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By Jason Steele
August 4, 2021
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students on a colored background
Courtesy of Bank of America

Now that most students are starting to return to in-person school, many young adults and their parents are once again looking for the right credit card. Having a credit card offers students a secure and convenient method of payment. It also helps students build credit and even earn some rewards. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students excels at all of these tasks.

Key Terms

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn $200 cash rewards after spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening.
  • Rewards: Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. Receive 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • APR: 13.99% to 23.99%
  • Promotional Financing Offer: 15 months of 0% APR on both new purchases and balance transfers.
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How This Card Works

This card is a very competitive rewards card, especially for a student card. New applicants earn $200 in cash back after making $1,000 worth of new purchases within 90 days of account opening. You also earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. Additionally, you earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

But rewards shouldn't be the most important thing to students. Instead, consider this card because it's very easy for Bank of America customers to manage, along with their checking and savings accounts. It also helps students to build their credit by offering them a free FICO score each month. It's compatible with digital wallet technology and can be managed by a full featured mobile app.

New accounts also receive 15 months of 0% APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, and there's no annual fee for this card.

Advantages

While most student credit cards are very basic, this one comes with generous rewards, including a new account bonus. Other advantages are its promotional financing offer and free monthly FICO score. There's no annual fee for this card, but that's expected with a product designed for students.

Disadvantages

If this card has one disadvantage is that it may be that it's too generous. Offering students rewards for spending could encourage some to incur debt, which is never a good idea. Likewise, interest free promotional financing won't cost students anything to carry a balance, at first. But this offer expires after 15 months, and some cardholders may get in the bad habit of just charging it and worrying about the payments later. But so long as students use this card responsibly, these drawbacks will not matter.

Alternatives

Discover it Student Cash Back Credit Card. This card offers 1% cash back on most purchases, and 5% back on up to $1,500 spent each month on rotating categories of purchases. You also receive 6 months of 0% APR financing on new purchases, and a $20 statement credit each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher, for up to five years with the Discover it Student Cash Back card. There's no annual fee for this card.

Capital One Journey Student Rewards. This card offers 1% cash back on all purchases, plus an increase to 1.25% when you make your payments on-time. There's no annual fee for the Capital One Journey Student Rewards card.

Chase Freedom® Student credit card. This card offers a $50 bonus when you make your first purchase within three months of account opening. It also offers a $20 good standing reward each year on your account anniversary, for five years. You can earn a credit limit increase when you make five monthly payments on-time within 10 months of account opening. There's no annual fee for this card.

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