The best Bank of America credit cards of 2021

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Bank of America offers an impressive lineup of more than 20 credit cards that run the gamut from cash-back credit cards to airline credit cards. It can be helpful to analyze these cards individually and see where they might fit in your wallet instead of trying to build out a grand strategy such as the Chase or Amex Trifecta. See cards below from our partners.

TPG Editor's Rating
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3.5/5
at Bank of America's secure site

Rewards

1 - 3% cash-back
more info
  • 3%Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • 2%Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • 1%Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

Intro Bonus

$200
details

Annual Fee

$0

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
more info
Why we chose it

The Bank of America Cash Rewards is a solid cash back card with the potential to offer lucrative rewards for smaller budgets. If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25 to 75% more cash back on every purchase.

Pros

  • Flexible earning structure (3% cash back in the category of your choice and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • No annual fee or expiration on rewards
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

Cons

  • Maximum $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Best for flexible earning structure

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

TPG Editor's Rating

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3.5/5
  • 3% Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • 2% Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • 1% Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

Intro Bonus
tooltip

$200

Annual Fee

$0

Recommended Credit
tooltip

670-850
Excellent/Good
Why we chose it

The Bank of America Cash Rewards is a solid cash back card with the potential to offer lucrative rewards for smaller budgets. If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25 to 75% more cash back on every purchase.

Pros

  • Flexible earning structure (3% cash back in the category of your choice and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • No annual fee or expiration on rewards
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

Cons

  • Maximum $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Best for flat-rate earning structure

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

TPG Editor's Rating
tooltip

3.5/5
at Bank of America's secure site

Rewards

1.5% cash-back
more info
  • 1.5%Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every time.

Intro Bonus

$200
details

Annual Fee

$0

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good Credit
more info
Why we chose it

The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card brings in simplicity to the line-up of the best Bank of America cards. With an easy-to-remember 1.5% rewards rate, you could potentially earn 25 to 75% more cash back on every purchase if you’re a Preferred Rewards member. That means you could earn up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase.

Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5% earnings on every single purchase
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

Cons

  • Other cards can offer bonus points on common everyday purchases
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • New Offer! With the new Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card, you can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every time.
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase.
  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn and cash rewards don't expire
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Best for flat-rate earning structure

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

TPG Editor's Rating

tooltip
3.5/5
  • 1.5% Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every time.

Intro Bonus
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$200

Annual Fee

$0

Recommended Credit
tooltip

670-850
Excellent/Good Credit
Why we chose it

The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card brings in simplicity to the line-up of the best Bank of America cards. With an easy-to-remember 1.5% rewards rate, you could potentially earn 25 to 75% more cash back on every purchase if you’re a Preferred Rewards member. That means you could earn up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase.

Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5% earnings on every single purchase
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

Cons

  • Other cards can offer bonus points on common everyday purchases
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • New Offer! With the new Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card, you can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every time.
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase.
  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn and cash rewards don't expire
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

TPG Editor's Rating
tooltip

3.5/5
at Bank of America's secure site

Rewards

1.5 - 2X points
more info
  • 2XEarn unlimited 2 points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining purchases.
  • 2XEarn 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store purchases - now through 12/31/21.
  • 1.5XEarn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases.

Intro Bonus

50,000 points
details

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
more info
Why we chose it

The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is great for using the points earned for rewards that normal airline miles or credit card points can’t cover. Bank of America Preferred Rewards members get a 25%-75% rewards bonus on every purchase. New cardmembers earn a 50,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.

Pros

  • This card is more valuable for Bank of America Preferred Rewards members, who can get between a 25% and 75% bonus on points earned
  • Comes with up to $100 in airline incidental statement credits annually and up to $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® statement credit and travel protections
  • Can transfer points earned into a 529 college fund

Cons

  • Other cards offer higher points for key bonus categories
  • Must open a Bank of America account to get the best value for points
  • Receive 50,000 online bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining purchases. Plus, earn 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store purchases - now through 12/31/21
  • Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases. No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 3.5 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases.
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill® accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $100 in Airline Incidental Statement Credits annually and TSA Pre✓®/Global Entry Statement Credits of up to $100, every four years
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Best for travel insurance

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

TPG Editor's Rating

tooltip
3.5/5
  • 2X Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining purchases.
  • 2X Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store purchases - now through 12/31/21.
  • 1.5X Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases.

