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Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card review: Earn 1.5% on all purchases

This new no-annual-fee card from Bank of America offers cardholders the opportunity to earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Better yet, Bank of America preferred customers can earn 25%-75% more.
By Jennifer Doss  CardRatings Editor  | Updated

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card
Our Rating:   
Excellent, Good
on Bank of America's secure website

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • If you are a Bank of America preferred member, you can earn 25% to 75% more cash back. So instead of 1.5% cash back, you might get as much as 2.62% cash back on every purchase.
  • This card works great along other Bank of America credit cards which earn cash back in bonus categories. Use this card alongside those cards for a bonus on all "other" purchases.
  • New cardholders can earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening an account.
  • If you're willing to be savvy with how you use your cards, you could stand to earn more with other cash-back rewards cards as there are other options with higher cash-back rates; however, these cards often charge annual fees or only offer bonus rewards in select categories. This is a good card to use alongside those cards, or on it's own it you're looking for a simple and easy way to earn rewards on all purchases.

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card is a great no-annual-fee credit card for anyone looking to earn cash back on all purchases, but it's a particularly good option for Bank of America customers. Here's why: Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase, meaning that this card could earn eligible cardholders up to 2.62% back on every purchase - a great offer for a card with no annual fee.

BANK OF AMERICA® UNLIMITED CASH REWARDS CREDIT CARD BENEFITS

There are a number of benefits offered with the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card. The main ones you'll want to consider include:

  • Solid cash back rewards - you'll get 1.5% cash back on all purchases. And there is no limit to the cash back that you can earn.
  • No annual fee. (Annual fees often mean more cash back, but at the same time it can be nice to not have to hassle with an annual fee.)
  • You will earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening an account.
  • Are you a Bank of America preferred member? (In order to be one, you need to have an active, eligible Bank of America checking account and a three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill Investment accounts.) If you are a preferred member, you can receive a 25% to 75% bonus on rewards earned. So instead of 1.5% cash back, you might get as much as 2.62% cash back on every purchase.
  • You'll receive 0% introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases - and for any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account (a 3% balance transfer fee, or at least $10, whichever is greater, applies). After the introductory APR offer is over, the card will have a 13.99% - 23.99% Variable and balance transfers.

Top Features

 Cash Back on Gas
1.5%
 Cash Back on Groceries
1.5%
 Cash Back on Other
If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase.

WHO IS A GOOD FIT FOR THE BANK OF AMERICA® UNLIMITED CASH REWARDS CREDIT CARD?

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card is a good credit card for anyone who wants a credit card with no annual fee - and who wants to earn a little more than the standard 1% fee on all purchases. If you want to earn considerably more, like, 3% or 5% cash back, you generally will have to pay an annual fee, or those bonus rewards will only be on select spend categories.

If you are a Bank of America cardholder, it starts to make even more sense to have this card because - well, it's a good credit card at your own bank.

That said, if you're a preferred member, it really begins to make sense because, as noted, you'll be getting more back than 1.5%. You'll receive 25% to 75% more than 1.5%, which comes to about 1.87% to 2.62% cash back on every purchase.

Moreover, if you have other Bank of America credit cards that earn cash back in bonus categories, the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card can be a good one to use in addition to those cards for all of those "other" 1% purchases.

In other words, if you really play your cards right (that is, your Bank of America credit cards), you can strategically save more money than the average consumer.

POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES OF THE BANK OF AMERICA® UNLIMITED CASH REWARDS CREDIT CARD

Every up has a down, and the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card is no exception. A couple downsides include:

  • There is a foreign transaction fee of 3%, which is common with no-annual-fee cash-back cards, but when you have a credit card with that type of fee, it makes traveling internationally more expensive. If you have another credit card without a foreign transaction fee that you can use abroad, then this card becomes even more appealing.
  • Also, if you aren't a preferred member of Bank of America, and if your bank account simply isn't full and robust enough to become one, you might feel like you're losing out a bit on the cash back rewards available.

HOW THE BANK OF AMERICA® UNLIMITED CASH REWARDS CREDIT CARD COMPARES TO OTHER CARDS

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card vs. Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

At first glance, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card seems to wallop the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card in the rewards department.

The "customized" version gives you 3% in a category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings). At grocery stores and wholesale clubs, you'll get 2% (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases, then 1%), and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

Because there is a limit to how much you can earn in bonus categories, and because some cardholders don't like dealing with categories of their choice and just love the simplicity of saving money and figuring nothing out, the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card might be the better way to go. However, savvy cardholders could benefit from having both cards in their wallet by using the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card for bonus category spend, and then the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card for all "other" purchases earning 1.5% cash back instead of the standard 1%.

Everything else about the two credit cards is pretty similar, such as earning a $200 online cash back bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening, which you can also do with the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. The Customized card also has introductory 0% APR for your first 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account (then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable and balance transfers).

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Credit cards promising unlimited cash rewards? How are they going to stack up? Well, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is one of those cards where you have to be strategic, but if you don't mind that, you will get some generous rewards including 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal; 3% cash back at restaurants, including takeout and delivery; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases; and 1.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

The Bank of America card offers unlimited 1.5% back on everything, although if you are a preferred member, you might make up to 2.62% cash back, which certainly puts it in contention with Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Both cards do not have an annual fee; both cards have a foreign transaction fee of 3%. One area the Bank of America card may have an edge on the Chase card is in the 0% intro APR offer. As a reminder, the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card offers 0% introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening an account, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable and balance transfers. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, cardholders can enjoy 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases only, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable. If you have an exisiting balance you're looking to transfer and pay off interest free, the Bank of America card may be the better choice between the two.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

These are both pretty equally matched cards. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on purchases, just like Bank of America card. Capital One Quicksilver's intro perk is a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months; the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card gives you $200 after you spend $1,000 in 90 days. Both have 0% intro APR offers on purchases, but the Bank of America card has the edge when it comes to balance transfers. If you need to transfer some debt, you may want to consider the Bank of America card - and if you're a preferred member, you'll possibly save up to 2.62% cash back which is a perk not offered with the Quicksilver card.

If you frequently travel aboard, the Quicksilver card might be of more interest to you though as it doesn't charge fees on foreign transactions - a rare perk for a no-annual-fee cash-back card.

IS THE BANK OF AMERICA® UNLIMITED CASH REWARDS CREDIT CARD A GOOD CARD?

Yes, particularly for Bank of America Preferred Rewards cardholders, the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card is good credit card. Unlimited 1.5% cash back, no annual fee, an introductory 0% APR period, a $200 welcome bonus after you spend $1,000 in 90 days, and additional bonus rewards for preferred cardholders makes this a good, easy-to-use and easy-to-benefit-from credit card option for a variety of different types of credit card users.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card Compared to Other Cash back Cards

Apply online for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Apply online for Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Apply online for Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Cash Back on Gas
1.5% 
Cash Back on Gas
3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 
Cash Back on Gas
1.5% 
Cash Back on Gas
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on Gas
1.5% 
Cash Back on Groceries
1.5% 
Cash Back on Groceries
6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) 
Cash Back on Groceries
Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. 
Cash Back on Groceries
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on Groceries
1.5% 
Cash Back on other
If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase. 
Cash Back on other
1% cash back on other purchases 
Cash Back on other
1.5% 
Cash Back on other
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on other
1.5% 

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