Bank Of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card Review [2024]: How Much Cash Back Can You Earn?

CREDIT CARDS - CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS
Want to earn a lot of cash back? The Bank of America®️ Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card could be the way to do it.
Updated May 21, 2024
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Cashback credit cards typically come in two varieties: cards with different bonus categories and cards that earn a flat rate on every purchase. The Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card falls in the latter category, offering unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. This earning rate immediately sets it up to compete with other popular cashback cards.

But if you know about Bank of America’s valuable Preferred Rewards program, you know it’s possible to increase your earning potential with this card. To help you understand the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards’ potential, let’s take a look at how it works, including its benefits and potential drawbacks.

Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases

4.5

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

In this Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card review

Key takeaways

  • The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • The Preferred Rewards program could allow you to earn 25% to 75% more cash back on every purchase.
  • You can redeem cashback rewards for statement credits, deposits into eligible Bank of America checking and savings accounts, and deposits into eligible Merill investment accounts.

Who should get the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card?

The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards faces stiff competition from other card issuers, such as Chase, American Express, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and Citi. Its unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases earning rate puts it on par with some of the most popular cashback cards, making it a decent option if you want a card that earns a flat cashback rate on every purchase.

But this card can be especially valuable if you qualify to be a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member. This program offers opportunities to earn 25% to 75% bonus rewards with your card. Very few cards can compete with that type of earning.

The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards could also make sense if you’re interested in introductory APR rates for balance transfers and purchases. Keep in mind that you likely need good or excellent credit to qualify.

Card basics

Card type Cash Back/Balance Transfer
Credit card issuer Bank of America
Credit card network Visa
Annual fee $0
Welcome offer Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
Reward rate Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR

0% APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR

Foreign transaction fee 3%

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card benefits and perks

Generous welcome offer

Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Preferred Rewards program

The cashback rate of unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases is relatively low compared to other cards such as the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card(Rates and fees), which allows cardholders to earn 2% cash rewards on purchases. There are also cards with no annual fee that have rotating categories that offer higher reward rates.

The rate of your Unlimited Cash Rewards card could be greatly improved if you qualify for the Preferred Rewards program. You need to maintain a required daily balance for three months across qualifying accounts to receive a bonus.

Tier Balance requirement Rewards bonus
Gold $20,000 - $49,999 25%
Platinum Tier $50,000 - $99,999 50%
Platinum Honors Tier $100,000 - $999,999 75%
Diamond Tier $1 million to $9,999,999 75%
Diamond Honor Tier $10 million or more 75%

Introductory APR offer

Cardholders receive a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR. Additionally, this card offers a 0% intro APR on qualifying balance transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR. Remember, balance transfers come with balance transfer fees (in this case 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%).

While these are helpful, if your primary reason for getting a card is its introductory balance transfer or purchase rate, you may want to look for a card with a longer introductory period, such as the BankAmericard® credit card or Wells Fargo Reflect® Card(Rates and fees).

Other useful perks

  • Overdraft protection: This optional feature can help you prevent overdrafts when you link an eligible Bank of America checking account to your credit card.
  • Visa Signature benefits: Visa Signature benefits can include extended warranty protection, travel concierge services, and more. But these benefits may vary depending on the card issuer. To be sure of your Visa Signature benefits, check your card’s benefits guide.

Drawbacks to the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

High threshold for Preferred Rewards

You need at least $20,000 in eligible combined accounts to qualify for Preferred Rewards and a 25% bonus to your cash back. If you want to earn a 75% bonus, you need at least $100,000 in eligible combined accounts for the Platinum Honors tier. Unfortunately, not everyone will meet these requirements.

No bonus categories

The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards doesn’t have any bonus categories. Rather, it has a flat, unlimited earning rate. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it can be if you want to maximize your earning potential in certain categories. For certain cards that offer cash back in bonus categories, check out our list of the best cashback credit cards.

Foreign transaction fees

This Bank of America credit card comes with foreign transaction fees, which means it’s not designed for use on trips abroad. You could still technically use it on foreign purchases, but you would have to pay this extra fee. For information about credit card offers with travel rewards and benefits, check out our list of the best travel credit cards.

Earning & redeeming cash back

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your cash back can add up with the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and other relevant factors.

Potential first year earnings: $703

Potential second year earnings: $503

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model which takes a look at points earned via spending, the sign-up bonus, and the annual fee.

Keep in mind that your earnings could significantly increase with the bonus rewards available through the Preferred Rewards program.

Best ways to earn

If you compare credit cards, many rewards cards offer different earning rates depending on your purchases. For example, one card might offer bonus rewards if you make purchases at a grocery store or gas station, while another might reward you for utility expenses or purchases at a drugstore.

Unlike these types of credit cards, the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards doesn’t have two or three bonus categories for earning cash back. Rather, you can earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. This is the only way to earn cash back with this card, which helps make the process easy and straightforward, especially if you don’t want to track different categories.

Additionally, you can earn a higher rate of cash back if you’re a Preferred Rewards member. This Bank of America program offers an automatic 25% to 75% bonus to your rewards, depending on the tier you qualify for. You need at least $20,000 in combined eligible accounts to qualify for the program.

Maximizing your redemptions

Reward redemptions with your Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card don’t typically vary in value, regardless of the redemption type. Twenty-five dollars worth of cashback rewards would still be worth $25, whether you redeem it for statement credits or a deposit into an eligible bank account.

Here are the available redemption options:

  • Statement credits
  • Deposits into a Bank of America checking or savings account
  • Credit to a qualifying cash management account or eligible Merrill account like a 529

It doesn't offer redemptions for gift cards, which are a common redemption option with other card issuers like Chase. 

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card FAQs

Is the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card worth it?

Yes, the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card can be worthwhile. For a general cashback card, the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards offers a decent 1.5% rate on all purchases. This competes with other popular cashback card options, such as the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card or the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. But members of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program can earn above this rate, which could make this an excellent card option.

What credit score do you need for the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card?

You typically need at least a good credit score to qualify for the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card. This means you would likely need at least a 670 FICO Score, a type of credit score, though 700 or above would be better.

What is the credit limit for the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card?

Bank of America doesn’t publish credit limits for its credit cards, though it’s possible to request a credit line increase on your card by phone or online. Visa Signature cards typically have a minimum credit limit of $5,000, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Other cards to consider

If the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, consider other cards that might make more sense.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 per year thereafter, but offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases. If you find your everyday expenses align with this card’s bonus categories, you might be able to earn more cash back compared to the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards.

For more information, check out our American Express Blue Cash Preferred® review.

The Citi Double Cash® Card has a $0 annual fee and offers 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24. This earning rate beats out what’s available on the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards if you don’t account for the Preferred Rewards program, which many people won’t qualify for.

For more information, check out our Citi Double Cash Card review.

Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases

4.5

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

Why We Like It

Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

See how these cards compare:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months
  • 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and eligible transit
  • Introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual fee of $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 per year thereafter
  • See rates and fees | Terms Apply
Citi Double Cash® Card
Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) APR
  • No annual fee
  • Rates and fees

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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