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Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card Review

Dayana Yochim

Written by Dayana Yochim
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Andrea Coombes

April 05, 2024

Why trust us? has no financial relationship with any of the credit card providers whose products we analyze and review. Our opinions are based solely on data and our own extensive independent research — that means unbiased guidance for consumers. Rewards cards in our cashback credit card calculator are listed in descending order according to how much money they pay out annually based on the inputs.

The Customized Cash Rewards Card lets you change up your 3% cash back category monthly, making it ideal for rewards category commitment-phobes. But big spenders beware: There's a $2,500 quarterly rewards spending cap that can limit a cardholder's overall rewards earning potential.

For rewards category commitment-phobes, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card allows you to switch up your 3% cashback category every 👏 single 👏 month 👏 . (See the list of eligible categories below.) But the real standout features of this credit card are these:

  • The unlimited 2% cash back rate on groceries includes purchases made at wholesale clubs — a rarity among grocery rewards cards, which typically don't apply the supermarket bonus rate to spending at stores like Costco and Sam's Club.

Full disclosure: I've had the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card for years. My favorite feature is the ability to change the 3% cash back category in advance of making a larger purchase (e.g., travel or home improvement supplies). My least favorite thing about this credit card is the $2,500 quarterly rewards spending cap that applies to combined purchases in the 2% and 3% bonus categories. Exceeding that cap subjects all future spending to the card's low 1% base cash back rate until the next quarter rolls around. The workaround: adding a 2% cash back credit card to my wallet to use in situations where the Customized Cash Rewards Card's bonus rates don't apply.

» Which Bank of America cash back card is better?: Compare Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards vs. Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards.

The basics: Earn 3% on the category of your choice each month. Choose between gas and EV charging, online shopping (including cable, internet, phone plans and streaming), dining, travel, drug stores and pharmacies, or home improvement/furnishings. Earn an automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (including those with supermarkets inside) and an unlimited 1% on all else. The 3% and 2% cashback rates apply to the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter in the choice category, and at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, then earn unlimited 1% thereafter. Introductory 0% APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of opening an account. $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

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dining Dining
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Best for Rewards Rotators

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Logo
Cashback Per Year
Annual Fee
Welcome Bonus
Want to compare more cards? Use our full calculator.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards pros and cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • Monthly choice of 3% rewards categories
  • Wholesale club purchases qualify for the 2% grocery rewards rate
  • Higher cash back rates for B of A Preferred Rewards members
  • Welcome bonus and 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • $2,500 quarterly rewards spending cap on 3% and 2% bonus categories combined
  • Lame 1% cashback base/default rate on non-bonus categories
  • Requires cardholder to choose bonus category ("gas" is the default)

Bank of America 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 (aka 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)
Gas 1.00% 3.00% $2,500 3
Travel 1.00% - - -
Dining 1.00% - - -
Entertainment 1.00% - - -
Pharmacy 1.00% - - -
Groceries 1.00% 2.00% $2,500 3
Other Purchases 1.00% - - -

Note: The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card allows cardholders to choose one 3% bonus reward category each month (gas, online shopping (including cable, internet, phone plans and streaming), dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings). The credit card rewards calculator applies the 3% rate to "gas," which is the card's default setting.

Rewards rate boosters: Heads up, B of A/Merrill Edge customers: Preferred Rewards members can boost the card's cashback rate by maintaining a $20,000-$100,000 balance in a Bank of America deposit and/or Merrill investment account. (FYI: The $2,500 spending cap still applies.) The minimum combined balance requirements and corresponding cashback rate boosts are as follows. We added an example of someone who earns $180 cash back per year by spending $4,000 annually split evenly between the 3% and 2% cashback categories, and $8,000 earning 1%:

  • Gold Tier: Get a 25% rewards boost (increasing the cashback range to 1.25%-3.75% from 1%-3%) by maintaining a $20,000 minimum combined balance, which buys you an additional $45 in annual cashback rewards for a grand total of $225.
  • Platinum Tier: Earn a 50% rewards boost (upping the cashback range to 1.5%-4.5%) by maintaining a $50,000 minimum combined balance, which translates to $270 in annual cash back — a $90 bump.
  • Platinum Honors Tier: A 75% rewards boost (1.75%-5.25%) by maintaining a $100,000 minimum combined balance turns $180 in annual cashback earnings into $315 (that's $135 extra for your B of A/Merrill allegiance).