Intro Bonus
tooltip

50,000 points

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit
tooltip

670-850
Excellent/Good
Why we chose it

The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is great for using the points earned for rewards that normal airline miles or credit card points can’t cover. Bank of America Preferred Rewards members get a 25%-75% rewards bonus on every purchase. New cardmembers earn a 50,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.

Pros

  • This card is more valuable for Bank of America Preferred Rewards members, who can get between a 25% and 75% bonus on points earned
  • Comes with up to $100 in airline incidental statement credits annually and up to $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® statement credit and travel protections
  • Can transfer points earned into a 529 college fund

Cons

  • Other cards offer higher points for key bonus categories
  • Must open a Bank of America account to get the best value for points
  • Receive 50,000 online bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining purchases. Plus, earn 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store purchases - now through 12/31/21
  • Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases. No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 3.5 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases.
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill® accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $100 in Airline Incidental Statement Credits annually and TSA Pre✓®/Global Entry Statement Credits of up to $100, every four years
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

TPG Editor's Rating
tooltip

4/5
at Bank of America's secure site

Rewards

1 - 3X points
more info
  • 3XEarn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases.
  • 1XUnlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Intro Bonus

40,000 miles
details

Annual Fee

$75

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
more info
Why we chose it

There’s a lot to love about the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card, in part due to its highly valuable loyalty program: Alaska Airlines MileagePlan. Whether you’re a loyal Alaska flyer or a points maximizer looking to diversify your rewards portfolio, this card has a lot to offer. For starters, you’ll receive Alaska’s Famous Companion Pass each year for $121 ($99 fare, plus taxes and fees from $22), free checked bags for you and up to six guests on your itinerary, 50% off Alaska lounge day passes and more. Plus, Alaska has joined the Oneworld alliance, opening up endless redemption opportunities.

Pros

  • Free checked bag for you and up to six guests on your reservation
  • Several Alaska discounts, including 50% off Alaska lounge day passes and 20% back on in-flight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $75 annual fee
  • Not the best everyday rewards rate, as you'll earn 3x miles on Alaska purchases and 1x mile on other purchases
  • 40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Online Offer
  • Get 40,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this online offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 6 guests on the same reservation – that's a savings of $60 per person roundtrip!
  • Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™. Every year on your credit card account anniversary you'll receive a companion fare which allows you to book a companion flight from just $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska Airlines flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • With oneworld® Alliance we’ve expanded our global reach to over 1,000 destinations worldwide, bringing you more airline partners and more ways to earn and redeem miles.
  • Flexibility when booking with no blackout dates on Alaska Airlines flights and miles don’t expire on active accounts.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $75 annual fee.
  • This online only offer may not be available elsewhere if you leave this page. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Best for earning Alaska miles

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

TPG Editor's Rating

tooltip
4/5
  • 3X Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases.
  • 1X Unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Intro Bonus
tooltip

40,000 miles

Annual Fee

$75

Recommended Credit
tooltip

670-850
Excellent/Good
Why we chose it

There’s a lot to love about the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card, in part due to its highly valuable loyalty program: Alaska Airlines MileagePlan. Whether you’re a loyal Alaska flyer or a points maximizer looking to diversify your rewards portfolio, this card has a lot to offer. For starters, you’ll receive Alaska’s Famous Companion Pass each year for $121 ($99 fare, plus taxes and fees from $22), free checked bags for you and up to six guests on your itinerary, 50% off Alaska lounge day passes and more. Plus, Alaska has joined the Oneworld alliance, opening up endless redemption opportunities.

