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Citi Custom Cash vs. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card

Find out which cash back card offers the bonus category strategy that works for you

Summary

The Citi Custom Cash and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards both offer flexibility in earning where you spend most and 1 percent everywhere else, with no annual fee required. Here’s a look at how they compare head-to-head to help you decide which may offer the best payoff for your spending habits.

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The Bank of America content was last updated on October 3, 2022.

If you’re looking for cash back rewards, you may have come across the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card and the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. As top cash rewards credit cards from two of the biggest financial institutions in the United States, it’s worth comparing costs and rewards rates when deciding which is best for your needs.

Card details

CardCiti Custom Cash℠ Card
Citi Custom Cash
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Welcome bonus$200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months (fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou points)$200 cash back after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
Rewards rate
  • 5% cash back on your top eligible spend category on up to $500 each billing cycle
  • 1% on all other purchases
  • 3% back on the eligible category of your choice
  • 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • (up to $2,500 combined on 2% and 3% category purchases per quarter)
  • 1% on all other purchases
0% intro APR15 months on purchases and balance transfers (17.74% to 27.74% variable APR thereafter)18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers (16.99% to 26.99% variable APR thereafter)
Annual fee$0$0

Citi Custom Cash vs. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Rewards rate

Citi Custom CashBank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card
  • 5% cash back on your highest eligible spend category on up to $500 each billing cycle
  • 1% on all other purchases
  • 3% back on the eligible category of your choice
  • 2% back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases (up to $2,500 combined on 2% and 3% categories per quarter)
  • 1% on all other purchases

The winner: Citi Custom Cash

With the Citi Custom Cash, you can earn up to 5 percent cash back, an impressive rate. Being a flexible category card and earning 5 percent cash back in your top spend category each billing cycle automatically, as opposed to requiring enrollment, makes the card even more valuable. However, the limit of $500 per billing cycle limit on your 5 percent rewards caps your earnings at just $25 per month from that category, which is $300 in cash back per year.

As for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards, you earn 3 percent cash back on a category you choose (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvements and furnishings) and 2 percent on grocery stores and wholesale clubs (with a $2,500 combined spending cap on your bonus categories per quarter). If you maximize the rewards limit, only charging purchases that earn 3 percent on all $2,500 in spending, you can still earn $300 in cash back rewards per year.

However, since the 2 percent category makes it tougher to maximize the value of the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card, CreditCards.com experts estimate its average rewards rate at 1.65 percent. Overall, it’s an easier path to that $300 per year with the Citi Custom Cash.

Welcome bonus

Citi Custom CashBank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card
$200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months$200 cash back after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

The winner: Bank of America Customized Cash

Both cards come with a $200 welcome bonus after meeting minimum spend requirements in the required timeframe. Citi requires a higher $1,500 to earn it, while Bank of America requires a $1,000 minimum in spending to qualify, however, Citi gives you six months rather than 90 days.

In the case of the Bank of America Customized Cash, most people can easily spend $333 per month to reach the required minimum to earn $200 cash back. Since the spending goal for the Bank of America Customized Cash is lower, it wins. Also, remember that you’ll earn regular rewards on your first purchases that count toward the bonus, giving you a huge cash back rate on those early purchases.

Redeeming cash back

Citi Custom CashBank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card
  • Statement credit
  • Direct deposit
  • Check
  • Shop with Points
  • Pay with Points
  • Gift cards
  • Travel
  • Charitable donations
  • Statement credit
  • Direct deposit
  • Contribution to qualifying Merrill account
  • Check

The winner: Citi Custom Cash

Citi doesn’t initially payout rewards as cash back, even though it’s considered a cash back card. Instead, rewards are part of the ThankYou points program, where you can redeem points for several uses, including old-fashioned cash back. You may also redeem points for statement credit, direct deposit, paper check in the mail, gift cards, travel and shopping at Amazon.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is a much more cut-and-dry cash back card, limiting its redemption options to the typical ones: statement credit, direct deposit to a Bank of America account, a contribution to a qualifying Merrill 529 account or check.

Which card should you get?

Both cards offer flexibility and similar cash back rewards, so which one is right for you? The Citi Custom Cash card is best for those who have irregular spending habits or tend to spend heavily in a specific category each month that’s eligible for the $500 rewards limit. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards may have a slight edge with a bonus on groceries and visits to stores like Costco or Sam’s Club, but you could trap yourself with slightly lower rewards.

  • If you want bonus cash back on food. Since the Bank of America Customized Cash card allows you to choose dining as your 3 percent choice category, and you get 2 percent cash back on all eligible purchases at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, it’s a card for cardholders who mostly spend their money on food — whether that’s on dining out or staying in with takeout.
  • If you care about getting the most cash back. The Citi Custom Cash Card makes it easy to earn $25 in bonus cash back every month because your top category is automatically chosen for you. Other than putting your purchases on the card, it requires little effort to maximize it.
  • If you have some credit debt. For those with high-interest debt who are looking to transfer it to another card, the Bank of America Customized Cash card’s intro APR period will give you ample time to pay off that debt steadily. For a cash back card, its balance transfer offer is quite attractive.
  • If you want a low-effort card. For anyone who wants easy cash back without spending too much time and effort on knowing which one has which bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash Card is a great choice.

Bottom line

When comparing the Citi Custom Cash Card against the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card, both come with similar cash back features, bonus rewards, annual fees and more. Because they are so similar, it’s important to consider your typical spending habits and which bank you find more convenient. Then you can confidently move forward with the best cash back credit card for your unique needs.

 

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
Reward
18.76%
Student
19.53%
Airline
18.58%
Business
17.05%
Cash Back
18.68%

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