BankAmericard Cash Rewards Review 2015

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Bankamericard Cash Rewards cardThey say cash is king and, for that reason, cash back continues to be a top choice when it comes to the most preferred type of rewards credit cards.

If you’re in the market for a cash-back rewards card, the dilemma is to decide which one delivers the most value for you among all the choices in the card marketplace. If you are like a lot of consumers, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® card could be the optimal choice for your No. 1 card in wallet. Why? Because it offers a solid 1 percent cash back reward on each dollar you spend on purchases and bonus cash back in a couple of useful, non-discretionary spending categories that we all have deal with. Because you have to spend this money anyway, what’s not to like about putting extra cash back in your pocket?

Here are the reward details:

2 percent and 3 percent back in certain key everyday spending categories: The card touts 1 percent cash back on everyday purchases. Then there’s 2 percent at grocery stores (which is pretty huge for most families) and 3 percent at gas stations (also huge for most commuters) for the first $1,500 in combined grocery store and gas purchases each quarter.

While impressive, those earnings aren’t the highest out there. But it could be the best card for you depending on how you use your plastic. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card, for example, offers 1.5 percent back on all spending — although it doesn’t have the boosted category rewards. Discover it and Chase Freedom offer 5 percent in certain categories each quarter — but they don’t offer a steady bonus on groceries and gas. Also, if you’re like a lot of consumers, keeping track of reward categories that change each quarter is a pain. Always knowing the extra cash back categories can help maximize rewards in the long run.

The Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner) is probably the most similar to the BankAmericard; it just flips the higher-earning categories, with grocery purchases earning 3 percent and gas stations earning 2 percent. So, before deciding between these two, look at your total average spending for each category to see which might provide more value for your situation.

As with any reward card, it’s also important to consider spending caps. The ceiling for the higher-earning categories is a bit low — it’s set at $1,500 per quarter for combined grocery store and gas purchases. That’s slightly more limiting than the AmEx Blue Cash Everyday card, which has a limit of $6,000 a year for grocery purchases and no ceiling for gas purchases. Just do the math on your spending to see if you might bump up against any card’s limits and then decide.

Very user-friendly redemption levels: You can redeem for as little as $25 cash for a statement credit, check or direct deposit. That’s the same as the redemption minimum for the AmEx Blue Cash Everyday and lower than some other cards out there, including Discover it, which requires you to redeem in increments of $50 if you want a statement credit or direct deposit.

With the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card, if you go the direct-deposit route (and deposit it into a Bank of America bank account) you get a 10 percent bonus on your cash back. So $100 would get you $110 cash back via direct deposit. So, if you already bank with Bank of America this could be a deciding factor.

Visa Signature benefits: This tier of Visa cards comes with some useful perks, especially for travelers. However this isn’t as special as it used to be since quite a few Visa cards nowadays are Visa Signature tier. In fact it’s hard to find the lower level “platinum” anymore from any issuer. There’s a reason for that – Visa Signature and other elite level cards like World MasterCard earn a higher interchange fee from merchants so that issuers can increase their revenue even on those cardmembers who always pay their balances in full.

A sign-up bonus: If you apply via this online-exclusive offer, you’ll earn a $100 cash bonus after making at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Introductory APR offer: This 0 percent APR offer lasts for 12 months after you open your account and applies to purchases and to any balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, your APR will be 12.99 percent to 22.99 percent, based on your creditworthiness at the time you opened the account. This APR will vary based on the Prime Rate.

Chip technology: Chip-and-signature technology is an optional feature on this card. EMV chips are standard abroad and often required to make purchases overseas. They’re also thought to be more secure because they encode your data uniquely with every purchase, making it tougher for thieves to use the information they manage to steal. So, if you’re planning a trip abroad or if you’re security conscious, request this feature.

The bottom line

This card keeps things simple. There’s no chasing after rotating categories, and you can earn nice extras on gas and at grocery stores — two things that are pretty essential items in the average person’s budget. The 1 percent you get on everything else doesn’t have a limit, so you’re earning a little something every time you make a purchase. If you have a savings or checking account with BofA, the 10 percent bonus for direct deposit makes the card a sweet deal.

Just make an honest assessment of your spending patterns. A large family spending lots of money on groceries might find the Blue Cash Everyday card a better fit, since you earn an extra 1 percent at supermarkets, and the rewards ceiling is higher. Yet, if you have a long commute (like many Americans) and simply have average grocery spending, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card has the edge — not to mention that Visa is accepted pretty much everywhere and offers significant Visa Signature level benefits.

Closest Competitors for 2015

As you would with any card, make sure to check out the competition. The closest rivals to the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa card are the following credit cards:

Discover itDiscover it – This doesn’t give cash back in the same categories year ’round, but the 5 percent rewards are quite lucrative.

  • 5 percent cash back on categories. Get 5 percent cash back on gas and ground transporation on up to $1,500 in purchases from January through March 2015.
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases, unlimited.
  • 5 percent to 20 percent cash back at nearly 200 websites when you click through to them using the Discover website.
  • 100 percent US-based customer support 24/7/365.
  • Benefits now include Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty, Return Protection, and Price Protection at no additional cost.
  • No annual fee
  • 0 percent intro APR for the first 14 months on both purchases and balance transfers. 10.99% – 22.99% variable APR after.
  • Go here to learn more about it

Chase FreedomChase Freedom® – Like the BankAmericard, this also has a quarterly $1,500 cap on the bonus rewards. However, the bonus payout is higher (5%) and the categories rotate every 3 months. Here is how the rewards calendar for 2015 is shaping up:

  • Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2014): Grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases), movie theaters and Starbucks® stores
  • Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2014): Restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond®, H&M®, and®.
  • Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2014): Gas stations and more this summer!
  • Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2014): and more this fall!

