Increase your approval odds for the Bank of America Customs Cash Rewards card by knowing the minimum credit score requirement for this card. You should also understand other application factors that could impact your approval odds for this card.
The Bank of America content was last updated on April 1, 2022.
If you are in the market for a new rewards credit card, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card could be a strong contender among the many higher-earning cash back credit card choices out there. With no annual fee and the option to customize the categories for your cash back earnings, you might think about applying for the card as soon as you possibly can.
Even if you feel like the Customized Cash Rewards card is a good fit for your needs right now, you don’t want to apply for it only to be rejected and suffer a hit to your credit report from a hard inquiry.
If you don’t have access to a prequalified or preapproved offer for this card, you’ll want to approach your application with caution. To increase your approval odds, you should know the credit score required for this card, along with other factors in your application that could harm your approval odds.
Why apply for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card?
The Bank of America Customized Cash card can help you earn a substantial amount of cash back on purchases in common spending categories. Instead of fixed bonus categories, this card allows you to choose the spending categories where you’ll earn your cash back rewards.
Customized bonus categories
The unique earning structure on the Bank of America Customized cash card includes:
- 3% on a category of your choice (you can change once per month) including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings
- 2% on grocery story and wholesale club purchases
- Combined $2,500 spend limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter, then 1%
- 1% on all other purchases
The nice thing about this card is that you can maximize your Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card earnings by switching categories based on your upcoming expenses.
For instance, around the holidays, you might switch over to online shopping. If you’ve got any upcoming trips or outings planned, you could switch over to travel or dinner the next month. (There’s a 3% foreign transaction fee, however.)
Also, if you’re unsure exactly what bonus spending category to choose and when to choose it, the Bank of America app provides regular reports on your spending across the six bonus category options. Here, you can see where you spend the most money and how you can earn the most rewards.
Preferred rewards boost
It’s worth noting that as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you could boost your cash back rate depending on the tier you fall into. In some cases, you could earn up to 5.25% cash back with the Customized Cash Rewards card.
The Preferred Rewards tiers are based on the total balances you maintain across your eligible Bank of America and Merrill accounts:
|Tier||Balance required||Rewards boost||Average earning rate|
Welcome bonus and introductory APR
If you decide to apply for this card, you’ll get a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Also, there’s a 0% introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (14.24% to 24.24% variable APR thereafter). A 3% fee (minimum $10) applies to all balance transfers.
Other features and perks
The Customized Cash Rewards card also features fraud protection, overdraft protection, paperless statements, account alerts, mobile banking and text banking options.
What credit score do I need for the Customized Cash Rewards card?
This credit card requires a credit score in the range of “good to excellent.” According to the FICO, a leading credit score rating company, a good credit score is 670 to 739, while a very good or excellent credit score is 740 or higher. If you don’t fall into this range, your approval odds for the Customized Cash Rewards card could be lower.
In some cases, card issuers may consider other factors like an existing relationship with the bank. If you are already using other products from Bank of America, like a mortgage, deposit account or other credit cards, it can help your approval odds. If you are in good standing with these accounts, display healthy money management tendencies and have a good or better credit score, your chances of being approved will be higher.
What happens if my card application is denied?
Even if you’ve got all your financial ducks in a row, your application for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card can be denied. This is frustrating because you may feel like you’ve wasted a hard inquiry hit to your credit without any positive outcome to show for it.
If this happens to you, don’t fret. There are ways to bounce back and recover from this seemingly failed attempt.
Understand why you were denied
The first step to understanding what to do from here means getting a complete understanding of why your credit card application was denied. In some cases, it could be that your application was incomplete, or the bank could not verify some of the information you provided in your application.
Either way, the bank is required, by law, to explain to you why your application was not approved. Typically, you can expect correspondence regarding your credit card application in the mail within seven to 10 business days. In this letter, you can expect an explanation with the exact reason or reasons for the denial.
If given the invitation, you may be able to call a customer service representative who can give you more clarity around your denied application. They can explain if you are missing information or if part of your application is incomplete. Other explanations that have to do with your credit profile are not always addressed by the issuer over the phone. So you may ultimately end up waiting for the mail communication for the complete denial explanation.
Improve your credit score
If your application for the Bank of America Customized Cash rewards card was denied because of your credit score, the good news is that there are plenty of remediation strategies to help you get back on track.
Though many factors go into calculating your credit score, the two main culprits that can bring down your credit score include having a negative payment history or carrying high balances across all of your lines of available credit.
If your balances are too high, you’ll want to pay them down as aggressively as you can. One such strategy could include making extra payments or even utilizing a balance transfer offer to stop high-interest payments from hindering your payment progress.
If your credit score is low due to a bad payment history, unfortunately, you’ll have to let enough time pass to build up a positive record of on-time payments. There’s no real shortcut to seeing this process through.
Other issues that can affect your credit score include having incorrect or fraudulent information on your credit report. You should check your credit profile regularly to ensure that all of the information is up-to-date and that there is no mistaken or fraudulent activity appearing on your credit profile. Correcting these issues could increase your credit score – especially if there’s particularly harmful activity reported there.
Consider other cards until your credit score improves
If you are trying all of these approaches to improve your credit profile and it doesn’t seem to be helping your credit score, consider getting another card until your score improves. If you choose your “in the meantime” card strategically, it could even help boost your credit score.
You should consider credit cards for those with fair credit scores like the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card (which has a low annual fee and earns 1.5% cash back on purchases) or Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card (which earns 1% cash back on eligible purchases and then bumps up to 1.5% cash back after 12 on-time, monthly payments).
You can also opt for a secured credit card which requires you to give the card issuer an initial deposit as collateral for the credit line. With a secured credit card, your card activity is reported to credit bureaus and can help you build up a positive credit profile if you use the card responsibly. This means you should be committed to making payments on time and keeping your balance low on your secured card.
Fortunately, there is a secured version of the card: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card. The secured version of the card can help strengthen your credit while you still earn cash back – not a common feature for secured credit cards. If you use it responsibly, it could provide an upgrade path to the unsecured version of the card at some point in the future.
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card can certainly be a beneficial card to have in your wallet. But because of all the perks and benefits, it’s crucial to have at least a “good” credit rating to qualify.
If you don’t yet have an eligible credit score for this card, all is not lost. If you take time to improve your financial habits overall, an improved credit score should follow. And a higher credit score means you could have access to better rewards cards in the long run, like the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card.