Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » Best Bank of America Credit Cards of 2021
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Best Bank of America Credit Cards of 2021

Bank of America credit cards covering a wide range of different needs. The Smart Investor experts review the best cards of 2021.

Some products that appear here are from companies from which this website receives compensation. This may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). It doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. our opinions are our own.

Bank of America is the second biggest banking institution currently in the United States and is trusted by millions of Americans. It has retail locations all around the country, as well as about 17,000 ATMs and 66 million customers and clients. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and also has a client base across 35 different countries.

It is also one of many issues of credit cards in the USA today, covering a wide range of different needs. These cards will often carry great rewards and perks that appeal to different types of consumers. The goal of this guide is to look at the current options on the market today from Bank of America and to see who they are best suited to.

Here are The Smart Investor Select’s picks for the 3 top Bank of America credit cards:

Bank of America Cash Rewards

Bank of America Cash Rewards review

On Bank Of America Secure Website

Bank of America Cash Rewards

Reward details

1-3% cash back

Current Offer

$200

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

12 months

APR

13.99% – 23.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

If you are looking to have a bit more control over what categories in which you are going to be earning rewards, this card could be for you. You are able to choose the category in which you get spending rewards. The signup offer allows you to get $200 worth of cash rewards after you have spent $1,000 in the first 90 days after setting up your account.

You will be able to get 3% cash back for whatever category you have chosen from a pre-selected list. There will also be 2% cash back for groceries for spending of up to $2,500 in a quarter. All of your other purchases made using this card will get you 1% back. Another great advantage of this card is that you do not have to pay an annual fee.

  • APR: 13.99% - 23.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Rewards Plan: 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. You’ll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%.
  • Sign Up bonus: Online $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: 12 months
  • $200 Cashback Sign-Up Bonus
  • 0% APR Intro in the First 15 Months
  • Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program
  • No Annual Fee
  • 1-3% cash back
  • Cap on Rewards
  • Balance Transfer Fee
  • High APR and Excellent Credit
  • Foreign Transaction Fee

Bank of America Travel Rewards

On Bank Of America Secure Website

Bank of America Travel Rewards

Reward details

Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points.

Current Offer

25,000 online bonus points

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

12 months

APR

14.99% – 22.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

This card is a must-have if you are a customer of Bank of America is a zero fees card that customers can use when they travel to earn points and gain rewards. To gain access to this card, you will need a solid credit score of between 690 to 850.

Although most cardholders feel this is a bit much, the rewards are worth it. If you spend $1000 within the first three months of acquiring the card, you gain 25,000 bonus points you can use for purchases and other travel expenses. You're also not limited when you want to make travel arrangements as the card grants you flexibility. The issuer has a J.D. Power rating of 798 for the year 2019.

  • APR: 14.99% - 22.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Rewards Plan: Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points.
  • Sign Up bonus: 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening – which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: 12 months
  • 25,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus
  • Bonus points
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Preferred Rewards, No Expiration
  • Minimum Redemption
  • There are Better Rewards Cards
  • High APR and Excellent Credit
  • Limited Travel Protections

BankAmericard® credit card

On Bank Of America Secure Website

BankAmericard® credit card

Reward details

None

Current Offer

None

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles

APR

12.99% – 22.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

If you are looking for something simple, this is the base type of credit card that you will find with Bank of America. It will mainly be suited to those people who want to avoid interest where at all possible. The intro APR of 0% will be in place for 12 months after getting this card.

There are no rewards or signup bonuses with this card. Currently, there is a 3% foreign exchange fee, as well as a balance transfer fee of the greater of 3% of the transaction or $10.

  • APR: 12.99% - 22.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% (min $10)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Rewards Plan: None
  • Sign Up bonus: None
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: 12 billing cycles on purchases
     
  • 0% intro APR
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Penalty APR
  • No sign-up bonus & rewards
  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Balance transfer fee

How to Compare Bank of America Credit Cards

Bank of America Credit Cards Types & Differences

As mentioned, there is a collection of different credit cards from Bank of America that you can consider. These will suit different types of needs and require a bit of comparison. Here is a breakdown of the main credit cards that this bank currently offers:

  • Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

If you are looking to have a bit more control over what categories in which you are going to be earning rewards, this card could be for you. You are able to choose the category in which you get spending rewards. The signup offer allows you to get $200 worth of cash rewards after you have spent $1,000 in the first 90 days after setting up your account.

You will be able to get 3% cash back for whatever category you have chosen from a pre-selected list. There will also be 2% cash back for groceries for spending of up to $2,500 in a quarter. All of your other purchases made using this card will get you 1% back. Another great advantage of this card is that you do not have to pay an annual fee.

  • Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

If you are someone who likes consistent rewards then this credit card might be a good fit for your needs. There are some great rewards on offer, as well as no annual fee. As part of the welcome offer, you get 25,000 points after making $1,000 in expenditure through the card in your first 90 days with it.

Every dollar spent will earn you a flat rate of 1.5 points without having any limits on these earnings. Finally, you will get an 0% intro APR rate for the initial year of using this card.

