The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offer the same big draws: bonus rewards on groceries and gas, similar 0% introductory APR periods and bonuses for new cardholders, and no annual fee. With this in mind, which card you should choose depends less on those features and more on where you bank.
What’s the same for both
- An annual fee of $0.
- Bonus rewards for spending on groceries and gas (see below for specifics).
- The offers for new cardholders are comparable.
- Both require good to excellent credit for approval (learn about the range of credit scores, or get your free credit score on NerdWallet).
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 a year in spending, then 1%); 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; and 1% on all other purchases (terms apply).
- Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card: 3% cash back on the category of your choice (including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement/furnishings) and 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $2,500 per quarter in combined spending; 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Which is better?
You’ll probably earn more rewards with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. The average American spends about 50% more on food at home than on gasoline, according to 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the most recent figures as of this writing. Plus, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers 2% cash back at select U.S. department stores.
The American Express card also comes out ahead when you take the spending caps into account, since it doesn’t limit the amount of spending eligible for 2% cash back. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, by contrast, has a cap that applies to all of its bonus rewards.
There’s an important caveat here, though: If you’re already a Bank of America® customer, you could come out significantly ahead because of loyalty bonuses available on the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card.
If you have at least $20,000 in combined balances in Bank of America®, Merrill Lynch® and Merrill Edge® accounts, you could earn bigger bonuses through the Preferred Rewards program. For combined balances of at least $20,000, the bonus is 25%; when balances reach $50,000, the bonus bumps to 50%; and balances of $100,000 or more get you a 75% bonus.
Bonus for new cardholders
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.
- Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card: $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
Which is better?
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card gets the nod here because it requires less spending to earn the bonus.
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% - 26.24% Variable APR.
- Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card: 0% on Purchases for 12 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR.
WHICH IS BETTER?
If you’re looking for an introductory 0% APR offer, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express gives you more time at 0% for purchases and balance transfers. Both cards require transfers to be made within 60 days of opening the account and both charge a 3% balance transfer fee. Their ongoing APR ranges are nearly identical.
If you’re looking to save money on your existing debt, you should know that some of the best balance transfer cards may offer a $0 balance transfer fee or a lengthier interest-free period than either of these cards.
Which should you get?
- If you’re not a Bank of America® customer: For most people, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express will deliver more rewards than the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card.
- If you qualify for Bank of America® Preferred Rewards: The bonuses for those with big account balances can supercharge your rewards, earning effective rates as high as 5.25% for gas (or your preferred choice in that category) and 3.5% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
See for yourself by using our calculator to estimate your rewards on each card: