Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Card Review
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The flexibility to pick your 3% rewards category each month is cool. But the rewards gravy train slows down to 1% after you hit the bonus spending cap, making it a bummer for businesses that put more than $50,000 a year on plastic.
The “customized” in the card name of this tiered rewards business card means you get to decide each month which one of six business-y spending categories will earn 3% cashback. That’s great for strategizers who want to rack up maximum rewards by switching categories when your spending needs shift (e.g., travel one month, computer services the next). Dining is a set 2% cashback category (discussing business over shrimp cocktails, perhaps?), with all else earning 1%. However, big-budget businesses beware: The Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card imposes a $50,000 annual spending cap on purchases in the 3% and 2% rewards tiers — combined.
The basics: Choose how you earn rewards. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You’ll earn 2% and 3% cash back on up to $50,000 in combined purchases in those categories each calendar year, then 1% thereafter. 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first nine billing cycles. Special offer: Get a $300 statement credit after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards
Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards pros and cons
- Customizable 3% cashback category
- 2% rewards on three-martini lunches (and other dining)
- Offers rewards booster with a B of A biz checking account
- $300 sign-up bonus
- 0% intro APR on purchases for nine months
- Compatible with QuickBooks
- $0 annual fee
- Annual spending cap on bonus tiers
- We’re nonplussed by the 1% default cashback rate
- Business management tools are sparse
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- 4% balance transfer and cash advance fees
- No balance-transfer deal
- Requires deeper banking/investing relationship for best rewards terms
Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards cashback rewards spending categories
The following table shows the cashback rewards rate per $1 spent in the six most common spending categories. The “Bonus Rate” refers to the amount you can earn in excess of the card’s standard rewards rate.
Some cashback cards limit the spending amount eligible for the bonus rate (a.k.a. the “Spend Cap”). Once you hit that cap (e.g. $1,500 spending in a particular category during a defined time period), the rewards rate on future purchases in that category reverts to the lower “Default Rate.”
|Category||Default Rate||Bonus Rate||Bonus Spend Cap||Bonus Spend Period (Months)|
Note: With this card you choose your 3% bonus reward category each month. There are six choices: office supplies, TV/telecom/wireless, computer services, gas, business consulting services or travel. "Gas" is the card's default bonus category (as illustrated in the table above) if you do not choose.
What we like
Allows you to strategize rewards. You’re allowed to change your 3% cashback category once per calendar month (as opposed to the quarterly clock other cards follow) to align with your biggest planned expenses. Choose between office supplies, TV/telecom/wireless, computer services, business consulting services or travel. (Gas station purchases are the default spend category.)
A lot of services fall under the 3% cashback categories. Paying for accounting, attorney or architectural services? Those fall under the “business consulting services” category. The “computer services” category is similarly broad.
Dining purchases are eligible for 2% cashback, and all else is awarded at 1%.
There’s $300 up for grabs at sign-up if you put $3,000 in purchases on the card within 90 days of sign-up. That’ll come in handy if you want to upgrade the break room coffee machine, hint, hint.
Get a rewards rate as high as 5.25% if you park at least $20,000 in a Bank of America business checking account or Merrill Edge investment account. (Settle in to read all the account options for limits and whatnot.)
Get a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first nine billing cycles, as long as you make your minimum payments. After that the standard variable APR kicks in.
Travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance, emergency legal and medical referrals, and zero liability protection come standard on the card.
Planning to hand out cards to your minions? You can request as many cards as you’d like by adding each as an “authorized user.”
What we don't like
That $50,000 annual cap on purchases that qualify for 3% and 2% cashback each calendar year. Charging roughly $4,000 a month might not be an issue for a small operation. But bigger businesses with multiple employees using cards can get there surprisingly fast.
Once you hit the $50K ceiling, all purchases are rewarded at a flimsy 1% rate. Consider switching to a more rewarding card if it comes to that.
Choosing a cashback category on your own (unless you’re cool with the gas station default) is yet one more thing for your running-the-business to-do list. If your biggest purchases don’t align with any of the Customized Cash Rewards categories, you may be better off with a flat-rate cashback card.
Gotta be honest, we’re not wowed by the “suite of online services” to help cardmembers manage business. The ability to download transactions into QuickBooks and set up automatic payments and transfers is pretty basic stuff.
More advanced account management features require upgrading to BofA’s “Account Management” service at $15 a month. If your business banking is done through the company, the added controls could be worth it. If you’re not a BofA customer, wellll.
Using this card with international vendors will cost you an extra 3% of the transaction amount. There are other Bank of America business credit cards that don’t have this fee.
The 4% (minimum of $10) fee tacked on to balance transfers and cash advances is worth avoiding.
p.s.: Instead of “let’s meet for coffee,” where you’ll only get 1% cashback, consider "let’s discuss over disco," which, unlike coffee shops, qualifies for the 2% dining rewards rate. (I don’t make the rules, I only report them.)
The bottom line
Is the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards the best rewards card for your wallet? The answer depends entirely on your spending patterns. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Use the investor.com Cashback Credit Card Calculator to see which credit card pays back the highest rewards based on how much you spend each month.
Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards fine print
The fine print, some italics, tables, bold-faced items and other carefully styled text detailing the terms and conditions for the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card.
Does the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards charge an annual fee?
No, there is no annual fee for the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards.
Roughly 11% of the business cashback cards we track in our database charge an annual fee. The average annual fee is $200.
Does the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards offer a welcome bonus?
Yes, the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards has a welcome bonus of $300.
Of the business credit cards in our database, 83% offer a welcome bonus. Currently, the average sign-up bonus on a new business cashback card is $421.79, with the median being $300.
How much cashback can I earn with the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards?
The average business that spends $2580 per month will earn $433.44 in cash back per year using the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the business credit cards in the investor.com database is $483.97, and $464.40 is the median.
These calculations are based on average consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the reward payout rates from the providers we track. Of course, you’re so much more than an average data point (aka “consumer unit,” in BLS parlance). The amount you can earn in cashback rewards using the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards depends entirely on your unique spending habits.
Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.
The results of the investor.com Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.
To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:
- Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
- Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
- Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
- Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
- Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.
What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)
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