The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card make the perfect pair because they offer complementary bonus categories within the same rewards program.
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Cash back cards usually offer either lucrative bonuses for certain types of spending and a low rate of cash back on the rest of your purchases, or a merely average rate of cash back on every purchase. However, there’s a way to get the best of both worlds: Sign up for multiple credit cards with different earning tiers.
Having both cards could even help you earn $1,006 your first year. If you’re curious what it would take to achieve that milestone, keep reading.
Maximize bonus categories
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card has a lot going for it when it comes to earning rewards on both bonus category and regular spending. Not only will you earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, but you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar on everything else you buy. The card’s points are redeemable for statement credits at a rate of 1 cent per point.
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card offers 2X points on travel and dining and 1.5X points on everything else you buy. The card’s high earning rate plus lucrative sign-up bonus makes signing up a no-brainer.
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 the card’s 50,000-point sign-up bonus (worth $500 in statement credits). Then spend $600 per month on regular purchases to earn an additional 900 points per month, worth $9 per month or $108 per year. That’s worth $608 in earnings from a single rewards credit card over 12 months.
You can ratchet up your first-year earnings even more with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card. This card gives you 3 percent cash back in a category of your choosing (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings) and 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $2,500 in spending each quarter. You also get 1 percent cash back on all regular purchases.
This choose-your-own-category card offers bonus categories everyone can benefit from, and there’s no annual fee.
If you pick gas as your choice category to earn 3 percent cash back and spend $600 on groceries and $150 on gas every month, you’ll earn $198 in cash back in 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 $398 in rewards with this card alone your first year.
With both cards and their earning tiers considered, you can earn $306 in cash back just through regular spending each year – and that doesn’t include sign-up bonuses.
Cash back strategy
Premium Rewards card
Earn $608 in the first year
Cash Rewards card
Earn $398 in the first year
|Total cash back earned = $1,006|
When you add up the rewards and both cards’ welcome bonuses, you can easily earn $1,006 within the first 12 months. That could be enough to pay for a family vacation or your year-end holiday spending.
However, you should note that the Bank of America Premium Rewards card charges a $95 annual fee. If you subtract the annual fee, our estimated earnings for the first year comes to $911 – still more than enough cash back to make signing up for both cards well worth it.
Ratchet up your earnings with Preferred Rewards
If you’re a Bank of America customer with a savings accounts, it’s possible to get a 25 to 75 percent boost on your earnings with the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card and Cash Back cards – up to 3.5 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and up to 2.62 points per dollar on regular purchases. For Preferred Rewards members in the highest tier, this can amount to hundreds of more dollars in cash back each year with both cards combined.
The chart below highlights how much you need to have on deposit to qualify for each tier:
|Tier||Balance required||Rewards boost||Estimated earnings|
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 cards let you cash in rewards for statement credits or deposits into a Bank of America checking or savings account. You can also deposit rewards to 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 15 billing cycles
With the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, you can also score a 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening, followed by a variable APR of 16.24 to 26.24 percent. Having 15 billing cycles without interest makes it easy to pay down a large purchase without forking over an arm and a leg in interest payments.
If you’re angling for a way to earn more than $1,000 in statement credits and cash rewards this year, you can easily do so with the Bank of America Premium Rewards and Cash Rewards cards combined. Having both cards allows you to earn to more rewards with less work. And who wouldn’t want that?
See related: Guide to earning the 3-percent cash back bonus from the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card, Guide to the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card, How to use your rewards to book a trip through the Bank of America Travel Center