Best Bank of America Credit Cards

Our Objective Rating of the Best Bank of America Credit Cards

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Bank of America ranks as the fourth largest issuer of credit cards in terms of cards in circulation and outstanding balances. One of the biggest issuers of cards on the Visa network, Bank of America has more than 5,500 branches across the U.S. and offers cards for those seeking travel-related and cash-back rewards, as well as student, balance transfer, and business credit cards. We have researched and scored the most popular Bank of America cards to find the best ones for different consumer and business needs.

Best Bank of America Credit Cards for August 2020

  • Bank of America Travel Rewards: Best Overall, Best No-Annual-Fee Travel
  • Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students: Best Student
  • Bank of America Premium Rewards: Best Travel
  • Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best Cash Back
  • Business Advantage Travel Rewards credit card: Best Business
  • BankAmericard Credit Card: Best Balance Transfer
  • Bank of America Cash Rewards Secured: Best for No Credit History

Best Overall, Best No-Annual-Fee Travel

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

Rating as a Bank of America Card
4.8
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
Full Review
Apply Now
On Bank of America's Website

Current Offer:

25,000 bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening - which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

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 (%) 14.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Billing Cycles
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    We rate the Bank of America Travel Rewards card as the best overall Bank of America card because of its generous rewards on all purchases and excellent bonus opportunity. Its travel redemption options and its lack of an annual fee or foreign transaction fees earn it the top spot for best no-annual-fee travel card, as well.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Earn points on every purchase, with no spending caps
    • No annual or foreign transaction fees
    • High-net-worth Bank of America and Merrill customers receive points bonuses

    Cons

    • Rewards rates are relatively modest
    • Reward points can't be transferred
    • Premium travel benefits aren't included
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 25,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points.
    • Preferred Rewards members earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 you spend, everywhere, every time.

Best Student

Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students

Rating as a Bank of America Card
4.8
Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students
Full Review
Apply Now
On Bank of America's Website

Current Offer:

25,000 bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening - which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

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 (%) 14.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Billing Cycles
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students is our pick for the best Bank of America option for students because it shares the same rewards structure and bonus with the standard consumer version of the card. The lack of an annual fee or foreign transaction fees make this an excellent long-term card, ideal for travel abroad.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Decent (1.5 points per dollar spent) travel-rewards earnings, and no tiers to manage
    • Pay off purchases for 12 months with no interest
    • Friendly to foreign travel

    Cons

    • Rewards aren't transferable
    • No 0% APR balance transfer offer
    • Relatively high spending ($1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening) required for 25,000-point introductory one-time bonus
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 25,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points.
    • Preferred Rewards members earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 you spend, everywhere, every time.

Best Travel

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Rating as a Bank of America Card
4.5
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
Full Review
Apply Now
On Bank of America's Website

Current Offer:

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of 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 (%) 15.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is our choice for the best travel card from Bank of America due to its enhanced points on travel purchases and 1.5 points on all other purchases. The card does charge a $95 annual fee, though that is line with other popular travel rewards cards from competing issuers and should be easily justified with consistent use. The one-time bonus that cardholders can earn after meeting initial spending requirements is valued at $500.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Rewards rates range between solid and standout
    • Generous travel-fee credits
    • Large bonus

    Cons

    • Relatively high interest charges
    • No points-transfer partners
    • No choice in travel vendors
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 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 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • Get up to a $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit annually for qualifying purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services, and airline lounge fees - automatically applied to your card statement.
    • Get up to $100 Airport Security Statement Credit towards TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry Application fee, every four years.
    • No foreign transaction fees.

Best Cash Back

Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rating as a Bank of America Card
4.4
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card
Full Review
Apply Now
On Bank of America's Website

Current Offer:

Online $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 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 (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 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.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Billing Cycles
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 12 Billing Cycles
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    We selected the Bank of America Cash Rewards card as the best cash-back rewards option from Bank of America because of its lucrative cash-back rate on purchases and simple statement credit, check, or gift card redemption options. The card offers bonus earnings on a category of choice as well as enhanced earning on grocery purchases, with a base rate on all other purchases.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Generous cash-back rewards
    • Easily earned bonus offer for new cardholders
    • No annual fee
    • Fairly generous introductory 0% APR offer

    Cons

    • Spending caps on premium rewards earnings
    • Limited Redemption Options
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Online $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
    • 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings.
    • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
    • You’ll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%.

