How would you define "reward abuse" though? Or I guess more importantly, how would they define it?
I am not looking to churn cards to get sign-up bonus and would be happy to get the 2nd card even if they tell me I can't get the sign-up bonus. I'm looking for cards I can use long-term that will optimize the cash back I get on my spending.
I already have three of their cards and when I buy something I pull out the one that gives me the highest cash back for that transaction. Do they already consider it abuse that I pull out the Cash Rewards card for gas, and then switch to the Premium Rewards for dining? I think they even advertise that I should do that.
So what would significantly change if I had both a "BoA Cash Rewards" and a "WWF Cash Rewards by BoA" card in my wallet?
To me "abuse" usually means things like manufactured spending or churning sign-up bonus with no intention of long-term using the card, whereas, I want cards I can use for years and drive all my actual real spending through.
You may not be intentionally abusing anything, but most consumers aren't going to go through the effort of using one card for one 3% category, one for another, etc. So that makes you an outlier, and not as much of a profitable customer. We can debate all day whether it's "abuse" or not to open another card for another 3% option, but ultimately most consumers aren't going to do it, so you stand out, and not in a great way (at least as far as algorithims may be concerned).
If everyone only uses cards for the 3% or 5% or whatever categories, the company starts losing money and has to cut things. For example, savvy consumers only using Discover for 5% categories may have cost enough to cause their elimination of various perks. It may also have nothing to do with it, but IMO there's probably some amount of connection. If enough people opened 2 or 3 BOA cards and only used them for 3% choices, I would think we could eventually see the choice option go away or be restricted somehow. BOA (and all companies really) want you to get the card and use it for everything, not just bonus categories. BOA may want you to optimize your cash back on one category, but certainly not all!