Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

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Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
Good for flexibility

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site
Rewards rate:

Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases). Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases). Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: $200
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 13.99% – 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card* comes with some serious — and customizable — perks: a tiered cash back system, introductory 0% APR offer for 15 billing cycles on purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter, a 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers) and an additional cash bonus offer. Use this customizable cash back card to get rewards where you want them most.

At a Glance

  • Tiered cash back rewards program, with the flexibility to choose a category of spending for the 3% cash back category
  • $200 cash rewards bonus after making $1,000 in purchases during the first 90 days of account opening
  • Introductory 0% APR for first 15 billing cycles after account opening for purchases and for any balance transfers made within the first 60 days, after which you will receive a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99%. A 3% fee (minimum $10) applies to all balance transfers. 
  • No annual fee

Pros

  • Tiered cash back rewards

  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers

  • $200 online cash rewards bonus

  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Limited rewards potential if you consistently exceed rewards caps in certain categories

  • 3% balance transfer fee ($10 minimum)

Additional Card Details

One of the big benefits of this card is the ability to customize rewards to fit the categories where you do most of your spending. You can change your selection for the 3% category every calendar month, and really use the customization to your advantage. For example, if you have a road trip coming up you can change the 3% category to gas, or to online shopping for the holiday season.

Here’s how the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card tiered rewards structure works:

  • 3% cash back on a category of your choice from: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases 

Preferred Rewards

This card can be maximized if you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member. You can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase, meaning your choice of 3% category could go up to 5.25% cash back — a great value. You need an active Bank of America checking account and a three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 or more in qualifying deposit or investment accounts to enroll in Preferred Rewards. 

Should You Get this Card?

This card makes the most sense for you if you are using it to get rewards in categories you actually shop the most. You can also take advantage of the 15-billing cycle 0% intro APR on purchases, and balance transfers made in the first 60 days (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter; balance transfer fee of 3% or $10, whichever is greater), but there are other balance transfer cards that offer longer intro periods and smaller (or no) balance transfer fees. So if that’s the main draw you should shop around other offers. 

If you’re dedicated to paying it off on time every month, there’s no reason why this card couldn’t be used for everyday spending — but there may be better cards out there. Groceries, for example, are not a top cash back category option. And other cards may offer as much as 6% cash back on groceries or dining. 

It also may be limiting depending on how much you typically spend per month. For the 3% category of your choice and the 2% grocery store/wholesale club category, you’ll only earn those percentages on the combined first $2,500 spent each quarter, then 1% on both categories after that. Again, you can earn up to 5% on unlimited purchases in these categories with other rewards cards. 

How to Use the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

If you’re dedicated to paying it off on time every month, there’s no reason why this card couldn’t be used for everyday spending — but there may be better cards out there. Groceries, for example, are not a top cash back category option. And other cards may offer as much as 6% cash back on groceries or dining. 

This card can be a valuable rewards tool if you use it responsibly. The ability to choose your 3% cash back category makes this card a more-customizable cash back tool than other similar cards. You can choose from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings for your top cash back category. You’ll get automatic 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), and 1% on all other purchases. 

The combination of tiered rewards and introductory APR gives this card some serious rewards potential. If you have any large expenses coming up, like home improvements, this card may make it easier for you to spread out the costs of bigger purchases, like appliances, thanks to the intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter). And if you choose home improvements as your 3% cash back category, you can get an even larger rewards boost.

It may be limiting depending on how much you typically spend per month. For the 3% category of your choice and the 2% grocery store/wholesale club category, you’ll only earn those percentages on the combined first $2,500 spent each quarter, then 1% on both categories after that. Again, Other cards may offer higher rewards rates on some of these categories without the same spending cap. 

Where this card excels, though, is customization. The ability to choose your top cash back category puts the power in your hands to actually choose a category you spend the most in. Whether that’s gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings, you’ll be able to have a say in how dollars are coming back to your wallet.

Balance Transfers

Again, if your main goal is to pay off existing debt or finance a large purchase to pay off over the 0% APR intro period, you can find longer periods and lower fees elsewhere. Either way, you need a plan in place to actually pay off your existing balance by the time that period is over, or you run the risk of being hit with a high-penalty APR and fees. 

You also need to be prepared to make that balance transfer as soon as possible after opening your card, as transactions must be posted to your account within 60 days. And your balance transfer fee will be either $10 or 3% of the amount of the transaction, whichever is greater.

Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card Compared to Other Cards

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Intro bonus:
    $300
  • Annual fee:
    $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site

Bottom Line

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

This card would be a good addition to your wallet if you want the ability to choose what type of purchases will earn the most cash back. Other perks, like a 0% intro APR period for the first 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter) and a $200 online cash bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, give this card even more bang for your buck.

*All information about the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card have a foreign transaction fee?

Yes. You’ll be subject to pay 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction made in a foreign currency or made in U.S. dollars if the transaction is made or processed outside of the United States.

How do you redeem your Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card rewards?

You can redeem your cash rewards for any amount, any time for statement credits, deposits to a Bank of America checking or savings account, or for credits to a Merrill account. You can also contribute your redemptions to a qualifying Merrill 529 account for a check, starting at $25.