Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard Review

overall rating
3.1

We publish unbiased product reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payment we receive from our advertising partners. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money.

The Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard has no annual fee and allows a business to earn 3% cash back in one of six categories of their choice and 2% cash back on dining, up to the annual combined spending limit, along with 1% cash back on all other purchases. The card comes with a one-time offer of $300 after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.

Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

overall rating
3.1
Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
On Bank of America's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 12.24% - 22.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year) and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 9 Billing Cycles
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.24%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
how this card stacks up
When compared among all business cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

The Business Advantage Cash Rewards card is not one of our top rated business credit cards. You can review our list of the best business credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard

Pros
  • Earn the best cash back rewards in the category of your choice

  • Rewards boost with a high-balance bank or investment account

Cons
  • Annual spending cap could limit rewards potential

  • Limited benefits, notably for business travel

  • The one-time offer could be better

Pros Explained

  • Maximize Cash-Back Rewards in the Category of Your Choice: One of the best features of the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard is its flexibility to adapt its best rewards to the categories in which you spend most. Month by month, provided you’re willing to actively do so, you can change the category in which you earn 3% in cash back. That’s helpful if, for example, you spend most on travel in the early months of the year, when many conventions are held, and then maximize driving for business in fall, when you might spend more on gas than on plane tickets and hotels.
  • Rewards Boost With a High-Balance Bank or Investment Account: You may be able to increase your cash-back rewards rates if you hold a business bank account with Bank of America or a business investment account with Merrill. However, you need to have a lot in the account to qualify. The minimum balance is $20,000, which earns a 25% cash-back bonus.

Cons Explained

  • Annual Spending Cap Limits Rewards-Earning Potential: While Bank of America is generous in allowing business cardmembers to choose their 3% cash back rewards category, there is a catch. That rate and the 2% cash back on dining is limited to a combined annual total of $50,000. Once you hit that threshold, you'll continue earning cash back, but at a rate of only 1%. At more than $4,000 a month, the spending cap shouldn’t hamper truly small businesses. But an enterprise that has multiple cardholders might hit the maximum fairly easily.  
  • Limited Benefits, Notably for Business Travel: The few extras this card offers are mostly limited to fairly standard business-card features to better manage its account, such as overdraft protection and cash-flow management tools. When it comes to travel, especially, the card offers no premium travel benefits and purchases made outside the U.S. are subject to a 3% foreign transaction fee
  • The One-Time Offer Could Be Better: The Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard gets credit for offering any one-time offer; a number of business cards lack one, especially if they also have no annual fee, and some pay less than this card does. That said, there are also business cards with which you can earn more than $300 for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days after opening an account. Examples are two Chase cards with no annual fee—the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited—which both offer $500 in cash back for the same 90-day “spend.”  

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Cash Back Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
    Cash Back Strategist
  • Avatar for Business Owner Persona
    Earning a primary or side income from a small business
    Business Owner
  • Avatar for Driver/Commuter Persona
    Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month
    Driver/Commuter

This card is best suited to those who prefer earning cash rewards to points or miles, and who also appreciate having a say in where they earn the best rewards each month. It’s also an ideal match for those who have a balance of $20,000 and up in either a Bank of America bank account or a Merrill investment one. Such account holders can boost their rewards by between 25% and 75% through the bank’s Preferred Rewards for Business program. So instead of earning 3% cash back on office supplies, for instance, you could earn as much as 5.25%. 

Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard One-Time Offer

This card’s one-time offer, of $300, kicks in if you make $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after you open its account. That makes the bonus the equivalent of boosting your cash back on those purchases by an additional 10%. 

Rewards Earning Details

This card offers a decent cash back rewards rate, offering 3% in your choice of one of these six categories:

  • Gas stations (this is the default category)
  • Office-supply stores
  • Travel
  • TV/telecom and wireless
  • Computer services
  • Business-consulting services

Dining, meanwhile, earns a respectable 2% in cash back, while all other purchases earn 1% cash back—the typical default rate for most cash-back cards.

Then there are those rewards boosts if you hold a five-figure balance in a Bank of America or Merrill account. Delivered through the Preferred Rewards for Business program, here are the requirements and benefits:

$20,000 to $49,999 on deposit (Gold): Earn 25% more rewards

$50,000 to $99,999 on deposit (Platinum): Earn 50% more rewards

$100,000+ on deposit (Platinum Honors): Earn 75% more rewards

Rewards Redemption Details

Rewards earned with the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard can be redeemed as a statement credit, a deposit into a Bank of America checking or savings account, or as a paper check. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Maximizing rewards with the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard all comes down to how you spend. And because the card has tiered rewards rates, depending on category, those total earnings will vary by what you’ve spent, and on what.  

