Bank of America®️ Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students Review [2024]: Build Credit, Earn Cash

CREDIT CARDS - STUDENT CREDIT CARDS
With the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students you can earn earn significant cashback rewards, but does it offer everything a student wants?
Updated June 12, 2024
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The Bank of America®️ Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students gives students a chance to establish credit while also earning rewards in the process. Students can earn up to 3% cash back with this card, though there are spending caps in play. It will be important to analyze your future spending and determine whether it makes sense to apply for this Bank of America credit card.

Learn more about this card’s cashback potential, sign-up bonus, and more by reading this Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students review.

Build Credit and Earn Cash Back

Bank of America®️ Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students
4.75

Bank of America®️ Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending a $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

3% cash back in a category of your choice and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 quarterly for these two categories combined); and 1% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

In this Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students review

Who should get the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students?

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students card is perfect for college attendees who have a limited or no credit history. Through responsible spending and on-time payments, students can use this credit card to build up their credit history, which will benefit them in the future when applying for car loans, home loans, or other financial products.

If you’re a student and you’ve been declined for a regular credit card before, getting a student credit card might be a good idea for you as student cards typically have less stringent requirements. This card also offers a sign-up bonus that will be easy to achieve on most student budgets.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students card is also a great credit card for those who want to earn cashback rewards. Not all credit cards earn rewards, but some of the best student credit cards do. Just be aware that you’ll earn only the 3% and 2% cashback rates on the first $2,500 combined that you spend in those categories every quarter. For most students, this won’t be an issue as your budget is not likely to be huge either. But whether this card is the best fit for you depends on your personal spending habits.

This card is not ideal for students traveling overseas, whether for school or pleasure, as it carries a 3% foreign transaction fee on all international purchases. Fees can add up quickly, especially if you’re living outside the U.S. for a semester or more. There are other cards that we would consider among the best credit cards for studying abroad.

Card basics

Card type Student
Card issuer Bank of America
Credit card networkVisa
Annual fee $0
Intro bonus $200 cash rewards bonus after spending a $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
Reward rate 3% cash back in a category of your choice and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 quarterly for these two categories combined); and 1% cash back on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good, Fair
Intro APR 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable

0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
Foreign transaction fee 3%

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students benefits and perks

  • Generous sign-up bonus offer: New cardholders earn $200 after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Customized rewards: This card offers you the ability to choose your highest-earning cash back category, and you can change that category once per month. The categories are gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, and home improvement and furnishings. 
  • No annual fee: The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students card has a $0 annual fee, so using this card doesn’t have to cost you anything.
  • Introductory APR: This card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, then a 19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR thereafter. This is helpful if you have existing credit card debt and want to pay it off over time without interest charges. It’s also handy if you have large school expenses coming up, such as a new laptop. Just be aware that your balance transfers must occur within the first 60 days from account opening to get the special introductory APR.
  • Mobile app: Use the Bank of America mobile banking app to manage both credit card and bank accounts, pay your bill, redeem rewards, and more. The app is available on both iOS and Android.
  • Free credit score: Bank of America credit card customers gain access to their FICO credit score for free. Having tools like FICO score access can help students understand how credit works and how they can build a good credit history.  
  • Overdraft protection: You can opt into Bank of America's Balance Connect service for overdraft protection if you have an eligible Bank of America checking account. 

Drawbacks to this card

  • Complicated rewards program: Although it has great reward rates, the spending caps can make it difficult to keep track of your spending and make the most of your rewards earnings.
  • Foreign transaction fees: This card carries a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases outside of the U.S. Students traveling or studying abroad may prefer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.
  • No rewards for good grades: Some student credit cards offer bonus rewards for getting good grades over a set period of time. There is no such bonus with this Bank of America card.

Earning and redeeming cash back with Bank of America

Best ways to earn

Students can earn rewards in several ways with their Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students. Cash back is earned on all purchases, but the highest rewards rate is in specific categories.

Categories Rewards rate
Purchases in chosen category (gas and EV charging stations; online shopping including cable, internet, phone plans and streaming; dining; travel; drug stores; or home improvement/furnishings), on up to $2,500 quarterly for this and 2% category combined 3%
Grocery stores and wholesale clubs, on up to $2,500 quarterly for this and 3% category combined 2%
All other purchases 1%

The card can be very versatile given that you get to choose your 3% category from the following:

  • Gas
  • Online shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Drug stores
  • Home improvement/furnishings

One unique feature is that you can switch your chosen bonus category monthly as well. You can do so by visiting your online banking account or the Bank of America mobile app. So if you need to furnish your dorm room or apartment, switch your category to home improvements/furnishings to make the most of your spending. If you’re booking travel next month, then switch to the travel category. Being strategic with your spending can lead to an increase in your extra cashback rewards.

