholders. These benefits include reward points that may be redeemed for cash back, travel perks, merchandise, and gift cards. The credit card offers one point for every dollar spent on qualified purchases. Cardholders also receive travel insurance, zero liability protection, and purchase security protection with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Cardholders who spend more than $50,000 on eligible purchases within a year will receive a $200 travel credit and Delta Sky membership bonus rewards.

Financial Education Resources

The company provides a comprehensive library of educational articles, quizzes, and other resources for consumers on its website. Customers can select from various categories of financial goals to find the information most suitable for their needs. Customers can also search a database of over 14,000 certified financial advisors to find one located near where they live. However, no financial calculators could be found for customers to calculate estimated monthly payments for common financial products and services.

Online Banking Services

The financial services company offers 24/7 online account management for its customers. Customers are able to view account statements, track transaction activity, transfer funds, and set up automatic bill payments. Consumers can also access up to 36 months of electronic statements and manage their investment portfolios as well. The online banking services also include expert analysis on a wide range of topics from over 550 financial experts.

The Bad

  • APRs
  • Additional fees
  • Service limitations

APRs

APRs for purchases, direct deposit and check cash advances, and balance transfers ranges between 13.49 and 16.49 percent. Merrill Lynch does offer a zero percent introductory APR on these three items for the first 12 months. Bank cash advance APR rates are assessed at 25.49 percent and penalty APRs are rated at 29.99 percent. These APRs are higher than some other marketplace competitors, especially for those with exemplary credit histories.

Additional Fees

Transaction fees for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances are the greater of $10 or 3 percent of the total transaction amount. Select cash advance transfer types can be charged the greater of $10 or 5 percent of the total transaction amount. Late payment fees are assessed at up to $37 and returned payments are rated at up to $27. There are no annual or foreign transaction fees.

Service Limitations

Merrill Lynch does not provide 24/7 customer service for consumers. The company’s products and services are not clearly listed and hard to find on the corporate website. Cardholders will need to acquire at least 3,000 points in order to redeem the least expensive cash back reward and a minimum of 25,000 points for travel flights. The company does not offer as many reward perks as some of its marketplace competitors. Other reward limitations may apply and customers should read all terms and conditions contained in their credit card service agreements. Customers with less than perfect credit will most likely be disqualified from credit card approval.

The Bottom Line

Merrill Lynch offers a Visa Signature card for its members with excellent credit histories and an established banking relationship with the company. The credit card offers points on eligible purchases that can be redeemed for various rewards such as cash back, travel perks, merchandise, and more. However, customers will need to acquire a large number of points to be eligible for redemption and other restrictions may also apply. Frequent travelers will benefit from the numerous travel perks without any foreign transaction fees.

The company’s APRs and other interest fees are noticeably higher than the amounts charged by some of its marketplace competitors. Customers seeking a credit card for debt consolidation will most likely be able to find more affordable deals elsewhere. The company’s website can be a bit hard to navigate. However, Merrill Lynch does offer a wide range of financial products and services, as well as an extensive online library of information.

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