A guide to Bank of America credit cards
With a host of travel, cash back and business credit cards to choose from, Bank of America credit cards are known for offering excellent rewards. Often that means annual fees, but that’s typically not the case with Bank of America. With low or no annual fees, Bank of America cards are great entry-level options, although you need to have good to excellent credit to qualify. Whether you are a millennial buying your first house or a boomer looking to get your second home, Bank of America has the products to help you achieve your goals. Today, we look at:
Comparing the best Bank of America credit cards
No matter your needs, you can choose from Bank of America’s wide variety of credit cards. See below for a glance at the top offers:
|Credit Card||Best For:||Annual Fee||CreditCards.com Rating|
|Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card||Flat rate cash back||$0||3.3 / 5|
|Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card||Cash back||$0||4.2 / 5|
|BankAmericard® credit card||Balance transfers||$0||4.4 / 5|
|Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card||Travel||$0||3.7 / 5|
|Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card||Sign-up bonus||$95||4.2 / 5|
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card||Business travel purchases||$0||3.2 / 5|
|Bank of America® Platinum Plus® Mastercard® Business card||Low interest rate||$0||2.6 / 5|
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card||Cash back on business expenses||$0||2.9 / 5|
|Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card||Airline miles for your business||$50 for the company and $25 per card||4.0 / 5|
|Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card||Frequent Alaska Airlines flyers||$75||3.7 / 5|
Editor’s picks: Bank of America credit card details
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card: Best for flat rate cash back
Why we picked it: Bank of America members will be nicely rewarded when carrying this new rewards card. Get unlimited 1.5% cash back no matter the purchase category and existing Bank of America customers have the opportunity to boost their earnings even more (Preferred Rewards members earn 25% to 75% more cash back on every purchase).
Pros: The sign-up bonus of $200 online cash rewards after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening is both affordable and worthwhile. The no annual fee card also comes with a lengthy 0% intro APR on balance transfers made in the first 60 days and purchases for 15 billing cycles (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR after).
Cons: Being a Bank of America member goes a long way here, and in order to be eligible for Preferred Rewards you’ll need at least $20,000 across Bank of America and/or Merrill accounts. If you’re not looking to commit to that level, this card loses out on lots of value.
Who should apply? Existing Bank of America customers who want top-tier earnings could find themselves with a strong rewards rate across all purchases with this card.
Who should skip? People unwilling to deposit their money with Bank of America will not be able to take advantage of the high-ceiling rewards. Shoppers who do lots of spending in specific categories might find a more rewarding card as well.
Read our Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for cash back
Why we picked it: True to its name, this card allows you to custom-pick your own 3% cash back bonus category. Cardholders can select between gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishing as their high-rate category. The card also features a strong 2% cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases to further its everyday impact (up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases on your 2% and 3% categories).
Pros: This no annual fee card comes with a valuable sign-up bonus opportunity: Cardholders earn $200 in online cash rewards when they spend $1,000 in their first 90 days. Plus, there’s a 0% introductory APR on new purchases: 15 billing cycles, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable. Bank of America members can also take advantage of the valuable boosts available through Preferred Rewards.
Cons: The bonus 3% and 2% cash back rates are subject to that $2,500 combined purchase cap each quarter, then 1%. Also, when it comes to redeeming your rewards you’ll be limited to cash back options, like statement credits, checks or direct deposit into a Bank of America checking or savings account.
Who should apply? Someone who doesn’t have consistency in their spending patterns might like the custom cash back offered with this card. Bank of America members also have lots of opportunity here through the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.
Who should skip? High-volume spenders might want to avoid the quarterly spending caps. Also, unless you’re an existing or soon-to-be Bank of America account holder you should look elsewhere.
Read our full Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
BankAmericard® credit card: Best for balance transfers
Why we picked it: Anyone considering a balance transfer will appreciate BankAmericard’s lengthy 0% introductory APR lasting 18 billing cycles, valid for balance transfers initiated within the first 60 days of account opening. These terms also apply to the purchase APR.