Pros

  • Free checked bag for you and up to six guests on your reservation
  • Several Alaska discounts, including 50% off Alaska lounge day passes and 20% back on in-flight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $75 annual fee
  • Not the best everyday rewards rate, as you'll earn 3x miles on Alaska purchases and 1x mile on other purchases
  • 40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Online Offer
  • Get 40,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this online offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 6 guests on the same reservation – that's a savings of $60 per person roundtrip!
  • Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™. Every year on your credit card account anniversary you'll receive a companion fare which allows you to book a companion flight from just $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska Airlines flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • With oneworld® Alliance we’ve expanded our global reach to over 1,000 destinations worldwide, bringing you more airline partners and more ways to earn and redeem miles.
  • Flexibility when booking with no blackout dates on Alaska Airlines flights and miles don’t expire on active accounts.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $75 annual fee.
  • This online only offer may not be available elsewhere if you leave this page. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Best Bank of America credit cards

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Comparing the best Bank of America credit cards

Card  Best for  Welcome bonus  Annual fee 
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card Flexible earning structure $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening $0
Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card Flat-rate travel rewards 25,000 points after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening — which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases $0
Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card Travel insurance 50,000 points (a $500 value) after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening $95
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card Earning Alaska miles Get 40,000 bonus miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this online offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account. $75
Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard Flying Blue flyers Limited-time offer: $100 statement credit plus 50,000 miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening $89
Free Spirit Travel More World Elite Mastercard Low-budget travelers Earn 40,000 bonus points plus a $100 Companion Flight Voucher after making at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening $79, waived the first year
Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card Flexible business bonus categories $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening $0
Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard credit card Everyday business expenses 30,000 points after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening — which can be redeemed for a $300 statement credit toward travel or dining purchases $0

The information for the Air France KLM World Elite, Free Spirit Travel More, Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards and the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Best Bank of America credit cards

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: $200 after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Earning rate: 3% cash back in the category of your choice each month (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement and furnishings), 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%) and 1% on everything else.

Why you should apply: The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is one of the only credit cards that allows you to essentially customize your rewards structure to fit your changing spending habits throughout the year — with the chance to change categories every month. This is especially valuable right now, as many people continue to shift their spending habits away from gas and travel to online shopping and takeout, thanks to the ongoing pandemic. This card will give you the freedom to change your rewards every month to maximize your spending, and then revert back to other spending categories once you are traveling and going to work again.

Related: Credit cards we’re using most during the pandemic

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: 25,000 points after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening — which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

Earning rate: 1.5x on all purchases.

Why you should apply: This card operates similarly to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. You’re earning flat-rate rewards across all spending, and then you can use those rewards as a statement credit to erase eligible travel purchases.

Although this certainly isn’t the most lucrative or flexible rewards card, it is perfect for low-budget beginner travelers who want a card with no annual fee and a simple way to earn and redeem points.

Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95.

Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points (a $500 value) after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Earning rate: 2x on travel and dining, and 1.5x on all other purchases. Plus, earn 2x points on grocery store purchases- now through the end of 2021.

Why you should apply: For such a low annual fee, this Bank of America card packs a punch. You’ll get $500 in value out of the sign-up bonus, and you’ll get perks such as an up-to-$100 annual airline incidental statement credit and an up-to-$100 credit that can be applied toward the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment fee every four years.

It also comes with travel insurance protections including trip delay/cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay/loss insurance, emergency evacuation and transportation insurance, and rental car insurance — perks that normally come with more premium cards.

The Premium Rewards card is a bit more flexible than Bank of America’s other branded credit cards because you can redeem your rewards for travel, cash back or even deposit into a linked Bank of America or Merrill account. Plus, the fact that you earn 1.5x on non-bonus spending means this is a good card for everyday purchases.

However, you can boost your return by as much as 75% through Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. To participate, you’ll need an eligible Bank of America checking account and an average daily balance of at least $20,000 in qualifying deposit or investment accounts. The largest bonus is available to customers with a balance of $100,000 or more — at that level, you’ll earn 3.5 points per dollar on dining and travel, and an impressive 2.62 points per dollar on non-bonus spending.