Use this link to earn a $100 bonus with Chase Freedom. Just spend at least $500 in your first three months from account opening to get the bonus.

This review was written or last updated March 27, 2014

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

11 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Josh March 4, 2014 at 6:13AM

    I’m surprised Blue Cash Everyday, Blue Cash Preferred and Sallie Mae aren’t mentioned as close competitors.

    I never understood the intrigue of this card. Gas is one of the easiest categories to get 5% on, and other cards offer way better grocery bonuses.

  2. Charles March 3, 2014 at 3:46PM

    I’ve had this card for a few years now and am not too impressed with the cash back offers after you consider what’s already out there. As a matter of fact, I haven’t used this card in several months.

    Sallie Mae Mastercard offers 5% on gas and groceries too with no annual fee and no rotating categories. They are supposed to start providing FICO scores for free too. What’s the craze about 1% on “all other purchases”? It is the norm today. Chase Freedom, Discover, and pretty much everyone offers 1%.

  3. Lu August 20, 2013 at 8:46AM

    This credit cards is, hands down, the best credit card for hardworking middle-income ($55,000 to $100,000/yr) folks with a respectable credit history that want to feel like they’re sticking it back to the bank (just a little bit). Not only do you get 1% cash back for all purchases, 2% for groceries and 3% on gas on the first $1,500 in purchases each quarter as advertised (with an additional 10% bonus if you deposit into a BOA checking/savings account and no annual fee also as advertised), but I didn’t read anyone mention that you also qualify for an additional 5% to 15% cash back if you sign up for “BankAmeriDeals.” Basically, in addition to your cash back, you get to pick from a range of other businesses that partner with Bank of America (like AutoZone, AT&T,, FTD, etc.) that pay you this additional bonus cash. . AND this card is a VISA card, so it’s pretty much accepted in every nook and cranny all over the world. If you pay your balance in full within the 30 day grace period, it goes without saying that this card pays you the most of any card out there. I’ve been doing this for about 2.5 years now, and I’ve raked in thousands. It’s free money. Well, actually, its not free, because those of you in this thread complaining about how this and other credit cards are inconvenient, frustrating, etc., you all are probably the ones paying for my bonus cash on account of your own fiscal irresponsibility. So to all of you, a hearty “thanks!!”

  4. Samm May 20, 2013 at 4:37PM

    Hey everyone, really need some help / advice. BoA can’t say which stores exactly count towards the 2% gas and 3% groceries. Does anyone have experience with this and know what stores count and which don’t? I’m amazed they “can’t” tell me that information…

    • lily July 27, 2013 at 9:13PM

      I currently have this card. its actually 2% on groceries and 3% on gas. Any gas station will count towards 3%. I fill up at walmart murphy usa and at sams club and it counts towards the 3%. Any purchase of walmart will count towards groceries. I purchased a pair of tennis shoes from the walton life fitness center (which obviously are not groceries) and I got 2% cash back. If you shop at target though, it will not count as groceries (you’ll only get 1% cash back)

  5. Bo April 11, 2013 at 6:32AM

    I converted a regular BOA VISA to this BOA signature card and my $30K+ limit was no longer reported to the credit agencies. This actually hurt my credit score since it lowered my overall available credit. Since they don’t report the available credit for this type of card, have to open another credit card to get my total available credit bumped back up. This isn’t a huge deal, just an fyi.

  6. Anne February 28, 2013 at 5:49PM

    American Express is not useful for us. Not many places take it so, there’s no point in carrying it. It’s a pain and it costs too much.

    I prefer Visa hands-down.

  7. ronald berger October 19, 2012 at 9:38AM

    after calling 3 times and several hours of my time, BA has cheated me out of what they promised. Keep your 10 dollars. Sincerely Ronald Berger

  8. Richard June 22, 2012 at 2:42AM

    The BofA Signature Visa rewards program is a joke.

    It was obviously intentionally designed to be frustrating and discourage the user from understanding the program or ever redeeming anything. Just try to add a BofA account – “account type” is required but no choices are presented, which makes it impossible to get the 10% bonus.

    Want to redeem your $24.99 accumulated credit? NO! You have to redeem in $25 increments ONLY.

    For fun, try the link to see the program rules; click on it and it asks you to sign in, then presents the same page again (round and round you go, good luck finding the rules). It doesn’t matter anyway, because BofA makes up the rules as it goes along. So redeem if you can, and don’t wait to do it.

    • Mike July 25, 2012 at 8:55PM

      I’ve had this card for roughly a year now. It was easy (note: EASY) to attach my BoA account to get the 10%. Might’ve taken two minutes. I know that can be a frustrating amount of time for some, but most of us can spare that kind of time.

      Is redeeming in $25 increments really all that big of a deal? What a thing to complain about. “Man, I really, REALLY need that $12.” If you’re in that kind of financial trouble, then you probably shouldn’t be looking into getting a credit card.

      So that being said, I’ve had many different CCs over the years and this is my favorite. The rewards are about as high as you can get without adding an annual fee or hoping what you’re buying is on the current quarterly rotation and since I have a BoA checking account I can just send the rewards right over online and they give me an extra 10% for doing it.

  9. Jolly roger March 24, 2012 at 8:51AM

    The number of establishments that refused to accept American Express was so great that we no longer bother to carry it, and will try B of A. Still trying to quantify “eligible”. No mention of maximums were made when we applied in-person for card.

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