Pros: Its lengthy balance transfer offer makes it an excellent card for paying down card debt. Additionally, cardmembers can earn a statement credit online bonus of $100 after spending at least $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.
Cons: The intro APR is attractive, yes, but the balance transfer fee (3% or $10, whichever is greater) isn’t as low as other cards in this category. Another potential deal breaker for some: this card has no rewards program.
Who should apply? Someone hoping to tackle an existing card debt or finance a large purchase would benefit from this card’s APR introductory offer.
Who should skip? Reward chasers should look elsewhere as this card has no rewards program.
Read our BankAmericard® credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card: Best for travel
Why we picked it: Cardholders will enjoy widespread travel rewards with the freedom to book their well-earned vacations with the travel brands of their choice. Every purchase made is rewarded with 1.5 points per dollar, and points are unlimited and won’t expire. Purchases made through the Bank of America Travel Center will earn a boosted 3X points and there’s no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, car rental insurance, concierge services and other perks for the on-the-go lifestyle.
Pros: This card is free from blackout dates, so flights and hotel stays can be scheduled on your own time. As a welcome offer, new accounts have the opportunity to earn an online bonus of 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening – a $250 value when redeeming on travel purchases. Also, rather than booking through a designated travel portal, you can redeem your points for any travel and dining purchases made on your credit card within the last 12 months, including third-party sites like Expedia or Travelocity.
Cons: Although the card has cash redemption options, they’re not very valuable – 1 point is worth just .006 cents. This card may not be worth it for those not eligible to sign up for Bank of America Preferred Rewards, as the 25% to 75% increase is a necessity to maximize value and compete with other top travel cards.
Who should apply? This is a great match for beginner or less-frequent travelers who want to earn rewards without an annual fee.
Who should skip? Frequent flyers and airline loyalists can find more intensive and rewarding options elsewhere.
Read our Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card: Best sign-up bonus
Why we picked it: This card comes with several benefits, most notably the welcome offer – earn 50,000 online bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. With smart shopping and redeeming through Bank of America, this sign-up bonus alone can be worth $500 in travel purchases.
Pros: Appropriately named, this card offers some top-tier rewards: 2X points on travel and dining purchases, 2X points on grocery store purchases (now through 12/31/21), as well as 1.5X points on all other purchases. Points are unlimited, won’t expire and can be redeemed for any purchase at a rate of 1 cent per point. Additionally, cardholders will be given an annual bonus of up to $100 for airline incidentals and up to $100 in credit toward TSA Precheck or Global Entry every four years. They will also have access to features like trip delay reimbursement, travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and an array of other perks.
Cons: This card has a $95 annual fee and requires a credit score over 670 to qualify, so the lucrative rewards don’t come without an initial cost and a little exclusivity. Also, points aren’t transferable, which could limit what you do with your earnings.
Who should apply? Travelers looking for a do-it-all travel rewards card should consider this option, especially if you bank with Bank of America.
Who should skip? Homebodies or rewards-hunters looking to avoid an annual fee would be better off with another card.
Read our Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card: Best for business travel
Why we picked it: For a solid travel business card, look no further. As a sign-up bonus, you can earn 30,000 bonus points after a $3,000 spend in net purchases within your first 90 days of card membership, which can be used as a $300 statement credit on travel or towards dining purchases. The card also features 3X points when spending on travel through the Bank of America® Travel Center and 1.5X points on all other purchases.
Pros: For a no annual fee card, the yearly rewards value is tough to beat. There’s no rush to redeem, as points don’t expire and there’s no limit on how much you can earn. Plus, cardholders won’t be victim to blackout dates when booking travel, so business trips can fit your calendar’s demands. This card also comes with a nine billing cycle intro 0% APR on purchases (variable rate of 12.24% to 22.24% thereafter), allowing some leeway on any early-on business expenses.
Cons: Points earned can’t be transferred to other loyalty programs and any travel you want to book must be through Bank of America.
Who should apply? Small business owners who spend on travel and want to avoid an annual fee might want to capitalize on the simple rewards, unlimited points-earning structure and available rewards.
Who should skip? If your business expenses are rarely travel-related, you should look to a card that better fits your usual spending habits.
