Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

Why People Love It
  • Redeem rewards directly to your Bank of America checking or savings account
  • Earn bonus rewards on everyday purchases
  • No annual fee
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  • Earn up to 3% cash back on certain purchases
  • Get free access to your FICO score as you build credit
  • Get a big sign-up bonus compared with other student credit cards
  • It may be tough to get with limited or poor credit; although, you can apply with a cosigner
  • Bonus rewards are capped
Faveable Review

Bank Americard Cash Rewards for Students introduces credit card newbies to perks like cash-back rewards and FICO score monitoring. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend this card to an adult with an established credit history, but we do think it’s a good starter card for students.

BANK AMERICARD CASH REWARDS FOR STUDENTS CREDIT CARD REVIEW

The Bank Americard Cash Rewards for Students isn’t packed with benefits exclusive to this card, but it offers more than other well-known student cards like the Citi ThankYou Preferred card for students. Depending on what types of goods and services you buy, you may rack up better rewards -- up to 3% per qualifying purchase -- with this card than the Capital One Journey Student Rewards card and the Discover it Chrome for Students.

You also score extra rewards if you have an active Bank of America checking or savings account. We’ll discuss that more below.

Fees are predictable and fairly average when compared to other student credit cards. This card has some minor flaws, but it’s easily one of the best student credit cards we’ve reviewed.

BANK AMERICARD CASH REWARDS FOR STUDENTS CREDIT CARD REWARDS AND PERKS

Treat yourself to between 1% and 3% cash back when you make qualifying purchases with the Bank Americard Cash Rewards for Students card. Students earn 1% back on everyday purchases, 2% back on groceries and wholesale clubs, and 3% back on gas. These rewards are limited to the first $2,500 in purchases per quarter, which is a drawback if you’re looking for unlimited cash rewards. You do, however, still earn unlimited cash back at the 1% rate after you hit $2,500.

If you have an open checking or savings account in good standing at Bank of America, you can redeem your credit card rewards directly to your account. Redemption bonuses ranging from 25% to 75% are available for Preferred Rewards clients, so you can easily maximize your earnings from this card.

Speaking of maximizing your rewards, make sure you take advantage of the promotional bonus offer. New cardholders get an online $150 cash rewards bonus if they spend at least $500 during their first 90 days as a cardholder. This is one of the highest-value promotional offers we’ve seen on a student card.

Rewards never expire if your account remains in good standing, and you can redeem rewards anytime you accumulate $25 in your account. In addition to sending direct deposits to your Bank of America account for reward redemptions, you can request rewards via paper check or statement credit.

BANK AMERICARD CASH REWARDS FOR STUDENTS CREDIT CARD BENEFITS

Bank Americard Cash Rewards for Students offers a feature the Citi ThankYou Preferred card for students lacks: credit monitoring. We think it’s important for students to understand how credit works, so we’re happy this card helps you create a stable financial future.

Here are some other benefits included on the Bank Americard Cash Rewards for Students card:

  • Fraud monitoring with $0 liability for fraudulent purchases
  • Compatible with digital wallets so you can make card-free payments
  • Text alerts
  • Overdraft protection when linked with a Bank of America account
  • ShopSafe service generates a temporary credit card number for online shopping
  • Chip technology promotes safety

If you decide to opt for this card and don’t have a Bank of America checking or savings account, consider getting one. It will help you maximize your cardholder benefits.

BANK AMERICARD CASH REWARDS FOR STUDENTS CREDIT CARD COSTS AND FEES

The Bank Americard Cash Rewards for Students doesn’t have any excessive fees, but it has a few fees we don’t usually see on student cards, like a wire transfer fee. We’ll explain that more below.

There’s no annual fee, so now you’ve got more money for late-night pizza deliveries while you study. The card doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee either.

However, here are the fees you can expect with this student credit card:

  • Late payment fee of up to $38
  • Returned payment fee of up to $27
  • Wire transfer purchase from a non financial institution is $10 or 5% of each transaction amount, whichever is greater
  • Balance transfers are $10 or 3% of each transfer amount, whichever is greater
  • Direct Deposit and Check Cash Advances cost $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • ATM, Over-the-Counter, Same-Day Online and Cash Equivalent Cash Advances cost
    $10 or 5% of each transaction amount, whichever is greater
  • Overdraft Protection Cash Advance costs $12 per transaction
  • 3% of the U.S. dollar amount for foreign transactions

You won’t find many of these fees on other student credit cards, but that’s just because this card links to your Bank of America checking or savings account.

In addition to the fees referenced above, there’s also a variable interest rate based on your credit history. You can potentially avoid this fee by shopping or transferring balances during the 12-statement promotional period. Cash advances also have an APR determined by your credit history.

There's a penalty APR, plus a late payment fee - so keep an eye on your due date.

DOES THE BANK AMERICARD CASH REWARDS FOR STUDENTS CREDIT CARD MAKE SENSE FOR ME?

Yes, if you want a solid student credit card that rewards everyday purchases as well as purchases from specific categories. We recommend having a Bank of America checking or savings account so you can take full advantage of this card’s benefits like overdraft protection, direct deposit rewards, and increased bonus percentages.

Keep in mind you need decent credit to get approved. Your FICO score should be in the mid 600s or higher, and you shouldn’t have any major blemishes on your credit report. If your FICO has plenty of room for improvement, you may want to check out the best credit cards for bad credit instead of applying for this student card.

Details

Application Process: Apply online or visit your local Bank of America branch. Some applicants receive an instant decision online.

Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter.

Bonus Offers: Online $150 cash rewards bonus after making at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

Annual Fee: None.

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Highlights
  • No annual fee
  • $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
  • 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, 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR; 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus by 25% - 75%
  • Easily add your Mastercard® credit card to any digital wallet for a simple, secure, and convenient way to pay online, in-app, or in-store
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