Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Review

Updated: June 13, 2024

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MoneyGeek’s Take

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card caters to consumers seeking flexibility in their cash back rewards without an annual fee. With its customizable 3% cash back category, you can tailor rewards to your spending habits. However, be mindful of the $2,500 spending cap on combined cash back categories, which may limit earning potential for some spenders.

Preferred Rewards members will find added value with higher cash back rates, but a minimum balance of $20,000 in Bank of America accounts is required to qualify. Overall, this card offers compelling benefits for strategic spenders and loyal Bank of America customers.

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

Rewards RateEarn 3% cash back on a category of choice (gas — n...
APR18.24%–28.24% variable APR on purchases and balanc...
Annual Fee$0
Recommended Credit670–850 (Good to Excellent)

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Card Overview

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card caters to those who value flexibility in earning cash back. With a customizable 3% cash back category, users can adapt their rewards to fit their spending. This card also gives 2% cash back on groceries and wholesale clubs. However, the 3% and 2% cash back categories have a combined quarterly spending cap of $2,500, which may limit rewards for big spenders.

The Preferred Rewards program will boost cash back rates by up to 75% for Bank of America and Merrill clients with a significant deposit balance. To reach the highest tier, Platinum Honors, Diamond or Diamond Honors, a balance of $100,000 in qualifying accounts is necessary, a steep requirement for many.

After reaching the required spending amount, the card's perks extend beyond cash back with a $200 online cash reward bonus. It also features a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, ideal for handling large purchases or transferring existing debt. However, the balance transfer fee increases from 3% to 4% if the transfer is made 60 days or more after account opening.

While this card charges foreign transaction fees, domestic travelers can enjoy this card with no annual fee.

>>More: Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Card Details

Feature
Details

Card Type

Cash Back, Balance Transfer

Annual Fee

$0

Introductory Offer

$200 cash back after $1,000 spent in the first 90 days

Introductory APRs

0% for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, then 18.24%–28.24% (variable) after that

Rewards

  • 3% cash back in your chosen category (gas and EV charging stations; online shopping, including cable, internet, phone plans and streaming; dining; travel; drug stores and pharmacies; or home improvement and furnishings)
  • 2% at grocery stores/wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 quarterly)
  • 1% on all else

Preferred Rewards Program Overview

Bank of America Preferred Rewards program members can enjoy higher cash back rates from their Bank of America® credit cards. In order to be eligible, members must have at least $20,000 in Bank of America and Merrill accounts on average every day for the past three months.

This program is structured into various tiers based on the member’s combined balance. The level of reward boost you receive is determined by the tier you fall into.

Preferred Rewards® Tier
Balance Needed to Qualify
Cash Back Rate for Your Chosen Category
Cash Back Rate for Groceries and Wholesale Clubs
Regular Cash Back Rate

Gold

$20,000 to $49,999

3.75%

2.5%

1.25%

Platinum

$50,000 to $99,999

4.5%

3%

1.5%

Platinum Honors, Diamond and Diamond Honors

$100,000+

5.25%

3.5%

1.75%

Why You Might Want This Card

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers a suite of benefits catering to everyday and strategic spenders. Here's why you might want to consider this card for your wallet:

  • 3% Customizable Cash Back: Cardholders can choose the 3% cash back category from a list that includes gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings.

  • Introductory Offers: This card offers a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, cardholders can enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles.

  • No Annual Fee: Keep more cash in your pocket with no annual fee, ensuring that all the rewards you earn are pure gain.

  • Preferred Rewards Member Bonuses: Bank of America customers with a qualifying deposit balance can increase the cash back rate to as high as 5.25% for the chosen category.

Why You Might Want a Different Card

While the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers attractive benefits, there are a few considerations to keep in mind before applying. Depending on your spending habits and financial goals, these drawbacks may influence your decision.

  • $2,500 Spending Cap: The card has a combined $2,500 quarterly spending cap on the 3% and 2% cash back categories. This limit could curb the earning potential of those spending more in these areas. Depending on where you spend the most, a cash back card with a higher spending limit, like the Blue Cash Preferred® by Amex, or a card without a spending cap, like the Capital One Savor Rewards card, might be a better fit.

  • Quarterly Activation: The need to activate the 3% cash back category each quarter adds an extra step that requires attention and planning.

  • Preferred Rewards Qualification: The card's enhanced cash back rates are a plus for Preferred Rewards members, but qualifying for this program requires a hefty balance in Bank of America or Merrill accounts. For instance, to reach the Gold tier and enjoy a 3.75% cash back rate on your chosen category, you'll need to maintain a balance of at least $20,000, which may be steep for the average cardholder.

How the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Card Compares

To help you find the best card, we’ve compared the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards card with similar no-annual-fee cash back cards.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards

The Unlimited Cash Rewards card differs with its flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases, offering simplicity over the Customized Cash Rewards card's customizable categories but without spending caps. If you prefer straightforward rewards, the Unlimited Cash Rewards may be more appealing, while the Customized Cash Rewards card is better for maximizing returns in specific spending areas.

More: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards vs. Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards

Compared to Customized Cash Rewards, the SavorOne card does not charge foreign transaction fees and provides 3% unlimited cash back on dining, entertainment and groceries. While both cards have their merits, the SavorOne may be more rewarding for those who frequently dine out or travel, whereas the Bank of America card is better for those who prefer to tailor their rewards to their most significant spending category.

More: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards vs. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

In addition to the Unlimited Cash Rewards and the SavorOne cards, we also compared the Customized Cash Rewards card with the following cards:

Cards to Pair With the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Card

With its cash back rewards, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards card complements cards with flat-rate cash back or credit cards that offer higher rates and higher spending caps.

Wells Fargo Active Cash

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card offers 2% cash back on purchases, with no categories to track. Like the Bank of America card, it has no annual fee and an excellent intro offer. Pairing it with the Customized Cash Rewards credit card lets you earn a higher rate in your chosen 3% category while still getting a high return on all other spending.

Blue Cash Preferred From American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred card offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets for up to $6,000 annually. Despite the $95 annual fee after the first year, its higher cash back rate in key categories can offset this cost. By using the Blue Cash Preferred card for groceries and the Customized Cash Rewards card for your chosen category, you can optimize your cash back across more of your spending. See rates and fees.

Is the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Card Right for You?

If you're a Preferred Rewards member or a strategic spender who can benefit from customizing your cash back categories, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card could be a wise choice. It's especially worthwhile if you can stay within the $2,500 spending cap on combined cash back categories. However, you may want to consider other options if you travel internationally or won't qualify for the higher rewards rates.

How We Evaluated the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Card

Our evaluation of the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card involved a comprehensive review against 47 other cards. We focused on key features that align with the card's pros and cons. Here's how we weighted each feature:

  • Effective Reward Rate (50%): Measures the value of cash back or points earned per dollar spent.
  • Intro Purchase (10%): Assesses the value of the introductory 0% APR offer on purchases.
  • Regular APR (10%): Evaluates the long-term cost of carrying a balance.
  • Balance Transfer Offer (10%): Rates the attractiveness of the balance transfer terms.
  • Annual Fee (5%), Recommended Credit (5%), Issuer Satisfaction (5%) and Penalties (5%): These factors assess the card's cost, accessibility, customer service quality and the fairness of fees and penalties

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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