Read our Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Mastercard review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Bank of America® Platinum Plus® Mastercard® Business card: Best for low interest
Why we picked it: This card’s variable APR of 10.24% to 21.24% is a top-notch rate for any business credit card. Boosting its affordability, this card also features no annual fee and an intro purchase APR of 0% for your first 7 billing cycles. The average business card charges a minimum APR around 14.43%, so this card’s welcome window and low APR provide a rare level of freedom to those having to carry a balance.
Pros: As a solid welcome bonus, the Platinum Plus Mastercard offers a $300 statement credit if you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days as a cardholder. And to boost your business’ abilities, this card offers benefits like free employee cards, a cash flow management tool to help track revenues and a slew of perks to ease any business travel experiences.
Cons: Unlike most business cards, this option doesn’t provide a way of earning regular rewards. Although it’s a valuable money-saving option, your business may benefit more from a card that rewards your spending and has more premium benefits.
Who should apply? Small businesses that expect to carry a balance could benefit from the short-term value of this card’s intro APR offer and sign-up bonus, plus the long-term value of the low interest rate.
Who should skip? Potential cardholders who want to earn rewards on their business expenses should look to the many rewards-earning business credit cards.
Read our Bank of America Platinum Plus Mastercard Business card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card: Best for small business
Why we picked it: You’ll open new doors for your small business, giving access to 3% cash back on a category of your choice (office supply stores, TV/telecom and wireless, computer services, gas, travel, and business consulting services), 2% cash back at restaurants and 1% on all other purchases (on the first $50,000 in combined 3% and 2% category purchases each year). Plus, the sign-up bonus is easily attainable if your company has an upcoming large purchase to make: Earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 with your card in the first 90 days.
Pros: For an option with no annual fee, this card’s impact is strong. For some added flexibility, the cash you earn never expires and you can change your bonus category on a monthly basis. As an added perk, purchases are welcomed with a 0% intro APR for 9 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 12.24% to 22.24% variable.
Cons: As with most cash back cards, there are limited redemption options. Cardholders can only redeem earnings for a check, statement credit or deposit into a Bank of America account. Another limiting feature, rewards can’t be moved to other loyalty programs. Also, if your business spends heavily, there could be more fruitful options – earnings in the 2% and 3% categories are capped at a combined total of $50,000 annually.
Who should apply? Small business owners whose common expenses fall in one of the custom bonus categories and have an annual budget less than $50,000 so you don’t face a low earnings rate.
Who should skip? High-budget business owners who want a small business credit card to spend large amounts on year after year.
Read our Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card: Best for business miles
Why we picked it: Thanks to a healthy rewards rate and welcome bonus, this card makes it easy to earn miles for your business. Cardholders earn 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, plus 1X miles on anything else. For a limited time you’ll also be greeted with the opportunity to earn 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in your first 90 days. Good news: Meeting this threshold will also qualify you for Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare for a discounted ticket from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees starting at $22).
Pros: Your points won’t expire and there’s no limit on the amount you can earn. There’s also a free checked bag on Alaska flights, no cancellation fees if you change travel plans 60 or more days in advance and you can redeem points with different airline partners. Alaska also gives a Companion Fare each year the account stays open, a worthwhile perk.
Cons: This card requires an annual fee of $50 per company, and $25 per additional card. Additionally, there are cases with limited seat availability and blackout dates. Alaska Airlines’ flight network is best suited for those who often travel on the West Coast.
Who should apply? Small business owners who spend a lot of time in the air and have loyalty to Alaska Airlines are best suited for this card’s sign-up bonus, rewards structure and benefits.
Who should skip? Business owners whose expenses are less travel-related should look to business cards that rewards things like shipping costs, telecom, gas and more.
Read our Alaska Airlines Visa Business card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card: Best for frequent Alaska Airlines flyers
Why we picked it: This card carries all the hallmarks of a solid airline credit card (decent rewards, a lucrative sign-up bonus and several airline-centric perks) for a reasonable $75 annual fee.
