Cashback credit cards often provide a simple way to get a “discount” on all your purchases by offering cash back. But the rewards potential can vary depending on if a card offers bonus cash back in the categories in which you typically spend the most.
With the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, you get to choose the category for its highest earning rate, which gives you unique customization on how you earn rewards.
Learn about the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card benefits and see whether it might be a good fit for you.
About the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card
The Customized Cash Rewards card is a cashback credit card that offers cash back on all eligible purchases. Some of the primary benefits of the card include:
- $0 annual fee.
- Earning cash back “your way.”
- Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening bonus offer.
A sign-up bonus and $0 annual fee are always welcomed and appreciated on rewards cards. Having a low annual fee is an incentive for keeping a card for years since there are no additional costs to offset. A generous sign-up bonus could help you quickly see the value a card could bring.
One of this card’s more unique benefits is that it allows you to effectively choose how you want to earn your rewards. If you like earning cash back and want some customization in how you earn your rewards, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card could make sense for you.
Check out our full Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card review.
6 Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards benefits
Here are the main benefits of the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards:
1. Sign-up bonus
The Customized Cash Rewards card offers an excellent sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Sign-up bonuses are typically an easy way to earn rewards for purchases you’re already planning on making. You often have at least a few months to complete the spending requirement to be eligible for the bonus offer.
In the case of this offer, you could earn $200 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. Depending on your spending habits and everyday purchases, that could give you more than enough time to earn a 20% return on your expenses.
Keep in mind that putting everyday purchases on your card — like groceries and gas — could help you qualify for the sign-up bonus.
2. Choose your earning category
It’s common for rewards credit cards to offer bonus cash back in select categories on top of a standard rewards rate. For example, you might get 3% back on restaurant and travel purchases and 1% back on everything else.
However, what’s uncommon about the Customized Cash Rewards card is that it lets you decide how you want to earn cash back.
Specifically, this card offers 3% cash back on the category of your choice; 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 spent each quarter in the 2% and 3% categories combined); and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Category of your choice — dining, drugstores, gas, home improvement/furnishings, online shopping, or travel (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter) cashback categories include:
- Online shopping
- Home improvement and furnishings
These bonus categories could easily align with everyday expenses, which might translate into earning cash back on purchases you already make.
Earning 3% and 2% cash back on this card is limited to the first $2,500 spent in eligible categories each quarter. Note that you must manually change your category selection in your Bank of America online selection, or it will default to gas or the last category selected.
3. Redemption options
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards offers the following redemption options for your cashback rewards:
- Statement credits
- Paper checks
- Deposits into a Bank of America checking or savings account
- Credits or contributions to an eligible Merrill® account
Statement credits and checks are common types of cashback redemption options. A statement credit is similar to receiving actual cash since it’s offsetting your card balance, and credit cards can be used for countless purchases. Paper checks are also useful but are typically not as safe.
Deposits or credits into eligible Bank of America or Merrill accounts offer opportunities to pad your bank or investment account. This presents a unique strategy for helping build savings or investments.
4. Low annual cost
The Customized Cash Rewards card has a $0 annual fee. This means there’s no annual cost to worry about.
While this is a simple benefit, its effects could be significant. Many rewards credit cards come with annual fees, which puts new cardholders into a situation where they need to get enough value from their card to offset the fee. If they don’t get enough value, they’re basically paying a card issuer for their credit card.
The card’s $0 annual fee also means there’s nothing to offset. Any cash back you earn is essentially pure profit. Plus, any benefits or perks you use would be like getting bonus value out of your card.
See our list of cashback credit cards with no annual fee for other options.
5. Bank of America Preferred Rewards
Bank of America offers its members access to the Preferred Rewards program. It’s free to join, but you have to qualify.
Here are the primary requirements to participate in the program:
- Have an active and eligible Bank of America checking account.
- Retain a three-month combined average daily balance of at least $20,000 between qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts.
