About BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card
The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card has hit the internet’s virtual shelves with an appealing 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, along with a $100 bonus for spending at least $500 within the first three months of owning the card.
This offer may have caught your eye as you were searching for Christmas presents online; after all, the 0% APR is quite appealing if you’re planning on making some big purchases in the next few months.
But is this card right for you? It’s a question you’re probably asking and it’s a question we would love to answer for you.
In the next few minutes, we’re going to take a look at the card’s current offer, along with its benefits and terms and conditions. Then we’ll close with our observations about the Bank of America Cash Rewards card. We want you to be able to make a wise choice!
12 Months and a Hundred Bucks
Over the past few weeks we’ve been discussing points-based credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Capital One Venture card.
If you love travel, you’d love those cards because you can rack up all kinds of points that can be put toward pretty much any frequent flyer program in the U.S. and beyond.
The Bank of America Cash Rewards card, however, isn’t a points-based card. This little piece of plastic is all about the percentages.
12 Months of Interest-Free Freedom
When you get your approval notice for the Cash Rewards card, any purchases you make 12 months after that happy moment will have a 0% APR, aka zero interest. So, if the day after you get your card you splurge on, let’s say, that $159 Ninja Coffee Bar that Sofia Vergara has been begging you to try, you won’t have to pay any interest on it for 12 months. Not bad. Not bad, indeed.
That 0% APR also applies to any balance transfers made within 60 days.
Hey, Here’s a Free Hundred Bucks!
The other main feature of the Cash Rewards card isn’t interest-based. Instead, it’s all about the money. If you spend $500 within the first 90 days of owning your card, B of A will deposit (in about 8-12 weeks) $100 into your rewards account.
Show Me the Money! These Benefits Are All About Cash
What if you lived in a dreamy fairy tale world where people paid you to shop? Where red-hatted gnomes ran around handing you cash every time you bought groceries and wand-waving fairies showered you in money every time you pumped gas into your car?
The Wonderful World of Cash Back
Well, that world exists for Bank of America Cash Rewards cardholders. Every time you make a gas purchase, you get 3% of the purchase amount deposited into your Cash Rewards piggy bank. When you buy groceries, you get 2% back. All the other stuff you buy gets you 1% cash back.
And just to sweeten the pot, you’ll get an extra 10% bonus on your rewards cash if you deposit it into a B of A savings/checking account or a Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account. So, for example, if you transfer $100 in rewards to your B of A checking account, you’ll actually get $110.
Raising the Stakes for the Uber Rich
The Cash Rewards program includes a nifty niche for the super rich. And by super rich, we mean anyone who spends at least $20,000 per month on their card. The program is called Preferred Rewards and has three tiers: Gold ($20K – $50K spent monthly), Platinum ($50k-$100K/mth) and Platinum Honors ($100K+/mth).
The main draw here is that each level gets a big bonus when their rewards go into a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch Cash Management account. Gold-levelers get 25%, the Platinum people get 50% and the Platinum Honors honorees get 75% cash back.
So, if you buy that $200,000 Mercedes Benz you’ve been eyeing and deposit your $2,000 reward into your account, you’ll actually receive $3,500.
Protection, Protection, Protection
Owning a Bank of America Cash Rewards card entitles you to B of A’s host of consumer-focused security measures, on top of the benefits we listed above.
You get to use their cool ShopSafe feature, which generates a unique 16-digit account number, expiration date, and security code upon your request. You can use this data to make online purchases, meaning you never actually have to give your real credit card data!
Security chips come standard on your Bank of America Cash Rewards card. You’ll also get overdraft protection, text alerts and several other helpful features.
Now Let’s Talk About the Fine Print…
We’ve gathered the most important terms and conditions of the Cash Rewards card, but click here if you want to read the full Bank of America Cash Rewards terms and conditions.
There’s no annual fee for the Bank of America Cash Rewards card.
Late/transfer/cash advance fees
Late payment fees range from $27 to $37. Balance transfers carry a fee of 3% or $10, whichever is greater, while cash advance fees are 3%-5% or $10, whichever is greater.
Your purchase APR will fall somewhere between 12.99% and 22.99% based on your credit score.
If you make a late payment, your APR will jump to 29.99% and will remain that way. Ugh. Try not to make a late payment; it’s not worth it!
If you link your Cash Rewards card to a Bank of America checking or savings account and the account is overdrawn, B of A will automatically advance money from your card to the account for a fee of $12.
Great for the Holidays: Why This Card Could Work for You
We like to end our credit card reviews with recommendations and observations. And when it comes to the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, we have mixed feelings.
The card gives you a solid APR and the chance to get cash back at a 10% bonus if you have a Bank of America account. You also get tiers of rewards, with 3% on gas purchase topping the charts.
But that’s about it. There are other cards on the market that offer more dazzling rewards – 40,000 bonus miles, 50,000 points, etc. And if you love to travel, those cards are the way to go.
When compared to those points-based cards, the Cash Rewards card seems kind of boring.
But if you’re thinking about making a lot of purchases in the next three months – Christmas, maybe? – it may work to your advantage to get this card so your purchases will remain at 0% interest for 12 months.
Also, if you’ve got a family and a couple of cars, the gas and shopping cash-rewards aren’t a bad deal. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average family spends about $6,700 a year on food and about $2,400 on gas. That ends up being about $205 in cash rewards each year, not including anything else you’d charge to the card.
If you want to make some big purchases in the coming months and need some time to pay them off interest-free, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card could be a big help to your situation. Also, if you spend considerable amounts of money on groceries and gas each month, this card’s cash rewards could be profitable for you.
We suggest you take a look at your monthly purchases and calculate how much you think you’ll spend over the course of the year in each of the rewards categories (gas, groceries, everything else). You might find you’ll earn more rewards than you think!