Bank Of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card Review [2022]: Earn Cash Back Your Way

Being able to choose your top cashback rewards category — and change it as your spending habits shift — can really maximize your earning potential.
Last updated Nov. 4, 2022 | By Stephanie Colestock | Edited By Yahia Barakah

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When shopping around for a new cashback credit card, there are a few things you’re probably hoping to find. Your list might include a card that has no annual fee, great rewards that match your spending, or a sweet bonus offer.

With the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, you can enjoy all three of these benefits — and more. Plus, with the ability to earn cash back “your way,” it’s easy to get the most out of your cash back rewards all year long.

But is this the right cashback credit card for you? Keep reading this Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card review to discover the answer.

Choose Your Cashback Category

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Up to 3% cash back in one category of your choice
  • Long intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Quarterly spending caps
Card Details
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn 3.75%-5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.
  • No annual fee and no expiration on rewards.
  • New longer intro period! 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.99% - 26.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

In this Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card review

Who should get the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card?

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card is a good choice for cardholders who want a $0 annual fee, while still earning competitive rewards on their everyday purchases. This card is probably best suited for those whose spending may fluctuate throughout the year.

Since you’re able to select your own 3% cashback category — picking 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) — it’s easy to earn rewards based on how you actually spend. And since you can change this category as often as once per billing cycle, you can earn maximum cashback rewards even as your spending habits shift.

Additionally, this card is a good choice for anyone interested in 0% interest on purchases, balance transfers, or both. That’s because the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offers an introductory 0% APR on all purchases made in the first 18 billing cycles of account ownership, then 16.99% - 26.99% variable APR.

You also get a 0% APR for 18 billing cycles for any qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the interest rate reaches 16.99% - 26.99% variable APR. This gives you a little over a year to pay down your balance without incurring interest charges.

With that said, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card might not be a great idea for those who travel outside the country often, as it does charge 3% on foreign transactions. Depending on where you go and how much you spend, this could equate to tens or hundreds of dollars in fees.

Card basics

Card type Cash Back/Balance Transfer
Credit card issuer Bank of America
Credit card network Visa
Annual fee $0
Intro 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 of account opening
Reward rate 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
Recommended credit score Excellent
Intro APR offer

0% intro APR on purchases for 18 billing cycles (then 16.99% - 26.99% variable APR)

0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 16.99% - 26.99% variable APR)

Foreign transaction fee 3%

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card benefits and perks

Here’s a look at some of the top benefits offered by the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card:

  • Achievable cash back bonus: Currently, this credit card offers a $200 welcome bonus, and you’ll only need to spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening in order to earn it.
  • Earn cash back your way: You’ll automatically earn 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter). The highest-earning category, however, is decided by you. Cardholders earn 3% cash back 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).
  • Change your biggest rewards as needed: Do all of your holiday shopping online in November, but drive cross-country to see family in December? No problem! Simply choose online shopping for your 3% category in November and then select gas for the following billing cycle. This way, you can optimize for your spending even as it fluctuates.
  • Every dollar counts: Even once you reach the spending cap on the 3% and 2% rewards categories, you can still keep earning. Outside of those categories — or even in those categories, beyond the $2,500 quarterly limit — you’ll still earn 1% on everything you spend.
  • Boost earnings even higher: Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can boost their cashback earnings by 25-75%, meaning you could earn as much as 5.25% in your top spending category each billing cycle. You can read more about how you can do this below.
  • Low introductory APR: New cardholders can take advantage of an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 18 billing cycles (then 16.99% - 26.99% variable APR), as well as a 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 16.99% - 26.99% variable APR).
  • Extended warranty coverage: Extend the manufacturer's warranty on eligible purchases by up to 12 months. You can receive up to $10,000 per extended warranty claim and up to $50,000 total per year.

Drawbacks to the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card

While the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card has several perks, you should also be aware of some drawbacks, including:

  • Spending cap: This card has a quarterly spending cap of $2,500 for its bonus categories. After you exceed that cap, you'll earn only 1% on your spending, so another card may be a better option if you're a big spender in certain categories.
  • Limited redemption options: Your reward redemption options are fairly limited with this card. You can choose to redeem your cash back as a statement credit, check, or deposit to an eligible Bank of America account or Merrill investment account. 

Earning & redeeming Bank of America Cash Rewards

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your cash back can add up with the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $659

Year two earnings: $459

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which takes a look at points earned via spending and the sign-up bonus.

For this calculation, gas was chosen as the 3% bonus category each quarter. The model maximized the cash back earned for using your Customized Cash card to purchase gas. The earnings at the 2% level were adjusted to accommodate the quarterly spending cap of $2,500 for the 3% and 2% categories combined. Your earnings may vary depending on which 3% bonus category you chose and your spending. 

Note that the values above don't account for the higher card rates of cash back you can earn as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member. If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, it's likely you'll get much more value from this card.  

Best ways to earn

The great thing about this card is the flexibility to change your earning potential according to how and when you spend. I don’t know about you, but my own spending fluctuates quite a bit throughout the year. I may remodel my kitchen in March, do a ton of back-to-school shopping online in August, and enjoy travel from October through December.

