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Why the Bank of America Premium Rewards and Cash Rewards credit cards are a great combo

Pair these two Bank of America rewards credit cards to earn more cash back on everything you buy

Summary

Curious about what it would take to earn over $1,000 in rewards with this card combo? Read on to learn more.

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The Bank of America content was last updated on August 22, 2022.

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card make the perfect pair because they offer complementary bonus categories within the same rewards program. You can use one card to earn bonus rewards in a 3% cash back category of your choosing and the other to rack up at least 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, both cards offer 2% back in everyday spending categories that most people can take advantage of.

Having both cards could even help you earn $1,096 in rewards your first year. If you’re curious what it would take to achieve that milestone with these two Bank of America credit cards, read on to learn more.

Maximize bonus categories

You should know that the Bank of America Premium Rewards card has a lot going for it when it comes to earning rewards in bonus categories, as well as on regular spending. Not only will you earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar on everything else you buy. The points are redeemable for statement credits at a rate of 1 cent apiece.

Making the most of this card is easy. Spend at least $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening to earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $500 in statement credits). From there, spending $600 per month on regular purchases would net you another 900 points, which are worth $9 per month or $108 per year. If you also used this card as your travel credit card and charged $300 in airfare, hotels and other travel purchases each month, you would net another 600 points, worth $6 per month or $72 per year.

Add these earnings up and you would earn $680 in rewards with this single credit card over a 12-month period.

From there, you can ratchet up your first-year earnings even more with the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card. One of the benefits of the Customized Cash card is that you earn 3% cash back in a category of your choosing (among gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement) and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 in combined 3% and 2% category spending each quarter, then 1% back). You also get 1% cash back on all regular purchases.

If you pick dining as your choice category to earn 3% cash back with the Customized Cash card and you spend $600 on groceries and $200 on dining every month, you’ll earn $216 in cash back within a year. You’ll also earn a $200 statement credit after spending at least $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Follow this plan and you’ll earn $416 in rewards with this card alone in your first year.

Cash back strategy

Premium Rewards card
Earn $680 in the first year

+


Cash Rewards card
Earn $416 in the first year
Total cash back earned = $1,096

Here’s how:

  • 3% x $200/month on dining = $6
  • 2% x $600/month on groceries= $12
  • 2% x $300/month on travel = $6
  • 1.5% x $600/month on other purchases = $9
  • Total cash back per month = $33
  • $33 x 12 months = $396
  • $396 + $200 sign-up bonus + $500 sign-up bonus = $1,096

When you add up the rewards and both cards’ welcome bonuses, you can easily earn $1,096 within the first 12 months. That could be enough to pay for a family vacation or your year-end holiday spending.

You should note, however, that the Premium Rewards card comes with a $95 annual fee. If you subtract the annual fee, your estimated earnings for the first year comes to $1,001 – still more than enough to make signing up for both cards well worth it.

Earn even more with Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program

If you’re a Bank of America customer with a considerable amount in savings at this financial institution, it’s possible to earn 25% to 75% more rewards with both of these cards. In fact, cardholders with the Premium Rewards card can earn up to 3.5 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and up to 2.62 points per dollar on regular purchases.

Meanwhile, Customized Cash Rewards cardholders can earn up to 5.25% back in their 3% spending category and up to 3.5% back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases.

The chart below highlights how much you need to have on deposit to qualify for each tier:

Bank of America Preferred Rewards tier Three-month combined average daily balance Credit card rewards bonus unlocked 
Gold$20,000+, but less than $50,00025% bonus
Platinum$50,000+, but less than $100,00050% bonus
Platinum Honors$100,000+, but less than $1 million75% bonus
Diamond$1,000,000+, but less than $10 million75% bonus
Diamond Honors$10,000,000+75% bonus

Redeem for flexible rewards

While neither card lets you earn points that transfer to airline or hotel partners, they both offer a variety of ways to redeem your rewards. Both let you cash in rewards for statement credits or deposits into a Bank of America checking or savings account. You can also deposit rewards into a Merrill account, including 529 accounts that help you save for college. Keep in mind that redemptions into Merrill investment and 529 accounts start at $25.

The Bank of America Premium Rewards card offers a few more ways to redeem your points, including gift cards or purchases through the Bank of America Travel Center.

Save money on interest for 18 billing cycles

With the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card, you can also score a 18-billing cycle 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening, followed by a variable APR of 16.24% to 26.24%. Having 18 billing cycles without interest makes it easy to pay down a large purchase without forking over an arm and a leg in interest payments, but you can also use this offer to consolidate and pay down debt from other credit cards.

Bottom line

If you’re angling for a way to earn almost $1,100 in statement credits and cash rewards this year (and potentially more), you can easily do so with the Bank of America Premium Rewards card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card combined. Having both cards makes it easier to earn more rewards with less work on your part, and who wouldn’t want that?

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
Reward
17.99%
Student
18.66%
Airline
17.81%
Business
16.07%
Cash Back
17.95%

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