Posted by sirtheta on January 13, 2017
Credit Card Benefits BankAmericard Cash Rewards

Published on January 13th, 2017 | by sirtheta

29

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card Review – 3% on Gas, 2% on Groceries & Wholesale Clubs

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards is a favorite of churners for its occasional $200 signup bonus. While it’s benefits have been summarized on here before, I think it can it can take a place in your wallet, so here’s a full review.

Do be aware that the regular Cash Rewards card is a Visa, but some co-branded Cash Rewards cards may be Visa or MasterCard (or even both, depending on the application link). For example, the most recent $200 signup bonus was on an NEA co-branded Cash Rewards MasterCard. This is an important difference if you plan to use the card at Costco!

As always, remember that we do not use credit card affiliate links, so our review is not biased by monetary incentives.

Card Basics

Benefits

Earning Structure

  • Earns 3% back on gas
  • Earns 2% back on groceries & wholesale clubs
  • Earns 1% back on all other purchases
  • Only earns 3% & 2% on the first $2,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories per quarter

Signup Bonus

  • Standard bonus is $100 cash rewards for spending $500 within the first 90 days of account opening
  • 0% APR for your first 12 billing cycles on purchases, and balance transfers completed within 60 days of account opening
  • $200 cash rewards signup bonuses appear occasionally

Pricing Details

APRs

  • Purchase & Balance Transfer APR: 13.49% to 23.49%*, based on your credit worthiness
  • Cash Advance APR: 16.49% to 25.49%* for check & direct deposit cash advances, based on your credit worthiness; 25.49%* for bank cash advances (such as using an ATM or Casino)
  • Penalty APRs: Up to 29.99% depending on your credit worthiness/score
    • Applies if you make a late payment
    • Applies indefinitely
  • Grace period: 25 days (minimum, up to 28 days)
  • Minimum interest charge: $1.50

* Note: these rates vary based on the Prime Rate.

Fees

  • Annual fee: None
  • Balance transfer fee: $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash advance fee: $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater, for check & direct deposit; $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater, for bank.
  • Overdraft cash advance fee: $12 (unless overdrawn by less than $12)
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Late payment fee: Up to $37
  • Returned payment: Up to $27
  • Over credit limit fee: None

Application Information

Please feel free to add your own application information in the comments at the end of this review.

What Credit Score Is Required

Using data from the last year from Credit Boards:

Lowest approved score621
Average approved score727

What Credit Bureau Does Bank of America Pull?

This depends on what state you live in, you can view that information here.

What Credit Limit Will I Receive?

Using data from the last year from Credit Boards:

Minimum CLHighest CLAverage CL
$500$14,000$5,972

The minimum possible credit limit should be $500. Be aware that if you are approved with a credit limit under $5,000, you may receive a Visa Platinum card instead of a Visa Signature card.

Rewards Program

This card earns cash rewards, which can be redeemed at face value in any amount once you have at least $25 in cash rewards.

Bank of America has one of the most lucrative relationship bonuses, even if you aren’t a Preferred Rewards client with them. If you redeem your cash rewards into a Bank of America checking or savings account, you get a 10% relationship bonus added to the amount you redeemed. If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, this bonus is increased based on your combined balances with Bank of America and/or Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch. The Preferred Rewards relationship bonuses are 25% if you have $20,000 in combined balances, 50% if you have $50,000 in combined balances, and 75% if you have $100,000 in combined balances. note: they calculate your Preferred Rewards tier based on a 3-month average, so you do have to wait to get to the right tier.

That changes the earning structure of the card to the following:

  • 10% bonus: 3.3% on gas, 2.2% on groceries & wholesale clubs, 1.1% on all other purchases
  • 25% bonus: 3.75% on gas, 2.5% on groceries & wholesale clubs, 1.25% on all other purchases
  • 50% bonus: 4.5% on gas, 3% on groceries & wholesale clubs, 1.5% on all other purchases
  • 75% bonus: 5.25% on gas, 3.5% on groceries & wholesale clubs, 1.75% on all other purchases

Even better? The signup bonus is awarded as cash rewards, so you can earn $110, $125, $150, or $175 as a signup bonus depending on your relationship bonus, and double that if you hop on a $200 signup bonus.

Our Verdict

This was my first rewards card, and I have a soft spot for it. It’s one of my go-to options when someone asks about their first rewards card. While there are many better credit cards, I think this card can sneak into your wallet if you have any banking relationship with Bank of America.

For those with under $50,000 with Bank of America and no Costco membership, this is one of the best gas cards, giving you a minimum of 3.3%. If you do have a Costco membership (and a Citi Costco Anywhere), its utility as a gas card is diminished, but this card actually beats the Citi Costco Anywhere at Costco as long as you’re redeeming into a Bank of America checking or savings account. For those with at least $50,000 with Bank of America, this card can be a daily driver in all of its bonus categories.

For those without a Bank of America relationship, this card can still be worth it for access to BankAmeriDeals, which commonly has (capped) offers of 5-15% on merchants such as Petco, RiteAid, Five Guys, Airbnb, Starbucks, and Hilton (and a number of other hotels)—to name a few. They usually aren’t as good as Amex Offers, but they’re still very useful. note: you do not get a relationship bonus for BankAmeriDeals as the program is considered separate from cash rewards.

