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Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard Review

Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard Review

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This article was last updated May 16, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you’re looking for a business credit card that allows you to decide how you earn cash back, then take a look at the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card.

It starts with a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening. It isn’t the biggest bonus in the business category, but it’s a good start. Then, business cardholders can earn 3% cash back on your choice of one of the following six categories: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services, 2% cash back on dining (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

You can boost your cashback rewards if you enroll in Bank of America’s Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program. Under that program, you can earn an additional 25% to 75% cashback on all purchases, depending on if you reach the gold, platinum or platinum honors level. That means you can earn up to 5.25% on your selected choice category, 3.5% on dining and unlimited 1.75% cash back on all other purchases.

If you’re not in the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, though, there are other business cards that offer higher points in select categories. So you may want to do your homework and research other cards with more robust points and benefits before committing to this card.

Where the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card stands out

The card puts you in charge of choosing your top paying rewards category so you can match it to the business spending you do most. For example, a digital business owner might benefit from a rewards boost on computer services or telecom spending, whereas a sales company might have better earnings potential on gas or travel expenses. Even better, you can change your category once per month, so you can earn extra cashback on less frequent but significant spending like tax preparation or legal services, and then switch to something else the following month.

No matter what type of business you do, the $0 annual fee is attractive since there are no out-of-pocket costs for you to earn your cashback.

You can add cardholders to your account and earn cash back based on their purchases. There’s no annual cap on rewards redemption and as long as your account remains in good standing, your cash rewards don’t expire.

Where the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card falls short

Other business credit cards offer a more generous sign-up bonus. There’s a calendar year cap of $50,000 on rewards earned at the cash back rate of 3% and 2%, so once you spend over $50,000 in those categories combined, the rate falls to 1% cash back.

Read the fine print on the rewards categories.

You have six categories to choose from for your 3% cash back, with gas being the default category. But it’s important to know what types of purchases count for each choice category. For example, if you shop office supply retailers such as Staples, Office Max, Office Depot or W.B. Mason, those purchases will qualify as office supplies.

However, if you buy your paper and supplies from a warehouse or big box retailer, choosing that category won’t work for you.

For the Business Services category, spending at LegalZoom and H&R Block qualify, but keep this in mind if you use independent vendors: Bank of America does not determine which Merchant Category Code (MCC) a business chooses to classify itself, therefore some of the purchases you’d expect to fall into a certain category might not.

Finally, be warned — you may want to leave the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card at home if you’re traveling out of the country, since it comes with a 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction foreign transaction fee.

Additional card benefits

Compare it with the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

  • 0% for 12 Months

  • $500 bonus cash back

  • Earn 5% cash back in select business categories

Highlights
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee

See additional details for Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

More Info

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card stands out because you Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn. On the surface, this is better than what’s offered by the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card — unless those cardholders are also Bank of America’s Business Advantage Relationship Rewards members.

The welcome bonus is a bit higher in that you can Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This is a bit more money than the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card, but you also have a higher spending requirement.

The static cashback reward categories on the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card can be better for some business owners as well since you’re essentially getting two high-earning categories instead of one (office supply stores and internet, cable and phone services) at the highest rate. Then again, you can’t change them, so if you don’t typically spend a lot in those areas, having flexibility and choice might serve you better.

One area that is slightly better on the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is travel. If you select it as your choice category, you’ll earn more than the 1% you get on the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.

You do have more ways to redeem cash back with the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, though, since it’s redeemable in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal for things like cash, gift cards, travel, Amazon.com and products or services. The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers straight up cash as a statement credit, check or deposit into your Bank of America checking or savings account.

Once you hit the $25,000 account anniversary spending limit in the 5% and 2% cashback categories on the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, you’ll only earn 1% cash back on all purchases, but it is unlimited. And if you use the card outside the country, you’ll pay a 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars foreign transaction fee.

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
Annual fee $0 $0
Purchase intro rate 0% for 9 billing cycles 0% for 12 Months
Balance transfer intro rate N/A N/A
Balance transfer fee Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Regular purchase APR 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR 14.99% - 20.99% Variable
Rewards 3% cash back on your choice of one of the following six categories: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services, 2% cash back on dining (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
Sign-up bonus $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Foreign transaction fee 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

After looking at both cards, we’re giving the advantage to Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card. It has a sign-up bonus that you get without a lot of spending, plus there’s a $0 annual fee. You have the chance to earn between 25% and 75% bonus cash back if you enroll in the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, which can potentially allow you to out-earn the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card’ top 5% category. And you can enjoy the extra category earnings until you reach $50,000 in spending for the year, versus Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card’ $25,000 cap. But most important is that you get to be your own boss, with the power to select and change your top category once per billing cycle. If you time your purchases right and are in the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, you can really maximize your earnings.


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