Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card Review [2022]: How Much Cash Back Can You Earn?

Want to earn a lot of cash back? The Bank of America®️ Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card could be the way to do it.
Last updated April 1, 2022 | By Ben Walker, CEPF | Edited By Melinda Sineriz

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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

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • $200 cash rewards bonus offer
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 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 2.62% cash back on every purchase.
  • No annual fee.
  • 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, 14.24% - 24.24% 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.

In this Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards review

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 1.5% cashback 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 can take advantage of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. This program offers opportunities to earn 25% to 75% bonus rewards with your card, equating to up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase. 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
Intro bonus Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening
Reward rate unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Recommended credit score Good, Excellent
Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles, then 14.24% - 24.24% (variable)

0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 14.24% - 24.24% (variable)

Foreign transaction fee 3% of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome bonus offer: Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Unlimited cash back: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • $0 annual fee card: With a $0 annual fee, there’s no need to stress about offsetting an annual cost.
  • Useful redemptions: Redeem your cashback rewards for statement credits, deposits into your eligible Bank of America checking or savings account, or credit into eligible Merrill investment accounts (such as 529 accounts).
  • Introductory APR offer: Cardholders receive a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles, then 14.24% - 24.24% (variable) . Additionally, this card offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 14.24% - 24.24% (variable). Remember balance transfers come with balance transfer fees (in this case $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater).
  • Preferred Rewards program: You need at least a three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 (between eligible Bank of America and Merrill accounts) to join the Preferred Rewards program, but you could earn 25% to 75% more bonus rewards on your purchases.
  • 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 529 account with Merrill

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 $95 (waived first year) (See rates and fees) annual fee, but offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other 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 up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay. 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

Special Offer

Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 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 $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months
  • 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and eligible transit
  • $95 (waived first year) (terms apply)
  • See rates and fees
Citi Double Cash Card
Citi Double Cash Card
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, then 14.74% to 24.74% (variable)
  • Up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay
  • No annual fee

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF Ben Walker, CEPF, is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially sound decisions. For over a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben is a Certified Educator of Personal Finance and has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.