Be prudent about the category in which you elect to earn 3% rewards at any one time, and change the election as needed as your business’s spending changes. If you own a sizable business, be mindful, too, of the combined $50,000 spending cap on earning rewards at the 2% and 3% rewards rates. (If need be, shift any additional spending in those categories to another card that will earn you more than the 1% you’ll receive on purchases beyond the capped amount.)

Finally, consider the institutions where you choose to meet your business’s needs. If you’re carrying at least $20,000 in one or both of your banking and investment accounts, consider moving them to Bank of America and Merrill, respectively. That will allow you to earn at least a 25% premium of your card rewards, along with other benefits of the Preferred Rewards for Business program, which range from loan discounts to reduced rates for payroll services.

Here are two examples of how this card could be leveraged for minimum and maximum rewards. 

Average Case

Let’s imagine you're a sole proprietor running a small business with no other employees. Office supplies are your biggest expense, accounting for $1,000 in spending each month. Assuming you choose that category to receive 3% in cash back, you'd earn $360 in rewards per year. Add in spending of $500 a month on dining and $1,000 on miscellaneous business purchases, and your total cash back for the year would come to $600 ($360 per year at 3% back, $120 at 2% back for dining and $120 at 1% back for all other purchases.) That doesn't include the $300 for the one-time offer you could earn the first three months. 

Aspirational Case

Now, assume that you instead run an LLC with 10 employees. Office supplies are also your biggest expense, although rather than spending $1,000 per month on those purchases you spend $3,000. On top of that, you spend $1,100 per month on dining. Your total cash back for the year on those purchases would total $1,080 and $264, respectively. ($36,000 at 3% cash back, along with $13,200 at 2%). Let’s further say you also carry a total of more than $100,000 in a Merrill business investment account. That balance would also qualify you for the biggest (75%) bonus under the Preferred Rewards program, which would increase your base annual rewards of $1,344 to a new total of $2,352. Those numbers don't include the 1% unlimited cash back you might earn on purchases in those categories above $50,000 in spending or purchases made outside of the bonus categories. 

Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard Standard Benefits

Cardholder Experience

Bank of America scored about average in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction study. Its score of 853 put the card issuer on a par with competitors like Wells Fargo, Capital One, and Citi and significantly below the standouts, Discover and American Express. 

Bank of America business credit card members enjoy online and mobile banking access to manage their accounts. If you need additional help, you can call customer service, schedule an appointment at a local branch or connect with Bank of America via social media. Online chat support is only available for selected Bank of America products. 

Security Features

This card comes with the standard range of security features you'd expect in a business rewards card, including chip technology and fraud monitoring. If your card is used to make fraudulent purchases, you're covered by Bank of America's zero liability guarantee.

While Bank of America offers free credit score access with eligible consumer credit cards, this isn't an included feature of the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard. 

Fees to Watch Out For

The most important fee to consider with this card is the 3% foreign transaction fee. While this is a standard amount you could expect to pay for cards that charge this fee, it's worth noting if you plan to use the card for travel on a regular basis. 

Our Verdict

The Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard could be a suitable choice for business owners who want a say in how they can earn maximum rewards. It could also be a good fit for businesses that are looking for more than just a flat-rate cash back rewards card. 

The potential to earn a cash rewards bonus as a Bank of America business banking customer makes it worth considering as well. There are few business rewards cards that could compete with the effective earning potential of 5.25% cash back (assuming you qualify for the 75% bonus by having qualifying deposits with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch) on gas or office supplies, for example. 

On the other hand, you may be better off choosing a different card if your business might outstrip the $50,000 spending cap that applies to the 3% and 2% cash back categories or if you primarily spend on advertising or travel. You might try a card like Chase Ink Business Preferred instead. It offers 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 in annual combined purchases on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made through social media sites and search engines (with a $95 annual fee).

Apply Now
For Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
on Bank of America's Secured Site.
Compare This Card
See how this card compares to similar cards
CURRENT CARD
Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
overall rating
3.1
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 12.24% - 22.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year) and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.