A travel rewards credit card is great when I’m planning a trip, but it doesn’t help as much when I’m replacing my kitchen appliances. And one of the best gas credit cards is always helpful but doesn’t reward me the most for my Amazon spending.

This is why the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card is so unique. It allows cardholders to “earn cash back your way,” choosing a new 3% category up to once per billing cycle. This means you can get the best cash back rewards for holiday shopping, spring remodels, and summer vacation — all with the same card. Plus, you earn 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter) all year, and 1% on all other purchases.

Categories Rewards rate
Category of your choice (dining, drug stores, gas, home improvement/furnishings, online shopping, or travel) 3%
Grocery stores and wholesale clubs 2%
All other purchases 1%

If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards program member, you can boost your rewards by an additional 25-75%. In order to enroll in this no-fee program, you will need to open a personal checking account with Bank of America. Between this account and other eligible Bank of America (or Merrill Lynch) accounts, you will also need to carry a three-month combined average balance of $20,000.

Your Preferred Rewards tier is based on your combined balance between these eligible accounts. The higher your tier, the more your Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card cashback earnings will be. Below is the rewards chart as of June 20, 2022. Note that Platinum Honors members earn the best credit card rewards bonus. 

Maximizing your redemptions

This card isn’t just flexible when it comes to earning. You will also enjoy multiple cashback redemption options, and your cash rewards will never expire.

Your cashback redemption options include:

  • Redeem for cash rewards in any amount, at any time. These can be in the form of a statement credit, deposits into a Bank of America checking or savings account, or credited to an eligible Merrill account.
  • Redeem as a contribution into a qualifying Merrill 529 account (minimum redemption of $25).
  • Set up automatic redemptions (in increments of $25 or more) into an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card FAQs

Here are a few frequently asked questions about this card, in case you’re still wanting to learn a bit more.

What credit score do you need for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card?

To get approved for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card, you will likely need a good credit score or an excellent credit score. A good FICO score falls within the 670-739 range, and a good VantageScore falls within the 661-780.

If you believe your application has been denied in error, call the Bank of America reconsideration line and speak to a representative who may be able to resolve the issue.

Which grocery stores and gas stations are eligible for Bank of America Cash Rewards cash back?

According to Bank of America, each merchant is responsible for their own merchant category code, or MCC. This code determines which rewards category your purchase falls under once it’s charged to your card.

With that said, Bank of America does list BP, SUNOCO, Chevron, Shell, and Exxon Mobile gas stations as examples that will work for the gas category. You may also get credit for warehouse stores with gas stations that offer a pay-at-the-pump option.

As far as grocery stores, Bank of America lists “supermarkets, freezer/meat lockers, candy, nut or confection stores, dairy product stores, and bakeries” in their list of accepted merchants. However, be aware it’s still up to the merchant to choose their own MCC, so this is not a guarantee.

Also, superstores and drug/convenience stores are excluded from this bonus category, even if they sell groceries at their location.

Do Bank of America cash rewards expire?

No, the cash rewards you’ve earned will never expire!

Does Bank of America give high credit limits?

When it comes to the size of your credit limit, no two cardholder experiences will be the same because credit lines are determined in part by the applicant’s creditworthiness. However, the lender does make it easy to request a credit limit increase over time or if you plan to travel, by including an easy-to-use link in their web Online Banking portal. The feature might not be available on their mobile banking app and doesn’t guarantee your limit will be increased, though, as it will still depend on if you’re eligible.


Other cards to consider

While the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card is a good option among the Bank of America credit cards — especially for Bank of America customers — it might not be the best choice for your wallet. Luckily, there are a number of great credit cards from which you can choose that check similar boxes.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is another $0-annual-fee credit card. New cardmembers can earn $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months. With this card, you’re also able to make the most out of a variety of spending categories each year, thanks to its 5% on Lyft rides; 5% on rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases. 

Read our full Chase Freedom Flex℠ review.

Another $0-annual-fee credit card you may want to consider is the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card. With this card's welcome bonus, you can earn $200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 120 days, and there is no limit to the rewards you can earn. As with the Bank of America card, this card allows you to choose your rewards rate — but not just in one category. You will get 5% cash back on two chosen categories (up to $2,000 quarterly) and prepaid air, hotel, and car reservations booked in the Rewards Center; 2% cash back on one chosen everyday category; and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. This card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, then the regular APR of 18.24% to 28.24% (variable) applies after that.

Read our full U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card review.

Choose Your Cashback Category

Why We Like It

Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

See how these cards compare:

Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠
  • Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Up to 5% cash back on spending
  • Perks from Lyft, HelloFresh, and more
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
  • Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 120 days
  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Up to 5% cash back on eligible purchases

Author Details

Stephanie Colestock Stephanie Colestock is a credit card expert, travel rewards aficionado, and writer who enjoys teaching people how to be financially independent and confident about their money choices. If it has to do with credit, credit cards, or traveling the world on points, you'll find Stephanie writing about it. She also enjoys teaching people how to reach financial independence, regardless of obstacles in their path (such as the crippling student loan debt she once held). Stephanie graduated from Baylor University, and is currently working toward her CFP certification. Her work can be seen on sites such as Forbes, Dough Roller, and Johnny Jet, among many others.