Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Essentials
With a shiny garnet color, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card isn't just a pretty face. It's elegance represents its simplicity in a cash rewards program. The rewards rates are clearly outlined, there is no annual fee, and rewards points don't expire – which means cardholders don't have to keep track of much more than when the bill is due each month (such as the rotating bonus categories other card require you to sign up for each quarter).
The points for Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card are earned in three tiers:
*After $2,500 in combined gas, grocery and wholesale club purchases per quarter, the rewards rate for those categories is reduced to 1% cash back.
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers an introductory APR for 12 billing cycles which applies to purchases and to balance transfers within the first 60 days (then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases). If you’re looking to consolidate your credit card balances to a lower interest credit card this card might be worth checking out.
The real star power of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card lies in its increased rewards rates for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers. Customers of these financial institutions can earn a 10% customer bonus for redeeming cash back into an authorized checking or savings account and preferred rewards clients can increase their customer bonus up to 25%-75%.
For a little extra pizzazz, Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers an online-exclusive intro perk: Cardholders can earn $150 online cash rewards bonus for spending $500 within the first 90 days of opening the card. The low spending total to qualify for intro offer is appealing; many cash rewards cards require at least $1,000 of purchases within the first three months to claim their intro offer.
What Our Editors Like Most
We love that cardholders have the opportunity to redeem their rewards directly into their Bank of America or Merrill Lynch savings or checking account. Adding rewards points into a savings account where they can earn additional interest is a prime example of smart credit card use.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a totally straightforward credit card. There is no annual fee, rewards points don’t expire, and the categories don’t rotate. The simplicity makes it easy to earn rewards and redeem them on your own terms.
For a credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee the overall benefits are more substantial than you might think. Apart from the high rewards rates, and the intro APR for balance transfers and purchases, cardholders also have access to many of perks a Bank of America customer receive: Shop safe®, overdraft protection, access to Bank of America financial centers and ATMS, to name a few.
And while we don't recommend the use of cash advances except for real emergencies, your card does arrive ready to use with a PIN which allows you to take out cash from a ATMs worldwide. While this is something that can come handy in a crunch, keep in mind that ATM withdrawals are Bank Cash Advances and subject to a different APR than other types of transactions.
The cash back rewards cap each quarter at $2,500 for the highest reward categories. If you think you’ll spend above this rate on gas and groceries, and you have excellent credit, there are cash back cards with higher reward rates.
After the intro APR expires, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card assesses balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees and a high penalty APR, so cardholders who utilize their card outside the “fee-free zone” may quickly offset their rewards earnings.
How Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Compares to Other Cash Back Cards
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card vs. Chase Freedom®.
These two cards showcase similar features: a cash reward for spending $500 within the first 90 days of account opening (although Chase Freedom® offers the chance to earn a $150 bonus, too, and both cards a $0 annual fee. The primary difference between these two cash back cards is the structure of categories. Chase Freedom® offers 5 cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. The differing quarterly caps and categories could make the decision between which card is best for each cardholder. Do you like a change in your cash back categories, or do you know that gas and groceries are the best for you?
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card vs. Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer.
The intro offer for Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer has the potential to be far more substantial than the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card program: Discover’s program matches all the cash back new card holders have earned at the end of your first year, automatically. While the initial appeal of the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer is strong, the cardholder is again faced with the decision between rotating categories or not; the card offers 5 percent cash back on rotating categories each quarter you sign up, which cap at $1,500 quarterly, before moving to 1 percent cash back.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser) offers a higher rewards rate for grocery and gas purchases. The rewards break down to 6 percent on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1 percent), 3 percent back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1 percent back on all other purchases. But the Blue Cash Preferred® has a $95 annual fee and the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card does not have an annual fee. If you are a light credit card user you may not spend enough to offset the annual fee assessed to the Blue Cash Preferred® giving the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card card a leg up.
Who Should get This Card?
This card is great for cardholders with good to excellent credit who spend often on groceries and gas, but not exorbitantly.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card is also a sweet deal for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers who can earn additional bonuses for redeeming their rewards points into an authorized checking or savings account.
And as you're mulling it over, consider the fact that this year marks the ninth consecutive time Bank of America has been recognized for its fraud prevention, detection and resolution with a Best Overall Identity, Safety in Banking Award from Javelin Strategy and Research.