B of A bonus: free culture for cardholders

It may not be the personal bailout plan we were hoping for, but Bank of America has decided it pays to keep customers happy, or at least cultured. Forget the free, branded pens and takeaway balloon, so pre-meltdown. B of A is aiming to inspire or perhaps pacify their financial flock with free passes to art museums, zoos and science centers throughout 74 cities in 27 states. Looking at art is supposed to be very calming.

Beginning this weekend, B of A's, Museums on Usprogram allows card members free access to more than 100 participating sites simply by showing their bank cards on the first "full weekend" of each month. Venerable institutions such as New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney, and the Bronx Zoo are included as well as Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Chicago's Art Institute, the Shedd Aquarium and the Chicago History Museum. Big city culture clubs are not the only ones benefiting from B of A's largess. The National World War I Museum and Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO, the Mint Museum of Craft & Design in Charlotte, NC, The Wichita Art Museum and the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, CA are also on the list.

It's a cardholder bonus ... of course, we don't get to bring the art home. But let's not quibble. To find participating locations (as well as operating hours) check out the Bank of America website and click on the Museums on Us link. The site will also provide free text or email reminders prior to the scheduled dates. It could be a great way to make good on that new year's resolution to get out more, support the arts, wear a beret, or recoup some of that interest you've been charged. The program is also something to keep in mind while traveling or planning a vacation on a budget. The fine art of financial planning can also be a beautiful thing.
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