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Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Cards for Students
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Cards for Students
What we like:
No annual fee, an easy-to-earn sign-up bonus and generous cash back rewards
|Intro Offer||$200 cash rewards after you make $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening|
|Rewards Rate||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 (3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases, then 1%)
|Regular APR||Introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles (balance transfers must be made within 60 days of account opening)|
16.24% to 26.24% variable APR thereafter
- $200 signup bonus with a low spending requirement
- Introductory 0% APR allows cardholders to defer payments on big purchases
- Generous rewards for a student card
- Free FICO score
- Preferred Rewards clients get a 25% to 75% rewards bonus on every purchase
- 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $10)
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- Bonus cash back capped at $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases
- High variable interest rate after 0% period runs out
Recommended Credit Score
- New credit/building credit
Our Thoughts on the Bank of America Credit Card for Students
The Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students is a great choice for young people looking to build credit with a credit card, who don’t spend a fortune, and who want to earn rewards in bonus categories.
In this review:
- Bank of America Student Card Benefits
- Downsides of the Bank of America College Credit Card
- How It Compares to Similar Cards
Bank of America Student Card Benefits
The Bank of America Student Credit Card has some great benefits to offer people who want a card to help them build credit when they’re young.
New cardmembers can score a $200 cash rewards bonus after making $1,000 purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
The rewards program for this card is unique because cardholders get 3% cash back in the category of their choice: gas stations, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. This is especially generous given that it’s a student credit card.
In addition, cardholders earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases. However, the bonus cash back is limited to the first $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases — once you exceed that spending threshold, you’ll get just 1% in those categories.
If you qualify for Preferred Rewards, you can get a 25% to 75% rewards bonus on each purchase. Since you need at least $20,000 invested in Bank of America and/or Merrill Lynch accounts to qualify for the lowest tier of Preferred Rewards, most students who are using this card to build credit probably won’t qualify for this added bonus.
Travel/Balance Transfer/Other Perks
Bank of America also helps college students monitor their efforts to build credit by providing free access to FICO scores. The FICO score is updated monthly at no cost and can be accessed via online banking or Bank of America’s mobile banking app.
Downsides of the Bank of America College Credit Card
The Bank of America college credit card offers considerable perks for new cardholders but also has some downsides to consider. These include:
- Foreign transaction fees: Any time a transaction is processed in foreign money or takes place outside of the U.S., an additional 3% fee will be tacked on. Students who take trips, study abroad, or shop with foreign stores will end up paying much more for purchases.
- Balance transfer fees: Balance transfers can help young people manage existing high-interest debt by allowing cardholders to pay off that debt without incurring additional interest. Unfortunately, BoA charges a 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $10) for each transfer you make, which decreases your potential savings.
- Capped rewards: The 3% and 2% bonus cash back is limited to the first $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases. Although many students probably won’t exceed this spending limit, those who do will be limited to getting just 1% cash back on that spending until the following quarter.
How It Compares to Similar Cards
Students considering the Bank of America Cash Rewards Card for Students should compare their options to make sure they’re getting a card with the best terms and perks.
Bank of America Cash Rewards Card for Students vs. BankAmericard Credit Card for Students
Like the Cash Rewards card, the BankAmericard Credit Card for Students has no annual fee and offers an 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for new account holders; however, the Americard’s intro APR lasts for 15 months, three months longer than the Cash Rewards card.
Although that can be a valuable benefit for some students, the Americard lacks a rewards program, which means using the card doesn’t earn you any cash back, points, or miles. Most students are better off with the Cash Rewards card since there’s no reason not to get rewarded for using your card — unless you need a longer 0% introductory period.
If you’re a student looking to establish a responsible credit history with a card for which it’s easy to qualify, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card is a good option. There’s no annual fee, the signup bonus only requires you to spend $1,000 in 90 days, and you get a 0% APR on purchases for 12 months. But if you’re looking for a cash back card with no limits on the bonus rewards you can earn, you should consider other cards. A cash back card from Bank of America worth considering is the Bank of America Cash Rewards Card.
If you aren’t convinced that this card is for you, you may want to check out our Best Bank of America Credit Cards page.