Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students Review
Students looking for a credit card with excellent cash back rewards on everyday purchases and a $0 annual fee could benefit from the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card. It’s a good option if you want to build your credit history while earning rewards.
The Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card offers an introductory APR of 0% for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers within 60 days of account opening. With this card, you earn a welcome bonus of $200 in online cash rewards when you spend $1,000 within three months of account opening. Plus, the benefits of no annual fee and 3% back in a category of your choice can make this card a great option for students.
Card Details to Know Up Front
- Bonus, Fee or FeatureHas or Not
- Has Annual Fee
- Has Balance Transfer Offer
- Has APR Offer
- Cash Back Rewards
- Travel Rewards
Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students at a Glance
The Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card offers 3% cash back on a category of your choice, including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings. The card also offers a 2% cash back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The 0% introductory APR for 15 billing cycles makes it a good option if you have any expensive purchases coming up.
- Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students
A good students’ card that offers higher cash back on bonus categories
- None-FairCredit Needed
- $0Annual Fee
- 1-3% Cash BackRewards Rate
Pros & Cons Explained
Understanding the pros and cons of the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card will help you determine if this card is the best fit for your needs. Here’s what you need to know.
- High rewards rates on a specific categoryThis card lets you earn 3% cash back on purchases made in a category of your choice. The categories you can choose from include gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings. It’s also possible to swap the category once every calendar month through the mobile app or online banking.
- 0% introductory APRThe Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card offers a 0% introductory APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases or balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening. This makes it a good option for those students who will be making an expensive purchase or want to transfer a balance from another card.
- Welcome bonusWith this card, you earn $200 in online cash rewards on spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening the account.
- Multiple rewards redemption optionsYou can redeem your rewards as a statement credit, check, direct deposit into a Bank of America account, credit to an eligible Merrill Lynch account or a credit to an eligible 529 college saving account with Merrill. It’s also possible to set up automatic redemptions to a Bank of America or Merrill account.
- High foreign transaction feeThe 3% foreign transaction fee makes this card a bad option for students studying abroad or who need a credit card for international travel.
- Bonus rewards are cappedWith this card, you don’t earn 2% and 3% cash back on eligible purchases anymore if you reach the spending threshold of $2,500 in a quarter. After reaching the threshold, you earn 1% cash back on every purchase.
- Balance transfer feeThere is a 3% or $10 balance transfer fee associated with this card, which may not make it ideal for people who want to transfer their balance from another card.
MoneyGeek did not include the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card in its best credit card for students list. We research and analyze the best card offers for different individuals and update our lists accordingly. You can check out the Best Students Cards for 2022 for more information.
Bonuses & Rewards Explained
You can review the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students benefits and rewards to see if this card offers perks that fit your needs.
Cash back rewards structure
The Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students offers 3% cash back on a category of your choice, including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings. You can also change your category once every calendar month. If you don’t choose your category, it defaults to gas. However, once you reach the spending threshold of $2,500 in every quarter, you earn 1% cash back on every purchase. The card also lets you earn 2% cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases.
You can earn a welcome bonus of $200 in online cash rewards after you spend $1,000 on purchases within three months of opening your account.
This card offers you multiple rewards redemption options. You can redeem your rewards as a statement credit, check, credit to your 529 college savings account with Merrill, any eligible Merrill account or as a direct deposit to your Bank of America checking or saving account.
Other Features Explained
The Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card also offers the following features to keep your account secure and easy to use.
- Card FeatureDescription
- Fraud protectionWith this card, you have a 0% liability for fraudulent transactions. It also blocks suspicious transactions and lets you know when it detects any fraudulent activity.
- Contactless paymentsThe contactless payment option makes it quick, easy and secure to complete payments at different merchants.
- Account alertsYou can set up email, text or phone notifications with this card if you never want to fall behind on your bill payments or other due dates.
The best way to maximize your rewards is by changing your spending category to the one you will spend the most money on in the upcoming month. For example, if you’re a college student moving into a new apartment next month, change your spending category to home improvement/furnishings.
Understanding the Fine Print
The fine print of the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card gives you a good idea of the rates and other fees associated with this card. Make sure to review it before applying for the card.
- Card FeatureAmount or Rate
- APR13.99% - 23.99%
- Annual Fee$0
- Cash Back Rewards
- Rewards Rate1-3% Cash Back
- Airline Benefits
After the introductory APR period is over, this card charges a variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. This is high compared to other cards.
The Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card charges a $0 annual fee.
Balance transfer fee
When you transfer your balance from another card, you would have to pay a balance transfer fee of either $10 or 3% of every transaction, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee
This card charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% on every transaction.
Cash advance fee
You have to pay either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction on direct deposit or check cash advances, while the ATM, Over-the-Counter, Same-Day Online and Cash Equivalent Cash Advance fee is either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction.
Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students?
Other Considerations for Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students
Since your spending habits may differ depending on whether this card is your first one or an additional card in your wallet, it’s essential to keep the following considerations in mind.
Things to Consider if This Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card
While this card offers an introductory APR of 0% for the first 15 billing cycles, it has a variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% once the introductory period is over. This is pretty high. That’s why it’s best to pay off your balance in full every month with this card to avoid accruing interest.
Also, since the high bonus rewards are capped, you might reach the spending threshold of $2,500 much earlier if it’s your first or only card.
Things to Consider if This Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet
Since this card charges a high foreign transaction fee of 3% on every international transaction, it’s best not to use it while you’re traveling abroad. Instead, use other cards that don’t charge a fee on international transactions.
That said, you can benefit significantly from the 0% introductory APR offer by using this card for any upcoming expensive purchases.
MoneyGeek follows a six-step process that involves collecting credit card information, standardizing data points, reviewing potential cardholder profiles, considering annual and introductory bonuses, establishing the card values and reviewing data monthly to reprocess rankings.
How Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students Compares to Other Cards
The Bank of America Cash Rewards for students card compares well with other cards in the same category with its 0% introductory APR offer, $0 annual fee and welcome bonus. However, for students traveling or studying abroad, other cards are available that charge no fee on international transactions.
Quick Comparison of Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students
Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students
- Annual Fee: $0
- Purchase APR: 13.99% - 23.99%
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
- Rewards Rate: 3% on chosen category, 2% on grocery stores and wholesale clubs, 1% on other purchases.
- Best For: Students looking for a card with cash back rewards and $0 annual fee.
Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students
- Annual Fee: $0
- Purchase APR: 13.99% - 23.99%
- Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
- Rewards Rate: 1.5 points on every $1 spent on all purchases.
- Best For: Students studying or traveling abroad looking for a card with a simple rewards structure.
Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As
MoneyGeek answered the following frequently asked questions about the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card to help you decide if this card is the right one for you.
Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.
MoneyGeek analyzed the benefits and downsides of the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card to help you decide if getting this card would be a good choice for you. However, if you’re still not able to make a decision, you can look for other cash back cards, rewards cards or even gas cards to see if those might be better options for you.
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Learn more about credit cards in general
- Bank of America. "Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students." Accessed February 28, 2022.
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