Bank of America’s Susan G. Komen® Credit Card, also known as the Pink Ribbon Card, is a cash back card that rewards spending in the ever-popular gas and grocery categories. This card’s most distinctive feature is an automatic charitable giving scheme – a very small slice of every transaction benefits Susan G. Komen, a well-regarded breast cancer charity. Aside from this feature, the Susan G. Komen Credit Card is virtually identical to two other Bank of America cash back cards: BankAmericard Cash Rewards and MLB BankAmericard Cash Rewards. Like those, this card offers some nice benefits for existing Bank of America deposit account holders.
The Susan G. Komen Credit Card competes with a host of other cash back rewards credit cards, including Capital One Quicksilver, Discover it and Discover it Chrome, Citi Double Cash, Barclaycard CashForward, Chase Freedom, and American Express Blue Cash Everyday. It’s also comparable to other charity-focused credit cards, such as the American Kennel Club Credit Card and the Credo Credit Card, both of which are backed by Visa.
- Sign-up Bonus: You get a $100 cash back bonus when you spend at least $500 within 90 days of opening your account.
- Earning Cash Back Rewards: The Susan G. Komen Credit Card earns 3% cash back per $1 spent on gas, 2% cash back per $1 spent at the grocery store, and an unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. The 2% and 3% categories have a cumulative quarterly spending cap of $2,500 – you can’t spend more than that in both categories combined each quarter. Beyond the quarterly limit, purchases in the 2% and 3% categories earn an unlimited 1% cash back. Warehouse clubs such as Costco and discount superstores such as Walmart don’t count as grocery stores for this card’s purposes.
- Redeeming Cash Back Rewards: Earned cash back is redeemable for statement credits, paper checks, and deposits into a Bank of America deposit account (savings or checking) or Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account. The redemption threshold for all redemption methods is $25. If you redeem for a direct Bank of America or Merrill Lynch deposit, you automatically receive a 10% bonus at redemption. That turns a $25 redemption into a $27.50 haul.
- Susan G. Komen Donations: Bank of America has a multi-year relationship with Susan G. Komen, a well-known breast cancer foundation that has donated more than $1.5 billion to breast cancer research, education, advocacy, healthcare support, and other causes, since the early 1990s. From June 2015 through December 2020, Bank of America is guaranteeing at least $3 million to Susan G. Komen, partly by contributing 0.08% of every card transaction to the foundation – well under the card’s baseline 1% cash back rate. BoA donates an additional $3 to the foundation for every new card it issues, as well as $3 for every card renewal it processes, provided the account is in good standing and does not have a $0 balance at renewal.
- Preferred Rewards Benefit: If you have more than $20,000 on deposit with Bank of America, you qualify for the Preferred Rewards cash back bonus. There are three Preferred Rewards tiers: Gold ($20,000 to $50,000 on deposit with Bank of America, good for a 25% cash back bonus); Platinum ($50,000 to $100,000 on deposit, good for a 50% bonus); and Platinum Honors customers ($100,000-plus on deposit, good for a 75% bonus).
- Overdraft Protection: If you have a checking account with Bank of America, you can link it to your BankAmericard Cash Rewards card to protect against overdrafts. Whenever you make a non-sufficient funds transaction in your checking account, Bank of America covers the shortfall by charging a cash advance to your credit card. These advances always come in $100 increments. For instance, if you make a $175 overdraft, your corresponding advance is $200. Each overdraft advance costs $12 (as opposed to other types of cash advances, which cost the greater of $10 or 3%) and accrues interest at the maximum cash advance APR rate (25.24%).
- Introductory APR: This card comes with a 12-billing-cycle 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers. Qualifying balance transfers need to be made within 60 days of account opening.
- Regular APR: Once the introductory period ends, purchases and balance transfer APRs range from 13.24% to 23.24%, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. The cash advance APR ranges from 16.24% to 25.24%, and the penalty APR can be as high as 29.99%, also depending on rates and creditworthiness.
- Important Fees: The Susan G. Komen Card does not have an annual fee, but the foreign transaction fee is 3% of each transaction amount. Balance transfers and cash advances both run the greater of $10 or 3%. Returned payments cost $27, while late payments cost $37.
