Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card Review
Why trust us? Investor.com 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.
This card is best for rewards category commitment-phobes and BofA/Merrill Edge customers who qualify for a higher cashback rate. However, big spenders need to keep an eye on the quarterly rewards spending cap.
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 👏 . Plus, you can get a 25% to 75% rewards rate boost — netting you up to 5.25% cashback —if you qualify for the Preferred Rewards program's Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Honors Tiers. That said, the $2,500 combined quarterly spending cap is a bummer, making it best for those with smaller budgets.
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 imp/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 18 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 three months.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards pros and cons
- Monthly choice of 3% rewards categories
- 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
- One-time $200 cash bonus
- No annual fee
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months
- Preferred Rewards members may qualify for higher cashback rates
- Low $2,500 quarterly cap on purchases eligible for 3% and 2% rewards rates
- Lame 1% cashback base/default rate
- Requires minor mathing to maximize rewards
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards cashback rewards spending categories
With this card you choose your 3% bonus reward category each month (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings). The 2% bonus rate applies to grocery store purchases and spending at wholesale clubs. 1% cash back applies to all other purchases.
Rewards spending cap: You'll earn 3% and 2% on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter. Once you hit the bonus rewards spending ceiling, all subsequent purchases earn 1% cash back.
Rewards rate boosters: Heads up, BofA/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 BofA/Merrill allegiance).
What we like
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, 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 BofA Customized Cash Rewards card a spot on our list of Best Credit Cards for Groceries and Dining.
18 months of 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers is a sizeable timeframe to help you pay off a balance.
Got a Bank of America bank or Merrill investment account? Score! Sign up for Preferred Rewards and to qualify for a 25% to 75% rewards booster based on how much cash you keep at the bank or brokerage. (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.
You’ve got three months to grab the sign-up bonus: You’ll need to shell out $1,000 (bespoke garments for your cats, perhaps?) within the first 90 days to score $200 extra to spend on accessories.
What we don't like
Quarterly (quarterly!) cash-back caps are severely limiting if you spend more than $2,500 (that’s $800 and change a month) in the two highest bonus categories (3% and 2% combined. Repeat: c-o-m-b-i-n-e-d, not per spending category.)
The 1% cash-back base for all other purchases is pretty lame, as long as we’re lodging complaints.
Definitely not the card to use for your overseas travel: The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card carries a 3% foreign transaction fee. ¡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 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 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.
Roughly 14% of the consumer cashback cards we track in our database charge an annual fee. The average annual fee is $72.60, while the median is $95.
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.
Of the more than 60 cashback credit cards in our database, 66% offer a welcome bonus. Currently, the average sign-up bonus on a new cashback card is $210.71, 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 $178.68 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 investor.com 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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Compare Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards
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.)