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Here’s some cool news! Folks with the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card will be able to select their own 3% cash back category from 6 popular options starting January 14, 2019. And you can even change it each month!
That’s handy if you have a lot of online shopping one month, and home improvement purchases the following month, for example. And if you park your investments with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, your cash back increases up to 5.25%. Not bad for a no annual fee card!
But you’re limited to $2,500 in purchases per quarter.
So you might do better with our picks for the best cash back credit cards, including the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card or Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card, depending on your spending habits.
I’ll share the full details!
Pick Your Own 3% Cash Back Category With the Bank of America Cash Rewards Card
If you have or apply for a Bank of America Cash Rewards card, starting January 14, 2019, you’ll be able to select a 3% cash back category, including:
- Home improvements & furnishings
- Online shopping
You’ll also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (like Costco and Sam’s Club) each quarter. But you’ll only earn 3% and 2% cash back in all combined categories on up to $2,500 in purchases per quarter ($10,000 per year).
The good news is, you can change your 3% bonus category at the beginning of each month. That’s handy if you travel a lot one month, then shop online a lot the next month, for example.
The most cash back you’ll earn at the 3% rate is $300 per year ($10,000 X .03). That’s not bad for a card with NO annual fee. And you’ll also be able to redeem your rewards into a qualifying Bank of America account with NO minimums. So folks who value that flexibility can earn some free cash back each quarter and redeem their rewards however they want!
Bump up Earnings With Other Bank of America Relationships
If you park investments with Merrill Lynch (part of Bank of America), you can boost your cash back rate in the 3% categories.
- 3.75% cash back at the Gold tier ($20,000 to $50,000 in investments)
- 4.5% cash back at the Platinum tier ($50,000 to $100,000 in investments)
- 5.25% cash back at the Platinum Honors tier ($100,000+ in investments)
It’s obviously a huge ask to put $100,000+ in an investment account to earn more cash back. But if you already invest with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, this is an easy value add.
Or Go With Other Cash Back Cards (and Earn More!)
I don’t know of any personal credit cards that let you change your cash back category each month. If you value that flexibility, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is a good pick.
But if you shop a lot in the same categories, or want a nice sign-up bonus, other cards are an even better option:
- Best Cashback Credit Card for a Huge Bonus ($500) With Waived Annual fee: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Cashback Credit Card With Biggest Bonus for No Annual Fee ($300 Bonus): Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
- Best Cashback Credit Card for Big Intro Bonus and Cell Phone Protection: Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
- Best Cashback Credit Card for Gas and Groceries: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
For example, when you open a new Capital One Savor card, you’ll earn $500 cash back after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And it earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases.
You’ll also earn:
- 2% cash back at grocery stores
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
Plus, there is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn! So you don’t have to think about spending caps, unlike the $2,500 limit per quarter with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card.
This card has a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year.
Or consider other top cash back credit cards if you want to earn cash back in other categories!
But if you already have the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, the new cash back categories are a nice improvement.
Will the new 3% cash back categories inspire you to spend more on (or apply for) this card?