- Credit Required: This card requires good to excellent credit. Some minor dings are fine, but major blemishes are likely to disqualify your application.
- Charitable Giving Is Baked Into the Card. The Susan G. Komen Credit Card contributes to a well-known charity every single time you swipe it, dip it, or punch in its number online. While the absolute size of each donation is pretty small – 0.08% of every $100 transaction amounts to just eight cents – the millions of transactions made annually with this card surely add up. Plus, every new card sign-up sends $3 Susan G. Komen’s way – and that’s real money.
- No Annual Fee. The Susan G. Komen Credit Card doesn’t come with an annual fee. That’s a nice advantage over more expensive cash back cards, such as American Express EveryDay Preferred ($95 annual fee) and Blue Cash Preferred ($75).
- Good Sign-up Bonus. This card’s $100 sign-up bonus is easy to attain – you need to spend just $500 in 90 days to qualify. By contrast, Citi Double Cash doesn’t have a sign-up bonus at all, and American Express Blue Cash Everyday‘s $100 bonus requires $1,000 in spending.
- Solid Introductory APR Promotion. The Susan G. Komen Credit Card’s 12-billing-cycle 0% purchase and balance transfer APR promotion is great news for people switching from high-interest credit cards or planning to make large purchases soon after opening their accounts. Some popular cash back alternatives, such as Capital One Quicksilver (0% APR for 9 months), have more perfunctory promotional periods.
- Extra Benefits for Bank of America Accountholders. If you have a Bank of America deposit account in good standing, you’re guaranteed to get at least a 10% bump to your Susan G. Komen card’s cash back earnings. If you’re fortunate enough to have more than $20,000 on deposit with BoA, you stand to earn a lot more. Some popular competitors, such as Discover it and Discover Bank, don’t offer bonuses for deposit accountholders.
- No Quarterly Categories or Manual Activation. The Susan G. Komen Credit Card’s spending categories are set in stone. You never have to worry about keeping track of rotating categories or manually activating new categories when they come online. On the other hand, both Chase Freedom and Discover it require you to manually activate their rotating categories. That’s a potential headache for busy cardholders.
- Caps on Gas and Grocery Rewards. The Susan G. Komen Credit Card caps its gas and grocery benefits – you only earn the respective 2% and 3% cash back rates on your first $2,500 in combined category spending. If you spend more than $2,500 per quarter in these two categories combined, consider a more generous grocery or gas credit card, such as PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Credit Card (which pays an unlimited 5% back at the pump) or American Express Blue Cash Preferred (which charges a $75 annual fee, but pays 3% back at gas stations and 6% back at supermarkets).
- Charges a Foreign Transaction Fee. This card comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee – a real bummer if you travel internationally with any frequency. Discover it and Capital One Quicksilver both lack foreign transaction fees.
- Has a Penalty APR. The Susan G. Komen Card has a 29.99% penalty APR. That’s a big problem for people who occasionally miss their statement due dates, as Bank of America reserves the right to impose penalty interest indefinitely after missed payments. Chase Freedom and Discover it both eschew penalty interest.
- No Credit Score or Credit-Building Tools. The Susan G. Komen Credit Card doesn’t provide you with a free credit score in your monthly statement or online account dashboard. It also doesn’t have any credit-building tools to speak of. All the Discover it-branded cash back cards offer free FICO scores, while Capital One Quicksilver comes with free FICO scores and useful credit-building tools.
- Minimum Redemption Threshold. This card requires you to accumulate at least $25 in cash back before you can redeem. If you don’t use the card very often, that can take months. By contrast, the Discover it card family lets you redeem in any amount, at any time.
It’s not always easy to find the right charities. To attract donations and grants, charities need to demonstrate that they’re responsible stewards of their donors’ funds, and that their leaders have a clear vision for the future. Poring through multiple charities’ financial statements, or even summary reports produced by third-party watchdogs, can be time-consuming and confusing even for informed laypeople.
Bank of America’s relationship with Susan G. Komen won’t help you conduct due diligence on the other charities you donate to. However, it does make a real difference with one highly regarded nonprofit in particular. It’s nice to know that, with every swipe of your Susan G. Komen® Credit Card, you’re doing your small part for a good cause. If you’re going to spend the money anyway, some of it might as well end up in capable hands.