How the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card’s category selection works

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Do you have a lot of spending in a particular area and want to earn some extra cash back rewards? Look no further than the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. The card allows you to choose which category you want to receive 3 percent cash back in. In addition to this bonus category, the card also earns 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 in combined 3 and 2 percent category purchases each quarter, then 1 percent), as well as an unlimited 1 percent back on all other purchases.

This cash back credit card lets you easily choose a rewards category that matches your spending patterns in order to maximize the amount of rewards you earn. Categories include gas, dining, travel, online shopping, home improvement and more.

Details of the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card

  • Rewards rate: 3 percent cash back on a category of your choice, 2 percent back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined 3 and 2 percent category purchases each quarter, then 1 percent back) and 1 percent back on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: $200 online cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0 percent for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers (if made within the first 60 days, a 3 percent fee—minimum $10—applies)
  • Regular APR: 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable

How the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card’s cash back structure works

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card makes it easy to earn cash back rewards in a category of your choosing. Cardholders can earn 3 percent back on whatever category they select with this card, including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores and home improvement. You should know that there’s a spending cap of $2,500 in combined 3 and 2 percent category purchases each quarter, after which you’ll receive 1 percent back.

While some rewards cards allow you to take advantage of rotating categories each month or quarter, this card goes one step further and lets you select the category you’d like to benefit from. In turn, this card can be especially lucrative if you have a lot of spending in a particular category. Plus, cardholders can switch categories once a month.

In addition to cash back rewards in a specific spending category, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offers rewards at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and an unlimited 1 percent back on all non-category purchases. This can help ensure that no matter what you spend your money on, you’ll always receive at least 1 percent back on purchases made with the card. Plus, Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn up to 75 percent more rewards on their purchases.

How to choose your Bank of America Cash Rewards category

When choosing a rewards category for the Customized Cash Rewards card, you should first review your spending patterns to determine which category makes the most sense to choose. For example, if you eat out frequently, you might want to choose the dining category. If you make a lot of online purchases, however, you might want to choose the online shopping category.

Once you decide, you can indicate your preference in your Bank of America account, either online or via the Bank of America Mobile Banking app.

How to change your Bank of America Cash Rewards category

Bank of America also allows cardholders to change their rewards category. This can be especially helpful if you have a month or two with a lot of spending in one particular area.

For example, if you’re completing a home renovation, you might want to temporarily switch your rewards to the home improvement category in order to maximize your earnings. On the other hand, if you’re going on vacation soon, you might want to change your bonus rewards to the travel category for the next month.

It’s quick and easy to change categories online or through the Bank of America app. Just keep in mind that you can only change categories once per calendar month. If you want to stick with the same category, there’s no need to make any changes to your account.

How to maximize the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card’s cash back categories

There are a few things you can do to maximize your earnings with this card. These include:

  • Choosing the best category for your lifestyle. You should choose the category that works best for you. It should be a category that you’ll have high spending in during the calendar month in which you’re making your choice.
  • Switching categories when necessary. Switch categories up to once per month if you need to. This can come in handy if you have a large expense on the horizon in a particular category.
  • Pairing your card with a flat-rate cash back option. To earn boosted rewards on all non-category spending, consider pairing the Customized Cash Rewards card with a flat-rate card, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Then, you can earn an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all other spending.

The bottom line

While the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card may not have as many bells and whistles as some other rewards credit cards, it’s still a solid cash back option. The card especially shines for those who already do a lot of spending in one of the card’s various customized category options.

With no annual fee, a low-interest APR offer and a $200 online cash rewards bonus (after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening), this card is a no-brainer for consumers looking for a simple, straightforward cash back card with some extra earning potential.