Best Business

Business Advantage Travel Rewards credit card

Rating as a Bank of America Card
4.3
Business Advantage Travel Rewards credit card
Full Review
Apply Now
On Bank of America's Website

Current Offer:

30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days.

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 unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel booked through the Bank of America Travel center - powered by Expedia.
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
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    We chose the Business Advantage Travel Rewards as our top pick for Bank of America business cards because of its competitive earnings on all spending and the ability to double the value of points earned when redeeming for travel through the Bank of America travel center. Regular redemption is as simple requesting points be applied to travel purchases. The one-time bonus is valued at $300 which is excellent for a no-annual-fee business card.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Earn unlimited points with no spending caps
    • Easily earned, if modest, bonus
    • Rewards boost with a high-balance bank or investment account

    Cons

    • Limited options for getting the best return on rewards
    • No premium travel benefits
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 30,000 bonus points when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $300 statement credit towards travel purchases.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases, everywhere, every time – no matter how much you spend.
    • Earn 3 points per every dollar spent when you book your travel (car, hotel, airline) through the Bank of America Travel Center.
    • Get 75% more points on the base earn of every purchase you make when you’re a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you'll earn 2.62 points on all purchases and 4.12 points for every $1 you spend at the Bank of America Travel Center.

Best for No Credit

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Secured

Rating as a Bank of America Card
3.8
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Secured
Apply Now
On Bank of America's Website
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 (%) 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Minimum Deposit to Activate $300
Pay deposit in installments No
Allows upgrade to unsecured card Yes
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3% cash back in the eligible category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You’ll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined categories each quarter, then 1%.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    We selected the Bank of America Cash Rewards Secured card as the best Bank of America option for those with no credit as it is designed to help cardholders establish a positive credit record with responsible use. Standout features of this card are a cash-back rewards component and no annual fee—both of which are unusual for a secured card.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Competitive rewards rates for a secured card
    • May be upgraded to an unsecured card with responsible use

    Cons

    • Security deposit does not earn interest
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Help build your credit while earning cash back
    • 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings.
    • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
    • You’ll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%.

What Is the History of Bank of America?

Bank of America Corporation was formed through the merger of San Francisco-based Bank of America and Charlotte, N.C.-based NationsBank in 1998, creating one of the country's' largest banking organizations. Bank of America can trace its roots to the Bank of Italy, started by an Italian immigrant to serve his community in 1904. BofA launched the BankAmericard in 1958, which was the second universal credit card card ever offered, with Diners Club being the first. The card network behind the BankAmericard eventually evolved into Visa after being spun off from the bank in the 1970s. Bank of America dramatically grew its credit card portfolio when it acquired MBNA in 2004.

What Kinds of Credit Cards Does Bank of America Issue?

Bank of America issues Visa cards exclusively and does not issue cards on the Mastercard, American Express, or Discover networks. Its cards include points and cash-back rewards options for consumers and small business, along with cards for college students and those who want to transfer balances or build credit.

What Type of Credit Is Required for Bank of America?

Bank of America generally requires excellent or good credit for the majority of its consumer and business cards, although it does consider those with no credit history for its student card options and those with lower scores for its non-rewards and secured card options.

How Does Bank of America's Rewards Program Work?

Bank of America's rewards points are earned at various levels based on the card product. They can be redeemed in a number of ways: for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, or for travel through Bank of America's travel center. As with many issuers' rewards platforms, earned points generally have the greatest value when they're redeemed for travel through the travel portal.

How Good Is Bank of America Customer Service?

Bank of America received a score of 798 out of 1,000 points in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, placing it in the middle tier of major national credit card issuers. The average score among major issuers was 806. Its mobile app was ranked highly for consumer satisfaction, scoring second in a 2020 J.D. Power survey. As another of its services, Bank of America offers customers access to their FICO credit score.

