Bank of America Rewards Program Reviews, Tips & More
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There are four different Bank of America rewards programs for credit cards, extending coverage to both business and consumer cardholders. These programs vary in terms of the system by which members earn rewards and redeem rewards earnings for perks. For example, some Bank of America rewards programs only offer cash back while others allow members to redeem for gift cards, travel accommodations or charity donations. However, not all Bank of America rewards programs are open to new cardholders. One of the programs, WorldPoints, only applies to credit cards that have been discontinued. Current cardholders can still enjoy its privileges.
Details for earning and redeeming rewards vary drastically across the BofA rewards programs. So it can be hard for newcomers to gauge how much value they can get out of each. But don’t worry – WalletHub has collected and assessed all of the insider details to provide you with the best information and tips regarding Bank of America’s credit card rewards programs.
Bank of America Rewards Program Credit Cards
WalletHub’s editors routinely assess more than 1,000 credit cards in order to help consumers and businesses find the cards best suited to their particular needs. Below, you’ll find the Bank of America rewards credit cards that have been cited by WalletHub as among the best in their categories:
Best Bank of America Rewards Cards:
|BofA Rewards Card||Annual Fee||Initial Bonus||Regular Rewards Rate|
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
|$0||25,000 points||1.5 points / $1|
Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® Credit Card
|$0||30,000 points||1.5 - 3 points / $1|
Eligible Credit Cards by Bank of America Rewards Program:
|Credit Cards Eligible for Bank of America Cash Rewards||Credit Cards Eligible for Bank of America Travel Rewards||Credit Cards Eligible for Bank of America WorldPoints Rewards|
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
WorldPoints Rewards for Business™ Visa® Card
Pink Ribbon™ Credit Card
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
||American Bar Association Business Mastercard with WorldPoints Rewards
World Wildlife Fund Credit Card
||AOPA Business Mastercard with WorldPoints Rewards
Major League Baseball® (MLB) Credit Card
Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® Credit Card
U.S. Pride Credit Card
Business Preferred Charge Card
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students
Maximize Bank of America Rewards Earnings
Each of Bank of America’s four rewards programs operates on a different earning system. Not only do they vary in terms of the rewards currency they issue and the base earning rate they offer, but they also feature different ways for members to supplement their earnings.
How to Earn More BofA Rewards:
Pick the Right Card: Depending on the Bank of America rewards credit card, it may be possible to earn more points or cash back in addition to the base rate provided.
For example, the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% cash back in a category of your choice and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, up to $2,500 spent in those combined categories per quarter. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
Earn Initial Bonuses: Some Bank of America rewards cards offer bonuses for spending a certain amount of money in the first few months.
For example, the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card offers $200 for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening.
Book Travel in the Travel Center: For Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards cardholders, you can earn 3 points per dollar spent at the Travel Center website (compared to the base rate of 1.5 points per dollar). This offer is also available on the regular Travel Rewards and Travel Rewards for Students cards.
And don’t worry, WalletHub has already confirmed that prices in the Travel Center are comparable to those on other major booking websites.
Sign Up for Preferred Rewards: Credit cards in the Bank of America Cash/Travel Rewards programs are eligible to boost their earnings by signing up for the Preferred Rewards program (this is a separate rewards program for bank accounts).
Here’s how it works: If you are enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program, you can increase your accrued base earnings from that month by 25%, 50% or 75%, depending on your tier in the Preferred Rewards program. Your tier is based upon the balance you maintain in your banking account, as you can see in the table below:
BofA Rewards Earning Perks:
- Earnings Don’t Expire: Rewards currencies from Bank of America Travel/Cash/Better Balance Rewards never expire by date or from account inactivity, meaning that your earnings will remain usable even if you don’t swipe your credit card for years. That is not true for WorldPoints customers, however, as you’ll see in the restrictions section below.
- No Earning Limit: There is no maximum cap for how many points or how much cash back you can earn.
- No Minimum Threshold: You are not required to spend a certain amount on your credit card in order to begin accruing points or cash back.
- No Rotating Categories: None of the Bank of America rewards credit cards feature rotating categories. That means that you don’t have to worry about signing up for short-term bonus categories in order to earn extra.
BofA Rewards Earning Restrictions to Watch Out For:
- Earnings Can Expire: Earnings from WorldPoints expire five years from the month in which they were earned. This is not true for the other Bank of America rewards programs.
- Earning Rate Varies Based on Amount Spent: For all of the credit cards in the Bank of America Cash Rewards program, the earning rate changes depending on the amount spent – in other words, 2%-3% cash back on bonus categories only applies to the first $2,500 spent in combined bonus purchases per quarter on the personal cards. The Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard has a $50,000 annual spending limit for its bonus categories.
How to Redeem Bank of America Rewards for Maximum Value
Now that we’ve covered how you can earn the most rewards currency, the next step is to determine how you can best spend it. We at WalletHub stress that redeeming your earnings in the most lucrative way possible is just as important as maximizing your earnings. Your earnings are money at the end of the day. And you want to spend them in a way that yields the most value.
So, the ultimate question is: Which redemption options offer the most value to the members of each of Bank of America’s four different rewards programs? In order to display this info as clearly as possible, WalletHub did the calculations for each program separately.
Bank of America Cash Rewards:
With Bank of America Cash Rewards, redeeming is very straightforward as there are no middleman currencies involved – you simply redeem for true cash back at the same percentage rates in which you earn. For example, if your card provides 2% cash back on a given purchase, you would receive 2% of what you spend on that purchase as a rebate.