If you already have high-value accounts with Bank of America, then getting this card is a no-brainer. If not, establishing a new banking relationship — like The Points Guy, Brian Kelly, did — may be a profitable move.

Related: The 5 credit cards The Points Guy is using the most in 2020

Best Bank of America airline credit cards

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card

Annual fee: $75.

Sign-up bonus: 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

Earning rate: 3x on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1x on other purchases.

Why you should apply: Alaska miles open up some exciting redemption options. TPG values Alaska miles at 1.8 cents each thanks to an incredible partner award chart, making the sign-up bonus worth $820. The card also comes with a companion fare, which will give your companion traveling on the same itinerary a free coach ticket on Alaska-operated flights from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22), among other perks like discounts on inflight purchases and lounge passes. Alaska miles are even more valuable now that Alaska has joined Oneworld and American Airlines and Alaska have launched reciprocal mileage earning.

Related: I flew Alaska on its first day in Oneworld: Here’s what it was like as an American Airlines elite

Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard

AIRPORT ORLY, PARIS, FRANCE - 2018/02/18: AirFrance Airbus 319 seen at Paris Orly airport. (Photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Annual fee: $89.

Sign-up bonus: For a limited time, you can earn 50,000 miles and a $100 statement credit after you spend $2,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.

Earning rate: 3x on Air France, KLM and purchases with SkyTeam member airlines, and 1.5x on everything else.

Why you should apply: Earning Flying Blue miles isn’t difficult with the multiple airlines which are part of the program (plus credit cards and other airlines as transfer partners), but this card can help you top off your account. If you fly with airlines that earn Flying Blue miles frequently, it’s worth taking a look at this card to help you boost your miles balance.

Related: The ultimate guide to earning and redeeming with Air France-KLM Flying Blue

Free Spirit Travel More World Elite Mastercard

A Spirit Airlines Inc. plane sits on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., on Friday, June 2, 2017. Revenue generated from the U.S. accounts for nearly 90 percent of Spirit's revenue. Photographer: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Photo by Saul Martinez/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Annual fee: $79, waived the first year.

Sign-up bonus: 40,000 bonus points plus a $100 Companion Flight Voucher after making at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Earning rate: 3x on eligible Spirit purchases, 2x on eligible dining and grocery store purchases, and 1x on all other purchases.

Why you should apply: Spirit is an ultra-low-cost carrier with a no-frills approach to flying. While it won’t be winning any TPG awards for the best premium flight experiences, budget travelers can take advantage of its low prices on both cash and award flights (redemptions start at only 2,500 miles with Spirit’s revamp of its loyalty program, Free Spirit). This card offers a solid way to rack up miles for this airline and an easy-to-hit welcome bonus.

Related: Hear us out: Why Spirit gives Delta a run for its money in our head-to-head comparison

Best Bank of America business credit cards

Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Earning rate: 3% cash back in the business category of your choice and 2% on dining (on the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, then 1%), and 1% on all other purchases.

Why you should apply: Just like the personal version of this card, the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard allows you customize your rewards structure to fit your needs. The available 3% bonus categories include gas stations, office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom and wireless services, computer services and business consulting services. For those with business credit cards who need the flexibility to switch the 3% cash-back category each month, this is a one-of-a-kind option.

Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: 30,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening — which can be redeemed for a $300 statement credit toward travel or dining purchases.

Earning rate: 3x on travel booked through Bank of America Travel Center and 1.5x on all other purchases.

Why you should apply: For a no-annual-fee card, it has quite a lucrative earning potential — especially if you tend to book travel through a third-party platform such as Expedia. If you also use Bank of America for your business banking needs, you could earn up to 4.12x on travel purchases. That earning rate beats the rates of plenty of top business credit cards on the market, and you don’t even have to pay an annual fee to take advantage of it.

How we chose the best Bank of America credit cards

After looking at Bank of America’s credit card lineup, we studied the cards’ pros and cons. We evaluated each card type and each card’s details. Bank of America cards can be broken down into three categories: Bank of America-branded cards, airline cards and business cards.

