Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express cards are designed to help you earn rewards on everyday purchases.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card last updated on 05.03.21

You’ll be able to earn cash back for purchases made at grocery stores, gas stations and more, with added flexibility from the Customized Cash Rewards credit card and an exceptional rewards rate from the Blue Cash Preferred.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Cards Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Annual fee $0 $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95.
Welcome bonus $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
Rewards

Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases

6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).

6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.

3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).

1% Cash Back on other purchases.

APR offer

0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.

(13.99% – 23.99% variable APR thereafter)

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter)

Here are the details:

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

With the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, you’ll earn 3% cash back in one of the following categories of your choice:

  • Gas
  • Online shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Drug stores
  • Home improvement/furnishings

Additionally, you’ll earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and unlimited 1% back on everything else. (Keep in mind there’s an up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases cap and unlimited 1% on all other purchases).

The Customized Cash Rewards card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and there’s a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

An added bonus for Preferred Rewards clients, those who bank or invest with Bank of America® and/or Merrill accounts, is a 25% – 75% rewards bonus on every purchase. This bonus could bring your 3% category earnings up to 5.25% per purchase, your 2% earnings up to 3.5% and 1% earnings to 1.75%.

Should you have any debt to pay off or are looking to make a large purchase, you’ll enjoy a 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10 applies) and purchases  (13.99% – 23.99% variable APR thereafter).

Read the full Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card review here.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

With the Blue Cash Preferred Card, you’ll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit (including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) and 1% back on all other purchases.

You’ll be charged a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for one year), but there’s a $300 statement credit bonus when you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

As far as rewards redemption goes, you can apply Reward Dollars to a statement credit, redeem for gift card redemptions starting at $25 or shop with your cash back via American Express’ marketplace.

Additionally, there’s a 0% introductory APR offer on purchases for 12 months (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter).

Read the full Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review here.

Which card is right for you?

When deciding between the Customized Cash Rewards card and Blue Cash Preferred Card, it’s important to take a few things into account:

  • What are your spending habits?
  • What do you spend the most on each month?
  • Do you care about paying an annual fee?
  • Are you loyal to a particular issuer or bank?

Let’s take a look at the key differences between the Customized Cash Rewards Card and Blue Cash Preferred:

First and second-year value example

Cards  Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Best for Banking relationship bonuses Cash back at U.S. supermarkets
Spending example

$1,500 * 4 quarters * 3% * $0.01 = $180

$1,000 * 4 quarters * 2% * $0.01 = $80

$150 * 12 months * 1% * $0.01 = $18

$500 * 12 months * 6% * $0.01 = $360

$50 * 12 months * 6% * $0.01 = $36

$330 * 12 months * 3% * $0.01 = $118.80

$100 * 12 months * 1% * $0.01 = $12

Welcome bonus $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
First-year value $478 (including welcome bonus)  $826.80 (including welcome bonus)
Second-year value  $278 $526.80

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

If you spent $1,500 a quarter on the 3% category, $1,000 a quarter on the 2% category and $150 a month in the 1% category, you’d earn $278 in cash back.

When you factor in the $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, that’s $478 in cash back earned by the end of your first year.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If you spent $500 a month on the 6% U.S. supermarkets category (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), $50 per month in the 6% select U.S. streaming subscriptions category, $330 a month on the 3% U.S. gas stations or on transit and $100 a month on the 1% category, you’d earn $526.80 in cash back. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

When you include the $300 statement credit bonus after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months, you’d earn $826.80 by the end of your first year.

Bottom line

Choose Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card if…

… you value the flexibility to choose what you earn rewards on or already bank and/or invest with Bank of America or Merrill Edge.

Choose the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express if …

… you spend a significant amount on groceries and gas and don’t mind paying an annual fee.

If you want to do more research, check out our other credit card comparisons.