Though cash back is your only redemption option for this program, you can choose to redeem it in the form of a check, statement credit, charity donation, deposit into any banking account or a mortgage payment – from BofA or a third party.
Bank of America Travel Rewards:
Redeeming for travel is the most lucrative option for Bank of America Travel Rewards, while cash back yields the least value.
How Much Are BofA Travel Rewards Points Worth?
The following table provides a detailed breakdown of the graph above. It indicates the dollar value of Bank of America Travel Rewards points when redeemed through the different options provided by BofA’s Travel Rewards program.
|Redemption Option||Dollar Cost||Points Needed||Point Valuation|
|Travel Credit||$100.00||10,000||1 cent|
|$25 Gift Card||$25.00||4,167||0.6 cents|
|$50 Gift Card||$50.00||8,333||0.6 cents|
|$100 Gift Card||$100.00||16,666||0.6 cents|
|$250 Gift Card||$250.00||41,666||0.6 cents|
|Check/ Statement Credit||$15.00||2,500||0.6 cents|
|Charity Donation||$15.00||2,500||0.6 cents|
Bank of America WorldPoints Rewards:
All of the credit cards that participate in this rewards program are no longer available to new applicants. But if you still have a WorldPoints credit card, redeeming for travel offers the most value, while cash back offers the least.
BofA Rewards Redemption Perks:
- Travel Credit: Bank of America Travel Rewards members have the flexible option of using “Travel Credit,” which permits you use your points to offset any travel purchase (this includes flights, hotels, cruises, bus lines, taxis, timeshares, amusement parks and more).
- True Cash Back: The Bank of America Cash/Better Balance Rewards programs actually provide rewards in the form of cash, which protects you from rewards devaluation.
BofA Rewards Redemption Restrictions to Watch Out For:
- Minimum Threshold: You must earn a minimum amount of rewards in order to redeem under Bank of America’s programs. For Bank of America Travel Rewards and Bank of America WorldPoints Rewards, redemption begins at 2,500 points. For Bank of America Cash Rewards, you can only begin collecting cash at $25.
- Limited Automatic Cash Redemption Options: Bank of America Cash Rewards allows members to set up “automatic cash redemption.” This is a feature that automatically redeems for cash at the end of every month if you have accrued at least $25 in earnings. Though it’s meant to save customers the hassle of manually doing so themselves, the feature is only applicable with a BofA deposit or mortgage account, which renders it useless for members who do not have either.
- Poor Point Valuations for Charity Redemption: Although low point valuations for cash back aren’t too uncommon, you’d think one would be more generous when it comes to charity, right? Apparently not. Bank of America gives 0.60 – 0.78 cents per point to the charity you designate. Compared to the other rewards programs like Citi ThankYou Rewards or No Hassle Rewards, which offer 1 cent per point on charity donations, BofA doesn’t measure up.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Partners
The Bank of America rewards programs do not feature any transfer partners. This means it’s not possible to convert rewards from Bank of America credit cards to the rewards currencies of airline or hotel loyalty programs. Issuers that do have transfer partners include American Express, Capital One, Chase and Citi.
But even though there are no transfer partners with any Bank of America rewards programs, Bank of America Travel Rewards members can use the travel credit option. The travel credit allows cardholders to use their reward points to pay for any purchases that merchants code as “travel,” which includes airline and hotel expenses.
Pros & Cons of Bank of America Rewards
Now that we’ve evaluated each Bank of America rewards program, it’s time to outline their key pros and cons, as well as their “fluff” features that don’t really add much.
Pros of BofA Rewards:
- Travel Credit – This flexible option permits Travel Rewards members to use their points to offset any travel purchases at a solid 1 point: 1 cent ratio.
- True Cash Back – The rewards currency for the Bank of America Cash/Better Balance Rewards programs is cash, rather than points or miles that can be redeemed for cash along with a host of other redemption options.
- Earnings Don’t Expire – Rewards from the Bank of America Travel/Cash/Better Balance Rewards programs never expire by date or from account inactivity.
- No Earning Limit – There is no maximum cap for how many points or how much cash back you can earn.
- No Minimum Threshold For Earning – You are not required to spend a certain amount on your credit card in order to begin accruing points or cash back.
- No Rotating Categories – None of the Bank of America rewards credit cards features rotating categories.
- Program-Wide Ways to Earn Extra – The Travel Center and Preferred Rewards options enable members to earn a significant amount of additional rewards currency when making purchases.
Cons of BofA Rewards:
- Earnings Can Expire – WorldPoints earnings expire 5 years from the month in which they were earned.
- Earning Rate Varies Based on Amount Spent – For credit cards in the Bank of America Cash program, the earning rate changes depending on the amount spent.
- Minimum Threshold – You must earn a certain amount of rewards before you can begin redeeming.
- Gift Cards – For WorldPoints members, if you are redeeming for a gift card valued at $250 or more, you should just redeem for cash back instead (because at $250, both cash back and gift cards yield the same point valuation). Cash back is much more flexible.
Where Does Bank of America Rewards Rank?
WalletHub scored each issuer’s primary credit card rewards programs according to a standardized grading methodology in order to provide a basis for comparison. Bank of America Travel Rewards ranked 4th (tied with Discover) within the list of consumer credit card rewards programs assessed. Check out the results below.
For Consumer Cards:
Consumer Credit Card Rewards Program Rankings
For Business Cards:
Business Credit Card Rewards Program Rankings
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