BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ vs. Citi Double Cash
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Many American credit card users want to earn as much cash back as possible from their cards, and there are many ways to do so. Some cards offer bonuses for certain types of purchases, while others feature a higher level of cash back for on everything. Bank of America and Citi are two of the nation’s largest credit card issuers and they both offer very competitive cash back credit cards.
The BankAmericard Cash Rewards card™ offers 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas up to the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. 1% cash back is offered for all other purchases. Bank of America customers receive a 10% relationship bonus on cash back earned if they redeem the cash back rewards into a Bank of America checking or savings account.
New cardholders also receive a $100 sign-up bonus after making at least $500 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. In addition, new applicants receive 12 billing cycles of 0% APR promotional financing on both new purchases and balance transfers. Qualifying balance transfers must be completed within 60 days of account opening, and a 3% balance transfer fee applies. After the promotional rate expires, the standard interest rate of 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness at the time of your application.
Additional cardholder benefits include online banking, account alerts, and Digital Wallet technology that allows you to use your mobile device, and then shop in-store or in-app using Apple Pay™, Android Pay® or Samsung® Pay. Optional overdraft protection is also available to help you prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America checking account to your credit card, although transfer fees may apply. Bank of America also offers cardholders their monthly FICO credit score when they enroll in online banking. This card has no annual fee, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all charges processed outside of the United States.
The Citi Double Cash card’s approach to maximizing cash back is to offer a high level of return on all purchases, by offering cash back twice. Cardholders receive 1% cash back on everything at the time of purchase, and then another 1% cash back when the item is paid for, for a total of up to 2% cash back. There are no caps and no category restrictions for this cash back offer.
In addition, new applicants receive 18 months 0% APR financing on balance transfers. Qualifying balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening, a 3% balance transfer fee applies, and balance transfers do not qualify for cash back. After the promotional rate expires, the standard rate of 13.24% to 23.24% will apply, based on your creditworthiness at the time of the application.
This card also includes Citi’s Price Rewind service, which will automatically search for a lower price on your eligible, registered purchases, and refund of the difference if it finds a lower price within 60 days of purchase. This card also features an extended warranty policy that adds a year to the manufacturer’s warranty for many purchases. Travel benefits include worldwide rental car insurance, as well as a travel and emergency assistance hotline. Citi also offers automatic account alerts, a customizable payment due date, and compatibility with the Apple Pay mobile payment system. There is no annual fee for this card, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all payments processed outside of the United States.
Which card is right for you?
By offering a total of up to 2% cash back on all purchases, Citi’s Double Cash card has set a new benchmark among cash back reward credit cards that is tough to meet. It also offers a very strong promotional financing offer for 18 months, and a competitive list of cardholder benefits for shopping and travel.
Nevertheless, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card™ does have a few advantages. First, it offers a $100 sign-up bonus while the Citi Double Cash card has no introductory offer. In addition, Bank of America has a very large retail banking presence and existing account holders can receive a 10% bonus if they redeem the cash back rewards into a Bank of America checking or savings account. This means the card offers an effective 2.2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, 3.3% cash back on gas and 1.1% cash back on all other purchases, albeit limited to the first $2,500 spent on combined gas and grocery spending each quarter.
Bank of America customers who have a lot of gas and grocery spending should strongly consider the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card™, while many others may be better off with the Citi Double Cash card. By looking closely at your banking and spending habits, you will find the right card for you.