A New Way to Maximize Your Cash-Back Rewards

Squeeze more value out of your credit card purchases by customizing your rewards.

Happy couple making online purchases

by NEA Member Benefits

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It’s nice to earn cash-back rewards on your credit card, but most cards don’t give you the flexibility to customize what you earn your rewards on.

Maybe you’re a homebody who’s stuck with a credit card that gives you rewards on travel expenses, or maybe you earn cash back on gas but your short commute to school means you don’t drive much.

Your lifestyle and spending habits aren’t one-size-fits-all, so your credit card shouldn’t be, either.

With the recently enhanced NEA Cash Rewards Card, you can decide what you want to earn 3% cash back on each month. There are six categories to choose from: Gas, Online Shopping, Dining, Travel, Drug Stores, and Home Improvement & Furnishings.

And you still get the consistent cash-back earnings of 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% on everything else. You can earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 you spend in your combined choice category and grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter.

How would this benefit help me?

By having the choice of where and when you’ll earn your 3% cash-back rewards, you can maximize your rewards based on your spending habits throughout the year.

For example:

  • If you’re planning to book your summer vacation—buying plane tickets, reserving a hotel room and rental car—then select Travel for the month when you’ll be making those purchases.
  • If you’re on vacation and will be dining out a lot, you could select Dining for that month.
  • If you’re buying a lot of holiday presents online, select Online Shopping for that month.

You could plan your shopping for the year, updating your 3% rewards category each month for future purchases to turbocharge the cash-back rewards you earn. For every qualifying dollar you spend in that category during that billing period, you’ll earn 3 cents toward your cash-back rewards total.

The benefits are obvious: If you were to book a $500 plane ticket at the regular 1% cash-back rewards rate, you’d earn $5. But if you change your 3% category to Travel before you purchase your plane ticket, you could earn $15, thereby accelerating your cash-back rewards earnings.

Here’s an example of how monthly purchases can add up to a sizable cash-back reward:

An illustration of how you could earn an estimated $523.20 cash back in one year by putting monthly expenses on your credit card

How can I customize my cash-back rewards?

You decide how you spend your hard-earned money, and now you can choose how you get rewarded, too. Based on your spending habits and personal situation, you can tailor your rewards to get the most out of your customizable cash-back rewards credit card each month—all year long.

Let’s say you and your spouse are newlyweds. You’re busy fixing up your new place, and you enjoy going out for dinner and a movie, and taking regular weekend road trips. You have typical monthly expenses, plus occasional expenses based on the season. You travel during your spring and summer breaks. By mid- to late summer, you’re preparing to start a new school year. In the winter, you’re buying holiday gifts.

Here’s an example of how your planned expenses can help you decide which category you want to earn your 3% cash-back rewards on each month:

 Examples of how to plan your cash back categories

Earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 you spend in combined choice category and grocery store/wholesale club purchases, respectively, each quarter. For the remainder of the quarter, you’ll earn 1% on all purchases.

How do I take advantage of this member benefit?

If you don’t already have an NEA Cash Rewards Card, click here to find out more and apply online.

If you already have the NEA Cash Rewards Card, you don’t need to enroll in this new benefit. Your account already has been updated, and the default 3% cash-back rewards category is Gas.

To update your preference as desired, simply go to the Mobile Banking app or to Online Banking to change the choice category for future purchases.

You can change your 3% choice category once a month, or you can select a category and leave it as is for as long as you like.

Your cash rewards redemption options include getting a check or statement credits, or having a deposit made directly into a Bank of America® checking or savings account.

Your cash rewards won’t expire, so you can redeem them whenever you like.


For information about rates, fees, other costs and benefits associated with the use of this card or to apply, click on the link above and refer to the disclosures accompanying the online credit card application. This credit card program is issued and administered by Bank of America, N.A.

Mobile Banking requires that you download the Mobile Banking app and is only available for select mobile devices. Message and data rates may apply.

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