What we like

Expansive choice of bonus categories. Heads up, planners: This is a good card if you know you’ll be making big purchases in any of the rewards categories (gas, online shopping (including cable, internet, phone plans and streaming), dining, travel, drug stores, home improvement/furnishings) and choose it for your 3% bonus category. Heads up, daydreamers: It defaults to gas if you don’t choose.

2% cashback at wholesale clubs (in addition to regular supermarkets) makes this one of the few rewards cards that pays a higher rate on warehouse store shopping trips. This feature earned the B of A Customized Cash Rewards card a spot on our list of Best Credit Cards for Groceries and Dining.

Big-time rewards rate boost available to customers who qualify for Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program. Depending on your combined B of A and/or Merrill investment account balances, you can earn 25% to 75% more cash back when using your Customized Cash Rewards Card. (See booster requirements above.)

No waiting months to switch bonus rewards categories or for the card issuer to determine that quarter’s bonus category. The choice is yours: Feel free to change your mind every month.

Redeem rewards in a Merrill 529 account to start stacking funds for your kids' education, or, if they're being stinkers, plop the money in your own Merrill investment account.

New cardholders can cash in by claiming the welcome bonus and taking advantage of the 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers. And just like that: Justification for purchasing bespoke garments for your cats.

What we don't like

A $2,500 quarterly rewards spending cap applies to purchases in the 3% and 2% combined. (Repeat: c-o-m-b-i-n-e-d, not per spending category.) This policy slams the brakes on your annual cash back earning potential for cardholders who spend more than $800 and change per month in the bonus categories. That's because...

You'll earn just 1% on non-bonus category spending, as well as purchases in the bonus categories that exceed the $2,500 quarterly bonus cap. This is pretty lame, as long as we’re lodging complaints.

You must choose your 3% bonus category unless you want the rate to apply to gas station purchases, which is the factory default setting on this card.

Definitely not the card to use for your overseas travel: The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases outside of the U.S. ¡Ay!

Beware of the 3% (minimum $10) balance-transfer fee if you're planning on using this card to pay off another card.

The bottom line

Is the Bank of America 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 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 Customized Cash Rewards fine print

The fine print on Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards official program and card information is nothing short of riveting.

Does the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards charge an annual fee?

No, there is no annual fee for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards.

tips_and_updates Trivia time!

How common are annual fees? Roughly 17% of the consumer cash back cards we review charge an annual fee. They range from $39 to $99, with an average annual fee of $67.

Does the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards offer a welcome bonus?

Yes, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards has a welcome bonus of $200.

tips_and_updates Fun fact

More than half (55%) of the consumer cash back credit cards we track in the database offer a welcome bonus, ranging from $30 up to $300. The average sign-up bonus for new cardholders is $197, with the median being $200.

How much cashback can I earn with the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards?

The average American that spends $1000 per month will earn $177.48 in cash back per year using the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the database is $191.26, and $180 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 Customized Cash Rewards depends entirely on your unique spending habits.

Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.

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The results of the 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.)

About the Editorial Team

Dayana Yochim
Dayana Yochim

Dayana Yochim has been writing (articles, books, podcasts, stirring speeches) about personal finance and investing for more than two decades, focusing on bringing clarity and the occasional comedic aside to what is often a murky, humorless topic. She’s written for NerdWallet, The Motley Fool,, Woman’s Day, Forbes, Newsweek and others, and been a guest expert on "Today," "Good Morning America," CNN, NPR and wherever they’ll hand her a mic.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is Managing Editor for Reink Media Group and the lead editor for content on Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

Andrea Coombes
Andrea Coombes

Andrea Coombes has 20+ years of experience helping people reach their financial goals. Her personal finance articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, MarketWatch, Forbes, and other publications, and she's shared her expertise on CBS, NPR, "Marketplace," and more. She's been a financial coach and certified consumer credit counselor, and is working on becoming a Certified Financial Planner. She knows that owning pets isn't necessarily the best financial decision; her dog and two cats would argue this point.