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Guide to the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Summary

Learn how to use and maximize the cash back rewards program on the Bank of America Cash Rewards card.

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If you are a fan of credit cards with simple cash back rewards programs, the Bank of America Rewards card should be on your radar. While cash back cards such as the Citi Double Cash Card, Blue Cash Everyday and Chase Freedom Unlimited garner most of the attention, this flexible rewards card has much to offer to cardholders who simply want to earn a lot of cash back on their everyday purchases.

The card features 3 percent cash back on a category of your choice and 2 percent back on grocery purchases, for up to $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, it offers a bonus to Bank of America customers that can push the rewards rate over the top if you have enough cash in the bank.

A poll by CreditCards.com found that 3 percent cash back is a favorite perk among rewards card users.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

 

Why should you get it?

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% cash back on a category of the user’s choice, adding increased flexibility to the rewards program. It also offers 2% cash back on grocery and wholesale club purchases, making it a good card for everyday purchases.

More things to know:

  • No annual fee
  • $200 sign-up bonus if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
  • 3% cash back on a category of choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings)
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • $2,500 limit in combined purchases every quarter on 2% and 3% categories (1% thereafter)
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
  • No rotating categories to keep track of

Why get the Bank of America Cash Rewards card?

For a no-annual-fee credit card, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card offers some pretty generous terms. Here’s a summary of some of its best features:

Good rewards on a category of choice and supermarket purchases with a high cap

The Bank of America Cash Rewards card isn’t the most generous card for supermarket purchases (that title goes to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express), but it does offer one of the best rates on supermarket purchases in the no-annual-fee category. In addition, it offers cardholders the added flexibility of choosing their own 3 percent bonus category. Users have options such as gas, online shopping and travel in order to maximize rewards throughout the year. The Cash Rewards card also has a high spending cap. While most gas and grocery cards limit the bonus to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card gives you a $2,500 quarterly spending cap.

Large sign-up bonus

The card also comes with a pretty generous bonus for a no-annual-fee card – you get $200 for signing up and spending $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days.

Simplicity

The Bank of America Cash Rewards card makes it fairly easy to redeem your rewards. Once you’ve collected $25, you just log in to your account and redeem your cash for statement credits or route your cash to a checking or savings account. Since your rewards don’t expire, you can redeem your cash back at your leisure.

Preferred Rewards bonus

The feature that really sets the Bank America Cash Rewards card apart from other cash back cards is an added bonus for Bank of America customers. If you have $20,000 or more in a qualifying Bank of America, Merrill Edge or Merrill Lynch account, you can register for the Preferred Rewards program and boost your rewards rate. With the 25 percent bonus that you get as a Gold customer, you can easily push your earning rate higher than 2 percent cash back just by using the card on all your purchases.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards tiers

 Bonus cash backAverage cash back rate
No Bank of America AccountNone1.7%
Gold customers ($20,000-$49,999 balance)25%2.1%
 Platinum customers ($50,000-$99,999 balance)50%2.5%
 Platinum Honors customers ($100,000+ balance)75%3%

How to maximize the Bank of America Cash Rewards card

  • Use the card for all your choice category, grocery store and wholesale store purchases, to earn bonus cash back.
  • Hit the gas station (or other category of choice) before you go to the grocery store. You can easily max out the $2,500 spending cap each quarter, so make sure you earn cash back on the most valuable category of spend first.
  • Rotate your card with a card that offers a bonus on other categories of purchases or with a flat-rate card that offers more than 1 percent back on every purchase. For instance, you can use the Citi Double Cash card – which earns up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase (1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay your statement on time) – to pay for items that don’t fall under the bonus categories.
  • Enroll in the Preferred Rewards program if you qualify, and redeem your rewards into a Bank of America account to earn bonus cash back.
  • Visit the BankAmeriDeals website to earn additional cash back on your purchases. Note, you have to activate deals before you make your purchase, but Bank of America allows you to find and activate deals on the spot through its mobile app.
  • Stack your cash back with a grocery store rewards program or a gas rewards program such as the Fuel Rewards Network. You can earn points or extra cash back on your purchases on top of the cash back that you earn from the Bank of America Cash Rewards card.

Summary

Though the Bank of America Cash Rewards card doesn’t match the earning power of the Blue Cash Preferred card, it offers a very respectable amount of cash back for a no-annual-fee card. And, for loyal customers of Bank of America, the card can be especially rewarding. In fact, if you keep a large enough balance in your Bank of America account, you might consider making the Bank of America Cash Rewards card your go-to card for all your purchases, since it can beat out even the 2 percent cash back rate on the Citi Double Cash card. 

Related stories: Bank of America Cash Rewards vs. Blue Cash Preferred card from American Express, Shell Fuel Rewards program guide, How credit cards take a bite out of gas prices

The Bank of America content of this post was last updated on April 10, 2019.

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Published: April 9, 2019

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: September 18th, 2019
Business
15.45%
Airline
17.38%
Cash Back
17.52%
Reward
17.39%
Student
17.58%

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