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Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our Two Cents: Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card is your run of the mill cash back credit card. It offers a standard 1% cash back on everyday purchases, with a 2% earn rate at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas. The 2% and 3% categories are capped at the first $2,500 in spend each quarter. If you hit that threshold, you’ll earn a flat 1% on purchases until the quarter resets. If you’re spending more than $2,500 every 3 months on gas and groceries, this probably isn’t the best card for you. This card really starts to shine if you are an existing Bank of America customer and qualify as a Preferred Rewards client. This will increase your earnings by between 25% - 75%, depending on your average account balances with Bank of America.

Counting Your Pennies - How To Earn Cash Back with the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Now that we have you on the edge of your seat, here’s how Preferred Rewards works. Existing Bank of America customers are lumped into rewards earning tiers based on their combined balances with Bank of America and Merrill Edge. The more money you have tucked away in your account the more rewards you’ll earn. It’s true what they say. It takes jars of pennies to make jars of pennies.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards Client Bonus
Tier Account Balance Earning Potential
Base $0 - $19,999 10%
Gold $20,000 - $49,999 >25%
Platinum 50,000 - $99,999 50%
Platinum Honors $100,000+ 100%

As you can see in the tables above and below, this changes the game a bit. If you are an existing Bank of America customer and you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America account, your earn rate for gas could be up to 5.25% cash back. This is one of the best earning rates out there. Even at the base rate, 3.3% is one of the stronger offers on the market today.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards Client Earning Rates
TierEveryday PurchasesGrocery & WholesaleGas Purchases
Platinum Honors1.75%3.5%5.25%

A reward earning feature that sets this card apart from some competitors is the lack of rotating categories. Some cards will offer flashy 5% cash back categories that changes every 3 months. In our experience, it takes a dedicated person to really get values out of these. This card takes the guess work out of earning by keeping enhanced earn rates static on gas and grocery purchases. We’d definitely prefer to see a higher earn cap on the quarterly spend. If your family goes through food like ours does, you can approach that $2500 cap pretty quickly!

Earn rates aside, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card has some additional perks that help round it out. A no annual fee product is a good way to reduce costs on a line of credit you may already have open. It’s also a nice way to start building your credit history. If you outgrow this card later, you can hold on to it to help with your average age of accounts without worrying about an annual fee. This card also offers 0% on purchases for the first 12 billing cycles.

Who Should Get It?

We’d only recommend this card to those who already have an existing relationship with Bank of America or those planning to open a checking or savings account with them soon. Bank of America really values long term relationships, so this it a winner for those looking for a more entry level product and will help you build a relationship for other product lines down the road, or for more established customers that would benefit from the increased earning potential.

Who Shouldn’t Get it?

Those that have a tendency to carry a balance from month to month. This is not the best balance transfer card, so if you have an established credit history you will be best off shopping around a bit more. Also, since this is a rewards card, it’s base APR is higher than a more basic non-rewards card. If you’re going to carry a balance, let’s keep looking for ways to save, shall we?

Final Thoughts

The Bank of America Cash Rewards Card is a middle of the road cash back credit card. It’d help round out the wallet of a user that already has or would like to establish a relationship with Bank of America long term. Bank of America does offer the full gamut of financial products, such as mortgages, auto loans, and investing tools. This could be a solid start if you’re looking to build a portfolio with a major financial institution. If you're worried about getting approved for the card, Bank of America is partnered with Card Match. You can see if your credit profile is a match for the card before applying. 

Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card Highlights

  • No annual fee 
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening 
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter 
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards 
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers 
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account 
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

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