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The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express cards are designed to help you earn rewards on everyday purchases.

You’ll be able to earn cash back for purchases made at grocery stores, gas stations and more, with added flexibility from the Cash Rewards credit card and an exceptional rewards rate from the Blue Cash Preferred.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Cards Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Annual fee $0 $95
Welcome bonus $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening Earn $250 in statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership
Rewards

3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings

2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs

(You’ll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%)

1% cash back on all other purchases

6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)

6% cash back select U.S. streaming subscriptions

3% cash back on transit and at U.S. gas stations

1% cash back on all other purchases

APR offer

Introductory 0% APR for your first 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account (16.24% – 26.24% variable APR thereafter)

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, (15.24% – 26.24% variable APR thereafter)

Here are the details:

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

With the Cash Rewards credit card from Bank of America, you’ll earn 3% cash back in one of the following categories of your choice:

  • Gas
  • Online shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Drug stores
  • Home improvement/furnishings

Additionally, you’ll earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% back on everything else. (Keep in mind there’s a $2,500 cap on the combined category purchases on the 2% and 3% categories, then 1%).

The Cash Rewards card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and there’s a $200 cash rewards bonus when you make $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

An added bonus for Preferred Rewards clients, those who bank or invest with Bank of America® and/or Merrill Edge®, is a 25% – 75% rewards bonus on every purchase. This bonus could bring your 3% category earnings up to 5.25% per purchase, your 2% earnings up to 3.5% and 1% earnings to 1.75%.

Should you have any debt to pay off or are looking to make a large purchase, you’ll enjoy a 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made within your first 60 days (16.24% – 26.24% variable APR).

Read the full Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card review here.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

With the Blue Cash Preferred Card, you’ll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit (including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) and 1% back on all other purchases.

You’ll be charged a $95 annual fee, but there’s a $250 statement credit bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months of Card Membership.

As far as rewards redemption goes, you can apply Reward Dollars to a statement credit, redeem for gift card redemptions starting at $25 or shop with your cash back via American Express’ marketplace.

Additionally, there’s a 0% introductory APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months (15.24% – 26.24% variable APR thereafter).

Read the full Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review here.

Which card is right for you?

When deciding between the Cash Rewards Card and Blue Cash Preferred Card, it’s important to take a few things into account:

  • What are your spending habits?
  • What do you spend the most on each month?
  • Do you care about paying an annual fee?
  • Are you loyal to a particular issuer or bank?

Let’s take a look at the key differences between the Cash Rewards Card and Blue Cash Preferred:

First and second-year value example

Cards  Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Best for Banking relationship bonuses Cash back at U.S. supermarkets
Spending example

$1,500 * 4 quarters * 3% * $0.01 = $180

$1,000 * 4 quarters * 2% * $0.01 = $80

$150 * 12 months * 1% * $0.01 = $18

$500 * 12 months * 6% * $0.01 = $360

$50 * 12 months * 6% * $0.01 = $36

$333.33 * 12 months * 3% * $0.01 = $120

$100 * 12 months * 1% * $0.01 = $12

Welcome bonus $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening Earn $250 in statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership
First-year value $478 (including welcome bonus)  $778 (including welcome bonus)
Second-year value  $278 $528

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

If you spent $1,500 a quarter on the 3% category, $1,000 a quarter on the 2% category and $150 a month in the 1% category, you’d earn $278 in cash back.

When you factor in the $200 cash bonus you’d receive for meeting the qualifying spend, that’s $478 in cash back earned by the end of your first year.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If you spent $500 a month on the 6% U.S. supermarkets category (therefore maxing out the category), $50 on the 6% streaming category, $333.33 a month on the 3% category and $100 a month on the 1% category, you’d earn $528 in cash back.

When you include the $250 cash bonus you’d earn after meeting the qualifying spend, you’d earn $778 by the end of your first year.

Bottom line

Choose Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card if…

… you value the flexibility to choose what you earn rewards on or already bank and/or invest with Bank of America or Merrill Edge.

Choose the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express if …

… you spend a significant amount on groceries and gas and don’t mind paying an annual fee.


Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.