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Bank of America Credit Cards

14 min read
Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Sep 24, 2019 | Updated May 04, 2020

Bank of America issues cards designed for people with a range of credit scores, from no credit to bad credit to good credit. It offers cards for:

Although you won’t find any high-end credit card offers here (you won’t see any cards with annual fees higher than $95), you’ll find a few cards with low fees (or no fees) that are surprisingly rewarding for the price.

Cash Back Rewards

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • NEW OFFER: Maximize your cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement /furnishings
  • Now earn 3% cash back in your choice category and 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
  • You can update your choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the Mobile Banking app or Online Banking, or do nothing and it stays the same
  • No expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.24% – 26.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% – 75% more cash back on every purchase

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review) is a valuable cash back card, with flexible bonus categories for common expenses that many people have every week. Your 3% and 2% rates are limited to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases. You’ll also get a nice online cash rewards bonus and pretty long 0% intro periods for purchases and balance transfers.

Key Features & Terms

  • 3% cash back in one category of your choice:
    • Gas
    • Online shopping
    • Dining
    • Travel
    • Drugstores
    • Home improvement/furnishings stores
  • 2% cash back at:
    • Grocery stores
    • Wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash back for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: $200 cash rewards bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Spending limit: 3% and 2% rewards only up to $2,500 per quarter, then 1% cash back
  • Customer bonus: 10% customer rewards bonus for having eligible Bank of America checking or savings accounts; Preferred Rewards members can get a 25–75% bonus
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 billing cycles for purchases, and for balance transfers made during the first 60 days
  • Regular APR: 13.99%–23.99% Variable for purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual fee: None

Read more in our Review of the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

Travel Rewards

Bank of America issues two travel credit cards for consumers, one with no fee and one with a mid-range fee of $95.

Card Annual Fee Rewards
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card (Review) None
  • 3X points at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • 1.5X points for every other purchase
  • 25,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card (Review) $95
  • 2X points for Dining and Travel
  • 1.5X points for every other purchase
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days

 

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR17.24%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don’t expire
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening – that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR ends, 17.24% – 25.24% Variable APR will apply
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% – 75% more points on every purchase

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card (Review) is a decent no-fee travel card, although you can’t transfer points to airline or hotel partners. However, you will be able to redeem your points for statement credits towards eligible travel expenses like baggage fees, rental cars, flights, or hotels.

Key Features & Terms

  • 3X points per dollar at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • 1.5X points per dollar for every other purchase
  • Introductory bonus offer: 25,000 online bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Customer bonus: 10% customer points bonus for having eligible Bank of America checking or savings accounts; Preferred Rewards members can get a 25–75% bonus
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 12 billing cycles
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.24%–25.24% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: None

Read more in our Review of the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

 

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.99%–22.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Receive 50,000 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 unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don’t expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch® accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee

An upgrade to the card above, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card (Review) is a good travel rewards card that offers valuable perks like annual statement credits, which can completely offset the $95 annual fee.

Key Features & Terms

  • 2X points per dollar for Dining and Travel
  • 1.5X points per dollar for every other purchase
  • Introductory bonus offer: 50,000 online bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
  • Customer bonus: Preferred Rewards members can get a 25–75% customer points bonus for having eligible Bank of America checking or savings accounts, or Merrill Lynch investment accounts
  • $100 Airline Incidental Fee Credit: Get up to $100 per year for incidental airline fees, like seat upgrades and in-flight food and drink
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Application Fee Credit: A credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85), once every four years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $95

Student Credit Cards

Bank of America issues a few credit cards designed for students with limited or no credit history.

