Cash back credit cards generally base their rewards on how much you use the card. The more you spend, the more you earn. The BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards card is different–it rewards you for responsibly managing your credit card balance.
With this card, you can earn up to $30 per quarter when you pay more than your monthly minimum on time each month. There’s no minimum spend requirement, but you need to have a statement balance each month. Lets look at the card basics before going through the process.
- Earn $25 per quarter when you pay more than the monthly minimum on time each month–that can be up to $100 each year
- No annual fee
- Get an additional $5 bonus per quarter if you have a Bank of America® checking or savings account
- 0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles
If you plan on applying for the Better Balance Rewards card, the first thing to do is open a Bank of America savings account. Maintaining a minimum daily balance of $300 is all you need to waive the monthly fee. The reason for doing this is twofold:
- It’s financially prudent. The additional $20 annual credit card reward equates to 6.7% interest on that $300 deposit.
- You will elect to have your reward credits automatically deposited into your bank account rather than as a statement credit. This makes the accounting easier and helps ensure that you generate a statement balance every month.
Once you receive the card, there are only three more things to do:
- Set up automatic payments for the full statement balance
- Set up the banking info for the reward credits
- Set up a small automatic recurring monthly fee (Netflix, Spotify, Amazon allowance) to be charged to the card.
That’s it. Now, put the card in a drawer and it will pay you $30 each quarter–automatically!
To receive each quarterly reward, you need to have a debit balance on your statement each month. If any monthly statement shows a $0 balance–or a credit balance–you will forego the reward for that particular quarter. This is the reason that I recommend directing the reward to your bank account rather than receiving it as a statement credit.
In other words, if you charge $10 to the card this month and receive the $30 reward from last quarter as a statement credit, you now have a credit balance of $20, making you ineligible for the next reward. Set up the bank account so you don’t need to worry about this.
Don’t get too greedy. Charging only $1 or $2 per month to the Better Balance Rewards card may result in Bank of America waiving your balance for a month as a “courtesy”. Of course, generously waiving a customer’s $2 balance also means they won’t owe the $30 quarterly reward, but who am I to judge their reasoning.
In addition, per the terms & conditions, you need to be paying more than the minimum payment each month. If you charge $1 during the month, your minimum payment will be $1. Technically, you need to pay at least $1.01 to qualify for the reward. Keep your monthly charges to at least $25.01 and auto-pay the balance in full. Doing this will ensure that the balance-waiving and minimum payment technicalities will never be an issue.
If you want to charge less than $25 monthly, that’s fine, but less automatic. You’ll just need to use your checking account’s online bill pay to send at least $.01 more than your statement balance.
Let me know your thoughts on this deal in the comments.