When you’re comparing Amex Blue Cash Everyday and the Bank of America Cash Rewards, consider how each card’s benefits stack up for your spending habits.
How do you decide between two credit cards that offer similar types of rewards? The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express are two no-annual-fee credit cards that offer 3% cash back on popular everyday shopping categories – and both cards come with a 0% intro APR offer on purchases, giving you plenty of time to make and pay off purchases without accruing interest.
When you’re considering the Amex Blue Cash Everyday versus Bank of America Cash Rewards, you might start your decision-making process by asking yourself whether you’d prefer an American Express credit card or a Bank of America credit card – which, if you’re already invested in American Express’s Membership Rewards program or Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program, might make your choice relatively easy. If that doesn’t help you decide, read on for a full comparison of the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card versus the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards vs. Blue Cash Everyday from American Express
Here are the two cards at a glance:
|Card||Rewards rate||Intro bonus||Annual fee||APR|
|Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card||3% cash back on a category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvements and furnishings|
2% cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases
($2,500 combined spend limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter)
1% cash back on all other purchases
|$200 online cash rewards after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days||$0||0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable|
(Balance transfers must be made in the first 60 days to qualify)
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)|
2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
1% cash back on other purchases
|$200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first six months||$0||0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable|
If you want to maximize your credit card rewards, you need a credit card with a strong intro bonus offer – and both the Amex Blue Cash Everyday and the Bank of America Cash Rewards cards deliver. That said, when you’re comparing these two cards, it’s important to look at how these intro bonuses compare side-by-side.
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offers $200 online cash rewards to new cardholders who spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. The Blue Cash Everyday card now also offers a $200 statement credit to new cardholders who spend $2,000 in the first six months.
This means that you can earn $200 bonus cash back from Bank of America after spending $1,000 in 90 days – or a $200 statement credit from Amex for spending twice as much in essentially double the time. If you’re looking at the average monthly spend needed to score the welcome bonus, they come out even, but Bank of America edges out Amex if you’d like it sooner rather than later.
Earning cash back
The best cash back credit cards help you maximize the cash back rewards you earn on everyday purchases. If you’re trying to decide between the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card versus the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, determine where your money goes every month.
If a lot of your everyday spending goes toward groceries and gas, you’ll probably want to consider the Blue Cash Everyday card. With 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, you can maximize your cash back every time you make a grocery run or fill up the gas tank.
If your everyday spending is a little more variable or you’re maxing out the supermarket limit that Amex has, you might want to consider the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card. With the ability to customize your 3% cash back category every calendar month, you can plan ahead and maximize your cash back on whatever category of purchase you’re most likely to make that month.
If you’re planning a vacation, for example, switch your 3% cash back rewards to travel before you book plane tickets. Thinking about taking on a home improvement project this summer? Make sure your Bank of America customized rewards are set to “home improvement” before you get started.
Plus, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card comes with 2% cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases, which gives you the opportunity to maximize your rewards on both your monthly customized category and your weekly grocery run.
There’s one more factor to consider, and that’s how much cash back each card lets you earn before capping its top rewards percentage. The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets for up to $6,000 per year, which caps out at $180 in cash back annually. There’s no cap on the 2% cash back you earn on gas purchases or the 1% cash back you can earn on all other purchases.
The Bank of America Cash Rewards card, on the other hand, caps its 3% and 2% cash back categories at $2,500 in combined purchases per quarter. That gives you the opportunity to earn as much as $300 in cash back per year before transitioning to an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases – which, if you’re comparing dollar to dollar, could be the better cash back deal.
Redeeming cash back
Want to redeem the cash back you earned with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card and the Blue Cash Everyday card? It’s a good idea to understand each card’s cash back redemption options before you decide which card is best for you.
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card lets you redeem your rewards for statement credits, and you can also deposit your cash back rewards into a qualifying Bank of America or Merrill checking or savings account. If you have a qualifying 529 savings plan with Merrill, you can deposit your cash back rewards into that account as well, which is a great way to help your kids save for college.
The Blue Cash Everyday card also lets you redeem your rewards for statement credits, but, unlike the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, you also have the option to use your cash back rewards for online shopping or turn your rewards into gift cards.
Both cards require you to have at least $25 in cash back before accessing certain types of redemption options, so be aware of any minimum cash back thresholds before beginning the redemption process.
While both the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card and the Blue Cash Everyday card offer excellent cash back rewards – especially for no-annual-fee credit cards – neither card offers much in the way of additional perks. These aren’t the kinds of credit cards that come with complimentary airport lounge access or food delivery credits for apps like Grubhub and Uber Eats.
That said, cardholders can still find plenty of ways to benefit. Bank of America checking or savings account holders who join the Preferred Rewards program, for example, can increase their Bank of America credit card rewards by as much as 75%, depending on which Preferred Rewards tier they qualify for.
Blue Cash Everyday cardholders won’t get the same kind of rewards boost, but they will be able to take advantage of a few Blue Cash Everyday benefits not available to Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards cardholders, including purchase protection and car rental loss and damage insurance.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards: Best for Bank of America customers who want flexible rewards
If you’re a Bank of America account holder who wants to take advantage of the ability to maximize your cash back through the Preferred Rewards program – or if you simply want the ability to choose your top-level cash back category every month – the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card might be your best choice.
If you decide to go with the flexible rewards offered by the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, make sure to read our Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards guide. We’ve got tips and insights to help you get the most out of this unique Bank of America cash back rewards program.
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express: Best for frequent shoppers who want rewards on gas and groceries
If you spend a lot of money on gas and groceries, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express might be exactly what you’re looking for.
The Blue Cash Everyday is a great option for families looking for a no-annual-fee card that still allows them to earn high levels of cash back on their highest spend categories. When you add in other Amex Blue Cash Everyday benefits like purchase protection and car rental insurance, plus the ability to redeem your rewards for statement credits, merchandise and gift cards, you might decide to make the Blue Cash Everyday Card your new everyday spending card.
American Express versus Bank of America? When you’re trying to decide between the Amex Blue Cash Everyday and the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, it’s important to know which card is more likely to reward the way you spend. Do you want the top-level grocery and gas rewards offered by the Blue Cash Everyday, or do you want to take advantage of the ability to customize your rewards every month with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card?
Once you know which card is most likely to give you the most rewards for your typical spending habits, you’ll be able to decide which card is best for you.