Card Rewards
Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card for Students (Review)
  • 3% cash back in one category of your choice:
    • Gas
    • Online shopping
    • Dining
    • Travel
    • Drugstores
    • Home improvement/furnishings stores
  • 2% cash back at Grocery stores and Wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $200 cash rewards bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • 3% and 2% categories limited to $2,500 in spending per quarter
Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card for Students
  • 3X points at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • 1.5X points on all other purchases
  • 25,000 points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days

Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card for Students

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR16.24%–26.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • $200 cash rewards bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • New Offer: Maximize your cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement /furnishings
  • Now earn 3% cash back in your choice category and 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
  • You can update your choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the Mobile banking app or Online banking, or do nothing and it stays the same.
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 16.24%–26.24% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers.
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% – 75%. Click “Apply Now” to learn more about Preferred Rewards.
  • Now with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • No annual fee

Like the regular Cash Rewards card, your choice category/grocery/wholesale club bonus rewards are limited to the first $2,500 spent each quarter.

Key Features & Terms

  • 3% cash back in one category of your choice:
    • Gas
    • Online shopping
    • Dining
    • Travel
    • Drugstores
    • Home improvement/furnishings stores
  • 2% cash back at:
    • Grocery stores
    • Wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash back for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: $200 cash rewards bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Spending limit: 3% and 2% rewards only up to $2,500 per quarter, then 1% cash back
  • Customer bonus: 10% cash rewards bonus for redeeming into an eligible Bank of America checking or savings account; Preferred Rewards members can get a 25–75% bonus
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months for purchases and balance transfers made during the first 60 days
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 16.24%–26.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

 

Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card for Students

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR17.24%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don’t expire
  • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days – that can be a $250 statement credit towards travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – no blackout dates and restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Now with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 17.24%–25.24% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • Access your FICO® Score, updated monthly, for free from TransUnion
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25%-75%. Click “Apply Now” to learn more about Preferred Rewards

One of the better student travel cards (in terms of rewards, intro bonus, and benefits) this is a lot like the regular consumer BofA Travel Rewards Card.

Key Features & Terms

  • 3X points per dollar at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • 1.5X points per dollar for every other purchase
  • Introductory bonus offer: 25,000 online bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Customer bonus: 10% customer points bonus for having an eligible Bank of America checking or savings account; Preferred Rewards members can get a 25–75% bonus
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.24%–25.24% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Secured Credit Cards

Bank of America provides one secured credit card, the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card, which requires a refundable security deposit and is designed to help people build their credit.

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelBad
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR22.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • No application fees or activation fees
  • Credit line of $300–$4,900
  • Your maximum credit line is determined by your individual ability to pay based on the income that you provide and your security deposit
  • Important account information is shared with the 3 major credit bureaus—helping you build your credit history
  • After 12 months, you may qualify to have your security deposit returned while you continue to use your card
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score from TransUnion, updated monthly.
  • Access to credit education topics like using credit cards responsibly, budgeting and more
  • No annual fee

Key Features & Terms

  • Security Deposit: $300 to $4,900
  • Deposit Return: Bank of America will periodically review your account and overall credit history, and may decide to return your security deposit
  • Annual fee: $0

Co-Branded Airline Credit Cards

Bank of America is partnered with a variety of airlines, and offers co-branded cards for frequent flyers.

Air France KLM

Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$89
Regular APR17.24%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Get 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of your account opening
  • 5,000 bonus miles every year on your account anniversary after you spend $50 or more within the anniversary year
  • 60 XP upon account approval, 20 XP every year on your account anniversary, and another 40 XP when you spend $15,000 within the anniversary year
  • Earn 3X miles per $1 spent directly on Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and SkyTeam member airlines, and 1.5X miles per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Redeem miles toward flights with any SkyTeam member airline to over 1,000 destinations worldwide
  • View your FICO score any time you’d like at no cost, based on your TransUnion credit report
  • Overdraft protection when you link your Bank of America business checking account
  • No mileage cap on the amount of miles you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $89 annual fee

Key Features & Terms

  • 3X miles per dollar on Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and SkyTeam member airlines purchases
  • 1.5X miles per dollar for every other purchase
  • Introductory bonus offer: 25,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Anniversary bonus: 5,000 miles every year on your account anniversary, after spending $50 or more within an anniversary year
  • Experience Points (XP): 60 XP upon account approval, 20 XP per year on your account anniversary, and 40 XP per year after spending $15,000 within an anniversary year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $89

 

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$75
Regular APR17.24%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • NEW – 40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Save with a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation.
  • Get Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ every year! EACH YEAR on your account anniversary get a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Get exclusive access to discounted redemption levels when you redeem miles for hotel stays at over 400,000 properties using Alaska Airlines Hotels.
  • Earn unlimited miles and travel with no blackout dates and no foreign transaction fees.

Key Features & Terms

  • 5X miles per dollar at select Restaurants
  • 3X miles per dollar for Alaska Airlines purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Introductory bonus offer: Companion Fare credit ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening, valid for Alaska Airlines flights with no blackout dates
  • Annual Companion Fare credit: A yearly Companion Fare credit ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22)
  • Additional mile-earning opportunities: Use Alaska Airlines’ shopping portal to earn bonus miles at select retailers
  • First checked bag free on Alaska Airlines flights: For you and up to six other travelers on the same reservation
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $75

 

Allegiant Air

Allegiant World Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$59
Regular APR17.24%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 15,000 bonus points ($150) for spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening
  • 3X points per $1 on Allegiant purchases, 2X points per $1 on qualifying dining purchases, and 1X point per $1 on all other purchases
  • 0% APR for 12 months for balance transfers made during the first 60 days, followed by a regular rate of 17.24%–25.24% Variable
  • Complimentary priority boarding and one free beverage every time you fly Allegiant
  • Buy one, get one free airfare whenever you use your card to purchase an eligible vacation package from Allegiant
  • View your FICO score any time you’d like at no cost, based on your TransUnion credit report
  • Overdraft protection when you link your Bank of America checking account
  • No blackout dates, no destination restrictions, no minimum point redemptions
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $59 annual fee

Key Features & Terms

  • 3X points per dollar for Allegiant purchases
  • 2X points per dollar on qualifying Dining purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Buy One, Get One Free: Buy one airfare, get one free when you use the card to purchase an eligible Allegiant vacation package
  • Priority Boarding: Get on Allegiant flights before regular passengers with Priority Boarding
  • One Free Beverage: One free beverage every time you fly Allegiant, by showing your Allegiant card
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $59

 

Asiana Airlines

Asiana Airlines Visa® Signature Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$99
Regular APR17.24%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 3X miles per $1 spent on Asiana Airlines purchases
  • 2X miles per $1 spent on gas and grocery store purchases
  • 30,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • 2 Asiana Airline lounge invitations per year
  • 10,000 bonus miles per year
  • Automatic $100 annual rebate on Asiana Airlines ticket purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $99 annual fee

Key Features & Terms

  • 3X miles per dollar on Asiana Airlines purchases
  • 2X miles per dollar at Gas Stations and Grocery Stores
  • Introductory bonus offer: 30,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Anniversary bonus: 10,000 bonus miles awarded annually
  • Asiana Airline Lounge Invitations: Two lounge invitations per year
  • $100 Annual Rebate: An automatic $100 annual rebate for Asiana Airlines ticket purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $99

 

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines World Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$59, $0 first year
Regular APR15.99%–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 15,000 bonus miles after making your first purchase; 15,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in the first 90 days
  • 2X miles per dollar spent on purchases
  • Earn 5,000 anniversary bonus FREE SPIRIT miles when you spend at least $10,000 in purchases annually
  • Preferred boarding on Spirit flights
  • Priority check-in where available
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • $59 annual fee, waived the first year
  • 5X miles per dollar at select Restaurants
  • 2X miles per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: 15,000 bonus miles after making your first purchase
  • Introductory bonus offer: 15,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Anniversary bonus: 5,000 bonus miles for spending $10,000 in a given year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $59, waived the first year

 

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$90
Regular APR17.24%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 3X Flying Club miles per dollar spent on all Virgin Atlantic purchases
  • Earn 1.5X Flying Club miles per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • 7,500 anniversary miles after spending $15,000 in net purchases within the anniversary year; 7,500 anniversary miles after you spend a total of $25,000 within the anniversary year
  • 5,000 bonus miles when you add additional cardholders to your account
  • Companion reward for spending $25,000 in a year
  • $90 annual fee

Key Features & Terms

  • 3X miles per dollar for Virgin Atlantic purchases
  • 1.5X miles per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: 20,000 bonus miles after your first purchase
  • Annual bonus: 15,000 bonus miles for spending a total of $25,000 in a given year
  • Companion ticket discount: Get a second reward ticket for half the miles if you spend $25,000 in a given year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $90

 

Key Features & Terms

  • 3X miles per dollar for Virgin Atlantic purchases
  • 1X mile per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: 12,500 bonus miles after your first purchase
  • Annual bonus: 7,500 bonus miles for spending a total of $15,000 in a given year
  • Companion ticket discount: Get a second reward ticket for half the miles if you spend $25,000 in a given year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $49

Other Co-Branded Credit Cards

Bank of America also offers some co-branded cards with other travel services: AAA, Amtrak and several cruise lines. It also partners with NEA (National Education Association) to issue two other cards.

AAA

AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 3X points per dollar on qualifying AAA and travel purchases
  • 2X points per dollar on gas, grocery store, and drug store purchases
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
  • $150 statement credit after spending $750 in the first 90 days
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months for balance transfers made within the first 60 days, then your rate will be 14.99%–24.99% Variable
  • Visa Platinum or Visa Signature benefits
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Key Features & Terms

  • 3X points per dollar on qualifying AAA and travel purchases
  • 2X points per dollar on gas, grocery store, and drug store purchases
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 within 90 days of account opening
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months for balance transfers made during the first 60 days
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: 14.99%–24.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: None

 

Amtrak

Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$79
Regular APR16.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 3X points per dollar spent on Amtrak travel (including onboard purchases)
  • 2X points per dollar spent on other qualifying travel
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • 40,000 bonus points for spending $2,500 in the first 90 days
  • 20% rebate in the form of a statement credit on your food and beverage purchases on board
  • 5% point rebate when booking Amtrak travel redemptions
  • Earn 1,000 tier-qualifying points for every $5,000 you spend
  • Annual Companion Coupon and One-Class Upgrade Coupon
  • Complimentary station lounge pass for a single visit
  • Unlimited points don’t expire
  • $79 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Key Features & Terms

  • 3X Amtrak Guest Rewards points per dollar for Amtrak purchases
  • 2X points per dollar for other qualifying travel purchases
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening
  • Complimentary Companion Coupon: Upon account opening, you’ll get a free Companion Coupon, One-Class Upgrade, and a Single-Visit Station Lounge Pass
  • 5% Amtrak Guest Reward Rebate: When booking Amtrak redemption travel
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $79

Read more in our Review of the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard

 

Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR16.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 2X points per dollar for Amtrak purchases
  • 12,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • 5% point rebate when booking Amtrak travel redemptions
  • 10% rebate as a statement credit on your food and beverage purchases on board
  • Points will not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Key Features & Terms

  • 2X Amtrak Guest Rewards points per dollar for Amtrak purchases
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: 12,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening
  • 5% Amtrak Guest Reward Rebate: When booking Amtrak redemption travel
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: None

Read more in our Review of the Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard

 

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises® Visa Signature® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.99%–22.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 2X points per dollar spent on Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Azamara purchases
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • 10,000 bonus points after your first card purchase within 90 days of opening your account
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee

Key Features & Terms

  • 2X MyCruise points per dollar for qualifying purchases from Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Azamara Club Cruises
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: 10,000 bonus points after making a purchase within the first 90 days
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $69

 

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR17.24%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 10,000 Bonus WorldPoints® reward points if you make your first transaction in the first 60 days—enough for $100 off your next cruise
  • Earn 3X points per dollar on all Norwegian Cruise Line purchases
  • Earn 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Redeem points for stateroom upgrades, travel discounts, on-board credits, car rentals, hotel stays, or gift certificates for over 100 top retailers
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

Key Features & Terms

  • 3X WorldPoints per dollar for purchases from Norwegian Cruise Line
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: 10,000 bonus points after making a purchase within the first 90 days
  • Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program: Get a 25–75% customer points bonus for having eligible Bank of America checking or savings accounts, or Merrill Lynch investment accounts
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: None

 

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean® Visa Signature® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR17.24%–25.24% Variable
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securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 2X points per dollar spent on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity, and Azamara purchases
  • Earn 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Get 10,000 MyCruise Points after making a transaction within 90 days of account opening – enough for a $100 onboard credit (U.S. residents only)
  • $50 Air2Sea Airfare Discount after spending $3,500 within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Start redeeming for rewards at 1,000 points. Redeem a maximum of 2,700,000 MyCruise Points over 5 years.
  • No annual fee

Key Features & Terms

  • 2X MyCruise points per dollar for qualifying purchases from Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: 10,000 bonus points after making a purchase within the first 90 days
  • Introductory bonus offer: $50 Airfare Discount for spending $3,500 in the first 90 days (student and Platinum Plus accounts are not eligible)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: None

 

National Education Association

NEA® Cash Rewards Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%–23.99% Variable
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securely on the issuer's website

  • 3% cash back on the category of your choice between: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement and furnishing
  • 2% cash back on groceries and wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% intro rate for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then your rate will be 13.99%–23.99% Variable
  • $200 Amazon.com Gift Card if you make at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • After spending a combined total of $2,500 between the 3% and 2% tiers, you will only earn 1%
  • Free general admission with Museums on Us®
  • Free monthly FICO Score
  • Rewards do not expire
  • No annual fee

Key Features & Terms

  • 3% cash back in your choice of one category: Gas, Online shopping, Dining, Travel, Drug stores, or Home improvement and furnishing
  • 2% cash back at Grocery stores and Wholesale clubs (limited to the first $2,500 in combined 3% and 2% purchases per quarter)
  • 1% cash back for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus offer: $200 Amazon gift card for spending $500 within the first 90 days
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months for purchases and balance transfers made during the first 60 days after account opening
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 13.99%–23.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: None

 

NEA® RateSmart® Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR12.24%–22.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 0% for 12 months, then your rate will be 12.24%–22.24% Variable
  • No annual fee
  • Free FICO score access

Key Features & Terms

  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months for purchases and balance transfers made during the first 60 days after account opening
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 12.24%–22.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: None

Bank of America Credit Card Features

Bank of America credit cards come with the following features.

  • Customer Bonus: Some Bank of America credit cards provide a 10% bonus on rewards if you have an active Bank of America checking or savings account, or if you redeem into such an account.
  • Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program: Some Bank of America credit cards include this program, which will provide a 25–75% bonus on rewards if you have qualifying Bank of America or Merrill Lynch accounts.
  • Redemption options: Bank of America reward cards allow you to redeem points or cash back for statement credits, gift cards, travel expenses, and more.
  • Free FICO Credit Score: Check your FICO Score 8 for free whenever you’d like, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Account Alerts: Choose the types of notifications you’d like to receive, like payment due dates or payment receipts.
  • Shopping and travel protections: May include Purchase Protection, Return Protection, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waivers, Travel Accident Insurance, and more.
  • Fraud Protection: Bank of America will proactively monitor your account to prevent fraudulent transactions.
  • $0 Liability Protection: You won’t be held responsible for unauthorized transactions. Contact customer support immediately if you suspect fraud.
  • Overdraft Protection: Prevent overdrafts of your Bank of America bank account by linking your credit card. Transfers from credit cards to bank accounts will count as bank cash advances.
  • Online Banking and Mobile App: Access your account online from a computer or from your smartphone.
  • Chip technology: Bank of America cards are equipped with EMV technology, both Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-PIN.

About Bank of America

Bank of America serves over 67 million consumer and small business clients in the United States, providing a variety of banking services. It’s also active in 35 other countries besides the U.S., and employs over 200,000 people around the world.

You can break down Bank of America’s business activities into eight divisions, as described by the bank itself:

For People

  • Retail: Serving U.S. consumers with digital banking, credit cards, and more.
  • Preferred and Small Business: Provides banking, investment, and cash management solutions for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
  • Merrill Lynch Wealth Management: Investor clients are assisted by personal advisors to help them achieve their financial goals.
  • U.S. Trust: Offers private banking and wealth management solutions.

For Companies

  • Business Banking: Offers tools for small and mid-sized businesses, like credit, foreign exchange, equipment finance, and merchant services.
  • Global Commercial BankingProvides financial guidance, lending, leasing, and debt and equity underwriting services for middle market businesses.
  • Global Corporate and Investment Banking: Designed for large corporate clients around the world, offers solutions for treasury services, lending, debt and equity underwriting, and more.

Institutional Investors

  • Global Markets: Investor clients can access hedging strategies and industry-leading insights, along with services for debt, equity, commodity, and foreign exchange markets.

Bank of America isn’t just a bank and credit card issuer — it’s also the largest wealth management firm in the U.S. Holding $1.08 trillion in AUM (assets under management), it’s the second largest such firm in the world, after UBS. Client balances in total are approximately $2.5 trillion.

Bank of America reached this lofty position after acquiring Merrill Lynch in September of 2008, after that firm was hit hard by the financial crisis. It paid $50 billion to acquire the ailing investment company, picking up its vast stock of investor clients and assets in the process. Merrill Lynch is still prominent in providing wealth management services as part of Bank of America.

Despite that, it’s not quite the largest bank in the U.S — it only comes in second, with $2.28 trillion in total assets. J.P. Morgan Chase is leading the pack with $2.53 trillion in assets.

In 2017, Bank of America reported $87.4 billion in revenue, with a net income of $18.2 billion. It’s one of the top small business lenders, with $34 billion in small business loan balances. Shareholders should be relatively pleased with the bank’s performance, as its stock has seen a gradual climb compared to the general indices.

Bank of America has won a number of awards and accolades, often focused on technology and social influence. It came in 3rd on Fortune magazine’s 2018 Change the World list (the highest ranked bank), which ranks companies by their positive influence on cultural issues and their effectiveness at tackling social problems. It gained that spot by committing to fund low-carbon and sustainable businesses, to which it has already provided $96 billion in financing since 2007. The bank was also 2nd on Fortune’s list of The 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back in 2018, with $176,173,927 in total philanthropic donations.

Euromoney named Bank of America the Best Bank in the World for 2018, due in large part to the bank’s technology investment of $10 billion per year. It has been simplifying its services and making them more efficient, as well as focusing on low-risk clients and long-term relationships, and customers have responded very positively.

The awards could go on and on — to name just a few more, in 2018 Merrill Lynch had 18 women included in Barron’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisors, more than any other single company. In Forbes’ 2018 list of the Top Next-Gen Wealth Management Advisors, 247 of the 500 people included are Merrill Lynch advisors. And Bank of America’s mobile banking app is the first to receive J.D. Power’s Mobile App Certification, which recognizes brands that provide an exceptional mobile app experience.

A Brief History of Bank of America

Bank of America’s past is marked by a lot of firsts: first credit card, first computer used in banking, first account numbers used on checks. It’s been on the leading edge of banking and finance for most of its history, and remains there to this day.

The original BankAmericard. Image credit: Logoblink

The original BankAmericard. Image credit: Logoblink

As an institution, Bank of America began as the Bank of Italy in 1904, founded in San Francisco by Amadeo Pietro Giannini. It provided services to working class citizens and immigrants, at a time when banks were known for catering primarily to the wealthy. As one of the only banks to survive the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, it was able to offer loans to help rebuild the city. Giannini went on to launch the first successful branch banking system in the U.S., expanding to other areas of California.

The Bank of Italy didn’t become Bank of America until 1930 (officially, “Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association”), after Giannini merged his bank with Bank of America, Los Angeles, and took the name. The BankAmerica Corporation was later established in 1968 as a holding company for the bank’s assets, and the corporation has seen a number of acquisitions and mergers since then.

Significantly, in 1998 BankAmerica Corporation merged with NationsBank in a $62 billion deal. Although NationsBank was the dominant player, it took the more popular name of Bank of America Corporation, which it retains to this day. With this merger it became the first coast-to-coast banking company in the U.S.

The 1950s saw the development of the first computers used in banking, pioneered by Bank of America. The Remington Rand UNIVAC-1, a factory-sized behemoth that relied on vacuum tubes to perform calculations, was delivered to Bank of America in 1954. It could process 12,000 numbers per second, a marvel of engineering at the time. The next year, in 1955, Bank of America debuted ERMA: the Electronic Recording Method of Accounting, a check-processing machine that could process 33,000 accounts in the time it would normally take a human to process 245.

It was quite a big deal, and future-president Ronald Reagan (then a spokesman for General Electric) hosted a transcontinental video press conference to show off ERMA’s capabilities. You can read his speech, titled “Frontiers of Progress,” if you’re interested.

The San Francisco ERMA center, 1961. Image credit: Bank of America

The San Francisco ERMA center, 1961. Image credit: Bank of America

At about the same time, Bank of America partnered with General Electric and Stanford Research Institute to develop another major milestone in banking history: magnetic-ink character recognition (MICR). Hailed as one of the greatest breakthroughs in banking technology, MICR is responsible for the string of numbers seen at the bottom of checks, still in use today, which allows machines like ERMA to read the account information.

Bank of America and its partners made MICR technology available for use by other banks and printers with no royalty charges, and it became the worldwide standard for recording and reading account information. It would be hard to imagine check processing without it (lots of elbow grease would be required).

A bit later, in 1958, Bank of America created the first bank-issued general-use credit card, the BankAmericard. Residents of Fresno, California were surprised to find the cards in their mailboxes, after the bank sent out 60,000 BankAmericards in an unsolicited mailing that has come to be known as “The Fresno Drop.” The cards were made of paper, and they had credit limits of $300 each.

Early BankAmericard ad, from 1959. Image credit: Bank of America

Early BankAmericard ad, 1959. Image credit: Bank of America

As the BankAmericard caught on and more banks wanted in on the credit card action, it was rebranded to Visa, “a simple name that sounds the same in every language.” Visa credit cards are now the most widely used cards in the world.

Bank of America claims a heritage legacy going back over 200 years, all the way back to the founding and establishment of the United States. But this historical account seems a bit ad-hoc, as it includes many acquisitions and relies on heritage relationships: Massachusetts Bank was founded in 1784, before merging with First National Bank of Boston in 1903. From there it was bought by Fleet in 1999, which was later acquired by Bank of America in 2004.

That means Bank of America can stake a claim back to one of the oldest banks in the United States, although not directly. The honor of being the oldest bank probably goes to the Bank of North America in Philadelphia, chartered in 1781, an organization that has since been acquired (through many intermediary mergers) by Wells Fargo.

Today, you can visit a replica of one of the original Bank of Italy locations in San Jose, California, which was actually the first branch outside of San Francisco. The replica, also in San Jose, was constructed in 1977 and you can take a virtual tour of the building here.

Inside a replica of an original Bank of Italy. Image credit: HistorySanJose

Inside a replica of an original Bank of Italy. Image credit: History San Jose via Google Arts and Culture

Bank of America is one of the world’s foremost providers of banking, investment, and wealth management services. With a long history as one of the most successful and prominent banks in the United States, it shows no sign of stopping as it expands to other parts of the world and continues to develop new technologies and banking solutions.

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