Last Reviewed: 8/13/2010
The Bank of America Accelerated Rewards credit card offers a respectable, but by no means jaw-dropping, 1.25 World Points per dollar spent. Since World Points can be redeemed in the form of cash back at a 1:1 rate (as long as you are careful! read on…), the card operates as the equivalent of a 1.25% cash back card. Points can also be redeemed for airfare and other WorldPoints offerings.
The Straight Scoop on the Bank of America Accelerated Rewards Card
Here’s a quick table summarizing some of the key features of the BofA Accelerated Rewards Card:
|Rewards||1.25 World Points per $1 of spend; redeemable for cash on 1:1 basis. Thus, equivalent to 1.25% cash back. The catch is that in order to get the favorable 1:1 exchange rate, you need to save up 25,000 worldpoints. If you try to redeem any lesser number of World Points, you will earn less than $0.01 per WorldPoint. The table below illustrates.|
|Redemption requirements||Rewards can be redeemed for cash|
|Sign up bonus||$50 if you spend $500 within the first 90 days of activating the card.|
|Rewards expiration||5 Years|
|International Transaction Fee||1% of the converted amount.|
So How Much are Bank Of America World Points Worth?
WorldPoints can be redeemed for cash, travel, gift cards, and other rewards. GetDebit has done some analysis and determined that, in the hands of a careful strategist, WorldPoints can be worth $0.01 per point, but no more. Read our article, How Much Are Bank of America World Points Really Worth?, for more detailed information.
Beware of This BofA WorldPoint Redemption Trap
As the table below clearly shows, you had better save up 25,000 World Points before you even think about redeeming them for cash. Otherwise, you risk being labeled as a Chump by the BofA marketing strategists. I am 100% sure that a multitude of lesser infomed BofA customers regularly redeem their Worldpoints for 50 cents on the dollar. But I know that you, oh reader of GetDebit, won’t make the same mistake!
|Point Value||Cash Reward||Effective Cash Back pctg|
Expenses and Fees for the Bank of America Accelerated Rewards Card
There is no annual fee with this card. Additionally, since it runs on the American Express network, there is only a 1% foreign transaction charge, which is very good compared to many cards which charge 2-3% fees.
GetDebit’s Final Assessment of the BofA Accelerated Rewards Card
While earning 1.25 points per dollar spent isn’t too shabby when those points can be converted directly into cash at a 1:1 exchange rate (pursuant to the tactics above), there are certainly more powerful cash back cards available, if your credit is strong enough. Two such examples include the Discover Escape Card and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. The BofA Accelerated Rewards card probably doesn’t deserve a place in your portfolio unless those other cards won’t let you take them home.
You can apply for the Bank of America® Accelerated Rewards® Card here.