Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Updated: June 7, 2024

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Both the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited offer compelling cash back rewards without an annual fee, paired with introductory APR offers. However, the Chase Freedom Unlimited edges ahead with a slightly higher cash back score, particularly after the first year when its broad rewards structure continues to reward spending across various categories.

While the BofA Customized Cash card offers high cash back in customizable categories, which is a significant draw, the Freedom Unlimited's consistent rewards on all other purchases and potential for higher cash back in the first year make it a more versatile choice for many. Nevertheless, those who can maximize the Bank of America card's customizable categories may still find it to be a highly rewarding option.

Credit Card logo for Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
Credit Card logo for Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
MoneyGeek Rating
4.0/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
4.0/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    18.24%–28.24% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
    20.49%–29.24% variable
    0% APR Offer
    0% intro for 15 billing cycles
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    Intro Offer
    Earn $200 online cash rewards
    Earn an additional 1.5% cash back
    Rewards Summary
    Earn 1% – 3% cash back
    Earn 1.5% – 6.5% cash back
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% intro for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
    0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months
    Balance Transfer Fee
    3% of the amount of each transaction
    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    Annual Fee
    $0
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    Up to 29.99% variable APR
    Up to 29.99% (variable)
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the BofA Customized Cash if you enjoy tailoring your rewards to your spending habits. With the ability to choose your 3% cash back category and additional rewards for Preferred Rewards members, this card is a strong contender for maximizing returns on everyday purchases within the capped limit.

You might prefer the Freedom Unlimited if you value simplicity and flexibility in earning rewards. With a generous 1.5% cash back on all purchases and higher rates on travel, dining and drugstore purchases, this card offers consistent value without the need to track spending categories.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards, introductory offers and additional features will illuminate which card aligns with your financial habits. For instance, if maximizing dining rewards is a priority, Freedom Unlimited may appeal more, whereas the BofA Customized Cash could be advantageous for those who spend heavily in a specific category of their choice.

    discount icon

    Regular APR: BofA Customized Cash

    The BofA Customized Cash card offers a lower starting APR of 18.24% compared to the Freedom Unlimited's 20.49%.

    annualFee icon

    Annual Fee: Tie

    Both the BofA Customized Cash card and the Freedom Unlimited offer a $0 annual fee, making them equally appealing for those looking to avoid extra costs.

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    Introductory 0% APRs: Tie

    Both the cards offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers. However, the BofA Customized Cash card charges a 3% fee on balance transfers, consistent throughout, whereas Freedom Unlimited has an introductory 3% fee on transfers made within 60 days, which then increases to 5%.

    coins icon

    Rewards: Freedom Unlimited

    The Freedom Unlimited is better for rewards, offering 5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5% on all other purchases. In contrast, the BofA Customized Cash offers 3% cash back in a chosen category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, with a $2,500 quarterly limit on combined 2% and 3% category purchases.The Freedom Unlimited also boasts a higher effective reward rate of 4.5 compared to 3.8.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: Freedom Unlimited

    The Freedom Unlimited offers a more valuable welcome bonus, providing an additional 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 spent in the first year, which can be worth up to $300 cash back. In contrast, the BofA Customized Cash card offers $200 online cash rewards after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days

    creditApproved icon

    Recommended Credit Score: Freedom Unlimited

    Freedom Unlimited is more accessible to a broader range of credit scores, despite both cards catering to the 670 to 850 range. This conclusion is based on Freedom Unlimited's lower internal rating for recommended credit.

    autopay icon

    Penalties and Fees: Bank of America Customized Cash

    For penalties and fees, BofA Customized Cash is slightly better due to its more favorable cash advance fee of 3% of each transaction, compared to the Freedom Unlimited's fee of either $10 or 5% of each transaction, whichever is greater. Both cards have similar late fees and penalty APRs.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

    For issuer satisfaction, Bank of America leads with a rating of 4.5, compared to JPMorgan Chase Bank's 4.1.

    airplane icon

    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    The BofA Customized Cash card provides contactless payments and benefits for Preferred Rewards members, while Freedom Unlimited offers an introductory cash back bonus and access to Chase Credit Journey for credit monitoring.

Rewards Comparison

The Freedom Unlimited card edges out with a higher expected reward value and a more generous effective reward rate. Its broad 1.5% cash back on all purchases makes it a strong contender for those who value simplicity and consistent rewards. However, the BofA Customized Cash card's most compelling bonus category is its 3% cash back on a category of choice, which can surpass the Freedom Unlimited in specific areas like gas or online shopping.

For the BofA Customized Cash card, you can pick your top spending category to earn 3% cash back. Eligible categories include gas — now including electric vehicle charging stations, online shopping — now including cable, streaming, internet, and phone services, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvements and furnishings. This flexibility can be particularly advantageous if your spending is concentrated in one of these areas.

Below is a table of bonus categories to help you visually compare the rewards programs at a glance.

Category
BofA Customized Cash
Freedom Unlimited

Dining

3% (choice category)

3%

Drugstores

3% (choice category)

3%

Groceries

2% for the first $2,500 annually/1% thereafter

1.5%

Wholesale Clubs

2% for the first $2,500 annually/1% thereafter

1.5%

Gas

3% (choice category)

1.5%

Redeeming Rewards

After accumulating rewards with either card, you'll find different avenues for redemption. With the BofA Customized Cash, you can redeem your cash back for deposits or statement credits, among other options. Importantly, your cash back remains available as long as your account is active. On the other hand, Freedom Unlimited offers a no-minimum cash back redemption, meaning you can redeem any amount at any time. This card also provides diverse redemption choices, including statement credit, direct deposit, and even shopping with points on Amazon. Like its counterpart, Freedom Unlimited ensures your rewards stay intact as long as the account is open.

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluates credit cards like the BofA Customized Cash and Freedom Unlimited using a tailored scoring system for various use cases. In this comparison, both cards are assessed based on their performance in the cash back category. The largest factors influencing their scores include the effective reward rate, which carries the most weight, and the return on investment for the offer. For a detailed understanding of our scoring process, you can review our ranking methodology.

FAQ: BofA Customized Cash vs. Freedom Unlimited Card

What are the cash back rewards for each card?
Do either of the cards have an annual fee?
What are the introductory APR offers for these cards?
How do the cards compare in terms of balance transfer fees?
Can I earn bonus rewards with either card?

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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