May 15, 2021

Model Desac

It’s Time to Fly

Best Bank of America Credit Cards

12 min read

We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.

From cash and travel rewards to zero interest and credit-building cards, Bank of America offers a range of consumer credit options in its 23-card portfolio. 

The majority of Bank of America’s cards have no annual fee, and straightforward rewards offerings with flexible redemption options. As one of the largest consumer banks in the U.S., Bank of America also offers boosted rewards as incentive for eligible customers who already have a banking relationship with the issuer. 

Of its general (non co-branded) card options, many are variations on three cards for which the issuer is best known: Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, and BankAmericard® credit card. Here’s a rundown of why we believe those flagship cards, along with a few others, make up the best of Bank of America’s offerings:

Before opening any new credit card, it’s important to make sure you have existing healthy credit habits like paying your full balance on time each month. Any new credit card can lead to high interest debt if you’re not careful, so make sure you pay off any existing high interest debt before applying. 

Best Bank of America Credit Cards

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Good for Cash Back

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Rewards rate:

Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases). Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases). Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: $200
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 13.99% – 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card* offers cash back rewards across a few different categories. You’ll get 3% on a category of your choice from the following: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings, and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. These rewards apply to the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then drop to 1% cash back. Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. 

You can get a $200 cash rewards bonus after making $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, and an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles. You’ll need to make balance transfers within 60 days of account opening and pay a 3% fee ($10 minimum). After the introductory period, you’ll have a variable 13.99% to 23.99% APR. There’s no annual fee.

The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card is most valuable for its broad range of rewards categories. Plus, you can change your chosen 3% category every month to keep up with your spending habits, or make no change and allow last month’s category to roll over. Going on a road trip? Change that 3% category to gas rewards. Planning a home project? Switch to the home improvement/furnishings category. 

This card offers even more value for certain existing Bank of America customers and the bank’s Preferred Rewards members, with 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. For the 3% earning category, that means you could earn up to 5.25% cash back. You’ll need a Bank of America checking account and a three-month combined daily balance of $20,000 or more in deposit or investment accounts to enroll in Preferred Rewards.

BankAmericard® credit card

Good for Balance Transfers

BankAmericard® credit card

  • Introductory balance transfer rate: 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 12.99% – 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

BankAmericard credit card* is a straightforward introductory zero interest credit card option. There’s no rewards structure, but you save money on interest with a 0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases and on balance transfers. You’ll need to make your balance transfer within 60 days of account opening and pay a 3% balance transfer fee ($10 minimum). After the intro offer ends, you’ll be subject to a variable APR of 12.99%-22.99%. This card has no annual fee.

If you’re looking for a card to help you pay off debt or help finance an upcoming purchase, the BankAmericard is a solid choice. A 12-billing-cycle 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers can go a long way in helping you wrangle your debt for no annual fee. There’s also no penalty APR, which is a great safety net in case you make a late payment (though you shouldn’t make a habit of paying late). Still, there are other balance transfer and 0% APR cards with longer periods available, which might offer more value.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Good for Beginner Travel Rewards

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Rewards rate:

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.

  • Intro bonus: 25,000 points
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 14.99% – 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card* offers flat rewards that can knock down the price of your future travel. You’ll earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. When you’re ready to redeem, use your card to book and then redeem your points for statement credits toward travel purchases (as well as dining purchases, including takeout). 

The card also comes with an introductory 0% APR on purchases for your first 12 billing cycles, then a variable 14.99% to 22.99% APR after that. You can earn a 25,000-point welcome bonus (worth $250 in statement credits toward travel) after spending $1,000 within 90 days of opening your account.

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card offers flat points on every purchase. Instead of redeeming through a rewards program or travel portal, you can simply redeem points for statement credits toward your next trip or restaurant purchase. Flat-rate travel rewards are a great way to begin saving points now to use when you’re able to travel again in the future, and if you’re just starting to explore travel rewards, this card offers a straightforward introduction to travel savings.

Plus, if you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn up to 75% more points on every purchase (up to 2.62 points per $1 spent). To enroll in Preferred Rewards, you need to have a Bank of America checking account and a three-month combined daily balance of $20,000 or more in Bank of America deposit accounts or Merrill investment accounts.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Good for Intro Bonus and Added Benefits

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Rewards rate:

Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases. Unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: 50,000 points
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 15.99% – 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card* offers 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining, and 1.5 points per $1 on all other purchases. The card has a $95 annual fee, and offers up to $200 in combined statement credits toward airline incidentals and TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fees. 

There’s a high-value 50,000-point welcome offer if you spend at least $3,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening your account (worth up to $500). You’ll also get some added perks, like travel and purchase protections, and access to the luxury hotel collection and concierge service via Visa Signature. 

The Premier Rewards card offers flexible rewards that can add up if you spend a lot on travel and dining, and added benefits that’ll quickly offset the annual fee (especially considering the great welcome bonus your first year). 

You can redeem your points in a number of ways: for a deposit into a Bank of America checking or savings account, for credit on Merrill investment accounts (including a 529 account), as a statement credit, for gift cards, or for purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center. 

You can also increase your rewards value with Bank of America Preferred Rewards, which requires a Bank of America checking account and a three-month combined daily balance of $20,000 or more in deposit or investment accounts. You’ll earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase with Preferred Rewards, meaning you can earn up to 3.5 points on travel and dining purchases.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Students credit card

Good for Students

Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Students credit card

Rewards rate:

3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: $200
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 13.99% – 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

For students looking to build their credit and also earn some cash back, Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students* is a solid choice. Like the standard Cash Rewards card, you’ll get 3% cash back in a category of your choice (among gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings), 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can change your 3% choice category every month to keep up with your spending habits.