  • Bank of America Credit Card

If you are looking for something simple, this is the base type of credit card that you will find with Bank of America. It will mainly be suited to those people who want to avoid interest where at all possible. The intro APR of 0% will be in place for 12 months after getting this card.

There are no rewards or signup bonuses with this card. Currently, there is a 3% foreign exchange fee, as well as a balance transfer fee of the greater of 3% of the transaction or $10.

  • Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card

This is one of the most popular credit card that Bank of America currently offers. It carries with it a decent signup bonus and has a lot of perks, particularly focusing on air travel. For example, you can get as much as $100 in airline credits annually.

If you spend $3,000 or more in the first 90 days of having the card, you will get 50,000 points. In all, you earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on dining or travel, with 1.5 points coming from each dollar on every other type of purchase. The annual fee is currently $95, which is quite good.

  • Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard 

This is a card that is focused on business owners who are looking to have a bit of flexibility with their cash back card. There are no annual fees to consider and the rewards are pretty good. You can choose the category for which you will get 3% cash back, which can be changed monthly. There will be 2% back on dining also.

These two rates will have a combined cap of $50,000 in a given calendar year. If you go past this cap, you will then get 1% back on the purchases. To get this card you will need a very good credit score in most cases.

What credit score will I need in order to be approved for these Bank of America credit cards?

When it comes to credit cards, you will need to meet certain qualifying requirements beforehand in order to be issued a card. For people who do not have much of a credit score or they have a poor or limited score, it can be a struggle to get anything more than the most basic of cards.

Those consumers who have built up an average credit score will have a bit more of a choice, while those who have very good credit scores will be able to get their hands on almost any type of credit score. When it comes to the top Bank of America cards, you will generally need to have at least a good credit score in order to get in on these great cards.

FICO scores influence whether you may be accepted for credit.  A good FICO score can determine whether you obtain mortgage or finance approval, attractive auto insurance rates or even acceptance for a lease.

In this chart using Experian data, you can see the average FICO score has increased significantly over the last decade. While there was a dip in 2013, the average score has consistently increased year on year.

Average FICO Score 8

How Do Bank of America Cash Back Offers Work?

The cash back offers through the Bank of America cards will vary depending on which specific one you are looking for. However, one of the standout features that you will come across with many of the Bank of America cards is that you will often be given a choice of what category of spending you want to get the highest cash back rate for.

Taking the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card as an example, you will be able to get 3% cash back in a category that you can choose from a predefined list. You will then get 2% cash back of the likes of groceries, and other types of purchases will garner you 1%.

Some of the Bank of America cards will carry caps on how much cash back you can earn at the high rate during a certain period of time. For example, you might be able to earn 3% cash back on a certain category until you spend a certain amount in a quarter, with the rate then dropping to 1% for the remainder of the period. The process by which cash back offers at Bank of America works is not too different from the other major credit card issuers.

Bank Reputation & Customer Satisfaction

Bank of America ranks in 3rd place,  got 812 out of 1000 available points on J.D. Power 2020 credit card satisfaction survey. J.D Power offers the most comprehensive and independent study of customer satisfaction of card issuers . The study aims to help consumers and issuers to understand user opinions and ratings of the largest bands. It covers terms, benefits, services, communication, rewards and more.

J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study 2020

How Do Bank of America Point Rewards Offers Work?

When you use certain Bank of America credit cards, you will earn points rewards from your purchases. For example, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card will give you 2 points for each dollar spent on dining or travel. For any other purchases, you earn 1.5 points per dollar. For this card, the signup offer also gives you 50,000 points if you spend at least $3,000 in the first 90 days of the card’s life.

You can view the number of points you have by logging into your Bank of America account. These points will be redeemable for different types of rewards. The basic option will be to redeem the points for cash, with the exchange value usually being $0.01-$0.06 per point.

However, you will normally get better value if you are using the points to get other types of rewards. This includes redeeming them for different forms of travel expenses and gift cards. Whatever the case may be, this points program is a great reward for your loyalty to Bank of America.

What is the Bank of America Rewards Program?

The main rewards program in place is the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. The aim of this scheme is for customers to have all of their banking needs looked after by Bank of America. In exchange for this loyalty, there are various rewards you will be able to get access to.

To qualify for a Preferred Rewards account, you need to have an eligible personal checking account at Bank of America, as well as a three-month average combined balance of at least $20,000 across qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts, as well as Merrill investment accounts. There will be different tier levels to this program depending on your total assets. You will be able to hold onto your tier level for 12 months.

There are many different rewards on offer, with the benefits improving with each higher tier you reach. Here are the main benefits:

  • Savings interest rate boost
  • Credit card rewards bonus
  • Auto loan interest rate discount
  • Mortgage origination fee reduction
  • Discount on home equity interest
  • No-fee banking
  • Free transactions at non-Bank of America ATMs
  • Fee discount on Merrill Guided Investing

Therefore, there are plenty of great benefits attached to this program. If you think that you might meet the criteria, make sure that you get involved today as there are many useful rewards waiting for you.

