Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card review
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card last updated on 01.12.21
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card: Details and benefits
Bank of America has a rewards structure that allows cardholders to decide how they want to earn rewards. This, paired with their modestly boosted sign-up bonus value, was enough reason to move this card from a “no thanks” to a “sure.” Plus, if you are a Preferred Rewards client with Bank of America, you can really boost the value of this card.
You’ll earn $200 in online cash rewards after you make just $1,000 in purchases during the first 90 days of account opening. That spending requirement is fairly low – even for a rewards card that carries no annual fee.
Cardholders can choose from six different categories to earn 3 percent cash back from – travel, gas, online shopping, dining, drug stores and home improvement/furnishings – on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter. You’ll also receive 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and an unlimited 1 percent on everything else. You have the option to change your 3 percent cash back category once every month via Bank of America’s Mobile Banking app or Online Banking. If you’re enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program, the 25 to 75 percent bonus on purchases means your 3 percent category choice could be bumped up to 5.25 percent.
If you do much of your household’s grocery shopping, there’s a better card for you.
Is it worth it for you?
This card is good for someone who wants an easy-to-follow cash-back card that rewards them for typical household spending. There are no rotating categories to keep track of and if you have a Bank of America or Merrill account the rewards value starts to exponentially increase.
This card also may be good for anyone looking to make a big purchase who wants the flexibility to pay it off over time. Cash Rewards card comes with an introductory APR offer for 12 billing cycles for purchases, and for any qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days (13.99% – 23.99% variable APR applies afterward). A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
Get the most value from Bank of America Cash Rewards
Taking advantage of the competitive introductory offer can add value to this card. It offers an intro APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases, and for any qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days (13.99% – 23.99% variable APR thereafter). You’ll pay a 3% fee (minimum $10) on all balance transfers.
You should also make sure to evaluate your spending so you can choose the cash back categories that add the most value to your purchasing habits.
Preferred Rewards clients can really maximize value with this card. You get a bonus ranging from 25% to 75% depending on your Preferred Rewards status.
You have to maintain a combined balance of at least $20,000 with either Bank of America, or your Merrill account to get these increased rewards, but if you do, the cash-back rewards go from good to outstanding.
If you have the highest Preferred Rewards status of Platinum Honors with Bank of America, which comes with a hefty $100,000 minimum account balance requirement, you can earn a bonus on your cash-back rewards of up 75%.
How much are rewards worth?
If you have just the Bank of America Cash Rewards card and spend $1,000 in three months on gas (if gas is your chosen 3% category), you’ll earn $30 back. But if you can bump up your rewards by achieving highest Platinum Honors Preferred status, that additional 75% back means you get a total of $52.50 on the $1,000 spent at the pump.
How to redeem rewards
Cash-back rewards can be redeemed at any time in any amount as either a statement credit, deposited to your Bank of America bank account, or used to buy gift cards through Bank of America’s online shopping portal.