Bank of America Cash Rewards Refresh: Pick Your Own 3% Category

The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card will be refreshed on January 14, 2019. According to Bank of America’s official press release, cardholders will be able to pick their own 3% cash back category.

The Bank of America Cash Rewards card currently earns 1% on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined 2% and 3% category purchases each quarter. 

Bank of America Cash Rewards Refresh

Starting January 14, can pick your 3% cash back category and update it every month if you choose. You’ll still earn 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. The $2,500 per quarter cap still applies to the combined 3% and 2% cash back categories.

Pick Your 3% Category:

  1. Gas

  2. Dining

  3. Drug stores

  4. Home improvement and furnishings

  5. Travel

  6. Online shopping

Fine Print:

  • $2,500 cap per quarter for 2% and 3% (pooled)

  • 3% category can be changed each calendar month via the Bank of America Mobile Banking app or Online Banking

  • If you make no change, it will remain the same

  • Initial 3% category will be set to gas

The categories that stand out to me the most are dining and online shopping. You can stack the credit card rewards with a cash back shopping portal like Ebates. If you can maximize more than one 3% category each quarter, then it might make sense to get a second BoA Cash Rewards card.

Sign up for Ebates get a $10 Welcome Bonus after you join for free and place your first purchase of $25 or more (referral link):

Optimal Strategy

Depending on the number of assets you have in Bank of America banking and Merrill Edge investment accounts, you'll qualify for the respective bonuses. 

3% category bonus is multiplied by the reward tier based on the number of assets you have in your accounts. For example, if you have $50,000-$99,999 in assets with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, then you’ll receive a 50% point bonus. 3% cash back becomes 4.5% when you have Platinum status.

Bank of America Preferred Reward Tiers

  • No account = 0% bonus

  • $0 to $19,999 (any account) = 10% bonus

    • 3% * 1.1 = 3.3%

  • $20,000 to $49,999 (Gold status) = 25% bonus

    • 3% * 1.25 = 3.75%

  • $50,000 to $99,999 (Platinum status) = 50% bonus

    • 3% * 1.5 = 4.5%

  • $100,000+ (Platinum Honors status) = 75% bonus

    • 3% * 1.75 = 5.25%


The Bank of America Cash Rewards card is the anchor card in the Bank of America Duo setup. Learn more about the Duo in this post.

The upcoming changes make the Bank of America Cash Rewards card a competitive cash back option in my book. The card becomes even more valuable if you have assets with Bank of America, and when you pair it with the Premium Rewards or Travel Rewards card.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. 

UGC disclosure: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.