Meeting these requirements could qualify you for Preferred Rewards Gold status, though there are also Platinum and Platinum Honors tiers available. Platinum status raises the three-month combined average daily balance requirement to $50,000 while Platinum Honors requires at least a $100,000 average daily balance.
Depending on your status level, you could earn between 25% to 75% more rewards on your eligible Bank of America credit card. That’s up to 75% more rewards on top of what the card already offers.
For example, let’s say you maxed out the $2,500 earning limit in a quarter with an 3% category such as dining or gas. This could net you $75 ($2,500 x 0.03 = $75) in cash back. Add on a 75% bonus and you’re now looking at 5.25% cash back, or $131.25 ($2,500 x 0.0525 = $131.25). That’s $56.25 more in cashback rewards.
6. Low introductory APR offer
The Customized Cash Rewards card could be a good fit if you have upcoming large purchases or are interested in balance transfers.
This card offers 0% intro APR on purchases for 18 billing cycles, then 17.99% - 27.99% Variable.
It also offers 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 17.99% - 27.99% Variable.
Being able to avoid high interest rates for a number of billing cycles could help you pay down debt or let you make everyday purchases now and pay them off in a few or more months.
Keep in mind that balance transfers typically come with balance transfer fees, however. This card charges 3% of the amount of each transaction, for qualifying balance transfers.
Here are some additional benefits to consider:
- Contactless: Tap to pay easily and securely anywhere you see the contactless symbol.
- Digital wallet: Add and use your credit card with popular mobile payment services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
- Mobile and online banking: Easily access your account on the go from anywhere you have a stable internet connection. This could include using a web browser or the Bank of America mobile app.
- FICO® Score: Opt in for free monthly access to your updated FICO Score.
- Account and security alerts: Customize your alerts to receive notifications about balances, due dates, and irregular card activity.
Drawbacks to the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card
Here are some potential drawbacks of the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards:
- Spending cap: You’re limited to earning bonus rewards on the first $2,500 spent each quarter combined between the 3% and 2% categories. If you reach this amount for a quarter, every eligible purchase will only earn 1% cash back.
- Limited redemptions: You don’t typically need more redemption options than getting statement credits or bank deposits, but sometimes having more options can be helpful. For example, you might want travel-related redemptions to help offset trip costs. You can compare credit cards and see other top products from different card categories.
- Preferred Rewards requirements: Not everyone can float a $20,000 bank balance for three months, let alone a $100,000 balance for the same amount of time. Getting the additional benefits from the Preferred Rewards program might be out of reach for some cardholders.
- Approval process: Not everyone will qualify for a Bank of America credit card. You typically need an excellent credit score to qualify for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards. Consider calling the Bank of America reconsideration line if you’ve been turned down for one of its cards.
- Foreign transaction fee: This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, so it’s not the best credit card option for making purchases abroad. However, it works on the Visa network, so you could likely use it anywhere Visa cards are accepted if needed.
Is the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards worth it?
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card could be worth it depending on your situation. This card offers a generous sign-up bonus of $200 after spending $1,000 in the first first 90 days of account opening.
For ongoing rewards, you could earn 3% in the category of your choice — dining, drugstores, gas, home improvement/furnishings, online shopping, or travel (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter).
What can you do with Bank of America cash rewards?
Bank of America cash rewards can typically be redeemed for these options:
- Statement credits
- Paper checks
- Deposits made directly into Bank of America checking or savings
- Credits to eligible Merrill accounts
How do I get my $200 cash rewards from Bank of America?
To get your $200 cash rewards from the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card, you will need to qualify for the sign-up bonus. This card’s bonus offers $200 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers a generous sign-up bonus, helpful earning opportunities, and a $0 annual fee. Depending on your rewards preferences and financial situation, it could be an ideal fit.
However, if you’re not sure if this card is right for you, consider our list of the best cashback credit cards. These are top recommendations for cards that earn cash back and include products from multiple major credit card issuers.
Choose Your Cashback Category