The Bank of America brand is fairly ubiquitous.A lot if us use them for our personal or business checking and savings accounts.And for good reason.I most cities and towns, there is a branch (and ATM) nearby.And if you are like me, you want convenience when getting cash or making a deposit.
But, when it comes to choosing a rewards credit card, we want the most rewards for our buck, the best introductory bonus offers, and the lowest fees.
And, based on those criteria, I think many of you will be disappointed with what Bank of America offers in terms of those criteria.Especially considering that you need at least good, and often excellent, credit scores to qualify for these cards.
The exception may be those of us choosing the personal (not business!)cash or travel rewards cards who also have a checking or savings account with Bank of America.
If that’s you, you will receive an extra 10% cash back or customer points bonus by redeeming your rewards into your account.
Even better, if you qualify as a Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors Bank of America customer, you will receive an even bigger bonus.Of course, you will need to leave a substantial amount of cash in your accounts to qualify, but these extra bonuses rage from 25% to 75%, and can really make all the difference.
You become a Preferred Rewards member by maintaining the following account balances in your checking and savings accounts:
Gold: Maintain a $20,000 – $50,000 3-month combined average balance and earn 25% bonus rewards.
Platinum: Maintain a $50,000 – $100,000 3-month combined average balance and earn 50% bonus rewards.
Platinum Honors: Maintain a $100,000+ 3-month combined average and earn 75% bonus rewards.
If you qualify for Preferred Rewards, or just know that you want a BankAmericard branded card, I suggest you jump right now to theBank of America® Card Finder Tool.
The rest of you might want to peruse this guide and see how we review and rank your various options.
Personal Credit Cards
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
Rewards Program and Signup Bonuses*:
$100 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
2% cash back at grocery stores & wholesale clubs, and 3% back on gas, for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/gas purchases each quarter.
1% cash back on all other purchases.
No changing categories and no expiration on rewards.
0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 13.24% – 23.24% Variable APR.
Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account.
If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25%-75%.
Chip technology allows for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals.
The good news is that this card comes with no annual fee.The bad news is that it does not perform well in ourrankings of cash back cards. Even worse, we found the more you spent, the lower this card falls down the list.And those rankings assumed you recveiced the 10% bonus given to BofA account holders.This is because of its spending caps on bonus categories and (to be honest) meager bonus levels.
As mentioned above, the calculus changes radically if you are a Preferred Rewards account holder.
Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don’t expire.
New Offer!20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days — that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchasesUse your card to book your trip how and where you want — no blackout dates and restrictions.
Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees.
0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 15.24% – 23.24% Variable APR.
Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account.
If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25%-75%.Click “Apply Now” to learn more about Preferred Rewards.
Now with chip technology allows for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals.
15.24% – 23.24% Variable on Purchases and Transfers
This is going to be a theme in this Guide: this card is fine, but you can do better.And we only recommend this card for Preferred Rewards customers.
Ourresearchshows that you do okay redeeming your Bank of America points for travel options.But for the most part, you need to redeem your points at high redemption level for each point to be worth even $0.01.With the other major card issuers, your points are pretty much always worth at least $0.01.
If you try redeeming your points for gift cards or cash rebates, you might even find them to be worth only on-half of one cent until you are able to redeem a minimum of 25,000 points!
New—free first checked bag for you and up to six additional passengers on your reservation.Terms and conditions apply.
Coach Companion Fare every year from $121 ($99, plus taxes and fees from $22).
25,000 bonus miles upon approval.(Please allow 2-3 weeks for Bonus Miles to post to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account.)
Earn 3 miles per $1 on Alaska Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per $1 spent on everyday purchases.
No limit to the number of miles earned – award tickets start at 7,500 miles.
See alaskaair.com for details on award levels.Redeem miles for award tickets on Alaska Airlines, or towards travel with more than a dozen global airline partners including Delta, American Airlines™ and British Airways.
The benefits described above apply to Visa Signature accounts only and different benefits apply to Platinum Plus® and Classic accounts.Card type is determined by creditworthiness.
Bank of America’s business credit cards are a little better than its personal cards.But our research shows thatother business credit cardsoffer the same or slightly better regular rewards opportunities, and better signup bonus offers.
Bank of America® WorldPoints® Travel Rewards for Business Visa®
Rewards Program and Signup Bonuses*:
Earn 1.5 WorldPoints rewards points for every $1 on all purchases and 5,000 bonus points after the first purchase on your account.
Get a $100 statement credit after $500 in purchases within 60 days of account opening — with no international transaction fee, no annual fee, and no limit to the points you can earn.
Earn 3 points for every $1 spent for travel booked through Bank of America’s Travel CenterRedeem points for gift cards, cash, and travel with no blackout dates.
0% introductory APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles.
Enjoy travel benefits such as lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, and auto rental collision coverage.
As discussed above, redeeming your points from Bank of America often comes at a disadvantage compared to other card issuers.When redeeming for cash, gift cards or merchandise, your points are often worth less than a penny each.And it is not until you redeem for larger amounts (at the 25,000 point threshold) that you finally get to the 1% level.
Redeeming for travel rewards is a little better.But message boards and forums are filled with complaints about the difficulty of booking travel that you actually want to take.
My opinion is that there are better business travel rewards cards available.And you can find our recommendationsin this article.
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