Pros: The Alaska Airlines companion fare from $121 ($99 companion fare, plus taxes and fees from $22) each account anniversary and free checked bag (for you and up to six people on the same reservation) give this card more long-term value than many of its counterparts. Alaska Airlines does have a wide network of domestic and international partners, so your miles have some value outside of flights with the carrier.
Cons: While the annual fee is reasonable relative to the card’s perks, you’ll still have to shoulder a $75 charge each year, so be sure you frequent the airline enough to justify adding the card to your wallet.
Who should apply? Alaska Airlines flyers who travel with a companion at least once a year can come out ahead with this solid airline credit card, thanks to its lucrative anniversary offer.
Who should skip? If you don’t fly Alaska Airlines, you’ll be better served by a general purpose travel rewards credit card.
Read our Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
What is Bank of America?
Bank of America is a full-service bank with all types of accounts, credit cards and even physical locations. On top of their large selection of credit cards, Bank of America ranks amongst the top of all banks according to Bankrate.
Biggest banks in the U.S. by assets
|1||JP Morgan Chase & Co.||$3.21 trillion|
|2||Bank of America||$2.32 trillion|
|3||Wells Fargo & Co.||$1.77 trillion|
|4||Citigroup Inc.||$1.68 trillion|
|5||U.S. Bancorp||$542.57 billion|
So, Bank of America is much more than just a card issuer. From car loans to investing, the suite is extensive, to say the least. Here are some of the products available through Bank of America:
- Mortgages. Whether buying your first home or refinancing, Bank of America’s rates are competitive. For example, you might get a 4.5% rate (4.717% APR) for 30 years on a $200,000 loan in the zip code of 95464, with a 0.928 point.
- Auto loans. Rates start at a competitive 3.24% APR for a 60-month loan.
- Investments. Through Merrill, the bank offers products for saving for retirement, college and more, giving you access to ETFs, mutual funds, stocks, fixed income and bonds, and even options and margins.
- Credit cards. Well known for competitive cards, Bank of America offers a full line of business, consumer, travel and cash rewards products.
- Checking and savings accounts. This includes business and student checking, as well as CDs, IRAs and child savings.
Is a Bank of America credit card worth it?
Thanks to the bank’s success over the years, they’re able to provide some very worthwhile cards. As is with any credit card, as long as you find a match for your spending habits and the right perks that will help you, Bank of America’s options provide plenty of value. The only catch – most don’t come anywhere close to their true potential without being a Preferred Rewards member.
In addition to the can’t-miss points boost, the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program is versatile: You aren’t tied down to specific travel partners, for example, and you can even get a check cut for your rewards, if you so desire. Here are ways you can redeem your points.
- Gift cards. You can redeem from Lands’ End to iTunes, starting at 1:1 for your points.
- Travel. Bank of America doesn’t have partners, so you can use your points to book directly with an airline, hotel or rental car company.
- Cash. Redeem as a statement credit.
- Deposit in Bank of America account. With the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, redeem cash back into a checking or savings account – and even get up to 75% extra value for qualifying Preferred Rewards customers. You can even redeem rewards automatically to the account of your choice.
- Merrill. With the Premium Rewards Card, deposit into a Merrill account such as savings, checking or a 529.
- Personal check. Allow for 14 days for this option.
Bank of America credit card benefits
On top of the flexible redemption options, Bank of America cards provide numerous benefits for different types of consumers. You can get access to the following through Bank of America’s cards:
- Auto rental collision waiver
- Warranty manager with in-home service, double the time period of warranty
- Purchase security, repair, replace or reimburse within 90 days
- Trip cancel/trip interruption
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Baggage delay reimbursement
- Lost luggage
- Return protection, reimbursement of item within 90 days and retailer won’t accept return
- Emergency evacuation
- Roadside dispatch
Customized Cash Rewards
- Common carrier accident insurance
- Extended warranty
- Price protection
- ID theft resolution services full restoration with ID theft alerts
- Enhanced trip cancellation/trip interruption
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Auto rental collision waiver
- Common carrier accident insurance, $250,000
- Warranty manager service
- Purchase security
- Travel and emergency assistance
- Roadside dispatch
Deeper into Preferred Rewards
The Preferred Rewards program is the pinnacle of Bank of America’s rewards opportunities, with savings on stock trades, auto loans and mortgages, even transactions with non-Bank of America ATMs. While the Preferred Rewards program starts at $20,000 in a Bank of America account, the Platinum Honors status requires a balance of over $100,000.
