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Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

At a Glance
Bank America Cash Rewards Credit Card
4.3 / 5
Rating

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days
  • Rewards: Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (eligible categories include gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings) and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, up to $2,500 in combined eligible spending in the 3% and 2% categories each quarter; earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
  • Benefits: Complimentary monthly FICO score, optional overdraft protection for Bank of America banking customers, bonus cash-back earnings for Preferred Rewards members
  • Fees: Balance transfer fee 3% of the transaction value or $10, whichever is greater; foreign transaction fee 3% of the transaction value
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles (balance transfers must be made within 60 days of account opening)
  • Credit Limits: Medium to High
  • Credit Required: Good to Excellent

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card is not your average cash-back credit card. With a very competitive sign-up bonus offer, an unusually long 0% intro APR promotion for both purchases and balance transfers, and a tiered rewards program that pays up to 3% cash back on eligible purchases, it’s well above average.

If you’re in the market for a new rewards credit card, it’s high time you took a look at Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards. If you’re a current Bank of America banking customer or willing to open a qualifying banking relationship with the financial services giant, the deal could be even sweeter.

Keep reading for everything you need to know to make an informed decision about this card.

Key Features

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card’s signature features include a tiered rewards program, a competitive sign-up bonus for new cardholders, and an introductory APR promotion covering purchases and balance transfers.

Sign-up Bonus

Qualify for an online $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days your account is open.

Earning Rewards

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards has a three-tiered rewards program:

First, earn 3% cash back in one spending category of your choice. Choose from:

  • Gas
  • Online shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Home furnishings/home improvements
  • Drugstores

Second, earn 2% cash back on all eligible grocery store and wholesale club purchases.

Third, earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

Your earnings in the 2% and 3% cash back categories are capped at $2,500 in total combined category spending each quarter. After hitting the quarterly spending cap, you’ll earn 1% cash back on purchases in those spending categories.

When you open your card account, your 3% cash back category will default to gas. You can change your 3% category as often as once per month in your online account dashboard or Bank of America mobile app.

Redeeming Rewards

The best way to redeem your accumulated rewards is for cash equivalents like statement credits or direct deposits to an eligible Bank of America account.

Bonus Rewards for Preferred Rewards Program Members

Bank of America Preferred Rewards members earn cash-back rewards at a higher rate than regular Bank of America customers. The cash-back boost tiers work as follows:

  • Gold Preferred Rewards members (at least $20,000 in qualifying investment, checking, and savings account balances with Bank of America and/or Merrill Lynch) earn 25% more cash back on Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards purchases
  • Platinum Preferred Rewards members (at least $50,000 in qualifying account balances with BofA or Merrill Lynch) earn 50% more cash back on card purchases
  • Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards members (at least $100,000 in qualifying account balances) earn 75% more cash back on card purchases

Introductory APR Promotion

Enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. Qualifying balance transfers must occur within 60 days of your account opening date. Thereafter, variable regular APR applies.

Additional Features

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card has some additional features and capabilities worth noting, including:

  • Complimentary monthly FICO score (accessible through the Bank of America mobile app or online banking dash) when you opt in
  • Optional overdraft protection tied to your credit card, subject to overdraft transfer fees and other restrictions
  • Complimentary fraud protection and $0 liability guarantee for fraudulent transactions
  • Your choice of account alerts sent directly to your phone or inbox

Important Fees

There’s no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 3% of the transaction value. Balance transfers cost 3% or $10, whichever is greater.

Credit Required

This card requires a good to excellent credit score. Applicants with limited credit histories or credit scores below the prime cutoff are unlikely to qualify.


Advantages

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card has a lot going for it: an excellent sign-up bonus, a generous ongoing cash-back rewards program, and an unusually long 0% APR promotion for new cardholders, among other benefits.

  1. No Annual Fee. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card does not charge an annual fee. Although it’s an excellent everyday spending card, it won’t weaken your budget if you don’t use it very often either.
  2. Very Good Sign-up Bonus. Of all the no-annual-fee Bank of America credit cards on the market, Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards has the most generous and easily attainable sign-up bonus. Of course, this is subject to change at BofA’s discretion.
  3. Unusually Long 0% APR Promotion for Purchases and Balance Transfers. This card’s 0% APR offer is quite long for a no-annual-fee rewards card: 15 months for both purchases and balance transfers. That’s more than enough time to pay down high-interest credit card debt or finance a major purchase made shortly after account opening.
  4. Broad 3% Bonus Categories. True to its name, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card allows cardholders to choose one of six fairly broad 3% bonus categories. With budgetary cornerstones like gas, online shopping, and dining, it’s not difficult for most consumers to find a 3% category that fits their needs. And Bank of America lets cardholders update their preferences every month, providing welcome flexibility as spending needs change.
  5. Permanent 2% Bonus Categories Benefit Grocery Shoppers and Wholesale Club Members. Bank of America Customized Cash’s permanent 2% bonus categories qualify as budgetary cornerstones as well. If you’re not a wholesale club member, the grocery stores category is a fine fallback.

Disadvantages

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card is not perfect. Its downsides include its foreign transaction fee and rewards caps that could impact heavy-spending cardholders.

  1. 3% Bonus Category Selection Isn’t Automatic. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card requires cardholders to manually select a favored 3% bonus category. Otherwise, the category defaults to gas, which might not work for cardholders who don’t drive much, rarely patronize gas stations, or don’t own cars at all.
  2. Bonus Cash Back Earnings Capped at $2,500 in Quarterly Spending. Bank of America caps bonus cash back at $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases across all 2% and 3% bonus categories. Assuming you max out your 3% bonus category spending, that’s a hard limit of $75 in bonus cash-back earnings per quarter.
  3. Has a Foreign Transaction Fee. This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside the United States, including some online purchases made with foreign vendors. If you regularly patronize non-U.S. businesses, this could be a significant drawback, especially with so many foreign transaction fee-free cards on the market today.
  4. Low Baseline Cash Back Rate. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards earns just 1% on eligible spending outside the 2% and 3% bonus categories and once you hit the quarterly spending cap in those categories. That’s lower than competing cards like the Citi Double Cash Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Final Word

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card has a lot going for it: a great sign-up bonus, a generous ongoing rewards program, a choice 0% APR introductory offer, and potentially valuable perks for Bank of America banking customers.

Is it perfect? It’s not — no cash-back credit card is. Bank of America Customized Cash has a low baseline rewards rate, charges a foreign transaction fee, and caps bonus cash-back earnings at a relatively low level each quarter. It’s not ideal for heavy spenders or frequent travelers, nor for anyone who can’t fit its bonus cash-back categories into their budgets.

Still, it’s better than your average cash-back card. And that means it’s worthy of consideration, even if you ultimately decide to go with another card or issuer.

Verdict
Bank America Cash Rewards Credit Card
4.3 / 5
Rating

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card is an above-average no-annual-fee cash-back credit card with an unusually long 0% APR introductory promotion for new cardholders. If you can organize your spending to maximize its 3% and 2% bonus categories each quarter, you’ll find it an excellent addition to your credit card lineup.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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