Bank Of America Cash Rewards Card Now Lets You Choose Your 3% Category [Now Live]

Update  8/22/23: See details on expanded categories here.

Update 1/11/2019: Looks like the ability to choose your own category is now live. This is being slowly rolled out, so you might not see the option yet. Hat tip to reader SCJ


Bank of America has announced that on January 14th cash rewards cardholders will be able to choose one of six categories to earn 3% cash back in. The categories are as follows: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement and furnishings. Cardholders will continue to earn 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% back on all other purchase. Previously cardholders automatically earned 3% cash back on gas stations with no option to choose. On January 14th the initial category will be set to gas but cardholders will have the opportunity to change that to one of the list categories above.

This card becomes particularly interesting when you remember that the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program applies, meaning you can get a further 25-75% points on points earning. This means that 3x category becomes 5.25x at the highest level. The downside is that the 3x & 2x category are limited to $2,500 per quarter, after spending $2,500 those categories earn 1x points instead. It’s currently possible to get a sign up bonus of $200 on the personal version of this card.  Bank of America also announced a similar change will becoming to the Business Advantage Cash Rewards card ‘sometime in 2019’ with the 3x options being: business consulting services, computer services, gas stations, office supply stores, travel and TV, telecom and wireless.

Related: Which Online Retailers Earn 3x with Bank of America Cash Rewards?

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Jags (@guest_1615337)
May 9, 2023 21:34

Is there a Mastercard version of this card available? Perhaps an affinity version?

jd (@guest_1615371)
May 9, 2023 22:58

not directly anymore, but if you have the visa card you can ask to be converted to mc

Jay (@guest_1578067)
March 16, 2023 07:19

Is Amazon counted as online shopping for this card? I would like to load up on Amazon gift card balance if it is allowed.

leapfrogger (@guest_865001)
January 4, 2020 07:29

Does anyone know if online shopping will include paying car and homeowners insurance? Thanks.

SamL (@guest_865014)
January 4, 2020 08:54

Per comments “insurance” is officially excluded, unless you get lucky. You could try.

Search (^f) comments for “insurance”.

Fred (@guest_865100)
January 4, 2020 13:46

I tested that with USAA, no dice.

MisterBill (@guest_855236)
December 9, 2019 15:16

So I just discovered that the $2500 max is apparently based on when the charge POSTS, not when it occurs! I charged $1700 on 9/30 and it posted on 10/1. I just checked some recent charges and discovered that it says I have maxed out my $2500 limit for the quarter. I definitely did not do this and the only way I could have is if they are counting the $1700 as being in this quarter. I will try calling to complain but I don’t expect them to do anyway, even though I am a Platinum Honors level customer.

This is really messing up my 4q purchase plans. i already lost the 5.25% on a portion of a $500 cruise payment. Fortunately I have travel as a category of one of my other CR cards but I owe more on that than I have available in that quarterly max.

bax (@guest_855243)
December 9, 2019 15:23

BOA seems to include all the 3% category purchases, including those NOT selected for 3% in a particular month. For example, the Rewards page lists amounts spent on Travel and Online purchases from the past two months, even though I had selected Drug Store as the 3% Bonus category, making me believe I have to deduct the former two amounts as well, in calculating how much of the 2.5k quarterly bonus spend cap I have left.

MisterBill (@guest_855283)
December 9, 2019 17:06

I don’t think that’s it. I had only made online purchases on this card. I have 2 other CR cards cards and have different categories on them. At first I thought it was that they decided that my cruise payments no longer qualified as online, but that wasn’t it. One of the $250 charges said I got the partial bonus because I hit the quarterly limit.

SamL (@guest_865039)
January 4, 2020 10:04

Did you confirm your hypothesis that “the $2500 max is apparently based on when the charge POSTS, not when it occurs!”?

Fred (@guest_865091)
January 4, 2020 13:17

SamL, I can tell you that I maxed out my cap in early December (I can see the messages “Partial Bonus – Purchases Exceed $2500 Quarterly Max PROMOTION CAP EXCEEDED” on one transaction and “Combined purchases for bonus exceeds the quarterly max of $2,500” on subsequent purchases in the category).

I then made a purchase in the category on December 31st, knowing it would not post until the new quarter, and I received the full category bonus for it when it posted on January 2nd.

SamL (@guest_865104)
January 4, 2020 14:11

Great DPs. I think that nails it that it’s based on date charge posts.

Melissa Marbles
Melissa Marbles (@guest_1078756)
October 24, 2020 23:44

Fred MisterBill SamL is there a way to track or see how much of the $2,500 limit you’ve already spent in this quarter? I can’t find any tracker in my account, so how to know how much is remaining?

Fred (@guest_1078771)
October 25, 2020 00:26

Melissa Marbles There is no tracker. I just look at the individual transactions in the rewards tab (desktop site) and total up the ones that received the 3% or 2% bonus.

Farley (@guest_765886)
June 2, 2019 15:19

Since the category can be changed in between, is the category bonus determined at the time of transaction or being posted?
Say, the category is online shopping at the time of placing an order but changed to travel before the bonus is posted. Will the online shopping bonus still be guaranteed?

Skywalker (@guest_752280)
April 25, 2019 11:04

I have a travel rewards card with them. I gave them a call to change it to Cash rewards and they said no since one earns points and other earns cash. Anyone has a DP confirming whether a Travel rewards card can be converted to Cash rewards?

Paulv (@guest_994882)
June 9, 2020 09:33

I just learned this today, if you have the bofA power rewards card, you can transfer travel rewards points to the power rewards credit card with redemption value of cash rewards.

Frugal Professor
Frugal Professor (@guest_749226)
April 16, 2019 18:33


3% (i.e. 5.25%) good at:
Raise (hooray for $1k costco cash cards)
Walmart grocery
Ebay (on ebay’s website; not through paypal)

Just signed up for my third card. 7.5k/quarter at 5.25% cash back is the best on the planet right now. Hardly any spend is < 5.25% (aside from doctor's visits, etc).

Sam (@guest_751809)
April 24, 2019 09:36

Thanks. Have been looking for more DOs of what counts as “online”.

SMan (@guest_848072)
November 23, 2019 15:02

What about online travel portals ? Also buying Airline tickets and Hotel bookings on their websites ?

Jooohn (@guest_732716)
March 9, 2019 21:34

Will paying the rent count as online shopping?

Ann (@guest_752648)
April 26, 2019 10:55

Plastiq won’t. Other online payment service offered by your landlord might.

AJ (@guest_729745)
March 2, 2019 17:47

Is there any data point on how BoA define quarter for the Cash Rewards credit card. Is it mean calendar quarter or based on when your account is opened? Thanks.

Steve (@guest_729749)
March 2, 2019 17:59

“Earn 3% and 2% Cash Rewards on the first $2,500 in combined Choice Category, grocery store and wholesale club Net Purchases each calendar quarter.”

joan m newlin
joan m newlin (@guest_727551)
February 26, 2019 16:17

how can i get this change