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

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?

367
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
leapfrogger
leapfrogger

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

SamL
SamL

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

Search (^f) comments for “insurance”.

Fred
Fred

I tested that with USAA, no dice.

MisterBill
MisterBill

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
bax

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
MisterBill

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
SamL

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

Fred
Fred

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
SamL

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

Melissa Marbles
Melissa Marbles

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
Fred

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
Farley

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
Skywalker

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
Paulv

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

DP.

3% (i.e. 5.25%) good at:
Raise
Costco.com (hooray for $1k costco cash cards)
Walmart grocery
Amazon
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
Sam

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

SMan
SMan

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

Jooohn
Jooohn

Will paying the rent count as online shopping?

Ann
Ann

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

AJ
AJ

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

“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

how can i get this change

bob
bob

no more 10% bonus for redeeming, unless you have one of the levels of Preferred Rewards ($25K in the bank, etc).

Confirmed via twitter.

Sly one
Sly one

Hold on according to this article EXISTING card holders still get the 10% bonus for depositing rewards into a qualified BoA account. They just removed it for NEW customers.
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/bank-of-america-cash-rewards-choose-your-own-category-primer/

arizonapv
arizonapv

Where are people clicking to see if their online purchase earned 3%? I purchased some theater tickets online and I want to see how it coded. Anyone?

HarryTheFirstHarry
HarryTheFirstHarry

In the app is shows under “Cash rewards & benefits” tab and then “view/redeem” and then the “rewards activity” tab at the top…a bit roundabout if you are used to chase app, but its in here even for pending transactions. If there is a “Category bonus” that is the 3%.

arizonapv
arizonapv

Amazing! Thank you! All of my theater ticket purchases earned the bonus! Sweet!

HarryTheFirstHarry
HarryTheFirstHarry

Unfortunately with the new app, this appears to be dead. If anyone know how pending transactions CB counts please post.