Methodology

Information Gathering

In order to track and assess the U.S. domestic credit card market, we gather scores of data points on nearly 300 cards. This data is collected manually from both card-issuer websites and publicly available sources. 

To ensure that our information is as up-to-date as possible, we deploy automated tools that monitor changes in such key data as annual percentage rates, introductory rates, introductory periods, bonus offers, rewards earnings rates, fees, and card benefits. We then rapidly make any needed updates to our card listings, reviews, and recommendations so that readers have the most reliable information and advice. 

Initial Scoring

Once we collect credit card data we organize it in our database according to features, which roll up into feature sets (such as rewards, interest, fees, benefits, and security/customer service). Each individual card feature is assigned a star rating score on a 1 to 5 scale, using a prescribed formula. For instance, for a one-time bonus score we would use a formula like: If bonus is $500 or greater, then assign a score of 5; if $300-$499, then 4; and so forth. 

Weighting of Scores

Once all of a card’s features have received a score we apply a weighting factor to each feature to arrive at a weighted average score for the card (according to the general category in which it resides, such as travel rewards). 

This weighting process allows us to assign significantly more emphasis to the attributes important to a particular category, and downplay those that are less relevant to it. That lets us objectively identify cards that stand out in their category and indicate why they do. For example, with travel rewards cards we apply significantly more weight to such travel-specific features as airport lounge access or primary rental car insurance than we do to attributes such as interest rates or fees that might be more strongly considered for other categories, such as balance-transfer cards.

Earnings Rates

Another critical factor we consider when rating and ranking travel cards and other types of rewards cards is the cards’ effective earnings rates. We first calculate the average value of points or miles for all the rewards cards in our database, a painstaking process that entails collecting all airline fare data by carrier across scores of popular domestic and international city-pairs along with per-night hotel charges at all major hotel brands. 

The required number of points and miles for air travel or hotel stays from the various reward programs is then used to calculate an effective earnings rate for each card. That allows our readers to make the most informed choices. By putting a card’s large one-time bonus or earnings rates into context across many dimensions and card features, readers can more readily weigh the card’s benefits relative to its costs. Uncovering the true but often opaque redemption value of rewards points or miles is, we feel, the only reliable way to make cogent choices among competing value-based cards.  

Card Features We Score

As mentioned above, we place significant weight on certain travel-related features in determining our ratings for each rewards card. Specifically, we base over 50% of our overall assessment score on the combination of the following factors:  

  • Maximum value of any one-time bonus, whether in points or miles.
  • Initial card spending required to earn any bonus.
  • Redemption value of the bonus miles or points.
  • Global card acceptance, as detailed by the four card networks (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover).
  • Options to redeem points or miles with travel partners, both airline and hotel.

Another consideration is the cards’ coverage, if any, in these travel-related areas: 

  • Car-rental collision insurance, whether primary or secondary.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • Lost or delayed luggage insurance.
  • Insurance for trip cancellation, interruption, or delay.
  • Cell phone loss or damage coverage.
  • Roadside assistance and towing.
  • Emergency travel medical/dental benefits.

General, non-travel related features that we consider and score include:

  • Interest rates, including both introductory and regular APRs for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Fees, including those for annual membership, late payments, cash advances, and foreign transactions.
  • Security/customer service features.
  • Other non-travel benefits, such as access to credit scores, ID theft protection, and contactless payment capability.

How We Reach Our Final Assessments

We rely primarily on the objective scores created by our rating algorithms to determine which card is chosen as the best in each category or subcategory.

However, we may make some adjustments from time to time, to both features and weightings that could affect rankings, based on subjective input from our credit card experts. Any potential modifications will be consistent with Investopedia’s belief that consumers are best served by cards that:

  • Provide superior value in earning awards.
  • Charge reasonable interest rates in the event that the cardholder carries a balance from month to month.
  • Charge fewer and/or more reasonable fees.
  • Provide solid customer service, based on the number and quality of customer service features.
  • Have helpful and protective security features.