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Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card review

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Features and Benefits of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Bonus

  • Sign-up bonus. The sign-up bonus is $ 200 in online cash rewards after spending a minimum of $ 1,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account, which is a nice bonus.
  • Balance transfer bonus. A lot of people get this card for the balance transfer offer, which is quite competitive. You will get an introductory 0% APR for your first 15 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards

The big advantage of this credit card is Bank of America Preferred Rewards. Basically, the more money you hold with Bank of America and / or Merrill, the more cash back you will get. If you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer, you can increase your cash back bonus up to 25-75%.

So, for example, if you have up to $ 20,000 in total assets (including chequing, savings, general investment, and retirement accounts) with Bank of America, you will earn at the standard rate of 1% at 2% to 3%.

Gold level

If you have between $ 20,000 and $ 50,000 in total assets, you will reach Gold level and receive a 25% bonus on your cash back. This means that 1% is actually 1.25%, 2% is actually 2.5%, and 3% is actually 3.75%.

If you are at Gold level, the “everything else” category is still not worth the card. But for your category of choice, wholesale clubs and grocery stores, it’s starting to get a bit more competitive.

With wholesale clubs, it’s pretty straightforward. If you have the Costco or Sam’s Club card, you earn 2% and 1% respectively. So 2.5% with the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, versus 2% or 1% with wholesale club cards makes it a pretty logical decision.

For groceries, I think it really depends on how you use it. Some cards earn more than what that credit card will give you, but there are also stricter limits. American Express’s Blue Cash Everyday card, for example, has 3% cash back, but there is an annual cap of $ 6,000.

This means that if you spend at least $ 6,000 on groceries each year (or $ 500 per month), the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card starts to become a better deal. Otherwise, the Blue Cash Everyday card is a better option.

Platinum level

As you go up a level, you get Platinum. Platinum level is reached once you have total assets of $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 with Bank of America and Merrill. The cashback increase at this level is 50%.

That’s 4.5% off gasoline on the category of your choice, 3% off grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1.5% off all other purchases. The category “everything else” still doesn’t make enough sense from a rewards perspective. But the choice category, wholesale clubs and grocery store categories are full of them.

To provide a comparison, I will again draw on the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card. For grocery stores, both cards earn 3% cash back. In most cases, you are impartial because it is the equivalent rate of pay.

But remember, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards card has a higher overall cap of $ 2,500 per quarter compared to $ 6,000 per year on AMEX). So in this situation it doesn’t make sense to get the Blue Cash Everyday card. Bank of America wins.

Platinum distinction level

Finally, those with at least $ 100,000 in total assets are considered to be at the Platinum Honors level. This tier comes with 75% cash back which means you get 5.25% cash back on any category you choose, 3.5% cash back in sales clubs wholesale and groceries and 1.75% Cash Back on all other purchases.

The only category that doesn’t quite make sense here is the “everything else” category – simply because it’s still less than 2% (and you can find cards similar to the ones I mentioned earlier. ).

But for cash back rewards at wholesale clubs, grocery stores, and your selected category, this card becomes a great option. What you need to consider, however, is that a bunch of cash with Bank of America and / or Merrill is needed to get the best cash back rates. For this reason, it may not be the best cash back credit card for everyone.

Other characteristics

  • Protection against fraud. Bank of America will prevent probable frauds if unusual spending habits are detected on your card and notify you if they suspect fraudulent activity. You also receive a $ 0 liability guarantee for fraudulent transactions with this card.
  • Chip technology. Your Cash Rewards card will be equipped with chip technology for added security and protection when you make purchases at chip terminals.
  • Optional overdraft protection. You can link your eligible Bank of America checking account to your Cash Rewards card as an optional service to prevent your purchase from being declined or your check being returned when using your checking account.
  • Digital wallet. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards card can be linked to Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay. This gives you more flexibility and security when shopping using your mobile device in store or in the app.
  • Online and mobile banking. Bank of America has a great online and mobile banking platform. This allows you to bet on the road safely wherever you are while using a user-friendly (and aesthetic) system.
  • Personalized alerts. You can choose from different types of email or SMS alerts to stay on top of purchase activity, due dates, balances, and more.
  • Text bank. Bank of America likes to keep it old school in some ways. With SMS banking, you can send an SMS and get a response in seconds that tells you things like your balance or the due date.
  • FICO score. Bank of America now offers an optional service for you to get an updated FICO score on a monthly basis for free. You can access it through your mobile application or through online banking.

How to sign up for the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

You must be at least 18 years of age and have both a U.S. mailing address and Social Security number to apply for the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card.

You can apply online or by phone, and you will need to provide the following information:

  • Date of Birth
  • Home Address
  • Phone number
  • Total annual income
  • Your source of income (i.e. employee, self-employed)
  • E-mail adress

Once your application is complete, you can get a decision in as little as 30 seconds. In some cases, Bank of America may need more information or time to make a decision, in which case it may take a little longer.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card pricing

  • Annual subscription : Nothing
  • Annual percentage rate (APR) for purchases: 0% introductory APR for the first 15 statement closing dates after opening your account. After that, your APR will be 13.99% to 23.99% variable, depending on your creditworthiness when opening your account. This APR will vary depending on the market depending on the prime rate.
  • APR for balance transfers: 0% introductory APR for the first 15 statement close dates after opening your account for transactions made within 60 days of opening your account. After that, your APR will be 13.99% to 23.99% variable, depending on your creditworthiness when opening your account. This APR will vary depending on the market depending on the prime rate.
  • Balance transfer fees: Either $ 10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
  • Cash advance fees: Either $ 10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater (for direct deposits and cash advances by check); or $ 10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater (for ATMs, over-the-counter, same-day online and cash-equivalent cash advances).
  • Foreign transaction fees: 3% of the US dollar amount of each transaction (1) made in a foreign currency, or (2) made in US dollars if the transaction is made or processed outside of the United States. These fees will be in addition to all other applicable fees.
  • Late payment fees: Up to $ 39
  • Return payment costs: Up to $ 28

What changed in January 2019?

Currently, with the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, you get different cash back rates for different categories (as I described above) and you have a cap of $ 2,500 per quarter. TThe big change is that in January 2019, Bank of America now allows you to choose your 3% categories.

Instead of having a 3% daily gas rebate rate, you now have a choice of restaurants, drugstores, home renovations, travel and online shopping. That means six categories in total that you can switch between if you want.

For someone who has their assets at Bank of America and Merrill, you will be eligible for higher multipliers depending on how much money you have. At the top of the list is a 75% increase in cash back, which means 3% is really going to represent 5.25% of the categories.

a official statement from Bank of America reads as follows:

“We understand that the lives and spending priorities of consumers are constantly changing, and customers tell us they want the power to choose how they are rewarded,” said Jason Gaughan, head of credit cards at Bank of America . “Customers can choose the categories that best match their life priorities, allowing them to maximize the rewards they earn. “

Selecting your bonus will also be easy. According to Bank of America, you “can easily change the 3% category for future purchases once a calendar month in their Mobile Banking application or in Online Banking, or change nothing and it stays the same”, while the “3% discount category in silver will initially be set to gas.

This is a game changer for many people. Without this change I would rate the card as mediocre, but it currently conflicts with some of the best cash back credit cards. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons: