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Review

2020 Review: Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card

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Sean Messier By Sean Messier Feb 11, 2020 | Updated Sep 03, 2020
Our rating
Min. credit level: Excellent
Annual Fee: $0.00
Regular APR: 13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is an exceptionally good small business credit card.

You get to pick from one of six business-related categories where you’ll earn 3% cash back each month, tailoring your rewards to your spending habits. You’ll also get 2% back on dining purchases and 1% back on everything else.

Unfortunately, there’s a $50,000 annual spending limit on the 3% and 2% cash back categories combined. Not a huge deal if you’re a smaller business or even a freelancer who’s flying solo, but that could be an obstacle for bigger, more established businesses.

The card features a few potentially helpful benefits, like cash flow management tools and travel protections, as well as a promotional introductory APR that gives you 0% for 9 billing cycles on purchases (then 13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR).

And there’s not much more to it. Pairing simplicity with strong cash back rates, the BofA Business Advantage Cash Rewards is a great pick if you’d like to earn rewards on your business spending, but aren’t looking to pay an annual fee to do so.

The Cash Rewards Mastercard is one of five BofA-issued business credit cards:

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$0.00
Regular APR13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening – with no annual fee and cash rewards don’t expire.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • You’ll get 3% and 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter.
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles.
  • Redeem your cash rewards as a statement credit, check, or have cash deposited into a Bank of America® checking or savings account.
  • Get 75% more cash back on every purchase when you’re a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you will earn 5.25% on your selected choice category, 3.5% on dining and unlimited 1.75% cash back on all other purchases.

Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We’re giving the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard 5 out of 5 stars. The $50,000 annual limit on its 3% and 2% cash back earnings might seem too small to some, but that’s basically the card’s only drawback. It’s a fantastic (and simple) option for smaller businesses or anyone who’s new to business credit cards.

Why We Like It

  • 3% reward rate on a category you choose is impressive enough for a card with no annual fee, and 2% cash back on dining makes the offer even more compelling
  • Cash back rewards can be deposited into a Bank of America bank account, redeemed as a statement credit, or mailed as a check
  • Decent introductory bonus: $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening (see cards with high intro bonuses)
  • Introductory purchase APR offer lets you carry a balance interest-free for a limited time
  • BofA Preferred Rewards for Business members can earn up to 75% more cash back depending on membership tier
  • Rewards don’t expire
  • Some useful benefits, like travel protections and cash flow management tools
  • No annual fee

Why It Could Be Better

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Choose your rewards wisely: The Business Advantage Cash Rewards credit card lets you pick a different category in which you’ll earn 3% back each month. If your spending habits evolve, switch things up.
  • Use BofA bank accounts if it makes sense: If you’ve ever considered using Bank of America’s business bank accounts, it could be especially fruitful if you’re also applying for this card. Bank of America Preferred Rewards for Business members can earn up to 75% more cash back, depending on membership tier.
  • Pair it with different cards: While this card’s reward structure is quite good, you can only choose one 3% category at a time. Want to earn rewards on gas and office supplies simultaneously? Consider adding another business rewards card or two to your wallet. You might also want to use a flat-rate card for miscellaneous purchases where cards like this, with specific spending categories, will typically only give you 1% back.
  • Use another card after you hit the $50K limit: If you really want this card but know you’ll spend more than $50,000 in the bonus categories, find something else with similar categories to use afterward. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card (Review) (discussed below) is a perfect example.
  • Use the welcome bonus: If you can meet the spending threshold with purchases that actually benefit your business, take advantage of this card’s introductory offer to maximize the value you’re getting.
  • Make a pricey purchase: Been eyeing a big purchase to spice up your operations? Pay it off over time with the card’s intro APR offer (or see other cards with long intro rates)

The Rewards

In spite of its customizability, this card’s rewards program isn’t too tough to wrap your head around. You pick a 3% category, use the card where it makes sense, then choose from three simple options to redeem.

That’ll give you a cash back equivalent of up to 3%, or up to 5.75% if you’ve reached the highest tier (Platinum Honors) of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards for Business program.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back in one category of your choice each month:
    • Gas stations
    • Travel
    • Office supply stores
    • TV/telecom & wireless services
    • Computer services
    • Business consulting services
  • 2% cash back at:
    • Restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Spending limit: 3% and 2% rewards up to $50,000 per year, then 1%
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening

Most of these 3% category options are common enough when it comes to business credit cards, but there aren’t many that let you choose between such a useful selection every month. And 3% is a very good rate for a business card with no annual fee.

Keep in mind that you need to activate the category of your choice each month, if you want to change it, but gas is selected by default. If you don’t change anything you’ll keep the same 3% category.

Certain business owners may not find the 2% dining category quite as useful, but it can still come in handy if you ever travel for work, or meet with clients or coworkers.

Remember that you’ll only earn at the 3% and 2% rates until you’ve spent $50,000 in those categories annually. After that, it’s 1% on everything until the end of the year, so you’ll want to switch to a different card for the year’s remainder.

Quick Guide

Maximize Your Earning with Preferred Rewards for Business

The Business Advantage Cash provides strong rewards from the start, but you can ramp up your earnings considerably as a member of BofA’s Preferred Rewards for Business program.

The program features three tiers, and your tier is determined by the combined balances of your BofA business deposit accounts and/or Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch business investment accounts. Each tier gives you a rewards bonus with eligible Bank of America business cards, among other benefits.

TierMinimum Combined BalancesRewards BonusBusiness Advantage Cash Earnings
Gold$20,00025%3.75%; 2.5%; 1.25%
Platinum$50,00050%4.5%; 3%; 1.5%
Platinum Honors$100,00075%5.25%; 3.5%; 1.75%

Redeeming

Redeeming with this card is incredibly simple. There aren’t too many options, which might seem a detriment to some, but that simplicity could be perceived as a benefit by others. Not everyone wants to spend time strategizing reward redemption schemes.

You have three ways to redeem your cash back:

  • Deposited into an eligible Bank of America account
  • As a statement credit on your credit card account
  • Mailed as a check

It doesn’t matter which you choose — you’re always getting the same value for your rewards.

The Benefits

The Business Advantage Cash Rewards card offers a few useful benefits, but nothing too flashy. That’s perfectly normal at this fee tier.

  • Cash flow management tools: Simplify behind-the-scenes finances with a host of online services, from automatic payments to QuickBooks integration.
  • Travel and emergency services: Protections include $100K in travel insurance and auto rental insurance, emergency ticket replacement, lost luggage assistance, and extended protection.
  • Fraud protection: You’re not liable for any unauthorized charges, and you’ll receive alerts if abnormal spending is detected.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
0% for 9 billing cycles, then 13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR 13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR 25.74% Variable APR for Cash Advances and Convenience Checks
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0.00 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. Includes Convenience Checks.
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $49 $39

The main attraction here is the card’s introductory APR offer. It’s not the longest offer of this sort on the market, but it could be useful if you’re looking to make a big business purchase in the near future and you’re not sure you can knock out the full price in a month to avoid interest.

Take note that there’s a foreign transaction fee, so this isn’t the best card for international travel.

Read more Best Business Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Bottom Line

Though it’s not for everyone, the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is one of the more impressive no annual fee business credit cards. The reward rates are commendable, and the chance to pick your own category every month is a huge plus. The simple redemption options are sure to appeal to the busy business owner.

The benefits, while few in number, are fairly good for a card this basic.

The introductory purchase APR offer is good, too, if you’ve been looking to make an important purchase that you don’t think you can cover in a single month.

The card’s main downfall is the $50,000 annual spending limit on its 3% and 2% rewards categories. But while that could be a dealbreaker for some businesses, there are plenty of potential cardholders out there who won’t have any trouble working within those confines.

How to Apply for the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard

Click the “Apply Now” button below, and you’ll be directed to Bank of America’s official, secure application for the Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard. Fill out and submit the necessary personal and business information, and BofA may approve or deny you instantly after conducting a hard personal credit inquiry.

If not, the bank may tell you to wait while your application is reviewed, or you could be asked to provide more information.

What Credit Scores Do You Need for the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard?

The Business Advantage Cash Rewards card is intended for applicants with excellent credit. Though it’s a business card, that still refers to your personal credit, because business cards typically require a personal guarantee.

“Excellent credit” has a fairly ambiguous definition. VantageScore clearly defines “excellent credit” as scores of 750 or more. FICO, on the other hand, defines “very good” credit as scores from 720–799 and “exceptional” scores as anything above that.

So you can typically assume that credit scores above 750 or so are considered excellent or approaching excellent, regardless of scoring brand. However, you can still be denied with excellent scores or even approved with scores that only fall in the “good” range; each business card application is approved or denied on a case-by-case basis. (Not sure if you’ll qualify? See how easy it can be to qualify for business cards.)

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Basic business information: Legal business name, business name as it should appear on the card, business address, phone number
  • Business legal and financial information: Federal tax ID number, country of formation, business structure, country of operations, industry, gross annual sales, year and month established, various qualifying questions
  • Personal information: Name, job title at the business, name to appear on card, residential address, phone number and email address, citizenship status, occupation, household income, income source, housing status, monthly housing payment, percentage of business ownership

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$0.00
Regular APR13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening – with no annual fee and cash rewards don’t expire.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • You’ll get 3% and 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter.
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles.
  • Redeem your cash rewards as a statement credit, check, or have cash deposited into a Bank of America® checking or savings account.
  • Get 75% more cash back on every purchase when you’re a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you will earn 5.25% on your selected choice category, 3.5% on dining and unlimited 1.75% cash back on all other purchases.
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Alternatives to the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard

Strong as it may be, the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash isn’t a one-size-fits-all credit card. You may benefit more from a card with travel rewards, or something that delivers a flat reward rate on every purchase. We’ll walk through a few cards you might want to use in place of, or alongside, the BofA Business Advantage Cash.

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $0.00
Regular APR 13.74% - 23.74%
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Though the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card bears a similar name to its Cash Rewards counterpart, it’s fairly different, especially in terms of rewards.

The main thing is that you’re earning points rather than cash back, which means you can swap rewards for travel. That’s not possible with the Business Advantage Cash.

There’s no spending limit, either, which adds a bit of appeal for larger businesses.

Unlike the Business Advantage Cash, the Travel card charges no foreign transaction fee, which makes it a better card to bring along if you’re traveling abroad.

Spending Rewards
  • 3X points per dollar at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • 1.5X points per dollar for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 30,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 within 90 days of account opening

As you can see, the spending categories here aren’t as exciting as the Cash card. The good news is that the base rate is 1.5X points on every purchase (aside from BofA Travel bookings), rather than 1X like with most cards.

You also get the same percentage boosts for being a Preferred Rewards member that we described above, increasing the card’s earning potential considerably.

  • Preferred Rewards for Business: Eligible cardholders can get a 25%–75% bonus on rewards earned.
  • Travel protections: Including $1 million in travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation coverage, and trip delay reimbursement
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 9 billing cycles, then 13.74% - 23.74%
  • Balance Transfer APR: 13.74% - 23.74%
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0.00
  • 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 spent on all purchases everywhere, every time-no matter how much you spend. Points don’t expire.
  • Earn 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center.
  • No annual fee and no international transaction fees.
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles.
  • Redeem points for travel with no blackout dates, cash back or gift cards.
  • 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 will earn 2.62 points for every $1 you spend and 4.12 points per every $1 you spend at the Bank of America® Travel Center.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 13.24% - 19.24% Variable

For businesses that don’t spend a lot and prefer a card with no annual fee, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card (Review) is an outstanding option. It features a varied rewards program, a signup bonus, and a handful of decent (if basic) benefits.

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 5% cash back on up to $25,000 spent per year at:
    • Office supply stores
    • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • 2% cash back on up to $25,000 spent per year at:
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $500 cash back for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months

All of these categories are covered by the Business Advantage Cash in some respect, but here, you don’t have to choose between anything. You get these rates at all times, up to the spending limits.

Those $25,000 annual limits may seem low for a lot of companies, but as with the BofA card, this could still work for small businesses and freelancers, or if you’re using another card like it after you hit $25K.

  • Shopping and travel protections: Including purchase protection, extended warranty protection, an auto rental collision damage waiver, and more
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 13.24% - 19.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee No annual fee
Regular APR 13.24% - 19.24% Variable

Where the Business Advantage Cash card shines with its multifaceted reward structure, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card (Review) prioritizes simplicity. You earn at a flat rate up to a set annual spending limit (after that you earn less), and you don’t have to think about how you redeem. There are a few benefits, too.

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back for every purchase, up to $50,000 spent annually
  • 1% cash back for every purchase after that
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Earn up to $300 in statement credits: Up to $100 each at Dell Technologies, DocuSign, and FedEx, for purchases made in the first 3 months

One of the more interesting elements of this card is that you don’t actually have to do anything to redeem your rewards. The cash back is automatically credited to your account at the end of each billing period.

The main weakness here is that you can’t redeem your rewards for travel, or anything other than cash back. If you prefer that flexibility, consider this card’s point-earning counterpart, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Review).

  • Amex Offers: Get discounts and additional cash back with a changing selection of merchants.
  • Shopping and travel protections: Including car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranty, and purchase protection
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months from date of account opening, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: No annual fee

The information related to American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Regular APR 18.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business (Review) earns cash back at a flat rate like the Amex card above. But here, there’s no spending limit on rewards — you earn at the same rate whether you spend $500 or $5,000,000 in a year. That’s a huge plus for bigger businesses where limits like $25,000 or $50,000 might seem like nothing.

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back on every purchase, with no limit
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $500 cash bonus for spending $4,500 in the first 3 months

The Spark Cash card’s rewards structure is about as simple as it gets. You earn 2% on everything, with no category restrictions and no spending limits. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit or by mail in check form.

  • Shopping and travel protections: Purchase Security, Price Protection, Cell Phone Protection, MasterRental Insurance Coverage, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, and more
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share this review if you thought it was helpful, or leave a comment below if we missed something that should be discussed.

Best Credit Cards of September 2020

Take a look

For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please click here.

At a glance

With no annual fee, the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash delivers a strong, flexible reward structure and a handful of benefits. But there’s a $50,000 annual spending limit on its bonus categories, which may seem fairly limiting, especially to bigger businesses.

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The information related to American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card and Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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