Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card Review - Just Another 1% Card?
 
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Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card Review - Just Another 1% Card?

Bank Americard Cash Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card
Card issued by Bank of America, N.A. (USA)

bank of america cash rewards credit card Summary - The Bank Americard Cash Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card is a basic 1% cash back card. But it also has an online shopping portal called Add It Up, which has merchant partners in which you can earn more than 1% rebates when you shop with them through you BOA account.

Let us explore this card in more detail

Rebate Formula - The Bank Americard Cash Rewards Visa® Signature credit card allows you to earn 1% cash rebates for every dollar you spend on your card. You can earn unlimited rebates. Once you have spent $2,500, you can redeem for a $25 check. You have to call Bank of America to redeem your check. For the first six months, cardholders can earn 3% rebates on gasoline, groceries and drugstore purchases. You can earn unlimited rebates.

Many Ways To Redeem Cash Rebates - There are a few ways you can redeem your cash rebates. You can choose to get get a check, a statement credit, or to have it deposited into a bank account. If you have a mortgage with the BOA, you can have it deposited towards your mortgage principal payment as well. You can even enroll for automatic redemption however you want it.

25% Cash Back Bonus - If you redeem cash rebates that are $300 or more, you will get 25% bonus cash back (ie 25% of the redemption amount). If you always do so, then this makes the card effectively a 1.25% cash back card.

Annual Fee and APR - There is no annual fee. New cardholders get a 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfer for 12 months. The APR thereafter is between 12.99% and 20.99% depending on your credit. As with all Bank of America credit cards, the average daily balance method (including new purchases) is used to calculate your monthly balance.

Bank Americard Cash Rewards Visa Peer Comparison

The big problem with this card is that it only pays a 1% cash rebates. Yes, you do get 3% rebates on gasoline, groceries and drugstore, but only for six months. Because of this, it falls short of the better credit cards in the market today. Let's look at a few of them.

Versus Capital One Cash Rewards - The Capital One Cash Rewards pays 2% on gasoline and groceries and 1% on everything else. Therefore, in rebate terms, it already beats out the BOA Cash Rewards Visa. But the Capital does not have a shopping portal, so the BOA beats it in this aspect.

Versus the Blue Cash Everyday - The Blue Cash Everyday(SM) from American Express pays 3% rebates on supermarket, 2% on gasoline and department stores and 1% on everything else. Compared to the this card, the Blue Cash Everyday(SM) handily beats it in this respect. But the BOA has Add It Up, an online shopping which has much more merchants that "Save With Blue Deals".

Versus Chase Freedom - The Chase Freedom is what I would call a rotating category cash back card. What this means is that every quarter, Chase will pay you 5% rebates when you use your card for certain types of expenses (like travel, home improvements, gasoline etc). They change every quarter. Another way that the Chase Freedom allows you to earn more rebates is through their online shopping portal from their Ultimate Rewards Program. The shopping portal is similar to BOA's Add It Up portal where you can earn extra rebates by shopping with the program's merchant partners online. So the BOA cash rewards matches Chase Freedom in the shopping portal area, but loses out in terms of the ability to earn 5% on their quarterly rotating categories.

Versus Discover More - The Discover More Card is really like the Chase Freedom, which it's quarterly rotating categories. But there is a slight tier system whereby you will earn only 0.25% for the first $1,500 in annual spending, then 0.5% for the next $1,500 and after that, 1% after you exceed $3,000. Discover also has an online shopping portal called shopdiscover.com, which has about 150 merchant partners. Though it has less partners than BOA's Add It Up, you will probably earn more rebates for the same merchants with Discover. Discover also has the added advantage of being able to double the value of the cash rebates you have earned if you exchange it for their partner gift cards. BOA, on the other hand, gives you an extra 25% cash back when you redeem $300 in cash rebates.

Versus Citi Dividend Card - Once again, the Citi Dividend Card is pretty much like the Chase Freedoma and Discover More Card. They have a quarterly rotating category and an online shopping portal called the Citi Bonus Cash Center. You can 5% every quarter on certain categories and also from their online shopping merchants. So once again, the BOA matches it for the availability of the shopping portal and lacks the 5% rotating category feature.

Bank Americard Cash Rewards - How Does It Stack Up?

Verdict - The Bank Americard Cash Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card will appeal to those looking for a basic cash rewards credit card and who spend a lot on their cards. The good feature about this card is that they have (as all BOA cards do) access to their online shopping portal called Add It Up, which allows you to earn more than 1% cash rebates when you use the card to shop with their online merchant partners. Also, if you redeem $300 of more in cash, you will get a bonus cash back that equals 25% of the amount you claim. So effectively, this can be a 1.25% cash back card.

However, it is lacking in certain areas like the lack of ability to earn more than 1% cash back on certain types of expenditure. From this perspective, a card like the Blue Cash Everyday(SM) from American Express is better. Rotating category cards like the Chase Freedom have online shopping portals and also 5% rotating category that BOA does not provide.

You can check out the Add It Up program and if you like their merchant partners and they rebates you pay, then perhaps this card will work out well for you. But in our opinion, either a card like the Blue Cash Everyday(SM) from American Express or Chase Freedom would make a better card.