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Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards vs Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Tier) 2023

investor.com

Written by investor.com

In head-to-head competition, which of these rewards credit cards wins out? Here’s what each has to offer and how they fare when put to the ultimate test — the cash back you’ll earn for using them.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards
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 Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Tier)
Preferred Rewards Platinum Tier members earn an unlimited 2.25% cashback on all purchases (a 50% rewards boost from the standard 1.5% cashback rate). The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card offers a 0% introductory APR for the first 18 billing cycles for purchases, as well as any balance transfers made within the first 60 days of opening your account.

Credit Card Calculator
Monthly Spend
Spend Categories expand_more
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dining Dining
theater_comedy Entertainment
local_gas_station Gas
shopping_cart Groceries
monetization_on Other
local_pharmacy Pharmacy
card_travel Travel
local_shipping Amazon
storefront Costco
construction Home Improvement
shopping_bag Online Shopping
smart_display Streaming
local_taxi Transit
power Utilities
kitchen Whole Foods
receipt_long Wholesale Clubs
Best for Rewards Rotators

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards

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Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Logo
Cashback Per Year
$...
Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Bonus
$200

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Tier)

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Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Tier) Logo
Cashback Per Year
$...
Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Bonus
$200
Want to compare more cards? Use our full calculator.

Which credit card earns more cash back overall?

Based on identical spending inputs, you’ll earn $178.68 cash back per year with Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards and $270.00 with Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Tier). For context, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the investor.com database is $181.73.

The annual rewards payout assumes you charge $1,000 each month spread across the following spending categories: Dining ($145), Entertainment ($134), Gas ($140), Groceries ($198), Travel ($128), Pharmacy ($15), and Other ($240). The dollar amounts for each category are based on consumer spending data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (i.e., how much the average American spends proportionally across the major credit card rewards categories). But you can — and absolutely should! — customize the inputs based on your actual monthly spending habits, using our rewards calculator.

To ensure the most accurate results possible, the rewards calculations for Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards and Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Tier) incorporate bonus rewards rates, spending caps, default rewards rates and annual fees, where applicable.

Is the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards good?

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.

thumb_up Likes

  • Monthly choice of 3% rewards categories
  • 2% cashback 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 rate

thumb_down Dislikes

  • Low $2,500 quarterly cap on purchases eligible for 3% and 2% rewards rates
  • Lame 1% cash back base/default rate
  • Requires minor mathing to maximize rewards


Category Default Rate Bonus Rate Bonus Spend Cap Bonus Spend Period (Months)
Gas 1.00% - - -
Travel 1.00% - - -
Dining 1.00% 3.00% $2,500 3
Entertainment 1.00% - - -
Pharmacy 1.00% - - -
Groceries 1.00% 2.00% $2,500 3
Other Purchases 1.00% - - -

Is the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Tier) good?

How do you turn a so-so 1.5% cashback card into a much more attractive 2.25% one? Go platinum! The upgrade requires keeping 50 Gs in a BofA checking or Merrill Edge investment account, which qualifies you for Platinum Tier status in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program.

thumb_up Likes

  • Unlimited cash back on all purchases (no spending caps here!)
  • 50% rewards booster (2.25% vs. 1.5%) for Platinum Tier Preferred Rewards customers
  • $200 sign-up bonus
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • Preferred Rewards tiers qualify for additional banking/investing benefits

thumb_down Dislikes

  • Rewards booster requires maintaining a $50,000 combined minimum in BofA and/or Merrill Edge investing account
  • The Platinum Tier rewards boost may take 30 days to kick in after enrolling in the Preferred Rewards program
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 3% balance transfer fee


Category Default Rate Bonus Rate Bonus Spend Cap Bonus Spend Period (Months)
Gas 2.25% - - -
Travel 2.25% - - -
Dining 2.25% - - -
Entertainment 2.25% - - -
Pharmacy 2.25% - - -
Groceries 2.25% - - -
Other Purchases 2.25% - - -

compare_arrows Compare credit cards

Select and compare two credit cards head to head to see which offers the most bang for your buck.


Select Credit Cards

×
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxAlliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxAmerican Express Cash Magnet
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxApple Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBank of America Customized Cash Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Gold Tier)
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Honors Tier)
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards (Platinum Tier)
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBlue Cash Everyday from American Express
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBlue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxBMO Harris Bank Cash Back Mastercard
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCapital One Quicksilver Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCapital One Quicksilver Rewards for Good Credit
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCapital One QuicksilverOne
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCapital One Savor Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCapital One SavorOne Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxChase Freedom Flex
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxChase Freedom Unlimited
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCiti Custom Cash Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCiti Double Cash Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCostco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCredit One Bank American Express Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCredit One Platinum Rewards Visa
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCredit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxCredit One Platinum X5 Visa
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxDiscover it Cash Back
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxDiscover it Chrome
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxPayPal Cashback Mastercard
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxPenFed Power Cash Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxPetal 2 Visa Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxPNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxSallie Mae Accelerate
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxSallie Mae Evolve Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxSoFi Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxTD Cash Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxTruist Enjoy Cash Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxU.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxUpgrade Cash Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxUpgrade Triple Cash Rewards
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxUSAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxUSAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxVenmo Credit Card
  • check_box_outline_blankcheck_boxWells Fargo Active Cash Card

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Methodology

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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