Bank of America has a new rewards program

Bank of America logo on building

By being “too big to fail” and threatening to charge a monthly fee for using one’s debit card (which it withdrew due to major backlash), Bank of America is one of those banks people just love to hate.

But to regain your loyalty or get you as a new customer, it’s rolling out a new, free rewards program called BankAmeriDeals (http://promotions.bankofamerica.com/deals), which lets you choose from a menu of shopping and dining cash-back deals.

The cash back you earn is automatically credited to your checking or credit card account.

You’ll receive cash back ranging between 5% and 15% of your purchase, and these BankAmeriDeals are on top of other credit card rewards.

How it works: After logging onto your Bank of America account, you'll see a bright blue “Cash Back Deals” banner. Click on that, and you’ll find discount offers from various retailers in your account.

Click on a deal you like, and it’s added directly to your BofA credit or debit card. Then shop or dine out as you normally do.

The deals vary depending on the person, but they’re supposed to be at local retailers you’ve shopped at before or are similar to those you frequent.

A friend of mine who is a BofA customer recently got an offer for a bar near her office. She added that deal to her account, and the next time she goes there for happy hour drinks, she’ll earn 15% back on her purchase.

A few caveats: Deals expire after a certain number of days, ranging from three days to a month. You have to wait till the end of the month to get your rewards, as they’re placed in your account as a monthly lump-sum deposit only, not after you redeem each offer.

The earnings are deposited directly into your checking or credit accounts only, so you’ll have to manually move funds to your savings account, if you want to go that route.

If you need more help keeping track of how and when to use your deals, you can set alerts and receive email and text reminders when new deals become available and when current deals are about to expire.

And if the deals don’t appeal, you can choose to opt out.