BofA Cash Rewards vs. Chase Freedom?

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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cc_is_cash
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BofA Cash Rewards vs. Chase Freedom?

Postby cc_is_cash » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:26 pm

I know the Chase card has better reputation, but I have BofA checking/savings accounts.

Chase Freedom
Pros:
+ Really nice signup offer thanks to link from this site.
+ Reputation for good service.
Con:
- Yet another account at a new institution, so more personal data around.
BofA Cash Rewards
Pro:
+ Secure application through my existing BofA online account.
Cons:
- Signup bonuses I have seen are only $50 or $100 versus that with better 0% from Chase.
- I was very turned off by BofA's AMEX scam with the point/reward system, so my confidence in BofA's integrity has gone even lower
Given my situation, do you seen any reason to go for one versus the other? Is the fact that I have an account with BofA really an advantage? Keep in mind that I will be using this VISA card only when Discover is not accepted, which happens very rarely nowadays, so the overall reward system is not that important to me (although I am curious about whether they give the cash rewards in $20 or $50 increments). Also, am I making too big of a deal out of the BofA AMEX scam?

Btwy, are there any places that accept only VISA and not Mastercard? I vaguely recall seeing such a place, but I am not sure.

Thanks.

p.s. I found this review that compares both side by side very helpful.


creditcruncher
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Postby creditcruncher » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:21 am

I have both cards and use both all of the time. I am a BOA employee, so initially I got the card because of the low interest rates they offer to us as perks, but the card has become very useful.

The freedom card is great because it offers a high amount of cash back (5%), but only in certain categories that change quarterly. Q1 2012 Chase has been offering 5% cash back on gas, where as my BOA card gives 3% back all the time, no strings attached. When the freedom rewards match my needs I use that card, but I use the Cash Rewards BOA to fill in the gaps throughout the year.

One of the great things about the freedom card is that they offer extra cash back (upwards of 10% sometimes) on purchases that you online through their shopping site. Discover offers this as well. I use the freedom card to take advantage of those offers. Bank of America has not had a system like this in place for online shopping, however they are rolling out a new program called BankAmeri deals that shows you cash back deals that are targeted to you based on what you've bought in the past. Not quite the same as Chase or Discover, but they allow you to take advantage of the cash back at the actual brick and mortar retail location which is nice.

I'm a bit peeved about discovers .25% reward system on the first $3000 that you spend annually, as chase and BOA don't do this, so I've been using it a lot less lately. And my discover is my highest interest rate at 17.99%, whereas my lowest is 8%, and they won't lower it...

Hope this helps.

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:00 am

For the sake of simplicity, opening a cc account where you have your banking makes the most sense, particularly if you won't be using the card much. Since you're making the decision now, you might want to consider why you chose B of A as your bank, whether you're still happy with them and they still meet your needs. If you're happy, stick with B of A and open the cc account there.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

cc_is_cash
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Postby cc_is_cash » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:32 pm

creditcruncher wrote:I'm a bit peeved about discovers .25% reward system on the first $3000 that you spend annually, as chase and BOA don't do this, so I've been using it a lot less lately. And my discover is my highest interest rate at 17.99%, whereas my lowest is 8%, and they won't lower it...

Hope this helps.


Yes, thanks for the great overview. Our main card is Discover, but we charge enough to it that we quickly get to the 1% level. Discover Shop gives you a very large selection of 10% cashback stores and a few go up to 20%. But Discover also gives you extra dollars when you redeem your cashback bonus for gift cards. For example, for a large selection of merchants, you use $20 of cashback to get a $25 gift card. That's like getting a 20% discount when you shop. Does Chase offer something similar? This kind of makes up for the requirement to build up to the 1% cashback level with Discover.

cc_is_cash
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Postby cc_is_cash » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:37 pm

jeffysdad wrote:For the sake of simplicity, opening a cc account where you have your banking makes the most sense, particularly if you won't be using the card much. Since you're making the decision now, you might want to consider why you chose B of A as your bank, whether you're still happy with them and they still meet your needs. If you're happy, stick with B of A and open the cc account there.


Since I need a VISA ASAP, I just submitted an application for BofA's Cash Rewards.

To answer your other questions, I opened my BofA 25 years ago :D , so whatever the consideration was to go with BofA then may not apply now, although it was probably simply the widespread availability of ATMs. At the end of the day, the big banks seem more or less the same.

But the $300 sign-up bonus I am seeing with Chase is tempting.

Money card
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Postby Money card » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:46 pm

Bank of America came around first, enough said.

dznutz
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Postby dznutz » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:36 pm

question... to get the extra chase bonus i'll need a chase checking account.
so if i choose the one on the far left [total checking] i'll still get the bonus?

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:46 pm

Total checking is the account I have and I get the 10-point/transaction, 10% points bonus on Chase Freedom rewards.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.



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