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How I use my Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card

Here’s how I use the card, plus the best benefits to take advantage of

Summary

The Customized Cash Rewards card offers great benefits and perks, including cash back on groceries, wholesale clubs and other categories.

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The Bank of America content was last updated on August 1, 2022.

As the first rewards credit card that I ever applied for, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card remains a staple in my wallet. In addition to other cash back credit cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card enables me to earn cash back with each purchase I make. The card is simple and easy to use, allows you to customize rewards categories to suit your spending habits and comes with some handy additional perks.

About the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is a solid cash back credit card with some nice additional benefits.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card basics

  • Cash back: 3% cash back on a category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings); 2% back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases ($2,500 combined spending limit on the 2% and 3% categories each quarter); 1% back on all other purchases
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days
  • Regular APR: 16.24% to 26.24% variable APR
  • Welcome bonus: $200 online cash rewards when you spend $1,000 in your first 90 days
  • Annual fee: $0

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card additional perks

  • Security features: Fraud protection, overdraft protection, contactless chip
  • Online features: Online and mobile banking and account alerts
  • Credit tools: Free FICO score with monthly updates

How I’m using this card

This low-maintenance mainstay makes it easy for me to earn cash back on everyday purchases.

1. Taking advantage of the sign-up bonus

Like many great rewards credit cards, this card comes with a sign-up bonus for new cardholders. If you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days, you earn $200 in online cash rewards.

This means that, as long as you spend a little under $350 a month on everyday expenses, you can easily qualify for the welcome bonus. While not quite as generous as the bonuses attached to some luxury rewards cards, this bonus is simple, fuss-free and easy to qualify for.

2. Choosing my bonus category based on my budget

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card allows customers to choose which category they want to earn 3% cash back in. Available categories include gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement.

I currently use this card to earn 3% cash back on online shopping, since I have other cards with more lucrative rates when it comes to dining and travel benefits. This means that I’m able to maximize my rewards and earn 3% cash back on most purchases I make online, whether I’m ordering household goods, new clothes or more books than necessary. (Note, of course, the $2,500 combined spending cap on 2% and 3% categories each quarter.)

One of the nice things about this card is that the 3% category is flexible, so you can choose a different category each month depending on your projected spending areas. For example, if you’re going on a long road trip, you might opt to earn 3% cash back on gas one month, while you might choose to earn 3% in the home improvement category if you’re planning on completing a home renovation project.

3. Pairing this card with other cards

As mentioned above, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card pairs well with other rewards credit cards, while also offering some great baseline rewards. I like to use this card for online shopping and purchases at wholesale clubs, while using the Chase Freedom Unlimited for dining, groceries and everyday, in-person purchases.

Since the card has no annual fee, it’s worth it even if you only ever use it to make purchases in your chosen 3% cash back category. While the difference between 1% and 3% might not seem like that much month-to-month, it can add up to some serious savings over a long enough time period.

4. Shopping at wholesale clubs

Another nice perk of this card is that it earns 2% cash back at wholesale clubs as well as at grocery stores. This means that whenever I succumb to an impulse buy at Target or stock up on bulk snacks at Costco, I can earn a little extra cash back. Again, this category might not seem all that significant, but it can really add up.

5. Saving money with no annual fee

One of my favorite parts of the Bank of America Customized Cash card is that there’s no annual fee. This means that, no matter how much or little I spend, I’m always guaranteed to come out ahead as long as I pay off my balance in full each month.

No annual fee also means that I don’t have to spend any extra time or energy making sure that I’m maximizing my card’s more obscure benefits in order to make up for a hefty annual fee. The low cost of this card lends itself well to a true set-it-and-forget-it approach to credit card rewards, where you can simply rack up rewards over time and redeem them for straight cash.

6. Taking advantage of security features

Like most rewards credit cards these days, the Bank of America Customize Cash card comes with plenty of security features. These include fraud protection, overdraft protection and contactless chip technology when shopping in person. The fraud protection can be particularly handy and enables you to receive texts verifying that suspicious purchases are not fraudulent.

7. Redeeming my cash back

Some people like to optimize their credit credit card rewards as much as possible, redeeming rewards toward travel, shopping through proprietary portals and scoping out the best exclusive deals. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with this, I often find myself taking a much more minimalist approach when it comes to credit card rewards.

Cash back credit cards are simple, easy to use and provide real financial benefit in the form of cold, hard cash each month. With the Bank of America Customized Cash card, there’s no need to worry about which redemption option is the most lucrative. Instead, I can redeem rewards in the form of a statement credit or cash deposit into a Bank of America checking or savings account.

For Bank of America loyalists, there’s an opportunity to earn even more cash back thanks to their Preferred Rewards program. This program enables cardholders who meet certain savings criteria to earn up to a 75% point boost.

8. Monitoring my credit score

Another nice feature of the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is that it comes with a free FICO credit score. This report is updated on a monthly basis and can help you to monitor your credit score and make sure that your credit is on the right track. The report will also tell you what factors may negatively influence your credit score, like your loan balances or the age of your accounts.

Bottom line

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is the first card I reach for when I’m shopping online or at wholesale clubs. Earning up to 3% cash back on select bonus categories, this card makes it simple and painless to earn while you spend. I usually redeem my cash back in the form of a statement credit at the end of each month.

With no annual fee and a zero-interest offer on purchases and balance transfers for over a year, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is a great option for beginners looking for a simple cash back credit card or those looking to pay off a large purchase or transfer a balance.

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
18.26%
Student
18.78%
Airline
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Business
16.47%
Cash Back
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