BoA Cash Rewards Credit Card Review (2019.1 Update: “Pick Your Own 3%” Available Now)

Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

2019.1 Update: “Pick Your Own 3%” is now starting to become available now.

2018.7 Update: The new offer is $200!

Application Link

  1. BoA Cash Rewards regular version.
  2. BoA Cash Rewards for StudentsNote: student version has the same benefits as the regular version except the sign-up bonus. We suggest students apply for student version, non-students apply for non-student version, as suggested by their names.

Benefits

  1. $200 offer: earn $200 after spending $500 in first 3 months. Note that you can only get this sign-up bonus if you apply online, you won’t get it if applying in branch. The highest offer on this card is $200.
  2. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. I recommend you to choose the “online shopping” category because it covers a very broad range of purchases (see this official webpage about which merchants count). And earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (e.g. Sam’s Club). Earn 1% cash back on other purchases.
  3. If you have checking/savings/brokerage account in BoA or Merrill Edge: earn an additional 10% bonus points if you have a regular account; an additional 25% bonus points if you have a Gold tier ($20k or more in balance); 50% if Platinum tier ($50k or more in balance); 75% if Platinum Honors tier ($100k or more in balance).
  4. No credit history needed, as long as you have certain amount of deposit in Bank of America (BoA) Checking Account. If you have no credit history, you need to go to the branch to apply.
  5. No annual fee.

Disadvantages

  1. The bonus cashback in only for the first $2,500 in combined 3% and 2% categories each quarter.
  2. It has foreign transaction fee, so it's not a good choice outside the US.

Recommended Application Time

  1. You can get it even without SSN and with no credit history at all! We recommend you go to the branch in this situation.
  2. You can have multiple same credit card from BoA. You must wait at least 90 days to apply for the same credit card, otherwise the application will be automatically cancelled.
  3. [New] 2/3/4 Rule: BoA will only approve you for at most: 2 cards per rolling 2 months; 3 cards per rolling 12 months; and 4 cards per rolling 24 months. Because their IT system hasn’t been fully updated yet, you may not get declined because of this rule. Instead, you may get approved at first, and then the account will be closed because of “approved in error”.
  4. [New] This card will not be available to you if you currently have the card, unless you have had the card for at least 24 months.

Summary

The reward rate of BoA Cash Rewards Card is not high, but it’s still worth applying if you have zero or very limited credit history. You have to go to a branch to apply if you do not have any credit history, note that you will not get any sign-up bonus applying in branch, but don’t care about the bonus for your first credit card. You could switch to other credit cards with better rewards once you have enough credit history.

Benefits before 2019.1
  1. $200 offer: earn $200 after spending $500 in first 3 months. Note that you can only get this sign-up bonus if you apply online, you won’t get it if applying in branch. The highest offer on this card is $200.
  2. Earn 3% cash back on gas, and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (e.g. Sam’s Club), 1% cash back on other purchases.
  3. If you have checking/savings/brokerage account in BoA or Merrill Edge: earn an additional 10% bonus points if you have a regular account; an additional 25% bonus points if you have a Gold tier ($20k or more in balance); 50% if Platinum tier ($50k or more in balance); 75% if Platinum Honors tier ($100k or more in balance).
  4. No credit history needed, as long as you have certain amount of deposit in Bank of America (BoA) Checking Account. If you have no credit history, you need to go to the branch to apply.
  5. No annual fee.
  6. The bonus cashback in only for the first $2,500 in combined 3% and 2% categories each quarter.

Related Credit Cards

After Applying

  • Click here to check BoA application status.
  • BoA reconsideration backdoor number: 877-383-0120 or 866-811-4108. It seems that the number is changing. Please inform us at once if it fails. The representatives here can get in touch with decision-makers directly.

Historical Offers Chart

Application Link

  1. BoA Cash Rewards regular version.
  2. BoA Cash Rewards for StudentsNote: student version has the same benefits as the regular version except the sign-up bonus. We suggest students apply for student version, non-students apply for non-student version, as suggested by their names.

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