Bank of America Redemption Options + Cashback Calendar 2021

You will have three different redemption options when it comes to Bank of America credit cards. There is the statement credit whereby you will be the credit applied to whatever your current balance may be.

Another option is the direct deposit to your Bank of America savings or checking account, or else at a Merrill account that is eligible. The final option will be getting a personal check. This can take about two weeks through the email to get to your home. In order to be able to redeem the rewards, you will have to have at least $25 in redeemable value.

How to Maximize Bank of America Rewards?

If you currently have a Bank of America credit card or you are looking at getting one and you want to know what the best approach will be for maximizing your rewards here are some tips to keep in mind. The approach you take will vary depending on which credit card from Bank of America you are looking at.

1. Inform Yourself

First and foremost, you should be fully aware of all of the rewards that are on offer, as well as any caps that you need to keep in mind. Your spending will often get different levels of cash back depending on what category your purchases are a part of. Therefore, you should focus on spending your money on where it counts the most.

For example, if you purchase food in a gas station, this will go under the gas purchase category, rather than a grocery purchase. Therefore, if you can make sure that you maximize your rewards by buying the right items in the most beneficial categories for you.

2. Max Out Rewards Caps

You will also want to max out all of the bonus spending caps that are in place, once you do not overspend. Some credit cards will have a $2,500 quarterly cap on the rewards you get at a higher rate of 3%. By maxing out this cap, you will be able to get $300 of rewards every year and make the most of the enhanced cash back offers.

3. Join Preferred Rewards Scheme

Another very important point is making sure that you have signed up for the Bank of America Preferred Rewards. This is not something that you are going to be enrolled in automatically.

Once you have a three-month average balance across the eligible Bank of America and Merrill account, you will qualify. There are three different tiers to this program that will depend on your total average balance. The higher the tier level you are, the greater rate at which you will earn rewards.

Overall, there is not going to be any quick and simple way for you to earn fast money through the Bank of America rewards programs. You will be rewarded for your loyalty over a longer period of time and committing to Bank of America for your various banking needs.

What Are the Other Benefits of Having a Bank of America Card?

As well as all of the different rewards programs that are associated with using Bank of America credit cards, there are some other side benefits that are always good to consider.

  • Free Admission

There are certain places whereby you will get free admission when you showcase your Bank of America credit card and photo ID. This covers many participating museums across the United States.

  • Welcome Offer

There are also plenty of great signup offers when you get a certain Bank of America credit card. While the occasional type of card does not have a welcome offer, most of them will give the likes of extra rewards points when you spend a certain amount in the first 90 days of your account.

  • Car Rental Cover

All of the credit cards available from Bank of America will allow you to get an auto rental collision damage waiver. This means that you will get reimbursed for any damage that comes via theft or a collision. It will be in excess of your own insurance coverage and will be supplemental. There is also a roadside emergency assistance program on offer.

  • Travel Benefits

If you are someone who does plenty of travel, there are some travel-related benefits with Bank of America credit cards. You can get reimbursement up to $500 per ticket you have bought if a trip is delayed.

You can also get $5,000 worth of trip cancellation coverage per person. Other travel benefits include baggage delay coverage, common carrier travel accident cover, and emergency evacuation in transport coverage.

  • Purchasing Protection

Certain eligible customers who have Bank of America credit cards will be able to check for free their FICO credit. Finally, the great advantage of using credit cards is the extra security that you get. Through the Bank of America purchase security feature, you will be reimbursed for a replacement for any eligible item that was damaged or stolen within 90 days of buying it.

The total coverage is $10,000 for a claim. You can also often get your warranty for eligible items doubled, as well as a return protection benefit if the retailer won’t accept your return within 90 days of buying it.

How many Bank of America Credit Cards Can I Have at One Time?

Currently, there is not going to be any limit on the number of Bank of America credit cards that you can have. However, you will have to showcase that you will be able to sufficiently handle each of these cards. This includes making sure that you always meet the payments on time, as well as having a strong credit history.

However, having a lot of credit cards is not necessarily going to be a good thing. Each of the applications you send for a credit card will lead to a hard credit history inquiry, which can decrease your credit score. Therefore, you need to weigh up the pros and cons before making a final decision.

How Do I Cancel a Bank of America Credit Card?

If for some reason you are looking to cancel a Bank of America credit card, there are a few different ways in which you can do so. You might have gotten a different type of card and no longer need a particular one, had a card stolen, or you simply prefer not to have a credit card at all.

The main way in which you are able to cancel the card will be by ringing Bank of America over the phone. Before you make this telephone call, be prepared with any relevant information about the card and your Bank of America account that might be needed. The customer support person will often ask your reasons for canceling the card. Therefore, having your reason in mind will also be useful.

You can also close your Bank of America credit card when you go to a branch in-person, as well as being able to send a written request via mail. In some cases, your credit score might be hurt when you cancel a credit card, so make sure that you are aware of any potential drawbacks of doing so before pulling the trigger.

Credit Card Reviews Methodology

In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.