Bank of America’s branded cards are the issuer’s primary cards that can take advantage of the Preferred Rewards program. Airline cards are cobranded options for flyers loyal to certain airline programs. Business cards are similar to Bank of America’s consumer options but use a separate Preferred Rewards program.

When looking at each card within their respective categories, we evaluated the sign-up bonus, rewards, perks, redemption and annual fees before choosing which ones are worth looking at.

Bank of America application restrictions

Although not nearly as restrictive as Chase’s infamous 5/24 rule, Bank of America has its own system in place to limit the number of new accounts for which you can be approved, often referred to as the 2/3/4 rule. You can only be approved for:

  • Two cards in a rolling two-month period.
  • Three cards in a rolling 12-month period.
  • Four cards in a rolling 24-month period.

Note that this doesn’t apply to business cards issued by Bank of America, and also doesn’t count cards issued to you by another bank. If you max out all five of your slots with Chase, you shouldn’t have a problem turning around and applying for an offer like the 40,000 miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22) after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card.

However, there are reports of Bank of America adding restrictions to card application approvals that mirror Chase’s 5/24 rule. Although the exact threshold is unconfirmed, opening too many cards over the course of a year (across all issuers) could mean your Bank of America application is denied. Of course, you’re less likely to be denied if you have an existing customer relationship with the bank.

You should also know that you can’t be approved for a second version of the same card within 90 days of your first application, which means you can’t double-dip this elevated Alaska bonus to try and score a Cathay Pacific first-class award solely through sign-up bonuses.

Maximizing Bank of America Preferred Rewards

It’s no secret that Bank of America favors cardholders with whom it has banking relationships. This is less than ideal for anyone who keeps their money with other banks, but you can take advantage of a number of perks and benefits if you are a Bank of America customer who qualifies for the Preferred Rewards program. You can read all about the program here, but to qualify you’ll need:

  • An eligible Bank of America personal checking account.
  • A three-month average combined balance of $20,000 or more in a Bank of America account and/or Merrill investment accounts.

If you meet these requirements, your earning rates become significantly higher.

Tier 1 – Gold ($20,000-$50,000) Tier 2 – Platinum ($50,000-$100,000) Tier 3 – Platinum Honors ($100,000-plus)
25% earning bonus  50% earning bonus 75% earning bonus

If you qualify for Platinum Honors, you’ll be earning 3.5x on dining and travel, plus 2.62x on all other purchases with the Bank of America Premium Rewards card. A 2.62% return makes that card one of the best options for non-bonus everyday spending.

If you aren’t currently banking with Bank of America, it might be worth moving some money over, like The Points Guy himself did when the Premium Rewards card launched. TPG’s Richard Kerr has also said for a long time that Bank of America Preferred Rewards is not a program to be ignored. Fixed-value cards get a little more appealing every time an airline devalues its award chart or restricts premium-cabin redemptions, and when you combine the above-average earning rates with the fact that you get “paid” $5 a year to keep the Premium Rewards card open, it begins to look very appealing.

The good news for those who currently have Preferred Rewards status is that you don’t have to worry about maintaining your balance right now. Bank of America recently sent out email updates to Preferred Rewards members stating that they’ve temporarily suspended their annual program review process. This means anyone with status right now should continue to receive the same level of benefits, even if you drop below the minimum balance requirement. They are still allowing people to qualify for tiers, though.

Bottom line

Uncovering the value of Bank of America’s credit cards takes a little more work than with other issuers. But between high-value cash back on everyday spending and one of the only cobranded credit cards worth consistently spending on, there’s too much here to simply ignore. At the very least, everyone should take a hard look at the Premium Rewards card and Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card. You might find that one of these cards has a worthwhile place in your wallet.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

Featured photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy.

Updated on 7/16/21

Madison covers all things credit cards for TPG. A self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, her travel bucket list includes swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa, skydiving in Thailand and cliff jumping in Greece.
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