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Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
Secure application on issuer’s website
- Our Rating 4/5 How our ratings work
- APR18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR on purchases
- Annual Fee$0
$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card is a solid choice for many people who want to maximize their everyday spending. The card is one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market because it provides flexibility with its top rewards bonus category. It’s especially worth considering if you’re a Preferred Rewards member with the card issuer.
Ideal for Existing Bank of America Customers
If you’re looking for a cash-back credit card, the options may seem endless. But by focusing on your spending habits, lifestyle and preferences, it’s easy to narrow down the list to a select few.
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market because it provides flexibility with its top rewards bonus category. The card also offers an easy $200 bonus after you spend just $1,000 in your first 90 days from account opening.
If you’re hoping to get a cash rewards credit card that you can hold onto for years to come, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card could be the right choice. Here’s everything you need to know about this popular cash rewards credit card.
- Ample bonus spending categories
- No annual fee
- Sign-up bonus
- Bonus spending categories capped at $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases
The card offers a one-time $200 cash rewards bonus to new account holders. All you have to do to earn this sign-up bonus is to spend $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days from account opening. That's roughly $333 per month, and you're effectively getting a 20% return on that spending.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are competing cash-back credit cards that feature a similar bonus for half the spend. So if you don't spend much on credit cards, make sure you shop around.
That said, if you're confident you can spend enough to meet the bonus requirement, it's not as important as the card's other features.
As a new cardholder, you'll get a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, and that's in addition to the card's cashback sign-up bonus.
To be more specific, you'll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases, and on any balance transfer you make within 60 days of opening your account. Keep in mind that there is a balance transfer fee of 3% per transaction.
After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a 18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR on purchases will apply.
One of this cash rewards credit card's main value propositions is its rewards program. It's not a flat-rate cash-back card like the Citi Double Cash® Card, from our partner Citi. But depending on how much you spend in certain areas, you could still earn significant value.
For starters, the card offers 3% cash back rewards on the category of your choice from the following list:
- Online shopping
- Home improvement/furnishings
In August of 2023, Bank of America expanded the categories of this card, so Gas now includes Electric Vehicle Charging (EVC) Stations and Online Shopping covers internet, phone, streaming and cable services.
The default when you first get the card is gas, but you can change your category once per month.
The card also offers 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, as well as 1% cash back on other purchases.
The card's 3% bonus tier is the biggest selling point. With so many common spending categories and the chance to change categories every month, it should be easy for many people to rack up rewards. Also, the 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs make the card extremely relevant for most U.S. households.
The only drawback is that the card issuer caps how much you can earn on the 3% and 2% categories to $2,500 in combined spending each quarter. Once you hit that limit, you'll earn just 1% back on everything for the rest of the quarter.
However, if you're not that big of a spender and don't anticipate going over that limit on a regular basis, it shouldn't matter as much.
As you compare cards, try to think about the type of cash rewards program you want. A tiered program like this can be a great option for someone who spends a lot in the card's bonus categories. But earning just 1% back on other purchases may be unappealing.
Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program
On its own, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers some solid rewards rates. But if you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn up to 75% more.
To qualify for Preferred Rewards, you need to have an active, eligible Bank of America checking account and at least $20,000 in combined balances between Bank of America and Merrill Lynch accounts. Here's how to tiers work for bonus rewards:
- Gold: Earn 25% more cash back when you have at least $20,000 in combined balances.
- Platinum: Earn 50% more cash back when you have at least $50,000 in combined balances.
- Platinum Honors: Earn 75% more cash back when you have at least $100,000 in combined balances.
In other words, you could earn up to 5.25% on the category of your choice, 3.5% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1.75% on everything else.
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card doesn't charge an annual fee. This is pretty common among cash-back credit cards, but that doesn't negate the value you get from not having to worry about making up for a yearly cost.
Now, that's not to say that annual fees are bad. With the right card, it's possible to get as much or even more value from a card's rewards and benefits than what it costs each year.
Before you settle on the right card for you, consider the value you're getting from a no-annual-fee card compared to a card with an annual fee.
For example, if you travel a lot, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card may not be the best choice because it charges a foreign transaction fee. Most travel credit cards don't charge foreign transaction fees, so those may be a better choice.
Your credit score is an important factor in the credit card application process. Most of the best rewards credit cards require good or excellent credit, and the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards card is no different. You need a good credit score to get approved.
According to FICO, good credit starts at a 670 score. Check your credit score before you apply to see where you stand. If it's below that threshold or just above it, consider working on improving your credit score before you apply.
Also, note that Bank of America offers free FICO® Score access to cardholders. The score is updated on a monthly basis.
While rewards generally get the most fanfare, many cash rewards credit cards also offer cardholders a lot of value with their benefits. Here's what you can expect from this cash rewards credit card.
Bank of America offers eligible cardholders the chance to get into scores of museums around the U.S. for free on the first weekend of each month. You can check the card issuer's website to get a full list of museums in your area.
Contactless payments use the same technology as the EMV chip in your credit card, which makes transactions far more secure than what you get when you swipe your card.
Where contactless has improved on EMV chip technology, though, is in speed. Simply tap your card to a contactless-enabled card reader and be on your way.
If you prefer simplicity, you'll love the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards card's redemption program. There are three ways you can redeem your cash back rewards:
- Get a statement credit on your account.
- Deposit the cash back into an eligible Bank of America deposit account or Merrill Lynch investment account.
- Request a paper check.
In most cases, there's no minimum amount when redeeming rewards. But if you're requesting a paper check or a deposit into a 529 plan with Merrill Lynch, you need at least $25 in cash rewards to redeem.
Note that you can also set up automatic redemptions into a qualifying Bank of America or Merrill Lynch account starting at $25.
No credit card is perfect, and even some of the best cash rewards credit cards aren't the right fit for everyone. The biggest flaw this card has is its rewards earning cap on 3% and 2% categories. Anyone who spends more than $2,500 in those areas over a three-month period will likely want to pick a credit card that doesn't limit how much they can earn.
Also, while cash back rewards are excellent for many people, they're not great for travel enthusiasts. If you want to earn points or miles toward travel, consider an airline or hotel credit card — or a general travel credit card.
Again, a lot of travel credit cards charge annual fees. But if you can get that value back and more each year, it may be worth it.
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards card is a solid choice for many people who want to maximize their everyday spending. It's especially worth considering if you're a Preferred Rewards member with the card issuer.
But this cash rewards credit card has some downsides that may be deal-breakers for some people. Carefully consider all of its features before deciding whether it's right for you.
Ready to apply for the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card? Start here.
And if you have any questions about the card, you can contact Bank of America's customer service line and speak with an agent to get answers.
Finally, if you want the card's high-end rewards rates but not the mediocre 1% back on everything else, consider pairing the card with another one that offers a higher flat rate on everything. There are plenty of cards that can be a good complement.