Bank of America offers some great lesser-known cards, from the Alaska Visa to the Premium Rewards card. Here are our top 5 picks.
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- Bank of America offers a surprising number of rewards credit cards, each of which offers their own unique earning structure and suite of perks.
- Some of the best options include the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card and the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card.
- If you happen to belong to the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you can rack up 25% to 75% more rewards with most of their cards. How much you'll earn in bonus rewards depends on the tier you qualify for within the Preferred Rewards program.
- Make sure to compare Bank of America credit cards in terms of their sign-up bonuses and ongoing rewards. The right card for you will offer the best combination of rewards for spending, cardholder perks, and redemption options.
- See Business Insider's picks for the best rewards cards »
While Chase and American Express tend to grab all the headlines, there are plenty of other issuers that offer valuable rewards and travel credit cards. Bank of America is one such off-the-radar issuer that boasts a surprising number of cash-back and travel rewards cards to fit any spending style, some with no annual fee.If you're in the market for a new rewards card but have tapped out on your options with other card issuers, consider giving Bank of America rewards cards a try. However, you should also compare each of these cards side by side so you wind up with the right earning structure for your goals and the type of rewards you want to spend.Advertisement
Here are our top picks for the best Bank of America credit cards:
- Best overall: Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card
- Best with no annual fee: Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
- Best for travel: Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Best for airfare: Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
- Best for train fare: Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®
This is possible thanks to the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, which incentivizes Bank of America customers to keep money on deposit in order to rack up more points. You'll need to have a three-month average combined balance of at least $20,000 in eligible Bank of America accounts to qualify, though.There are three tiers in the Preferred Rewards program - here's how to qualify, and how much a credit card rewards bonus you'll receive:
- Preferred Rewards Gold: Requires $20,000-$49,999 in qualifying accounts - 25% rewards bonus
- Preferred Rewards Platinum: Requires $50,000-$99,999 in qualifying accounts - 50% rewards bonus
- Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors: Requires $100,000 or more in qualifying accounts - 75% rewards bonus
Best overall: Bank of America Premium Rewards card
Why you'll love it: The Bank of America Premium Rewards card offers the biggest sign-up bonus among all the Bank of America rewards cards available today. You also get travel perks like a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and up to $100 in airline credits each year.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 points (worth $500) when you spend $3,000 on your card within 90 days of account opening.Earning structure: You'll earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points per dollar spent on all other purchases.Annual fee: $95Advertisement
Pros: Generous welcome bonus, lucrative travel perks, reasonable annual fee
Cons: Limited redemption options for travelIn a lot of ways, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card mimics the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. This includes the fact this card gives you 2 points per dollar on travel and dining. The difference is, the Premium Rewards card gives you 1.5 points per dollar on other purchases as well, whereas the Sapphire Preferred only gives you 1 point per dollar on regular purchases.Advertisement
The $95 annual fee on this card is reasonable, especially when you consider the $100 credit you get toward airline incidentals each year and up to a $100 credit you get toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years. This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees. Keep in mind, however, that rewards earned are only good for statement credits, transfers to a qualifying Bank of America or Merrill account, gift cards, or purchases made through the Bank of America Travel Center.
Best with no annual fee: Bank of America Cash Rewards card
Why you'll love it: With this card, you actually get to pick the category you earn the most rewards in.
Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 in cash rewards when you spend $1,000 on your card within 90 days of account opening.Earning structure: Earn 3% cash back in a category of your choosing and 2% back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $2,500 in combined spending each quarter. You'll also earn 1% back on all other purchases.Advertisement
Annual fee: None
Pros: Generous earning structure, no annual feeCons: Earning caps limit rewards on bonus spendingAdvertisement
The Bank of America Cash Rewards card doesn't charge an annual fee, yet the rewards can be very lucrative over time. This card lets you pick a single category to earn 3% back in with options including:
- online shopping
- drug stores
- home improvement/furnishings.
Best for travel: Bank of America Travel Rewards card
Why you'll love it: The Travel Rewards card offers generous flat-rate rewards on all your spending, and you won't pay an annual fee.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus points when you sign up and spend $1,000 on your card within 90 days of account opening.
Earning structure: This card gives you a flat 1.5 points for each dollar you spend with no limits or bonus categories to keep track ofAnnual fee: NoneAdvertisement
Pros: Earn a generous bonus and ongoing rewards with no annual fee
Cons: This card doesn't offer any travel-related perksThe Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers a rewards structure that's easy to understand. This card gives you a flat 1.5 points for each dollar you spend, and there are no limits to keep track of at all. On the redemption side, you can cash in your points for statement credits to cover travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent per point.Advertisement
You'll also be happy to know this card doesn't charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Finally, you'll qualify for 0% APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles (then a variable APR of 16.49% to 24.49% applies).
Best for airfare: Alaska Airlines card
Why you'll love it: This card allows you to earn valuable Alaska miles along with a companion fare that can help you save even more money.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 miles and the Alaska companion fare from $121 ($99 fare, plus taxes and fees from $22) when you spend $2,000 on your card within 90 days of account openingEarning structure: You'll rack up 3 miles per dollar spent on Alaska purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on other purchasesAdvertisement
Annual fee: $75Pros: Earn bonus miles and upfront miles, qualify for Alaska companion fareCons: Annual fee appliesAdvertisement
The Alaska Airlines Visa is popular among consumers based on the simple fact that Alaska miles are incredibly valuable. However, travel enthusiasts also like this card's famous companion fare. Once you sign up for this credit card and meet the requirements, the companion fare lets you score a companion fare for $121 when you book a qualifying paid fare with your credit card. Also be aware that you get the companion fare every year you have the card, and not just once.
To sweeten the pot, the Alaska Airlines card lets you and six guests on your itinerary qualify for a free checked bag on Alaska flights. This card does have a $75 annual fee, but it's very reasonable for all you get in return.
Best for train fare: Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard
Why you'll love it: This card offers superior perks for people who travel with Amtrak all the time.Sign-up bonus: Get 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on your card within 90 days of account openingAdvertisement
Earning structure: Earn 3x points on Amtrak travel, 2x points on other types of travel and 1x points on all other purchases
Annual fee: $79Pros: Enjoy an initial bonus and a handful of Amtrak-related travel perksAdvertisement
Cons: Rewards earned with this card are mostly just good for travel on Amtrak
The Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard offers a surprising number of benefits on top of the points you earn in this program. With this credit card, you'll receive a complimentary companion coupon each year, a complimentary one-class upgrade each year, a complimentary station lounge pass, and an easier path to tier status.This card does come with a $79 annual fee, but you won't pay foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad. Also note that you'll get a 20% rebate on purchases made on Amtrak when you pay with your credit card.Advertisement
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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.