There is a catch to earning rewards with this credit card: there is a $2,500 spending cap for each quarter that applies to the 3% and 2% bonus categories combined. After you spend $2,500 in both of those categories, all your purchases will earn just 1% regardless of category. Although $2,500 spending quarterly may seem like a lot for a college student, that comes out to a little over $800 per month, and it’s plausible that you may spend that much on travel and groceries combined or a combo of dining and groceries.

Maximizing your redemptions

Bank of America offers several redemption options for students to consider. You can redeem your cashback rewards for a statement credit, a deposit into Bank of America accounts (such as a savings account or checking account), a credit to a Merrill Cash Management Account or Merrill 529 account, or a paper check.

The following redemptions have no minimum redemption requirement:

  • Statement credits
  • Manual direct deposits
  • Credits to Merrill Cash Management Accounts

Redemptions with a $25 minimum redemption require include:

  • One-time 529 account contributions
  • Paper checks
  • Automatic redemptions for direct deposits
  • Automatic credits to Merrill Cash Management Accounts

Cashback rewards never expire as long as your account stays open and active.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students FAQs

What's the difference between a student credit card and a regular credit card?

Typically student credit cards have both lower credit requirements and lower credit limits than regular credit cards. Some student cards also offer special perks, such as extra rewards for good grades.

Do you have to prove to Bank of America that you are a student?

Applicants for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students will be asked to include information regarding their school affiliation on their application, but no documentation is required to prove you are a student.

What's the starting credit limit for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students?

The starting credit limit for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students is determined by an applicant's creditworthiness. Your creditworthiness is determined by your credit score, payment history, credit history, and other factors. As you build your credit score, you can request a limit increase through your online account.

Can I get the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students card with no credit history?

Bank of America makes its decisions based on the applicant’s overall credit history, ability to pay, and your application information. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be approved if you have no credit history, but it also isn’t the only factor considered.

Which Bank of America credit card is best for students?

The best credit card for students depends on each person’s personal preference and needs. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students is best for earning maximum rewards in specific categories.

For a more straightforward rewards structure, the Bank of America®️ Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students offers unlimited 1.5X points per dollar spent on all purchases. It’s also great for frequent travelers because it has no foreign transaction fees.

The BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students is perfect for people looking to transfer an existing credit card balance to a new card with a lower APR. This card comes with a 0% introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for any qualifying balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR).

Can I keep my Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students card after I’m no longer a student?

Yes, you can use your Bank of America student credit card long after your days in school. Because it has spending caps on rewards, you may outgrow the card as your spending increases in adulthood. A rewards credit card with a different rewards scheme may suit you better at that point. That said, many people hold the non-student version of this Bank of America card and find it useful, especially when coupled with Bank of America banking accounts.

Other cards to consider

Another student credit card to consider is the Discover it® Student Cash Back. You can earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically. The Discover it Student Cash Back card also comes with a generous sign-up bonus: Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. You don't have to do anything to earn the bonus, and there are no limits on how much you can earn. 

If you're an international traveler or plan to study abroad, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card might be a better fit. This card has no foreign transaction fees, and if you use the card to pay for your trip you have access to travel accident insurance. 

You can also earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats (through 11/14/2024); 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment; 5% on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 3% on dining, entertainment, streaming services, and grocery stores (excluding superstores such as Walmart® and Target®); and 1% on all other purchases. Using the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards card is a great way to earn maximum rewards on concerts, sporting events, and dining when your spending budget is limited.

Build Credit and Earn Cash Back

Bank of America®️ Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students
4.75

Bank of America®️ Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

Why We Like It

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending a $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

See how these cards compare:

Discover it® Student Cash Back
Discover it® Student Cash Back
  • Intro APR on purchases
  • Excellent welcome offer
  • Can help you remove personal info from people-search websites
  • Useful redemption options, including on Amazon and PayPal
  • $0 annual fee
  • Rates and fees
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Welcome bonus: Earn a one-time $50 cash bonus after spending $100 in the first 3 months
  • No annual fee
  • 3% unlimited cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores (excluding superstores such as Walmart® and Target®)
  • 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment
  • Automatic consideration for a higher credit limit after 6 months
  • No foreign transaction fee

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.