Earn unlimited cash back: Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card review

Jul 19, 2021

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Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card Overview

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card is a brand new card with simplified rewards where you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no annual fee. The card — and cash back — can become quite lucrative for anyone with a significant banking or investing relationship with Bank of America. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card is the perfect solution to those who want simplicity in their credit card rewards since you’ll earn a fixed amount of cash back on all purchases you make. And for existing Bank of America Preferred Reward members, you’ll earn up to an extra 75% more on those same purchases. There’s also no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn and cash rewards don’t expire.

In This Post

Who is this card for?

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

This new credit card from Bank of America is perfect for those who want a no-annual-fee cash back credit card without having to memorize category bonuses. Since the card offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, you can have one card in your wallet to cover all purchases without the complexity of having to worry about which credit card to use for certain purchases and category bonus caps.

This is also the perfect beginner card, not only due to the simplicity of the points earned but also the nature of redeeming your points. Points can be redeemed as a deposit into your Bank of America checking or savings accounts, a statement credit to your credit card and even a credit to an eligible Merrill® account, including 529 accounts. If you aren’t a frequent traveler, having cash back in your pocket now versus waiting for the “right” redemption and having to worry about point valuations might sound appealing.

Those with existing Bank of America accounts, specifically Preferred Members, will also appreciate earning more rewards — between 25% and 75% more — for up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase made.

Related: Stop ignoring Bank of America Preferred Rewards

(Photo by AsiaVision/Getty Images)

Solid $200 welcome bonus

With the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card, you’ll earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening. While there are better bonus offers out there, this is on par with many other offers available for a no-annual-fee credit card.

The fact that you’ll receive cash back in your pocket allows you to use that money on any purchase you desire — even if it’s not for travel purposes. And with a low minimum spend requirement, earning the cash rewards bonus shouldn’t be difficult for most.

Related: Cash back versus points-and-miles credit cards 

Main perks and benefits

Similar to many other no-annual-fee credit cards, the perks are limited, especially on the travel front. You won’t find automatic hotel status, airport lounge access or complimentary Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, but instead, you’ll have a card with a strong rewards structure and other Bank of America benefits, such as roadside dispatch, extended warranty and purchase security protection.

Earning

The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card offers a strong cash back opportunity — especially for those who qualify for Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program.

Cardmembers earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, regardless of the category it falls into. There’s also no cap on the amount of cash back you can earn, making this an ideal card for your everyday purchases.

Related: Everything you should know about Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program

Maximizing cash back with Preferred Rewards

Those eligible for Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program will continue to earn even more cash back. To qualify, you’ll need to have an eligible Bank of America personal checking account and a three-month average combined balance of $20,000 or more in a Bank of America account and/or Merrill® investment accounts to enroll. The extra cash back earned depends on which tier you fall into based on your three-month average account balance.

Regular cardholder Tier 1 – Gold ($20,000 – $49,999) Tier 2 – Platinum ($50,000 – $99,999) Tier 3 – Platinum Honors ($100,000+)
1.5% cash back on every purchase 1.5% cash back 1.875% cash back

(25% bonus)

2.25% cash back

(50% bonus)

2.625% cash back

(75% bonus)

So if you happen to be a Platinum Honors member within the program, that’ll earn you 2.625% cash back — a higher cash back amount than any of the other cards you’ll earn on your everyday non-category bonus purchases.

And if you pair this card with another Bank of America credit card, such as the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, you can earn even more on certain purchases throughout the year. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card earns 3% cash back on one category of your choice per quarter (choices include gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug store or home improvement furnishing), 2% cash back at grocery and wholesale clubs and then 1% cash back on all other purchases — with a $2,500 cap on combined 3% and 2% cash-back purchases per quarter.

This means if you use your Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card on all 3% and 2% cash back categories and use your Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card on everything else — earning 1.5% cash back on those purchases — that’ll allow you to earn even more rewards. Preferred Rewards members could earn anywhere between 1.875% and 5.25% cash back — depending on the purchase category and your tier level.

Closeup shot of a unrecognizable person giving a barman a credit card as payment inside of a restaurant
(Photo by shapecharge/Getty Images)

Redeeming

The redemption options for Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card cardmembers are limited where you have just three options:

  1. Deposit your cash back into your Bank of America® checking or savings account
  2. Choose a statement credit to your credit card
  3. Credit your cash back to eligible Merrill® accounts, including 529 accounts

This makes it easy to quickly access your cash back rewards, but you won’t find any opportunities to redeem your rewards earned for travel opportunities.

Which cards compete with the BoA Cash Rewards?

If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Member and you only want one card in your wallet, there are many other Bank of America credit cards to consider. For example, with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you’ll receive unlimited 1.5x points on everyday purchases and no annual fee. While this card offers a slightly higher sign-up bonus, the redemption opportunities are different and cater to frequent travelers.

If you don’t have your heart set on a Bank of America credit card, another competitor is the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited. With this card, you’ll earn the same 1.5% cash back on your everyday purchases. Still, you’ll also encounter a few category bonuses as the card also earns 5% cash back on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and 3% back on drugstores. Through March 2022, you’ll also earn 5% cash back on all Lyft rides.

Related: Chase Freedom Unlimited: A great card for beginners and pros alike

Although the Chase Freedom doesn’t offer the opportunity to earn more rewards if you’re a Chase banking customer, there’s the opportunity to use your points towards travel if you pair the card with another premier Chase Ultimate Reward credit card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Redeeming your points towards travel can ultimately put a higher value on your points earned.

Related: The power of the Chase Trifecta: Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred and Freedom Unlimited

Bottom line

If you’re currently a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member — or if you intend to be one — you should pay attention to the suite of Bank of America credit cards, especially this brand new one. For a no-annual-fee card offering unlimited rewards and the opportunity to increase the cash back rewards earned, you’ll find simplicity appealing in the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card.

Application link: Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card with a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months.

Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy

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