3 of Bank of America's top balance rewards credit cards
Balance rewards credit cards are a big hit with customers, many of whom become attached to the perks.
In fact, more than 40% of credit cardholders identify cash back as the No. 1 feature, beating out low interest rates and wide acceptance as leading credit card preferences.
With $2.5 trillion in assets, Bank of America is the second-biggest bank in the U.S., behind only JPMorgan. It’s not surprising then that Bank of America has several balance rewards credit cards from which customers can choose.
This article will explore some of BofA's balance reward credit cards, including the status of the widely popular "BankAmericard Better Balance" credit cards.
Bank of America Better Balance Rewards
For years, Bank of America Better Balance Rewards cards, including both the Visa and Mastercard versions, were a favorite among borrowers for the cash rewards.
Customers appreciated being rewarded for good financial hygiene, specifically paying more than the minimum amount due on their balances. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, including the original version of BofA’s balance reward credit card.
As of May 2023, the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards credit card no longer exists; it has been converted to the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard and Visa credit cards.
BofA paid its final reward on the discontinued card in April 2023. For that reason, we’ll review the bank’s unlimited cash rewards card instead.
Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card
The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card starts off with a bang, including a $200 online cash reward bonus offer for signing on the dotted line.
It’s a type of balance rewards credit card that lets customers earn 1.5% cash back on 100% of purchases. BofA emphasizes that there’s no limit to the amount of cash back cardholders can earn, and the cash rewards have no expiration date.
While there are other non-BofA balance rewards credit cards that pay a higher cash-back percentage, some in the ballpark of 2%, this one has perks carved out for certain members.
For cardholders who qualify for Platinum Honors status in the bank's Preferred Rewards program, the cash back rewards jump to close to 3%.
Considering its focus on premium cardholders, it's not surprising that this balance rewards credit card is designed for borrowers whose credit is in the good to excellent category.
This balance rewards credit card is best suited for people with pristine credit who are looking for a simple way to earn cash-back rewards. If they qualify, previous holders of the BankAmericard Better Balance credit cards could also be a good fit.
Bank of America Travel Rewards
Bank of America is also behind its own travel rewards card that lets you earn bonus points as you spend on everyday purchases that you can direct toward travel expenses.
As an incentive, new cardholders receive 25,000 online bonus points, which translates to a $250 value. And there's no annual fee.
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card lets you earn unlimited 1.5 points for every dollar spent anywhere at any time with no expiration date on the points.
Here’s how this travel-focused balance rewards credit card works: Use the card to book a trip with no limitations or black-out dates. Get rewarded with a statement credit that can be used toward travel and dining transactions.
New cardholders are entitled to a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles for purchases and eligible balance transfers. After that, a variable APR of between 18.24% and 28.24% is attached.
There is a 3% fee on all balance transfers.
Preferred Rewards members earn between 25% and 75% more points on every purchase, translating to as much as 2.62 points for every $1 spent.
This credit card is also meant for borrowers with pristine credit in the good to excellent categories.
It is best suited for the frequent traveler, business or pleasure, who is willing to use their card for everyday purchases to earn points that can be applied toward travel expenses.
Bank of America Premium Rewards
The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card offers an online welcome bonus of 60,000 points that translate to a $600 value.
This Bank of America rewards credit card allows cardholders to earn 2 points for every $1 spent on both travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points on every other purchase.
Points are unlimited and have no expiration date. However, there's a $95 annual fee.
Among the travel related benefits, cardholders can earn as much as $200 in combined airline incidental and TSA/PreCheck credits, doing away with those winding airport lines.
In addition, cardholders gain access to other travel-related benefits and purchase protections as well as access to luxury hotels and concierge services.
Customers can redeem points for a variety of use cases: cash back as a deposit into their BofA checking or savings accounts, credit for certain Merrill accounts, statement credit for the credit card, or toward gift cards and other purchases at the bank’s Travel Center.
It pays to be a Preferred Rewards member because you can earn between 25%-75% more points on transactions, which adds up to as much as 3.5 points on travel and dining purchases and up to 2.62 points on the rest.
This balance rewards credit card is good for consumers who particularly want to be rewarded for traveling and dining out because that's where you earn the most bang for your buck.
But it's also best for users whose spending will generate enough points to offset the pesky annual fee.