And of course, a signup bonus that gives you greater than a 20% return on spending is quite nice.

You can view our list of best gas credit cards here, and our list of best grocery credit cards here. And always check out Things to Know about Bank of America Credit Cards before applying.

Questions? Drop them below.



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Jake
Jake

For people who don’t find these cards useful for everyday purchases, what are you doing with them after you get the sign-up bonus? Between my spouse and I we have 11 of these co-branded cards that are sock-drawered, and since it’s no longer possible to convert to BBR we’re not sure what to do with them. Has BoA taken action against folks who have repeatedly opened and closed these accounts? If not maybe we’ll just close them to free up some credit with BoA and then reopen new accounts later.

Sa
Sa

2% on warehouse clubs applies only to the visa cash rewards. Note that the $200/500 bonus that come out once in a while are mastercard.

Sa
Sa

i meant Costco will only accept the visa, not all the warehouse clubs.

Dave C
Dave C

I got the NEA / MTA combo last year. Both were $16,000. Score around 800. Converted one to BBR and lowered CL on other.

Dave C
Dave C

Also, you can get around the $25 redemption minimum when your bonus posts, by redeeming it all together.

jw
jw

I converted some of my cash rewards last year to BBR, is it still possible to do that?

stampman
stampman

Wal-Mart codes as grocery with this card. I don’t know of another card that does.

AB
AB

Careful. Some, but far from all, Walmarts code as grocery for Visas in general. But you should check first.

Chucks
Chucks

Sallie Mae codes Target and Walmart as grocery. Depends on the exact store.

SkayDk
SkayDk

It’s worth to mention that to get preffered BoA tier you need to park necessary ammount only for 3 month, after that you can move your funds out and your tier will be valid for 1 year. In this case you loose interest for 50/100k amount only for 3 month.
And you also can withdraw cash rewards whenever you like and bonus will be applied at the time of withdrawal, so you can park cash rewards until you get required tier and get necessary tier bonus on whole cahsback amount

Lrdx
Lrdx

Or you can move your IRA to Meryll, use the same ETFs you normally would, and even trade 30 times per month free.
Their deposit accounts are crap, go for the investments for the relationship bonus.

Steve
Steve

Or a regular brokerage account (doesn’t need to be an IRA).

Lrdx
Lrdx

True; although I found that $100k (or even just 25/50k) is more likely Americans have in an IRA than in a taxable brokerage – considering that you can roll over 401ks from previous employers.

See
See

Any data points on best checking account bonus BoA has offered recently for opening a personal checking account? Trying to figure out best bang for the buck to start a BoA relationship and then combine with this card.

matt
matt

Wife has a no frills BankAmericard from BofA. Saw the application for this, but was considering just converting (if they’ll allow). Any thoughts on that?

I have 2 every day cards, the Citi Double Cash and the Hilton Amex.

Lrdx
Lrdx

They probably allow, but you won’t get the signup bonus in that case

Dave
Dave

Hmmmm….Merrill edge manages my company’s 401k program. I assume my balance there would count towards the relationship bonus.

Thanks for the insightful article.

YRK
YRK

Though not exactly the same initial terms but for people starting out their credit or thin credit , bofa has a partially secure rewadd card 99/500 which is essentially the same as cash rewards(no difference in the cards) barring the yearly fees and deposit.
I got it as 1st card and bofa unsecured themselves after 8months.
Though sadly no 0% apr or 100$ sign up bonus.
Otherwise everything is same.
Just thought to mention about it 🙂

red
red

I applied last week and got approved for 18k CL with 200 bonus(from my online banking account, if i log out, only $100 bonus)

Ken
Ken

Would anyone know if spouses can each apply for a BankAmericard Cash Rewards card so as to have 2x the quarterly limit of spending ($2,500)? We have a joint brokerage and checking account with Preferred/Platinum Honors, but our Cash Rewards card is in the wife’s name, while I’m the authorized user.

I’d gladly apply for one under my name if it also provides the Preferred Rewards

Voir Tjow
Voir Tjow

I would like to apply

Michael
Michael

I receiveed a pre-approved mailer for this card and applied… At the time, I didn’t notice that it made no mention of the $100 bonus for $500 spend in 3mos.. So, after I got the card in the mail I called. The rep said that it was only for online applications — which she confirmed is how I made my application. However, my account was not coded with the promo code. I did tell her that I applied based on a pre-approval mailer and not from another channel.
She filed an investigation to see if my account qualified, and told me that someone from BA would call or send a letter letting me know.
The very next morning a $100 adjustment to my account (in the form of rewards) was credited to my account. I called again to confirm and the agent said that BA just gave me the promo bonus even though I have/had not met the $500 spend minimum and that if I didn’t meet the spend limits, it wouldn’t be taken back.. From our short conversation, not all pre-approval mailer campaigns have this promo as part of the campaign, but I guess I was given it and the method they chose was rather than “backdating” the account to reflect the bonus as being applicable from date of account opening, they took a short-cut if you will, and just gave me the bonus.

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