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Verdict: This card offers excellent cash back rewards, no annual fee, and a 0 % introductory APR for the first 7 or 10 months, depending on your credit history. “Accelerated cash rewards” sounds appealing, but what does it really mean? You can redeem your rewards in increments of $50, and you can get your cash back as a direct deposit into your Bank of America checking or savings account, as a credit to your card statement, or in a check. In addition to the benefits offered by Bank of America, you’ll also get many of the benefits associated with being an American Express CardMember. The cash rewards, and many ways you can redeem the rewards, make the card appealing, especially for people who already have accounts with Bank of America.
Overview: In 2005, Bank of America and American Express formed a strategic alliance. In 2006 Bank of America issued its first American Express rewards credit card, giving people the benefits and prestige of an American Express credit card with online banking through Bank of America and other benefits.
How this card works: This is an actual credit card – not a charge card – which means you can carry a balance at one of two variable rate APRs, depending on your credit history. Two cards are available for a range of applicants with “good” to excellent” credit: one offers a 0 % APR for the first 7 months, while the other provides a 0% APR for the first 10 months. Additionally, after the introductory rate expires, you’ll get a variable APR between 12.99% up to 20.99 %. Cash advances after the introductory period carry a variable APR of 24.24%. This includes cash advances, direct deposits, and overdraft protection.
You’ll earn rewards at a rate of 1.25% on all purchases, balance transfers and direct deposits into your checking or savings account. You can begin redeeming rewards when you earn $50, making this comparable to many other rewards cards in that department.
You can pay your bills easily online through the Bank of America Online banking center and you can also use your card for overdraft protection on your Bank of America checking account.
There is a generous 25-day grace period on new purchases.
Fees: There is no annual fee on this card. Balance transfers, as well as cash advances, direct deposits, and any form of cash advances carry a fee which is the greater of 4% of the transaction or $10.
If you are enrolled in overdraft protection of cash advances, you’ll receive a fee of 3% of the transaction or $10, whichever is greater.
Late payment fees are calculated as follows:
- $15 if balance is $100 or less
- $29 for balances of $100.01 – $250
- $39 for balances more than $250
- Returned payment fee: $35
Rewards: The Bank of American Accelerated Cash Rewards card offers rewards worth 1.25% on all purchases, cash advances (of any type) and balance transfers. You can begin redeeming your rewards for a check, direct deposit into your Bank of America account, or a credit to your account statement when you earn $50 in rewards. There is no earnings limit and no expiration date on the rewards you earn.
Benefits: By combining the benefits of American Express with Bank of America, CardMembers receive added value over many of the other credit cards offered by Bank of America.
- Access to 2,200 American Express® Travel Service locations in more than 140 countries
- Emergency assistance service
- Automatic travel accident insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance
- Retail protection against theft or damage for goods purchased with this card
- A host of special privileges offered to American Express CardMembers
- Unauthorized use and fraud protection through Bank of America
- The American Express reputation and renowned customer service
- Select American Express benefits, such as travel insurance and car rental protection.
- No annual fee
- 0 % introductory APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances
- No earnings limit or expiration date on rewards
- Can redeem your rewards for a credit on your statement
- Overdraft protection for your Bank of America account
- Extremely high cash advance APR after the introductory period
- No opportunities to earn double rewards points
- Relatively high APR after the introductory period
- Other American Express cards offer more benefits and more opportunities to earn bonus rewards points