There’s a $200 welcome bonus if you spend at least $1,000 within 90 days of account opening. Cash Rewards for Students also offers a 0% interest intro offer on purchases and balance transfers for your first 12 billing cycles after account opening (13.99% – 23.99% variable APR thereafter). Balance transfers must be made within 60 days of account opening. There’s a balance transfer fee of 3% or $10, whichever is higher, but this card has no annual fee.

Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students offers more rewards potential than your typical starter credit card. Its rewards structure is identical to the standard Bank of America Cash Rewards card, but is more accessible for students with fair credit or a limited credit history. You’ll need to supply information about your student status and year in school when you apply.

We like this option for students because you can take advantage of valuable rewards customization and simple cash back, while building your credit history (Bank of America reports your payments to the credit bureaus and offers account alerts and mobile banking features to help you stay on top of your spending). 

Best Bank of America Credit Cards Summary

Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card

Good For: Cash Back

The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card is a good choice for flexible cash back. You’ll earn 3% cash back on a category of your choosing (among gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings), so you can customize your rewards-earning potential each month based on your spending patterns. You’ll also earn 2% cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases per quarter, then 1%)

BankAmericard

Good For: Balance Transfer

If you’re looking for a solid option for introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers (for the first 12 billing cycles; 12.99% – 22.99% variable APR thereafter), then the BankAmericard can help you pay down debt or finance an upcoming large purchase. 

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card 

Good For: Travel Rewards

For flexible travel points you can use no matter where you prefer to book your travel, Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is a good find. You’ll get a flat 1.5 points on every purchase to put toward a future trip. 

Bank of America Premium Rewards

Good For: Intro Bonus and Added Benefits

The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is a step above the Travel Rewards Credit Card, with 2 points per every dollar spent on travel and dining, and 1.5 points on all other purchases. But for the $95 annual fee, you’ll also get a higher welcome bonus and annual statement credits.

Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students

Good For: Students

Students can build credit and earn cash rewards with this card. It offers the same tiered cash back structure as the general Cash Rewards card with the ability to choose the top-earning category that best aligns with your spending habits.

Card Annual Fee Intro Bonus Rewards
Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card $0 $200 online cash rewards when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening • 3% cash back in the category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings)

• 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%)

• 1% cash back on all other purchases 

BankAmericard $0 N/A N/A
Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card $0 25,000 online bonus points if you spend $1,000 within 90 days of opening your account 1.5x points on every purchase
Bank of America Premium Rewards $95 50,000 online bonus points if you spend at least $3,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening your account • 2x points on travel and dining purchases

• 1.5x points on all other purchases

Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students $0 $200 online cash rewards when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening • 3% cash back in the category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings)

• 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%)

• 1% cash back on all other purchases

Bank of America Application Restrictions

Like many issuers, Bank of America has unconfirmed, but rumored application restrictions that may prevent you from approval, known as the 2/3/4 rule: 

  • You can only get approved for 2 new cards in a 2-month period
  • You can only get approved for 3 new cards in a 12-month period
  • You can only get approved for 4 new cards in a 24-month period

We reached out to Bank of America to ask about this 2/3/4 rule, and will update this review if we hear back. 

For each of the cards on our list, Bank of America does specify within the card terms it “may not be available to you if you currently have or have had the card in the preceding 24 month period.”

Maximizing Bank of America Preferred Rewards

If your card has access to Preferred Rewards, you can further maximize your cash back or points-earning potential. Eligible cards include Bank of America Cash Rewards (including Student and Secured versions), Bank of America Travel Rewards (including Student version), and Bank of America Premium Rewards. There are three levels to Preferred Rewards: Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Honors. 

There’s no fee to join Preferred Rewards, but to become a member you’ll need to have an active Bank of America checking account and a three-month combined daily average of $20,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill investing accounts. 

Here’s what you’ll get at each level of Preferred Rewards membership:

Gold Platinum Platinum Honors
Savings interest rate booster 5% 10% 20%
Credit card rewards bonus  25% 50% 75% 
No-Fee ATM transactions 0 Up to 12 per year Unlimited
Merrill Guided Investing Program fee discount 0.05% 0.10% 0.15%
Mortgage reduction in origination fee $200 $400 $600
Home equity interest rate discount 0.125% 0.25% 0.375%
Auto loan interest rate discount  0.25% 0.35% 0.50%
Select banking services  No Fees No Fees No Fees

What Are Bank of America Cash Back Deals?

You can get BankAmeriDeals using your Bank of America mobile banking app or online. These cash back deals work similarly to Amex Offers and Chase Offers. You opt in to deal through your account, then earn even more cash back when you use your Bank of America credit or debit card on those select purchases. For example, previous BankAmeriDeals offers range from $5 cash back at TurboTax to 5% cash back at Starbucks, and more. These deals often vary depending on your individual spending.  

Methodology 

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Bank of America offers a portfolio of low-cost cards with flexible rewards. Many are variations of its cash rewards, travel rewards, and zero interest offerings. To determine our picks for the best Bank of America credit cards, we evaluate each card currently available from the issuer, focusing on the options most helpful to a broad range of credit card users. Our criteria includes details such as each card’s stated purpose, rewards value, added benefits, introductory offer, and interest rate. 

*All information about the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card, BankAmericard credit card, Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card, Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students credit card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has  not been reviewed by the issuer.

modeldesac.com © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.