Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the U.S., boasting about 4,400 branches nationwide. The bank has more than $2 trillion in total assets, some of which go toward funding its suite of Bank of America credit cards. Most of these cards come with perks that reward customers for their purchases, such as the popular Cash Rewards card.
Keep reading for a review of the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card, and find out if it’s the right cash-back credit card for you.
Bank of America Cash Rewards Review
The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card can be a good choice for someone seeking a credit card for everyday purchases. It’s also one of the best first credit cards for first-timers. The card comes with no annual fee, and new cardholders currently receive a $200 online cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of the account opening. Learn more about the features of the Bank of America credit card so you can better decide if it’s the best fit for you.
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The card uses a tiered system that gives you more cash back depending on where you shop. You earn 1% cash back on purchases in general, but you can earn 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Use the card to purchase gas, and the return goes up to 3%. These rewards, however, only extend to the first $2,500 worth of purchases in these categories each quarter. Once that amount is reached, all purchases will revert to the standard 1% reward.
Customers using this system can hit the limit in a variety of ways. Bank of America’s cash-back calculator, for example, shows you can spend $500 on gas, $1,000 on groceries and another $1,000 on various other purchases to gain at least $45 back.
You can earn even more cash back if you make at least $500 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. Once you make the qualifying purchases, Bank of America will credit a $150 cash rewards bonus to your account in eight to 12 weeks.
You will be able to redeem your cash rewards balance once it totals $25 or more.
Bank of America ensures its customers’ security with a $0 liability guarantee for fraudulent transactions. When it comes to online shopping, the card’s ShopSafe feature produces a temporary credit card number to protect your real one. Credit card chips are fairly standard nowadays, and the Cash Rewards card can be used to access chip-enabled terminals in more than 130 countries.
The card also comes with free monthly FICO scores, which can be accessed through the Bank of America mobile app or your online account.
Fees and Penalties
The card comes with an introductory 0% APR for the first year, then switches to a variable rate of 16.24% APR to 26.24% APR. The same rates apply to balance transfers. The APR for cash advances ranges from 16.24% to 26.24%. Penalty APR can run as high as 29.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
You do not need to pay an annual fee, but a minimum of $10 must be paid for balance transfer and cash advances, save for overdraft protection cash advances, which are $12 each. Late payments result in a fee of up to $39, though returned payment fees are much lower at up to $28.
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card Advantages and Disadvantages
When choosing a new credit card, it’s always important to weigh the pros and cons. Here are the primary advantages and disadvantages that come with the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card.
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card Advantages
This rewards card from Bank of America features the following benefits:
- Chance to earn double and triple cash back on certain purchases
- No annual fee
- Free monthly FICO scores
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card Disadvantages
The Bank of America rewards card also comes with these drawbacks:
- Higher cash-back bonus rates limited to $2,500 in purchases every quarter
- Cash-back rewards possibly not worth the effort for everyone
Is This Bank of America Credit Card Right for You?
The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card definitely rewards cardholders for spending money. Because the tiered bonus rate has a quarterly limit, shoppers will have to think a bit before spending to take full advantage of the card, making the card slightly less convenient than other cash-back cards. But this card offsets costs due to the lack of an annual fee as well as the first year of no APR. The introductory APR and penalty fees do not deviate much from similar cash-back cards. Whether the total sum of cash-back rewards is worth it depends on personal shopping habits and access to different purchases.
Click through to read about Bank of America ATM fees — and how much they can cost you.
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Amen Oyiboke-Osifo contributed to the reporting for this article.
This content is not provided by the companies mentioned. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Bank of America.