The program is divided into three tiers. Gold Preferred Rewards members earn a five percent savings interest rate booster and a 25% credit card rewards bonus with an account balance of $20,000 to $50,000. Platinum Preferred Rewards members earn a ten percent savings interest rate booster and a 50% credit card rewards bonus with an account balance of $50,000 to $100,000. Platinum Honors Rewards members earn a twenty percent savings interest rate booster and a 75% credit card rewards bonus with an account balance of $100,000 or higher. Here are the benefits that Preferred Rewards tiers offer:
|Rewards savings interest rate booster||5%||10%||20%|
|Credit card rewards bonus||25%||50%||75%|
|Non-Bank of America transactions||12 a year||Unlimited|
|Merrill Guided Investing||.05% program fee discount||.10% program fee discount||.15% program fee discount|
|Priority client service||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mortgage reduced origination fee, new or refinance||$200||$400||$600|
|Home equity discount||0.125%||0.250%||0.375%|
|Auto loan discount, new or refinance||0.25%||0.35%||0.50%|
|No monthly maintenance fees on up to 4 eligible checking and 4 savings accounts||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|No fees on select services, including standard check orders, cashier’s checks, incoming domestic wire transfers and more||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Bank of America
How to choose a Bank of America credit card
The process of choosing a credit card is the same no matter the issuer. You should evaluate your own spending habits, check your credit score, consider the benefits that would actually help your lifestyle and use tools like our CardMatch feature to find cards in your selection pool based on your credit profile. Once you have a better idea of what you’re looking for, you can see if any of Bank of America’s cards fit your needs.
No-complications cash back
If you want easy earnings and want to avoid worrying about spending in the right spots or meeting certain criteria to earn strong cash back rates, Bank of America has two great options for you. The Unlimited Cash Rewards Card gives shoppers a consistently solid cash back rate and the Customized Cash Rewards card allows you to decide where you want to earn most, so consider your spending before deciding which would better suit you.
Travelers looking for well-rounded rewards that can turn into a nice vacation should consider the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card thanks to its 3X points when making purchases using the Bank of America Travel Center and helpful benefits for when you’re on the go. Another great travel companion for rewards hunters is the Bank of America Premium Rewards card, offering useful travel perks as well as 2X points on travel, dining and grocery store purchases (grocery store purchases earn 2X points now through 12/31/21) and the power to turn points into your next trip.
Growing your small business
Small business owners have several options to choose from when looking at Bank of America’s choices. Making a decision all depends on your business expenses and what you’re looking for. Someone who wants easy-to-capitalize cash back should look at the Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard’s flexible rewards program. More on-the-go business owners could be best off with the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card or Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard and someone who’s prepared to take on some debt to grow their business may want to explore what’s offered by the Platinum Plus Mastercard Business card.
If you happen to often fly Alaska Airlines, Bank of America is able to provide worthwhile options for both business owners and everyday consumers. The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card and the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card both provide strong travel rewards, including Alaska’s Companion Fare and an affordable sign-up bonus.
How we picked the best Bank of America credit cards
Methodology: When determining which Bank of America credit cards are the best in key categories such as rewards, cash back and travel, we consider the following:
- Ancillary benefits: Does the card offer a competitive range of benefits and special features such as purchase security, extended warranty, travel assistance and ID theft services?
- Rates and fees: Are rates and annual fees reasonable in relation to the benefits and rewards offered? Are foreign transaction fees and APR rates competitive?
- Rewards program: We examine rewards offered in popular card categories including travel, cash back, and business, against spend requirements to assess value.
Deciding which Bank of America credit card is right for you will depend on your unique spending habits and financial goals. Learn more on how to choose the best credit card.
More information on Bank of America credit cards
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