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Bank of America Cash Back Categories

by | Mar 10, 2020

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card recently got a major upgrade, with a new way to set purchase categories that offer 3% cash back. Starting in mid-January, Bank of America introduced a new feature that allows cardholders to choose and change the purchase categories in which they get 3% cash back. 

If you’re planning an anniversary getaway or birthday vacation, for example, you can opt to get that 3% cash back on travel purchases. Making some home purchases or repairs? There’s a Cash Rewards cash back category for that, too.

Here’s an overview of the Bank of America® 3% cash back categories, along with some tips to make the most of them.

Every Bank of America 3% Cash Back Category

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers its highest cash back rate of 3% on a category of the cardholder’s choosing. They can select one of the following six 3% cash back categories.

Gas: Earn cash back on all purchases at the gas pump, service stations, and even marinas for cardholders with a boat.

Online shopping: Select this category to earn more rewards when shopping online or with a mobile device. It applies to purchases at popular online-only merchants such as Amazon.com and Etsy.com. Shopping online with major retailers such as Walmart, Macy’s and Target also qualifies, as do online app, media, and software purchases.

Dining: Whether you’re a high-end foodie who loves dining out, a bar-hopping night owl, or a homebody with a Grubhub habit, the dining purchase category could be for you. Selecting this 3% cash back category makes it more rewarding to charge these purchases to a Cash Rewards card.

Travel: From getting around your city to traveling around the world, this purchase category gets you 3% cash back on qualifying purchases. This includes airfare, parking charges, public transit, and the fares for taxis or ridesharing services. And it extends to many more purchases such as tickets to local attractions such as amusement parks and zoos, car rentals, hotel and resort purchases, and campground charges.

Drug stores: Cash Rewards cardholders with a lot of health-related purchases may want to choose this as their 3% cash back category. It grants this higher rewards rate for all purchases at drug stores and pharmacies, including at popular chains such as CVS, RiteAid and Walgreens.

Home improvement and furnishings: Get 3% back when shopping at home goods and furniture stores such as IKEA, Crate and Barrel, and Bed Bath and Beyond. If you’re hiring a contractor for home maintenance, improvements or repairs, these could fall under this category as well. For cardholders who prefer a do-it-yourself approach, this category includes purchases of supplies at home and hardware supply stores like The Home Depot, Lowes, and Ace Hardware.

How to Use the Bank of America® 3% Cash Back Categories

Getting the most out of these Bank of America® 3% cash back rewards is also fairly simple and easy. Cash Rewards cardholders can change their 3% cash back category as often as once every calendar month. 

With a quick forecast of the type of purchases you’re most likely to make in the upcoming month, you can choose the category that matches for more savings. Then, log into your account via the Bank of America® site or mobile app to view your Cash Rewards account and make changes to your cash back categories. Your 3% spending category will only change if you choose a new one, and the default category is gas.

There is one caveat to note: which purchases fall into a category or don’t may come down to how the merchant categorizes transactions when processing credit card payments. 

It’s not always up to the cardholder or even Bank of America® whether a specific purchase will be classified in the 3% cash back category. So look closely at category details and compare them to ensure your purchases will be classified as you expect.

Beyond your selected 3% cash back category, you’ll also get a higher 2% back on purchases at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. There is also a spending cap on Bank of America’s 3% and 2% cash back rewards of $2,500 in purchases per quarter. 

The new Bank of America® 3% cash back categories give cardholders more options and control over their rewards. This flexibility to choose and change the most rewarding purchase category means cardholders get to change rewards to align with their current spending needs and habits. This new versatility makes the Bank of America® Cash Rewards card a more flexible option to consumers looking to bring more joy to their wallets.

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